– Nothing new to report from practice yesterday as the Allen Americans prepare to play Wichita on Sunday. It would appear the Americans will be playing shorthanded by one player as Curt Gogol will be serving a one game suspension after receiving a game misconduct penalty in the game against Tulsa on Tuesday. When a player is suspended their salary still counts toward the salary cap so even if the team has 16 healthy skaters they may not have the salary cap room to play all 16.
– The Americans will practice today (2:45-3:45) in the Community Rink. The practice is open to the public.
– Games between Allen and Wichita are typically physical affairs with plenty of fights but that may not be the case on Sunday. Allen will be missing Gogol and Jake Doty left the ice after a fight in the game against Tulsa on Tuesday and did not return. He has practiced all week but may not be 100% on Sunday. Gogol and Doty account for half of Allen’s fights. Wichita will be missing Dyson Stevenson, who was loaned to Utica (AHL) yesterday and Pierre-Cedric Labrie who is suspended. Stevenson leads Wichita in fighting majors (10) and Labrie is third with five.
– This could be a big weekend in the Mountain Division. No teams have assured themselves of a playoff position but Tulsa, Idaho and Utah have a chance to clinch playoff spots this weekend.
– Rapid City beat Utah 2-1 last night in Utah. The Rush and the Grizzlies are in the midst of playing each other six straight games. Rapid City has won the first four games. Utah was in first place in the Mountain Division but have been in a free fall over the last month losing 11 of their last 12 games. Miraculously the Grizzlies are still in third place with a five point lead over fourth place Kansas City. Rapid City has won four straight but it is two little, too late to catch fourth place Kansas City.
– The youngest and oldest ECHL teams are both in contention for their division titles. The oldest ECHL team is the Tulsa Oilers with an average age of 28.78. The youngest team is the Newfoundland Growlers with an average age of 24.96. The Allen Americans are ranked #7 in average age at 26.84.
– Allen will have a very rare Friday and Saturday off. It usually happens once per season. The Americans have played two more games (65) than any other team in the league. Some teams have played as few as 59 games.
– As this season has progressed I have many times compared stats to prior seasons. The Americans are in the process of setting records for ineptness in almost every statistical category you can track. This is the fifth season for Allen in the ECHL so I thought I would close today with a sample of stats comparing all five seasons. Here goes:
50 2018-19 (through 65 games)
203 2018-19 (projected)
268 2018-19 (projected)
Goal Differential (goals for minus goals against)
2018-19 -59 (through 65 games)
Team Save Percentage
Times Shutout by Opponents
8 – 2018-19 (through 65 games)
5 – 2017-18
2 – 2016-17
2 – 2015-16
1 – 2014-15
Team Shooting Percentage
8.9% 2018-19 (through 65 games)
Power Play Percentage
16.0% 2018-19 (through 65 games)
Penalty Kill Percentage
81.4% 2018-19 (through 65 games)
2018-19 1547 (projected)
– I have never laid out all of these stats at one time and when you look at them there are several conclusions that jumped out at me.
1. You can see how much worse this season is than any other but things have been going down hill since the 2016-17 season.
2. The 2014-15 championship team was a complete team that could score, defend and was very physical. They are the leaders in most of the stats above.
3. The 2015-16 championship team was not that good in the regular season. The stats were good but not great, however, the team peaked during the playoffs.
4. Maybe the most surprising of the stats above is just how good the 2016-17 team was in the regular season. The team was loaded with talent and coach Martinson had the best team ever by his own analysis. Based on the stats above you could certainly agree it was the best team ever assembled by Martinson.
DID YOU KNOW: There were eight players on that 2016-17 team that averaged a point per game. Compare that to this season where there are no players averaging a point per game. Zach Pochiro leads the team averaging .96 points per game. The 2016-17 team was unbeatable after adding Wade MacLeod, Tyler Barnes and Alex Krushelnyski late in the season. From February 8 to the end of the regular season the Americans record was 20-1-2-0. The Americans were the clear favorite to win their fifth straight championship and third straight Kelly Cup. However, Allen lost in the second round to the eventual champions, the Colorado Eagles.