Admirals Stat-urday: Holes In The Boat

Chris Wagner scores a hat trick while wearing the Admirals' 25th Anniversary Jersey - Courtesy John Wright/Norfolk Admirals

3-6-1-0 in their last ten games, and finding a way to lose despite scoring five goals. There are leaks in the hull and it will require all hands to plug them up as the Admirals navigate through their final ten games of the season barely clinging to the final play-off spot in the Eastern Conference.

1 Forward Chris Wagner had his first multi-goal game and first professional hat trick last Saturday in a 6-5 OT loss to the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators).

2
John Gibson took his second straight loss Friday night versus the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins). Gibson is now 2-3-0-0 in his last five games.

3
For only the third time this season the Admirals have strung together three or more losses. The last extended losing streak dates back to December 20, 2013 when the Admirals lost four straight games.

4
Defenseman Kevin Gagne is currently ranked fourth among rookies in power play assists with 13. Gagne picked up his 17th assist of the season last Saturday while taking a turn at playing forward, a position he's been slotted in over the past few games as the Admirals have dressed seven defensemen.

5
Last Saturday was the seventh time this season Norfolk has scored five or more goals in a game. It was the first loss when tallying five or more.

6 Andre Petersson scored his third goal as an Admiral last Saturday against Binghamton. He now has six points since coming over at the trade deadline (3G,3A).

7 Norfolk has faced the Penguins seven times this season, going 4-2-0-1. The two losses have come in consecutive meetings, the first in Wilkes Barre, the second last night in a 2-1 loss at Scope.

8
The Admirals currently sit in Eighth-place in the Eastern Conference, the last post-season spot, and hold only a three point lead over the ninth-place Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals). Their magic number is 18.

9 Nine different players contributed to the five goals scored against Binghamton last Saturday. Chris Wagner had a four point night (3G,1A) and Andre Petersson a two point night (1G,1A)

10
Norfolk continues to hold on to the tenth spot in Penalty Minutes, racking up 1250 in 66 games played, averaging 18.94 short-handed minutes per game. Ironically, divisional and playoff rivals Binghamton, Wilkes Barre-Scranton, and Hershey occupy the eight, ninth, and eleventh spots respectively.

--Anaheim made a couple signings this week of some players finishing up their college seasons, but so far only Matt Bailey has made the leap from college to the pros, making his Admirals' debut last night against Wilkes Barre-Scranton. He won his first face off (and a couple subsequent as well) and was rewarded with some time on the power play and penalty kill. A few Penguins' players tried to help "welcome" him to the AHL but Bailey took it in stride and returned the affection in a few post-whistle scrums.

--"One more mistake than the other team." That was how Coach Trent Yawney summed up both last night's 2-1 loss to the Senators and last Saturday's 6-5 OT loss to the Penguins. It really can't be put any more simply, and it will continue to be the theme for the remaining ten games. Twice in the span of a week the Admirals managed to put the puck in the net five times but could only come away with one win. Prior to the five goal game against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) last Wednesday we have to go back to January 10 when Norfolk beat the Portland Pirates 5-4 in OT.

The only question now is, will Norfolk tighten up and cash in on their opponents' mistakes, or will teams continue to feed on the October-style tendencies that have reared their ugly heads this month? Last March saw Norfolk win nine of 14 and put themselves in to playoff contention only to play themselves right back out by losing five of their last nine in April. This March the Admirals went in to March in playoff contention but have found themselves clinging to the final post-season spot having lost seven of eleven games played so far. The Admirals, once again, are in control of their post-season destinies, they need only to remember that it is indeed March and April 2014 and not October 2013.

Follow me on Twitter: @VAPuckhead

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