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Don’t Give the Past the Power to Define Your Future, Allen’s 22 Remaining Games Present a Challenge

Tuesday, March 1st
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Today is March 1st and the ECHL regular season has seven weeks remaining. The excitement of an opening day roster that looked as good as any in the league has turned into doubt as to whether the Allen Americans will make the playoffs. That is the situation the Americans find themselves in with 70% of the season now in the books. Allen is one of seven ECHL teams with a points percentage below .500. Allen is in last place in the Mountain Division with a points percentage of .490.

– When the situation looks bleak, I always look for inspirational quotes that might apply. Here are a few I found this morning.

  • “Don’t give the past the power to define your future.”
  • “A wounded deer jumps the highest.”
  • “The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
  • “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

– One thing is certain; Steve Martinson will keep grinding as he always does, and he firmly believes this team will make the playoffs despite the obstacles that continue to be placed in the way. I will never forget reporting in the blog and telling him in his office there was no way his team could catch Colorado for the top spot in the Mountain Division in 2016-17. He told me publicly and privately he was going to prove me wrong. I ended up eating crow as the Americans won 15 of the last 16 games of the season (the lone loss was in overtime) to win the division by five points. Lesson learned!

– It seems like every week I report on one day the roster has been strengthened and the next day the opposite. This past week it was the return of defenseman Nolan Kneen and goalie Antoine Bibeau to the Americans from Charlotte. In addition, Branden Troock returned from injury and Josh Winquist was acquired through a trade. The stronger roster didn’t last long. Kneen played just one game and Bibeau two before they returned to Charlotte.

– Several players have been playing hurt and you never know when they will have to miss some time. In addition, it is uncertain which of the injured players already out of the lineup will be cleared to return. I will attend practice today and may have more details tomorrow.

– Forward Kolten Olynek was released yesterday. Olynek played 16 games with Allen in the month he was with the team and had no goals, two assists, a -3 plus/minus and two penalty minutes. With so many players injured, Martinson is always juggling housing, the salary cap and the budget in making roster decisions.

– Allen has 22 games remaining and will have to win 14 of them (a .636 pace) to get to a .535 overall points percentage, which is in the range that will be needed to make the playoffs. Here is a breakdown of the remaining 22 games, including the opponent’s current points percentage:

  • 5 games (2H, 3A) – Wichita (.500)
  • 5 games (2H, 3A) – Tulsa (.520)
  • 4 games (3H, 1A) – Kansas City (.500)
  • 3 games (0H, 3A) – Toledo (.719)
  • 3 games (3H, 0A) – Iowa (.500)
  • 2 games (2H, 0A) – Idaho (.575)

– I was recently asked about the obligation of the Allen Americans (and all ECHL teams) to provide skates to players. Here is the wording from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) concerning equipment (Article XV, Section 10, Equipment).

“It is the responsibility of the team to provide each player with all equipment, including skates, necessary and appropriate for professional hockey. Equipment must be fit for its intended use at a professional level and provide for safety and well-being of each player. Equipment must be timely replaced as necessary so as to insure this provision is fully implemented.”

“Notwithstanding the above, players who have been on the active roster or injured reserve for 60 days or more during the season, with the majority of the time being spent on the active roster, who have not received a pair of skates, are entitled to at least one pair of skates provided by the team.”

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about the best plus/minus performers in February. Kris Myllari led Allen in February with +8. He also leads the Americans in plus/minus for the season at +19, followed by Jack Combs (+14), Branden Troock (+7) and Darian Skeoch (+5).

Top February plus/minus leaders for each ECHL team ranged from +14 (Reading) to +1 (Tulsa). Here are the top eight:+14: Mason Millman, Reading+11: Patrick Grasso, Adirondack+11: Matthew Cairns, Cincinnati+10: Xavier Bernard, Atlanta+10: Patrick Watling, Wheeling+8: Kris Myllari, Allen+8: Blake Winiecki, Florida+8: Jacob Hayhurst, Worcester

The post Don’t Give the Past the Power to Define Your Future, Allen’s 22 Remaining Games Present a Challenge appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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