It’s the freeze.
No transactions to report today, as all three of the prominent professional leagues are on freeze for the holiday season. Outside of recalls, no trading or waiving can be done by teams. As such, the Admirals are sticking with their current roster. Marco Roy, Greg Chase, Ty Rimmer, and Josh Currie could be sent down but there isn’t much need. Norfolk and Bakersfield return to action on Boxing Day, this Saturday. With the news of Philippe Cadorette returning to the Q, Rimmer’s return would be the most welcome. Adam Courchaine is the likely number 1 right now, but he might feel better suited for the back-up role as he tries to gain some footing in the ECHL.
December’s been decent for the Admirals, who’ve posted a 5-4 record in the month. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to get them out of the cellar in one of the tougher divisions in the league. At times, I’ve wondered if the team should give an inkling towards next year. I do realize there are a lot of moving parts in that equation, given the control at the Oilers and Condors level.
Offense, once the Admirals’ biggest problem, is now on a more consistent level. While Nick Pageau’s two goals were enough to get the win on Saturday, that seems like the exception, as opposed to the norm. Norfolk’s scored at least 3 goals except for Saturday’s win and an outstanding 46-save shutout by Elmira goalie Niklas Lundstrom. Defense, especially goaltending, has been an issue. Rimmer can definitely help, as he’s still in the top 20 for save percentage in the ECHL. His current AHL save percentage: null field, because he hasn’t played this year.
Ending 2015 strong would do wonders for the Ads. They have a weekend matchup with the South Carolina Stingrays, a team they beat 3-1 in their last meeting at Scope. Ty Rimmer may or may not be back for the Ads this time around, Vitek Vanecek should be for the Stingrays.
Norfolk finishes up the year against Atlanta, who actually play in the suburb of Gwinnett, because no one plays in Atlanta. The Gladiators currently sit second in the South division, with 33 points to Florida’s 42. Atlanta is not particularly strong in goal, as they traded away Andy Iles to Brampton (who the Ads beat pretty promptly). Atlanta’s offensive attack is pretty balanced, lead by Derek Nesbitt and his 13+12=25. Gameplan is simple: keep it in the o-zone and fire shots away at mediocre goaltending. Atlanta’s also really terrible on the penalty kill: 27th overall out of 28 teams! Really, this should be the strategy every game.
Here’s to a strong finish.
Jarrod Skalde became head coach of the Guelph Storm this week. Guelph might be the worst team in the OHL this year, with a scant 3 wins on the season. Skalde’s end with the Ducks organization continues to drive people to my website-twice today-and I have no idea why. If you’re Storm GM Mike Kelly and you read this website for some information on Skalde, you’re welcome I guess?
A lot of what I wrote in my post turned out to be wrong. JF Houle stayed with Bakersfield, but in an assistant coach capacity. Eric Veilleux is now the head coach of the Admirals. Marty Wilford made his way to San Diego as an assistant for new coach Dallas Eakins. Skalde didn’t stay here, he moved to Toronto while he tried to get another opportunity.
I made a lot of guesses, many of which did not turn out well. Good luck to him, though.
Wait: Luca Caputi is an assistant coach for the Storm?