The trade deadline passed yesterday with Steve Martinson making the decision to stand pat. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t actively talking to teams but the filter he always uses when talking trades is will the new player be better than the players on the current roster and the roster when the playoffs begin. With so many players in the AHL it is somewhat of a guessing game to predict who will be back for the start of the playoffs. Just think how different the roster will look if Gabe Gagne, Jared VanWormer, Les Lancaster, Matt Register, Jake Doty, Turner Ottenbreit and Mitch McLain are in Allen for the first round of the playoffs. It is highly unlikely they will all be back but clearly some of them are expected back in Allen.
– While Allen wasn’t active at the trade deadline plenty of teams were. I saw a tweet from ECHL Week last night that said in the last week 27 players were involved in trades. One player traded fans are familiar with from his time with the Americans is Emerson Clark. Clark was traded to Toledo yesterday by Jacksonville. Clark is just completing his 16 game suspension for physical abuse of an official. Even though Clark has only played in 106 ECHL games since the 2016-17 season he is 7th in penalty minutes with 556. That is an average of 5.25 penalty minutes per game. He will certainly add toughness to the Walleye, the question is will he be disciplined enough to avoid suspensions given he is a repeat offender.
– If you are interested in seeing all of the trade deadline activity, team by team, check out the Team Sin Bin’s Trade Tracker at this link: https://thesinbin.net/2019-20-echl-trade-tracker/
ALLEN VS KANSAS CITY PREVIEW
– The Americans are in Kansas City to take on the Mavericks tonight. It will be the seventh of eight times these teams meet this season. Allen is in first place in the Mountain Division with 86 points while Kansas City is in last place (tied) with 52 points. It may come as a surprise Allen’s worst record among all Mountain Division teams is their 3-3-0-0 record against the Mavericks. The good news is two of Allen’s three wins came in Kansas City when they beat the Mavericks 8-2 (January 18) and 4-2 (November 19). The last time these teams played in Kansas City (February 8) the Mavericks won 6-4.
– I mentioned yesterday Allen will be playing one player short tonight (9 forwards, 6 defensemen) with Olivier Archambault, Stepan Falkovsky and Corey Durocher not on the trip because of injuries. My reporting is Archambault should be available for Saturday’s game against Tulsa in Allen. If the Americans can get through the game tonight without any injuries they will have a full lineup tomorrow night.
– While Allen will be playing shorthanded tonight the Mavericks have a strengthened roster. They have had three players loaned to them by their AHL affiliate (Stockton) in the last two days. Left wing Mason Morelli was loaned yesterday, center Mitch Hults and defenseman Zach Osburn were loaned on Wednesday.
– Allen’s power play has slowly been coming back to life after a bit of a dry spell. In the last eight games the power play is 9-38 (23.7%). The penalty kill has struggled much of the season other than a brief period in January when the penalty kill was 87% over seven games and scored four shorthand goals. The penalty kill is ranked #16 in the ECHL at 81.2%.
– Over the last five games the Allen penalty kill has given up five power play goals on just 10 opportunities for a penalty kill percentage of 50%. If there is a silver lining for the Americans the special teams have been good in the six head to head games against Kansas City. Allen’s power play is 21.4% and the penalty kill is 85.7%.
– Scoring first is always important when you consider Allen is 35-3-1-1 when scoring first and Kansas City is 20-4-1-0. Even more important is the fact the team that scored first has won every game Allen and Kansas City have played this season.
– The biggest difference between these teams is their offensive production which you would expect with the first and last place team in the division. Allen has scored 240 goals and is ranked #1 in the ECHL. Kansas City has scored 160 goals and is ranked #24.
– Kansas City has lost six of their last eight games including a home loss to Kalamazoo in their last game (February 29) by a score of 8-2. The team that will take the ice for Kansas City tonight will be much improved with the addition of the three AHL contracted players. Morelli and Hults have averaged over a point a game when playing in Kansas City and Osburn is their leading point scoring defenseman. If you consider the players the Mavericks added and the players out with injuries for Allen the Americans will have their hands full tonight. They will have to be on the top of their game to get the win.
– Everyone knows what an outstanding recruiter Steve Martinson has been over the years but the number of defensemen he recruited this season for Allen that are now in the AHL is quite stunning. This hit me again when I realized since Les Lancaster was loaned to Stockton they have sent two of their AHL contracted defensemen to the Kansas City Mavericks. Add Lancaster to the Iowa group of Register, Atkinson and Ottenbreit who did not have AHL deals at the start of the season but have played almost all season in Iowa. The three of them have combined for only 20 games played in Allen all season. Most coaches would have big problems if half of the defensemen they recruited for their team in the summer ended up in the AHL.
– If you are a season ticket holder the info for playoff tickets is at this link if you haven’t seen it yet: https://allenamericans.com/sth-playoffs/
– Single game tickets for the playoffs will go on sale Monday at 10:00 am. Look for details coming out from the front office. My understanding is specific dates have not been confirmed yet so you will be buying tickets for home game 1 or home game 2.
DID YOU KNOW: Here is the post from the ECHL Stats page this morning. How good is Falkovsky’s 17.0% shooting percentage? Last season the top in the league was 13.2% and in 2016-17 the leader was at 13.3%. Bottom line is Falkovsky is having an outstanding season offensively.
ECHL defensemen with the best shooting percentage (minimum 28 shots) with goals and shots in parenthesis:
17.0% – *Stepan Falkovsky, Allen Americans (15 for 88)
14.7% – Micheal Moffat, Toledo Walleye (5 for 34)
12.5% – Charlie Curti, Adirondack Thunder (11 for 88)
12.2% – Logan Roe, Florida Everblades (12 for 98)
12.1% – Arvin Atwal, Florida Everblades (4 for 33)
*Leads ECHL in goals scored with 15.