After a six game losing streak, the team looks like it may have solved some of its problems.
Since the stinker of a game at home on Nov. 28, where the Admirals lost to Hershey 5-2, the team has won three out of four games, all on the road. (The AHL Showcase in DC was a 'home' game. It wasn't. Washington is Hershey's parent club.) Of the wins, they outscored the opposition 12-3. The largest margin of victory came against Hershey with a 5-1 win.
Frederik Andersen has started five of the last six games and is playing really well. He has moved into the top 10 for goalies in the entire league. Andersen has a respectable 2.38 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Igor Bobkov's last start was the 5-2 loss on Nov. 28. He currently has a 3.99 GAA and a .886 SV%. I expect him to start at least one game this weekend. Hopefully he gets hot.
Peter Holland is going strong in his second full year of pro hockey. The center is leading the team with 10 goals and 23 points. On his wings, Kyle Palmieri has nine goals and 17 points and Patrick Maroon has six goals and 14 points. I'm hoping Kyle is just going through a tough stretch and will catch fire again soon.
Lately there has been plenty of secondary scoring. John Mitchell, Nate Guenin, Jordan Hendry and Brandon McMillan all contributed. McMillan is looking like he is getting ready to go on a stretch of goal scoring. This team can use the help with players like Devante Smith-Pelly and Corey Elkins not lighting the lamp often enough. Another player who I think will a big difference here soon is Emerson Etem. All season, his speed on the forecheck and his willingness to check have been a positive. Offensively, in the last four games he has two goals for six total on the season.
The defense is still kinda hard to read. Jordan Hendry seems to be the heart of the defense and maybe even the team. While he was out injured, the team was just awful. With Hendry back in the line up, the team has played noticeably better. He's made only one really bad mistake that lead to a short handed goal.
Matt Smaby is still injured and Captain Nate Guenin hasn't played since he limped off the ice a couple games ago. [Ed. Note: Guenin did not make the road trip with the Ads. According to Admirals' PR, his injury is considered to be 'nothing serious'. No timetable set for his return.]
As far as special teams go, there isn't that much good news outside of the penalty kill. The Admirals are killing almost all penalties, which is a good thing. The bad thing is they are regularly playing almost an entire period down a man. The penalty kill is ranked seventh in the league at 86 percent efficiency. The power play is terrible at 24th out 30 teams, operating at 13.3 percent conversion rate; or 86.7 percent deficiency depending on your glass half full/empty view.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Admirals play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday and Saturday. Bridgeport is second in the league for total penalty minutes.
[Ed. Note: Hampus Lindholm was released in order to play for Sweden at World Juniors. He'll join fellow Swedish prospects Rickard Rakell and William Karlsson on the team.]