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Manitoba Moose will face the Milwaukee Admirals in the Central Division Semifinals

The first (technically this is the second) round of the AHL playoffs are set for Manitoba.

We learned on Saturday morning that the Moose would be playing their first two playoff games on Friday, April 28th and Sunday, April 30th. Now this information was known BEFORE they knew who they’d be playing in this series (I explained why that is here).

However by the end of the night on Saturday they would have an opponent as the Stars clinched top spot in the Central (meaning they would play the winner of the 4 vs 5 play-in game) while the Admirals would finish in 2nd and face off against the 3rd place Moose.

Moose vs Admirals

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kozub (Manitoba Moose)

This will be the second straight season the Moose will face the Admirals in the playoffs. It is going to be a tough test with players who got NHL experience with the Predators this year but are expected to be reassigned back to Milwaukee.

Manitoba went 4-2-1-1 vs Milwaukee this season. The Moose and Admirals “only” faced each other eight (8) times this season. Last season it was 12 games in the regular season and an additional five (5) times in the playoffs.

Special teams comparison:

Admirals 1st overall at 24.8%
Moose 5th overall at 22.6%

Admirals 2nd overall at 84.6%
Moose 8th overall at 82.3%

While the Moose PK was top three at one point this season it has fallen a bit and this Manitoba club will have to do their best to stay out of the penalty box given they take a lot more penalties than Milwaukee does and given how formidable the Admirals power play has been this season.

Interestingly, last year when comparing these two teams the numbers favoured Manitoba even though they ultimately dropped that series 3-2. This time around the numbers favour Milwaukee.

The most important thing for the Moose is that the playoffs do not start for almost two weeks. Given they are hoping to have Declan Chisholm (high-ankle sprain) back soon and were missing Cole Maier, Heinri Nikkanen, Kristian Reichel and Ville Heinola due to illness/injury on this road trip this should give these guys, and others dealing with something, time to heal up.