clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Admirals Stat-urday: The Ship Is Finally Sunk

New, comments

Just nine games are left before Anaheim fans can expect the "Black Aces" to report for the playoffs, tee times, and early vacations.

Max Friberg stick handles on his way to the net vs the Albany Devils 3-27-2015
Max Friberg stick handles on his way to the net vs the Albany Devils 3-27-2015
John Wright/Courtesy Norfolk Admirals

1 Robert Czarnik, recently signed to a Professional Tryout contract with the Admirals, scored his first goal of the season Wednesday against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) and added his first assist last night against the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils).

2 Defenseman Kevin Gagne scored his second goal of the season last night against the Devils with just 1.8 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime after the Admirals were down 3-1. Gagne has five points (2G, 5A) in 51 games.

3 Mike Sgarbossa added his second and third assists as an Admiral Wednesday night against the Checkers. Sgarbossa has six points since being added to the Norfolk roster at the trade deadline and 29 (7G, 22A) on the season.

4 Gritty forward John Kurtz scored his fourth goal of the season last Saturday in a 4-3 road loss to Albany. Kurtz has seven points (4G, 3A) through 64 games and just two (1G, 1A) in March.

5 Ducks' fans favorite Dave Steckel with fifth goal of the season last night against Albany. Steckel has 18 points this season (5G, 13A) but hasn't scored a goal since January 7, 2015, a streak of 28 straight games without a goal.

6 Charlie Sarault scored his sixth goal of the season Wednesday in Norfolk's last meeting in the AHL against the Checkers. Sarault has 13 points (6G, 7A) in 45 games for the Admirals.

7 Stefan Noesen tallied his seventh assist of the season against Albany Friday night after being held out of Wednesday's game against Charlotte. Noesen has 12 points (5G, 7A) in 21 games but has just three points through nine games in March as opposed to six points in eight games in February.

8 Winger Matt Bailey found his eighth point of the season last Saturday in Albany, his fourth assist of the season.  Bailey scored his last goal back on February 20th and has a total of four through 47 games.

9 Max Friberg put up three points (1G, 2A) last night against the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils), his first three-point game of the season. Friberg, with nine points (3G, 6A) through 11 games in March, has eight multi-point games in 2014-2015.

10 Norfolk has just five points in its last ten games, going 1-6-3-0. The Admirals are currently on a four game winless streak.

--Asked point blank last night about Nic Kerdiles and his status for the remainder of the season.  Coach Skalde wouldn't rule out a return but made it clear the team would continue to work at Nic's pace and hope to get him in to a game or two before the end of the season.  Wouldn't be my call, but I don't get paid to make them, either.  He played well enough this season to be kept in the fold over the summer, and I don't think there's much more to be gained by having him suit up for games or practices.

--Josh Manson is still injured, no word on whether or not he'll be back in the remaining nine games.  Another situation where a player should be allowed all the time needed to recover, particularly if the Ducks might want to keep him ready in case they need him during the playoffs.

--The Admirals were officially eliminated from playoff contention this week.  Their remaining schedule pits them against playoff contending teams, so at this point Norfolk's contribution to the AHL is playing the role of either spoiler or points-padder.  Coach Skalde admitted it's hard for the coaching staff and players to get up for games, but they are still looking for wins, still looking for points.  He also said one of the things that keeps him going is that there is still teaching to be done as the practices and games feel more like training camp with all the new faces showing up.

--Really, the lone bright spot of the Admirals' season has been Max Friberg.  Max is now the Admirals' points leader despite Coach Skalde's assertion that he likes playing on the defensive side of the puck more.  Friberg has also said in the past he's not really an offensive player despite his no look back-hand across the crease last night for an easy Steckel tap-in.  Last night's three point night is not necessarily indicative of his offensive talents, but more of just his never-ending work ethic and never give-up attitude.

Skalde credits Friberg as the heart and soul of the Admirals' team.  He is held as the standard for energy and enthusiasm both on and off the ice, and the example to follow for Skalde's own son.  Max Friberg's strengths are on the penalty kill and as a back-checker, a hard-nosed guy not afraid to go in to the corners and battle despite standing only 5-11.  But his effort and desire to win, often referred to by his teammates, along with call-ups, injuries, and an obvious lack of talent on the roster has pushed Friberg in to a player that's relied upon to produce offense every night.  Since the trade deadline, Friberg has 15 points in  22 games (5G, 10A) and six of his eight mult-point games.

Friberg is an underrated asset in the Anaheim organization, and if Ducks' management is smart they'll give him some good looks next season and hopefully find a spot for him permanently with the big club.  He has endeared himself to fans here in the area and will be one of the few of Norfolk's "adopted sons" that will be dearly missed.

Follow me on Twitter: @VAPuckhead