1 Norfolk has won just one of seven road games this season, getting outscored 14-30.
2 Defenseman Nathan McIver is currently ranked second among defensemen in penalty minutes. In 14 games played, McIver has spent 56 minutes in the box, averaging four minutes per game.
3 The Admirals are the third-worst team in the league when it comes to scoring goals. In 16 games, Norfolk has scored just 37 goals, averaging 2.31 per game.
4 Norfolk is the fourth-worst team in goals against. Opposing teams are scoring 3.56 goals per game against the Admirals, who have seen 57 pucks hit the back of their net in 16 games.
5 The Admirals have lost by five or more goals five times this season.
6 Recently signed goaltender Yann Danis allowed six goals on 33 shots in a 6-2 loss against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) this past Tuesday.
7 Norfolk not only can't find the net at even strength, but also can't generate with the man-advantage either. Sitting seventh from the bottom on the Power Play, The Admirals have managed just eight goals on 60 attempts with the man-advantage, a measly 13.3%. For perspective, the number one Power Play in the AHL, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) have scored 23 goals on 79 attempts, good for a 29% success rate.
8 Compounding the problem of goal scoring has been the constant parade to the penalty box. Norfolk currently ranks eighth in the AHL in penalty minutes, averaging 21.94 per game. In other words, imagine a hockey team playing an entire period one man down.
9 The lone bright spot this season has been the Admirals' Penalty Kill, currently ranked ninth in the AHL. Norfolk has allowed only ten goals in 67 short-handed situations, good for 85.1%.
10 Forward Chris Wagner returned to the lineup last night to score his seventh goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Portland Pirates (Arizona Coyotes). Despite being out of the Admirals lineup for five games, Wagner leads the team with ten points (9GP 7G, 3A).
--I'll start with some good news. Max Friberg, who was injured on his first shift of the Admirals' first game, is being evaluated today for a possible return within the week. Friberg was being counted on to provide offense for the Admirals this season and his return, even if only at 75%, would be a significant upgrade over what the Admirals have in their lineup right now...
--Three wins out of eight games in November. Just one instance of back-to-back wins can be found on the schedule. This is not good hockey, and there's certainly reason to be concerned. No one is scoring goals, and the best players certainly aren't being the best players. Let me throw a few numbers at you from Nov 1 until now:
Brandon Yip, 1A
Antoine Laganiere, 1G
Joseph Cramarossa,1G, 1A
Nic Kerdiles, 3G, 1A
Jesse Blacker, 3A
Louis LeBlanc, 3G, 2A
David Steckel, 6A
Chris Wagner, 2G, 1A
That speaks volumes. Shea Theodore had two goals in his last game, three in November alone, but he's gone. Brad Winchester threw in two goals in November, but he's out with an injury. There are some other secondary players who aren't expected to score goals that have chipped in a goal or two, but the plain truth is, Norfolk can't score goals. I've seen websites that tout Anaheim as having a great prospect pool, and I realize some of the players I've listed above are past their prime, but I've yet to see the kind of offensive production these young guys are supposed to have.
Norfolk isn't even averaging one goal per period this season. Not ONE! The Admirals are being outscored 23-27 at home and 14-30 on the road. They've won both of their overtime games, but unless the AHL is going to make an exception and let Norfolk play the rest of their games at home or in OT, the Admirals are going to need to start winning some games on the road, and that only happens if they can start putting the puck in the net. I don't see that happening.
I could go on and on about a new coach, a new system, the injuries, etc, but in my mind what this boils down to is a lack of scoring depth. Take note Ducks' fans, apart from Wagner and mayber Kerdiles, the cupboards in Norfolk are looking pretty damn bare. Management is going to have to find help from outside, because right now it doesn't look like any is coming from the system.
---Yann Danis has played in three games for the Admirals. Apart from the 6-2 loss in Charlotte this week, a loss that certainly can't be blamed on him, he's played respectably. Here's how he's looked thus far:
Game 1 - 2 GA 37 Saves 2.02 GAA .949 SV%
Game 2 - 6 GA 33 Saves 6.01 GAA .818 SV%
Game 3 - 2 GA 21 Saves 2.03 GAA .905 SV%
Much improved over Igor Bobkov, who's looking more and more like he's destined for the ECHL once Jason LaBarbera returns. This team is quite literally going to live or die because of their goaltending. If they do manage to score a couple goals, the netminders are going to have to stand on their heads to get wins. Right now the net is Danis' to lose.
At this point, I'm hoping for a .500 record going in to Christmas. Anything beyond that would appear to be out of reach.
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