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Monday, October 31, 2005

Scouting the Milwaukee Admirals

The Ads enter the game on a two game streak. The Ads have had a two streaks this year, first a four game losing streak, now a two game winning streak. Claude Noel continues as the Ads head coach. Since starting as the head coach two years ago, Noel has a 93-48-12-7 record and has taken the Ads to the post-season each year. With a skilled goalie backed by a veteran goalie, the Ads have no problems in the pipes. So why are they so slow to start this year?

The Ads currently have the number one penalty killing team at home. Doug Pettit may end up replacing Kyle Schultz in the broadcast booth. That role is currently filled with an apparent rotation of local talent.

Simon Gamache has not produced in the NHL and will not clear waivers and is therefore not expected back in Milwaukee. Here is a quote apparently from a Nashville source: “Short-shifted: Forward Simon Gamache barely saw the ice in Wednesday's loss to the Blue Jackets, getting just four shifts and 2:02 ice time.

"He had a couple shifts early and I didn't feel very confident in his game, so I made that decision early," Trotz said. "The way the game was going, with all the special teams, I just thought I'd need other personnel more.

"We do have a large amount of small, skilled guys, so he's looking at the time guys like (Martin Erat, Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan) would get. That limits Simon's abilities."

Pekka Rinne (Does anyone know how to pronounce Pekka?) is a fresh-faced Finn who has been the Ads mainstay in the pipes. He has scored a very respectable 1.76 GAA so far this year. That is the fourth-best in the AHL this season. Matched by his save percentage of .937. Milwaukee fans are already comparing him to Kari Lehtonen.

He is backed by Brian Finley. Finley hasn’t spent much time playing this season yet. He was a first round, number six overall pick for the Predators. Last season he had 2.29 GAA.

Scottie Upshall played for the Kamloops Blazers and the Silver-medal winning Canadian juniors in 2002. He is turning into a Milwaukee fan favorite. Shea Weber was a leading defenseman on the 2004 and 2003 cup winning Kelowna Rockets. He had 32 points in the Kelowna 2003-4 campaign and 41 points while on the 2004-5 campaign. He was also on the 2005 Canadian gold medal junior team. Jordin Tootoo, whose seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings noted 214 Pims, 172, 272 and 216 Pims, remains a 182 pounder unable to make it in the NHL. He went up to Nashville earlier this season, but has been sent down. He had 266 Pims last season in the Ads and started in two games this year with 27 Pims. For some reason, perhaps his Inuit background, he remains a fan favorite.

Juniors of interest include Timofei Shishkanov a Russian who played with the Quebec Remparts during juniors, earned 35 points last year with the Ads and 43 points the year before. Paul Brown played two years ago for the Kamloops Blazers. He had 229 and 222 Pims there in his last two years, with 56 and 31 points respectively. Marco Rosa played last season with the Long Beach Ice Dogs after time at Merrimack College. The ECHL was good to Marco as he more than doubled his point production to 65 from 25. Greg Zanon played on the University of Nebraska-Omaha team before skating with the Ads two years ago. He is wearing the C.

Brandon Segal played with the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL. Kevin Klein played on the Guelph Storm and the Toronto St. Michael's Majors. Robert Snowball played with the Victoriaville Tigres until two seasons ago. He has played most of the season with the Toledo Storm and has not yet played a game with the Ads. Libor Pivko is two years out of the Czech leagues has been generally unremarkable, except for a hat trick scored against Chicago last year. Ryan Glenn has not been an entity since graduating from St. Lawrence University.

Returning to the Ads are Darren Haydar. He scored 59 points in the Ads Calder winning season and 50 points last year. And also, Vernon Fiddler scored 42 points last season while with the Ads. He was recalled to Nashville on October 28 due to an injury to Greg Johnson. He is expected to return soon.


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