(Note: The Admirals played a late afternoon game in Albany today, so some statistics reflect post-game numbers)
1 Defenseman and Captain Garnett Exelby, still held without a goal this season, picked up his first point of February last Saturday setting up Chris Wagner's opening goal in the second of back-to-back games versus the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning).
2 Rookie Forward Norm Ezekiel scored his second goal of the season earlier Saturday in a 4-1 loss to the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils).
3 Devante Smith-Pelly scored 3 goals, his first hat trick of the season, against the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday night. Despite his offensive outburst, the Admirals lost 4-3.
4 Goaltender Viktor Fasth is now 1-4 in the AHL between last season and 13-14 after losing Saturday afternoon in Albany. Perhaps the AHL is a harder adjustment than the NHL for Swedish goalies? Expect to see him between the pipes again Sunday in Springfield against the Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets).
5 The Admirals have given standings points to their opponents 18 times this season. In extra periods the Admirals have two overtime wins, one overtime loss, eight shootout wins, and seven shootout losses. Winning in extra time really is a coin toss, or as statisticians say, just about .566%.
6 Emersen Etem scored his third game winning goal in a 2-1 win over Syracuse last Saturday. Unfortunately it was the last meeting between the two teams for the 2013-2014 season--the Admirals are 6-2-0 against the Crunch, their best record against any team they've faced thus far.
7 Chris Wagner scored his seventh goal of the season, his first short-handed, and his second in a week against the Syracuse Crunch last Saturday.
8 In 25 games played at Scope this season, the Admirals have 13 wins and 12 losses, eight in regulation and four in the shoot-out.
9 Goaltender John Gibson is ranked fifth among active goaltenders with a record of 17-11-0-4 , a 2.27 Goals Against Average, and a .923 Save Percentage.
10 Center Dave Steckel picked up his tenth assist of the season in a 4-1 losing effort to the Albany Devils earlier today.
--Viktor Fasth appears close to a return to NHL action after practicing all week with the Admirals and getting in to his first game back after a groin injury has kept him out of uniform for quite some time. Once the Olympic break is over, the Ducks will be looking at some hard roster decisions. When Fasth is taken off the IR list, Anaheim will have five goaltenders between the Admirals and the Ducks. To be honest, based on his history, Fasth would be the odd man out for me if the Ducks just want to get rid of a goalie. However, Frederik Andersen could bring back some serious talent in a trade. The deadline is just days away, so we'll have our answer soon.
--The Admirals' loss to the Albany Devils earlier today was the first time since December 19 and 20 that Norfolk has lost back-to-back games. There are just two points separating fourth through ninth place in the standings. The Admirals have given up 13 points to their division rivals this season. From here on out it's not just about winning, it's about winning in regulation. There are eight spots for nine teams, and Norfolk must string wins together if it plans to see ice time after April 19th.
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