After a couple of days away from the rink it will be back to practice today for the Allen Americans as they prepare for the final two home games of the season. Allen will play Utah on Friday and Wichita on Saturday. The Americans home record stands at 14-19-1-0 which is by far the worst record since joining the ECHL. There are a lot of stats to describe just how bad it has been this season but this one really struck me. In their first three seasons in the ECHL Allen had a total of 24 regulation losses at home, an average of eight per season. With two home games remaining the Americans have 19 regulation losses this season.
– It has been a tough season for the Americans but also for the Mountain Division. Three of the five worst teams in the ECHL come from the Mountain Division. Rapid City is ranked #23, Wichita #25 and Allen #26. The best winning percentage in the division is Tulsa at .631. The other division leaders have winning percentages of .765 (Central), .716 (South) and .657 (North). The Mountain Division has a losing record in inter-divisional play against all of the other divisions. Here are the records.
It doesn’t mean the Mountain Division won’t do well in the playoffs but it does mean they are going into the playoffs as the weakest of the four ECHL divisions.
– You probably saw the press release issued by the ECHL yesterday that the video replay test in four facilities this season (Idaho, Kalamazoo, Toledo, Worcester) will be expanded to all ECHL teams next season. When I interviewed ECHL Commissioner, Ryan Crelin in February he had this to say about video replay, “We wanted to do the pilot to make sure it would work well as we were using a new vendor. I wanted to see how our officials would react to replay on the ice and that feedback has been it is easy to use and is working well. I also wanted to make sure we didn’t stall the game for 10 minutes. The feedback I have gotten from coaches is it is fast because they look at the video and it is settled. The referee doesn’t need to talk to both coaches and it has actually been able to speed up close calls. Expanding is more of an issue of infrastructure than cost but I do see replay expanding.”
– I checked with the league office and as of yesterday there have been 26 reviews this season at the four test sites and six calls have been overturned.
– The video replay is limited to five specific circumstances:
Puck crossing the goal line
Puck entering the net using a distinct kicking motion
Puck directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player
Puck entering the net before the goal frame is dislodged from moorings
Puck crossing the line prior to time expiring
– The only camera that will be used is one above the goal in the rafters. No other video such as ECHL-TV or other Sporfie views will be used. Referees will be able to review video streams from the overhead camera on the ice using a tablet device. There is no challenge system involved on when plays get reviewed, the decision is at the discretion of the referee.
– Here is the ECHL press release on video replay in case you haven’t seen it: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2019/3/echl-to-utilize-video-replay-review-for-2019-20-season
– The last two Allen home games this weekend will be well attended and should be a lot of fun. The game on Saturday will be fan appreciation night. On Friday the Americans will celebrate Steve Martinson’s 1000th win with a bobblehead (first 1000 fans), a video tribute and more. Martinson is the first US born coach and third overall coach to reach the 1000 win milestone as a pro hockey coach.
– Allen fans will have another milestone to celebrate next season. Martinson will finish this season needing between 21 and 25 wins to pass John Brophy for second on the all-time win list. Brophy had 1027 wins. It will take Martinson a few more years to reach number one all-time. Scotty Bowman had 1244 wins in his pro coaching career.
– Here is the Americans Weekly Update, issued by the team that reviews last week, lists the team stat leaders and other stat facts. https://allenamericans.com/americans-weekly-update-3/
– Who knew there is a website called “The Mascots’ Tribune” dedicated to providing mascots with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words. Biscuit just posted his story on the site in a story titled, My Life as Biscuit, Mascot for the Allen Americans. Check it out: https://medium.com/the-mascots-tribune/my-life-as-biscuit-mascot-for-the-allen-americans-240c12a94de3
– This video will make you smile as it captures what all NHL fans are going through with the playoff race in full swing. Enjoy!
– Colton Yellow Horn’s team, Graz 99ers, has advanced to the semifinals of the EBEL (Austrian League) playoffs. They won their first round 4-2 with three of the games decided in overtime. Colton’s team finished second in the regular season and will now take on the third place team in the semifinals which is a best of seven series.
DID YOU KNOW: Here are some Allen alumni that lead their team in goals and/or points this season.
Alex Guptill (34G, 22A)
Colton Yellow Horn (34G, 34A)
J.C. Campagna (34G, 10A)
Matt Foget (19G, 27A)
Ben Duffy (23G, 35A)
Tyler Barnes (27G, 28A)
Greg Chase (22G, 23A)