Rumble, Craig Reflect on Last Week and the Week Ahead
By Jed Lynch
The Admirals went one for three in last week’s road trip, finishing with a win on Saturday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Now the Admirals look to build on the positive as they gear up for this weekend’s home games against the Portland Pirates.
“I thought we played well in parts of the first two,” said head coach Darren Rumble. “We had leads in both of them so I consider those especially disappointing losses. We blew leads and it wasn’t anything the other two teams did.”
Wednesday night the Admirals jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but fell to the Albany River Rats 3-1. Then on Friday the Admirals carried a 4-3 lead into the third period, but fell to the Syracuse Crunch 5-4. Saturday the team never trailed in their 2-1 win against the previously-undefeated Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“The third game was very good overcoming the odds of travel,” said Rumble. “We played the night before, they didn’t. We stuck to the game plan and we had very few turnovers. And that’s what we talked about – taking care of the puck. When we do that, we’re pretty good.”
Coming off the trip, the Admirals named alternate captain Ryan Craig as the team’s player of the week.
“We’re happy about getting the win on Saturday night,” said Craig. “We’re moving in the right direction and just have to find a way to finish games and get the results that we need.”
Craig had four points in three games, scoring what would be the game-winner against the Sound Tigers.
“My game’s starting to come,” said Craig. “I’ve been battling injuries the last few years. I’m trying to get back to where I was and beyond. I’m fortunate to play with some good players here. I’ve been put in all types of situations and I’ve been able to put a few pucks in the net.”
As the Admirals gain momentum, the coaching staff are stressing discipline, especially in penalty situations. In the first three games of the season, Norfolk allowed 15 opponent power plays. In the last three games, they allowed only six. The penalty kill has not allowed a power play goal in the last five games, killing 15 consecutive opponent power plays.
“We are stressing playing between the whistles,” said Rumble. “None of the crap after the whistles blows. I hate, and won’t accept, retaliation penalties. Retaliation is a selfish penalty.”
The Admirals are scheduled to play the Portland Pirates this Friday and Saturday at Scope. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m.
“We haven’t seen them yet, but we’ve seen them on tape a couple of times,” said Rumble.
Now with a week to prepare, the team has plenty of time to recharge and review for the upcoming games.
“We finished on a good note, we learned our lesson,” said Rumble. “Our record should be better, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot. We match up well against anybody we’re going to play if we play our game.”