1 Emerson Etem scored his second professional hat trick and the first hat trick for an Admiral this season Friday night while on the road against the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators).
2 Rookie Defenseman Josh Manson second his second goal of the season versus the Senators. Manson now has six points (2G, 4A) in 17 games played this season.
3 William Karlsson, known mostly for what must be allergies to the score sheet, had a big week with three assists in two games. This was just the second time in 27 appearances this season he's had points in consecutive games, his last dating back to Nov 28-29.
4 Four different Admirals had multi-point nights against the Senators Friday: Etem (3G) and Louis Leblanc, Chris Wagner, William Karlsson (2A).
5 Norfolk ranks fifth in the AHL on the penalty kill, the only consistently bright spot in their season statistics. In 44 games they've allowed 25 goals when shorthanded 189 times, good for 86.8 percent. The Admirals rank first in the league while killing penalties at home and fifth in league in cashing in on the power play at home, potting 18 goals on 85 chances in 23 games played at Scope. If only all their games could be played at home....
6 Brendan Bell picked up his sixth assist in January last Sat versus the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins). Bell has 22 points on the season (1G, 21A), is fifth in assists and second in power play assists among defenesmen.
7 Max Friberg scored his seventh of the season vs Binghamton, his first goal since January 6th against the Pens. Friberg has 17 points in 26 games (7G, 10A), and the goal was his second game winning goal this month and third of the season.
8 Winger Nic Kerdiles tallied his eighth goal of season last Saturday against the baby Pens and is on a four game point streak with four points (2G, 2A).
9 John Gibson's fourth win in nine games played this season came Friday against the Senators, allowing three goals on 26 shots, his third game this month allowing three goals. Gibson has a 2.43 Goals Against Average and .925 Save Percentage this season, but his statistics wouldn't have him cracking the top 20 goaltenders in the AHL.
10 The deficit between Norfolk and the eight and final playoff spot still sits at 12 despite the Admirals grabbing points in seven of their last ten games dating back to Jan 6. In that time they have five wins, three losses, and two over time losses. While the deficit hasn't grown, it hasn't shrunk either, and time is running out.
--It's official. The AHL is leaving Norfolk and going to San Diego.
--With the All-Star game last weekend there were only two games to speak of this week. Chris Wagner was Norfolk's lone representative. Wagner scored a penalty-shot goal and had three assists. It was about as exciting as the NHL's All-Star "game."
--Emerson Etem accounts for eight of the 23 goals the Admirals have scored in their last ten games. That comes out to be one man responsible for a third of Norfolk's tallies. Nine of the 23 goals were scored in just two games. Chris Wagner and Dave Steckel have chipped in another three each, but the scoring just isn't coming from the guys who are expected to find the back of the net. Excuse while I give the dead horse another kick.
--Using the most basic of math, the most points Norfolk could acquire if they won out is 64. The current eighth place team in the East could max out with 62. While no team can ever be expected to win 31 games straight, the numbers indicate just how close the Admirals are to falling out of playoff contention. While they have been able to keep pace with the top teams in the division, that pace has them 12 points back and not moving up at all. It also doesn't help that the Admirals have strung wins together just three times this season, and only two wins each time, while the top two teams in the East Division are on four and five game winning streaks.
Norfolk's march through the second half of the season is almost like being killed with paper cuts. It's a slow, painful process and not quite what fans had in mind when looking at the roster at the beginning of the season. What's even worse is that the goaltending is there, the defense is there. The "lemon juice" has been the lack of offense and the source of screaming from fans, coaches, and players alike. Every game is a new cut, and every loss is just another sprinkle.
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