1 Goaltender Ryan Faragher earned his first AHL shutout last night against the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) stopping all 24 shots he faced.
2 After a horrible outing Wednesday night including a play that led directly to an opponent's goal, Josh Manson with two assists Friday night to bring his points total to 11 (3G, 8A) in 31 games.
3 Mike Sgarbossa put up three assists this week with one Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) and two more in the 4-0 win over Hershey Friday night.
4 The Admirals' 4-0 shutout win over Hershey was their first win by a four goal margin this season. It was also just the seventh time this season they have reached or exceeded four goals scored in a game.
5 Forward John Kurtz and defenseman/forward Nathan McIver sit fourth and fifth in the AHL in Major Penalties, with 21 and 17 respectively. McIver is first among defensemen in total penalty minutes with 167 and first among defensemen in major penalties. The Admirals rank sixth in the league in Penalty Minutes, averaging 19.51 per game.
6 Norfolk finally broke out of a six game losing streak with last night's win over Hershey, last collecting a "W" back on March 18. Prior to that win over the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils), the Admirals found themselves in an eight game losing streak. Dating back to February 22, the Admirals have just three wins in 17 games and just seven points in that stretch.
7 Charlie Sarault scored his seventh goal of the season Friday night after being moved up to the first line with Sgarbossa and Max Friberg. Sarault has 14 points this season (7G, 7A), tying his 13-14 points total.
8 Stefan Noesen tallied his eighth assist of the season Wednesday night against the Phantoms, bringing his points total to 13 (5G, 8A) in 23 games.
9 Max Friberg has ten points in his last nine games including two goals this week, one Wednesday against the Phantoms and another last night against Hershey. Friberg leads the Admirals in points with 34 (14G, 20A).
10 Antoine Laganiere scored his ninth of the season Wednesday night in the 3-2 loss to the Phantoms and his tenth last night against Hershey. Prior to this week, Laganiere last found himself on the score sheet on Feb 20, a span of sixteen games without a point to include the entire month of March.
--Apparently GMBM has decided to start pulling players up from Norfolk early. Stefan Noesen was recalled earlier this week, leaving really just two offensive "weapons" (if they can even be called that) in Norfolk. I of course stuck my foot in my mouth in social media stating essentially that Norfolk would really (not kidding this time) have a hard time winning without players like Noesen. I think I even called GMBM a few names as well, seeing as how Emerson Etem and Chris Wagner have routinely been healthy scratches, and some guy named Korbinian Holzer has yet to even dress since coming over in a trade. This (mis)management of players will lead in to a bit of a short rant in just a bit.
--Nothing new on the injury front. Josh Manson returned to action last Saturday, missing three games. Still nothing new on Nic Kerdiles.
--As I mentioned above, Ryan Faragher got his first AHL shut-out last night against the Hershey Bears. The Bears are the number one team in the division, second in the conference, and tied for second in the AHL. Their third line could rival some teams' first lines (including Norfolk's current line-up). The fact that both Faragher and the Admirals not only got the win but kept Hershey off the scoreboard means nothing in the standings but everything for their pride and self-esteem. Coach Skalde's best quote of the night last night was "They were sick and tired of being sick and tired." Faragher has most likely earned a back-to-back start tonight when the Admirals face off against the Bears again, the last game Hershey will play at Scope.
--I thought about how much time to spend eviscorating the Anaheim management of Norfolk this season. After some internal debate, I realized it doesn't matter, fans in Norfolk only have to deal with Anaheim for a few more games, and then it will be on to dealing with the Edmonton Oilers' organization. Instead, I will just say this: The management of the Norfolk Admirals this season has been atrocious.
This weeks' recall of Stefan Noesen has left Norfolk with really just two scoring threats, Sgarbossa and Friberg. Chris Wagner has been in Anaheim for awhile, but what he's been doing outside of practicing or keeping a seat warm in the press box is a mystery. You might wonder what one player like Wagner could do for the Admirals, but considering he's been great in the face-off circle, has found a scoring touch, and has been a leader on the ice, his return would be huge. It would also allow Norfolk to ice a first line that doesn't include a player that's been a healthy scratch 32 times this season. To put things in perspective even more, Dave Steckel is centering the second line.
I've read in places that the Anaheim prospect pool is big and good. I'm assuming those prospects are coming, because I can tell you they aren't here in Norfolk. The worst record in Admirals' franchise history was set back in 2007-2008 when Norfolk finished with just 65 points. This year the Admirals have 57 and just six games left, but are on pace to get to just 61. Think about that. The Anaheim farm team is on track to earn just 61 points, the leading scorer has just 34 points, and Chris Wagner, who is currently with the Ducks, leads all players who suited up for the Admirals this year with just 15 goals, "good" enough for 97th in the AHL.
I'll write up an end of season assessment in a few weeks, but I'll leave you with this. Of the players that scored goals in last night's win, only one was over the ten goal mark, one finally reached ten goals through 67 games, and the other two averaged 49 games played out of 70 this season.
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