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Admirals Stat-urday: Power Play Out of Juice

The Admirals started off the season ranked near the top of the AHL on the power play, but have scored just once in their last 20 chances.

Sami Vatanen returns to Norfolk, scores goal and assist Nov 16, 2013
Sami Vatanen returns to Norfolk, scores goal and assist Nov 16, 2013
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

1 The Admirals have scored just one power play goal in their last 20 chances over 5 games.

2 Norfolk is averaging 2.38 goals for per game but are allowing 2.31 goals against. The Admirals currently lead the league in Shootout games played with 6, and if the trend continues fans will continue to be treated to many more skills competitions.

3 The Admirals rank third in the AHL on the penalty kill. Despite being shorthanded 84 times, Norfolk has only allowed nine goals. This is a great stat except...

4 Norfolk ranks fourth in the AHL in penalty minutes. In 16 games, the Admirals have been shorthanded 374 mins, averaging 23.38 mins per game, meaning the Admirals play roughly an entire period each game down one skater.

Goalie John Gibson faced 50 shots Friday night against the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins), turning back all but three and ending the Admirals three game losing streak. That game ranks third this season for most saves in a game.

6 Norfolk doesn't score a lot of goals, but they don't give opponents all that many either. In 16 games this season, the Admirals have allowed three or more goals only six times.

7 Seven different Admirals players recorded points in the 4-3 victory over Providence. Of particular note, recently assigned defenseman Sami Vatanen recorded a goal and an assist in his first game in a Norfolk sweater. Steven Whitney also picked up a goal and an assist and Peter Holland scored a goal and added two assists.

8 As of this morning, rookie Steven Whitney is Norfolk's leading scorer with eight points (5G + 3A)

9 Center Peter Holland, who until a few hours ago was the Admirals' leading scorer, notched a goal and two assists Friday night against the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins), bringing his final totals as a member of the Norfolk Admirals to 5G + 4A = 9pts.

400 Yes, you read that right. I skipped all the way to 400 for these next two very important statistics. Norfolk is currently ranked last in the AHL in shots on goal with 410 (25.6 per game)--they managed only three in the first period against the Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings) earlier this week. The Admirals are also ranked last in the AHL in shots against, allowing 517 (35.69 per game).

Roster moves a-plenty this week. First David Steckel was finally signed to the NHL contract everyone knew he was going to get. Steckel, who had been playing with Norfolk on an AHL only contract, was signed earlier this week to a two-way NHL contract, cleared waivers, and was assigned to Norfolk. Winger Matt Beleksy and Goalie Viktor Fasth were assigned this week to Norfolk on LTI conditioning loans, with Fasth being recalled after one game. Peter Holland was recalled to Anaheim then reassigned to Norfolk the next day, and was finally traded ( who else saw this one coming? Everyone? Really?) And finally, two familiar and favorite faces of Admirals' fans everywhere were assigned to Norfolk, Sami Vatanen and Frederik Andersen.

There are no negatives to the Vatanen and Andersen assignments, as Vatanen will inject a much needed boost to the power play and compliment Alex Grant's shot from the point, and Andersen, who played himself briefly in to the NHL's Calder race, will once again make up the best goaltending tandem in the AHL alongside John Gibson. And since goaltending is pretty much what has won games for Norfolk this season, Andersen should be a calming presence to both the team and fans alike.

The only other thing I want to bring up this week that wasn't mentioned in the stats above is the Holland trade. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir I'm sure, but Holland being moved was a matter of when, not if.

I think the Ducks were more than patient with him over the past couple seasons, calling him up, injecting him in to the line-up, giving him the opportunity to make a difference, grab a spot with the big club, and give the Ducks a return on their investment. He played well in Norfolk, was a great leader on the ice and was one of the few consistent point producers, but when called upon to help in Anaheim was nearly invisible.

The Mathieu Perreault aquisition was a huge indicator of where Holland would fit in (or wouldn't) with the Ducks, and his very brief call-ups also told a tale. When Rickard Rakell was called up and Holland sent back down, I got the feeling this trade was going to happen sooner rather than later.

I don't blame the Ducks. I can't say I really blame Holland either. Some players just aren't a fit with some teams, and while fans in Norfolk will certainly miss him, the Ducks made the best of the situation, making room on the roster and at the position. I wish him the best of luck and hope he can stick with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Oh yeah, almost forgot, Brad Staubitz was thrown in to the trade too.... ; )

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