1 The Admirals have lost just once in regulation in their past ten games going 6-1-0-3 with points in seven straight games, good enough for third best in the AHL over the past ten games.
2 Devante Smith-Pelly (a regular in Saturday write-ups) has put together his most successful month of the season and tying his personal monthly point total high from last season of twelve. In January "DSP" has points in all but two games (out of 11), picking up eight goals and four assists. He has been the most productive Admiral in January and is likely to be recalled as soon as there is an opening in Anaheim.
3 Charlie Sarault is third among rookies in shooting percentage (minimum 21 shots), netting six goals on 28 shots for a 21.4% conversion rate.
4 Recently signed defenseman Steve Emminger has played in two games for the Admirals, picking up four penalty minutes, one shot on goal, and is a minus -1.
5 Sami Vatanen notched his fifth helper last Saturday against the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins), his sixth point (1G, 5A) of the season and third since rejoining the Admirals last weekend.
6 Maxime Sauve and Charlie Sarault both scored their sixth goals of the season Friday night against WBS.
7 Norfolk's seven short-handed goals are good for second in the league. Max Friberg (3), Smith-Pelly (2), Emerson Etem (1), and Max Sauve (1) have all scored on the Admirals' Number Two Ranked Penalty Kill.
8 It took eight rounds in the shoot-out for the WBS Pens to finally beat Admirals' goaltender Brad Thiessen last Saturday at Scope. Thiessen, a former Penguin, stopped 25 of 26 shots in his first game against his former team, taking the 2-1 loss.
9 In 15 games played against East Divisional rivals, the Admirals have nine wins, five losses, and one shoot-out loss (9-5-0-1). They've also picked up nine wins against the nearby Northeast division, going 9-2-0-3.
10 In January the combined goaltending efforts of John Gibson and Brad Thiessen have been phenomenal. Their record is 4-0-0-3, allowing only ten goals on 203 shots. In the seven games they have put up a wall, allowing only 1.43 goals against with one shut-out and a .951 save percentage. Sprinkle in Igor Bobkov's two wins and Frederik Andersen's two game 1-1 conditioning stint and the Admirals have to be the envy of the league between the pipes.
--Points in seven out of their last ten games, and only one out of eleven games played in January in which Norfolk failed to get at least one point. I don't know about the rest of you, but apart from going on an 11-0 run a record like that is the kind of month a team can build off of and bank in case of a few losses down the road.
--Rickard Rakell, the Admirals leading scorer for most of the season and top line center, has been side-lined for a few weeks with an injury. The coaching staff has put Dave Steckel between DSP and Etem in the meantime, and the line, while not as flashy as a whole, hasn't slowed down. Friday night against WBS Steckel was out of the line-up and on his way to Anaheim, which meant giving yet another center the opportunity to benefit from the speed and skill of DSP and Etem, and when it came time to play, Charlie Sarault got the call. He didn't waste the opportunity, potting the game winning goal off a Smith-Pelly pass.
--Just a thought, but I'm wondering what the difference has been between the Norfolk and Anaheim power plays in terms of system. Norfolk went eight straight games with at least one goal on the man-advantage, a streak that was stopped last night in Wilkes Barre. There's obviously a difference in skill level, but the Admirals have been all about execution--perhaps some game film needs to be sent out west?
--Goaltending. Brick wall. "Lucky" Ducks. Enough said.
--The WBS Penguins loss last night at Mohegan Sun Arena marked the 12th straight loss Norfolk has handed them on their home ice. Coach Yawney won't admit it, but it would seem the Admirals' are Penguin killers. Their record against WBS this season is 4-0-0-1.
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