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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Amerks V Ads 3/3

OTR and I were at the Bradley Center last night for the game. Unfortunately we missed getting a matching set of Sads athletic supporters AND, because we drove the small car, we missed the opportunity to give the Carlsons a ride to their digs.

Pucknut, who has occassionally let me post on his Blog sent me this e-mail comment: "Happy Days? I just saw that Hurme was traded." Okay. Umm... Jani Hurme, who I often referred to as the sieve has been traded in a deal for the Mighty Ducks' Joel Stepp. Hurme was a sieve here. Which isn't to take away from his spirit. Anyone who can get back in condition after coming through what he did deserves that recognition. But I felt he should have been placed with an ECHL team, the Gladiators, to condition.

In any case, his return was a blow to the salary cap and with too many goalies in the Thrashers organization he had to go. So, the conditioning here and in Gwinett was a prelude to a trade.

Why are the Wolves not going to be in the playoffs? Well, lack of discipline, lack of effort, lack of talent, lack of leadership and a crucial period in November and December when all the gods of goaltending turned their backs on us... Jani Hurme was the first of two significant disasters in the pipes. The other... the return of Michael Garnett.

Hurme was thrust upon the Wolves. He lost game after game for us before he was able to beat back the opposition for 30 minutes. Then, he was gone to Gwinett.

That other situation, Michael Garnett, is worth an entry by itself. But not this morning. Using the techniques of established pundits, I'm giving five for the price of one.

1) Simon Gamache is no longer playing for the Admirals. I know this is coming as news to many people, especially those Sads fans who saw a guy by that name with the number ten on his back skate around in an Admiral sweater on Friday. But hear me out. This guy skates for Simon Gamache now, not for the Milwaukee Admirals. He is a hot dog and has forgotten what the name on the front means.

I've spent a good part of the winter expecting the Admirals to run the Aeros out of first in this division. It never happened. I'm not disappointed, in fact, now that I see how the playoffs are shaking out, it looks great. I think the reason the Ads are stuck in second is several fold. First, Noel can't hold together a team, several people in Chicago have talked about how the Admirals self-destructed in previous runs at about this point. The musicians are playing the tune again and look at Gamache play.

Gamache is headed into the autumn years of his playing. This year he had a solid shot at the big time. God bless him. The Blues salary dumped him and everyone else as they started their DIVE! DIVE! DIVE! for the number one draft pick. Now Simon has NHL fever. Hey Dufus! You play for the Milwaukee Admirals. If you play for yourself you are guaranteed to lose.

Now, when the Ads need some NHL experience, they've got a guy who has already shown himself to be a prima donna back in full bloom. YIKES! Admirals fans, you may love him, but for the sake of winning a cup, it is time for this fruitcake to go.

2) Haydar is obviously one of the best in the AHL. And it was surprising to see him flub several break-away attempts Friday night. I counted 3 out of four flubs. What's the story here? Why can't one of your best skaters, most experienced guys and your captain put together a break away that ends with a shot on goal at least half the time? I'm disappointed. I take back what I said about the Admirals about to clean Houston's clock.

3) OTR loves her Amerks. But there's a reason they are not going to be going to the second half dance. They are undisciplined. I loved running into the Amerk fan on the BC concourse. "It's all the officials fault." No, my midguided friend. Your defense was pulled out of position by the Ads, not the refs. And the PIMS. You may not believe this, but your guys are undisciplined and deserved that time in the sin bin.

4) TOOTOO. The Ads have Stortini. Why hang on to this second rate goon? I'm just not seeing him step up. Bring up the stats and explain it to me because it's just not obvious on the ice.

5) Why am I excited that the Ads may end in second place, as it now appears? Because the Riverguys of Peoria look to be in third. That means Chicago will be sitting between games in both cities (and of course there will be playoff hockey in Grand Rapids too.)

If we can't have it here, at least there will be lots of good hockey to see in April and early May nearby. But based on what I've seen this season so far, the Ads, the Aeros and Peoria are all going down in the playoffs to better teams playing to our east. Sad. Maybe the Moose will pull it out for IHL yet.