Series and Game Day Preview: Toledo Walleye (4-1-0-0) at the Norfolk Admirals (1-4-0-0)

Your Toledo Walleye are once again on the road to play a back-to-back down in Virginia against the Norfolk Admirals. The Walleye look to extend their winning streak to five game tonight, possibly six tomorrow, against a Norfolk team desperate to turn things around. These will be two of three games that Toledo plays against the Admirals all year, with the final game of the season series on March 26th.

Toledo’s offense is leading the league in total goals scored and is averaging five goals a game, so expect the high flying Walleye to bombard the Admiral netminder with shots. The Triple S line of Tyson Spink, Tyler Sikura, and Tylor Spink were responsible for four goals during the home opener, so they should be your line to watch tonight. As for individual player, expect Kyle Bonis to continue his hot start. He currently leads the league in goals with five, along with three assists to be second in the league with points scored. Our major concern is whether or not our defense will step up. Through the first five games our defense has allowed over 30 shots on goal (SOG) per game, so I would love to see Norfolk SOG to be limited to below 22 or 23 shots. I would also expect Coach Delmore to mix up defensive pairings more as well, as we try to get situated with the loss of Derek Docken due to injury. I feel confident about both goaltenders, though their numbers aren’t stellar their performances have been keeping Toledo in games. I would imagine Heeter gets the crease tonight, but whoever doesn’t start tonight will get the nod tomorrow night.

Leone Face Off against Norfolk.jpg

Michael Leone taking a faceoff against the Admirals last season. 

The Admirals have had a hard start to the 2016-17 campaign. Norfolk has struggled out of the gates to a measly 1-4-0-0 start with only five goals scored during that span. Five goals for Norfolk is one-fifth the amount Toledo has in the same amount of games. If Norfolk is to change that statistic, they need to put the absolutely pummel the net. Toledo may very well be the team they need to see right now, as I mentioned our defense has struggled to stifle opposing offenses. Expect the Admirals to come out shooting every chance they get to jump start their offense. Their defense isn’t too bad honestly, giving up 11 goals in five games. Toledo can also have problems with physical play, so the Norfolk big men may be let loose tonight. Norfolk may very well give Toledo trouble in that regard, but I feel like Toledo can easily come away with one win over the weekend, hopefully two. Tune in tonight to see how it all shakes up, let’s go Walleye!

 

Stats and information gathered from the Toledo Walleye and ECHL websites at:
http://www.toledowalleye.com
http://www.echl.com

Pictures are my own property

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