1 Center Chris Wagner, who leads the Admirals in scoring this season, returned last Sunday to score his team-leading 14th goal of the season against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). Wagner has played in just 43 of the Admirals' 60 games with 27 points (14G, 13A).
2 Mike Sgarbossa [Ed. Note- Can we please refer to him as "Captain Sgarbossa" from now on? If that doesn't sound like a pirate I don't know what does. - Kyle] scored his sixth goal of the season, second as an Admiral, last Sunday against Charlotte. Sgarbossa, acquired at the trade deadline, has three points (2G, 1A) in four games played for the Admirals and 26 points on the season (6G, 20A).
3 John Kurtz found his way on to the score sheet last Sunday against the Checkers with his third assist of the season. Kurtz, known more for his physical style of play, now has six points (3G, 3A). His last goal was back on Feb 16, 2015, and his last assist goes all the way back to January 6, 2015. Kurtz is also ranked third overall in the AHL in major penalties with 19.
4 Louis Leblanc scored his first goal of 2015 Friday night aginst the Portland Pirates (Arizona Coyotes), a streak of 25 games without finding the back of the net. Leblanc's is fourth on the Admirals in scoring with 24 points (12G, 12A).
5 Colby Robak assisted on both Norfolk goals last Sunday in the 4-2 loss to Charlotte. Robak has five points (1G, 4A) in 16 games played this season.
6 Norfolk is now winless in six straight games.
7 Charlie Sarault added his seventh helper of the season Sunday against Charlotte. Sarault has two points in three games March and 12 for the season (5G, 7A) yet often finds himself as the odd-man-out of the lineup despite seeming to find a slower, yet consistent offensive game of late.
8 Of the 49 players who have suited up for the Admirals through 60 games this season, just eight have played in at least 45 games or more. Since Jan 1, 2015, the Admirals have had 43 roster transactions between trades, recalls, reassignments, loans, and Professional Tryouts.
9 Norfolk has won just nine times on the road in 29 games played away from Scope thus far this season.
10 The Admirals have just four points in the last ten games with just one win in that span.
--The "Nic Kerdiles Concussion Watch" has now extended to 11 straight games.
--The Admirals are dead last in the league in goals per game at 2.15. Goals against is 2.92. Almost all of their remaining games feature opponents that are scoring right around 2.8 goals per game. You can see where I'm going here....
--Anaheim has been sneaky, or secretive for no reason, when it comes to roster transactions. Josh Manson was loaned to the Admirals this week after being with the Ducks for the past several weeks, including at least a week prior to the trade deadline. One can only assume GMBM convinced the NHL he was on "emergency" recall as that would be the only allowable instance in which he could be sent down.
I just can't understand why the Ducks don't come out and say what they're doing with the roster, particularly when it comes to recalls. I'm sure if you asked management, they'd respond with something along the lines of "fans don't care about the nature of transactions." However, I'm inclined to believe fans are interested in them in the same way fans want transparency in contracts and salary caps. It's important to know whether an NHL team has all four of their post-trade deadline recalls available, just as it's important to know if players are eligible to be reassigned.
I'm not singling out Anaheim, I just find it sad that the NHL and management teams continue to believe that today's NHL fan is ignorant to the rule book and the CBA and act (or don't) accordingly.
--I'd love to be able to give you better news, but it's just not there. The last time there was something to celebrate was Feb 14-16, when Norfolk had two wins and a shoot-out loss in three games. Since then, Norfolk has just one win and two overtime losses, including a four game win-less streak at home which I discussed last weekend. The Admirals scored three goals three times in the span and only one resulted in a win.
The goals aren't coming and really haven't been all season, and the goaltending, while keeping the team within striking distance almost every game, just isn't good enough to steal the kind of wins Norfolk has needed all season. The fact that the Admirals still aren't eliminated from the mathematics of playoff contention only makes it worse, because the players can continue to say "We aren't out of it yet" which I heard come from a player last weekend. Really? Not out of it yet? 18 points behind the eighth and final playoff spot with just 16 games to go, nine of which are on the road where the Admirals score less than I would in a month at the Playboy mansion. At some point I would have to think the players would formally throw in the towel (as opposed to what they've been doing all season) and just go out and play. No pressure, just go out and play hockey for fun. It has to be better than whatever they'd call what they've been doing to this point in the season.
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