I’m going to try something different tonight. It’s going to be terrible.
When I first started the blog back in the summer, I attempted to guess the Admirals roster. Turns out I did a pretty decent job, save for some PTOs I didn’t predict. Let’s try to predict this weekend. Friday, at least?
Emerson Etem‘s reassignment and Nolan Yonkman’s recall create some different lines than what we’re used to seeing.
For the first two lines, we’ll consider them somewhat interchangeable. Centered by Chris Wagner, the “opening line” has some considerable size and a desire to crash the net. Over the weekend, Antoine Laganiere was on that line, though I have him bumped down now.
The “second” line can definitely be considered a scoring line. Centering it is the impressive stick-handling of Rickard Rakell, who is flanked by Etem and Ads goal leader Steven Whitney. Both of these lines will be counted on to provide scoring this weekend.
We then make our way to the third line. They’re centered by Charlie Sarault, who has yet to capture some of the magic he had on his ATO late last year. He’s flanked by career Coaster Chad Painchaud, who scored his first Ads goal and helped the comeback victory on Friday. We also have The Giraffe. He’s got some size, but definitely needs to work more on trying to just make the best of his opportunities.
Fourth line is what we’ll call Fan Favorites. Stay Hot Kurtzy centers this checking line, and he’ll definitely have Zack Stortini flanking him. On the other wing, you’ll see either Joseph Cramarossa and Jamie MacQueen. Yes, a guy who had four goals in a game (in the ECHL) has been disappointing. Expect one of Cram or MacQueen to be benched.
Defense is a bit of a clearer picture. Mat Clark and Kevin Gagne have been paired up all year. Next up, Garnet Exelby-Jesse Blacker. This will disappoint people but it accomplishes two things. One; it creates the Vet/Young Guy pairing Yawnz likes and two; it gives top 4 time to the offensively gifted Blacker. If only he would shoot the damn puck. Finally, Ryan Parent-Stefan Warg. It’s the best of what’s left, though you might see Little in the Warg position.
Finally, goalies. Syracuse did a nice job banging up our goaltenders over the weekend. John Gibson suffered a possible concussion and Brad Thiessen is now out with a groin injury. In comes Igor Bobkov. Bobber had a nice week, going 2-0-1 between Utah and Norfolk, allowing a total of one goal in regulation or overtime. The key? He had the team in front of him perform extremely well. He’ll need that again this weekend, when he may very well draw in for both games.
I might be wrong.