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Xavier Bernard Returns to Allen, The Week Ahead, A Look at Plus/Minus Stats, ECHL Shootout Stats, ECHL Longest Win Streaks and More

Tuesday, March 7th
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After a day off yesterday, the Allen Americans will be back at practice as they prepare for two games this week in Idaho. It is a real scheduling oddity to play only two games in a week and to do that in back-to-back weeks is very rare. After this week Allen will play three or four games each week for the rest of the season which finishes April 15.

– Allen got some good news yesterday as defenseman Xavier Bernard has been loaned to Allen by the Belleville Senators. Bernard was in Allen for 18 games between January 6 and February 15. A defensive defenseman, Bernard had eight points (0G, 8A) in his first stint in Allen. Despite playing only 18 games for the Americans he is second on the team in plus/minus (+4). In his 18 games with Allen, Bernard had a negative plus/minus just three times. Look for him to pair with Zach Massicotte.

– Speaking of plus/minus, it may be the most polarizing stat in hockey especially now days with so many other analytics to look at. Here is a story from Mike Commito about the history and future of the stat. One quote in the story is from Brian Burke, “It’s pretty simple. If your team stinks, so does your plus/minus. And it is compounded if you play against the opposition’s top players.”  This isn’t a new story, but it is an in depth look at this antiquated stat, a great read: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/just-doesnt-add-history-future-plus-minus/

– With all of the flaws with plus/minus it is still used in hockey. While the NHL did away with its award for best plus/minus number each season many years ago the ECHL still has the award. As a matter of fact, former Allen Americans player Matt Register is running away with the plus/minus race this season at +51. If Matt finishes this season that high, it would be the second best plus/minus in ECHL history.

– Here is the current team plus/minus for each team in the Mountain Division. Interestingly, only first place Idaho has a positive plus/minus.

  • +427: Idaho
  • -49: Kansas City
  • -53: Rapid City
  • -97: Allen
  • -114: Wichita
  • -129: Tulsa
  • -198: Utah

–  Mountain Division teams have between 16-18 games remaining, so every week is now critical. Here is the schedule this week by number of games being played. Any team that sweeps or gets swept (except Idaho) will likely move in the standings.

  • 2 games: Allen at Idaho (Friday, Saturday)
  • 2 games: Cincinnati at Tulsa (Friday, Saturday)
  • 3 games: Kansas City at Utah (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • 3 games: Wichita at Rapid City (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

– I have mentioned a few times how historic this season is going to be from a goal scoring perspective. I am sure the team focus is on making the playoffs and making a deep run in the playoffs. With that said the Allen all-time scoring list is starting to be loaded up with players from 2022-23 and there 18 games yet to be played. By the end of the season Liam Finlay will also be on this list and the “Four Sure Gang” will all be at or near the top of the list. Here is an update of the all-time Allen goal scorers (30+ goals) for a single season:

  • 44 goals – Gary Steffes (2014-15)
  • 41 goals – Chad Costello (2014-15)
  • 36 goals – Hank Crone (2022-23)
  • 35 goals – Greger Hanson (2016-17)
  • 34 goals – Bruce Graham (2010-11)
  • 34 goals – Nino Musitello (2010-11)
  • 34 goals – Zach Pochiro (2018-19)
  • 33 goals – Chad Costello (2016-17)
  • 33 goals – Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
  • 32 goals – Colton Hargrove (2022-23)
  • 31 goals – Bruce Graham (2009-10)
  • 30 goals – Corey Mackin (2020-21)
  • 30 goals – Jack Combs (2022-23)

–  The number of ECHL games requiring a shootout to decide the game has been drastically reduced since the league moved from five minute to seven-minute overtimes. You hear more and more chatter about the NHL moving to seven-minute overtimes. In the last year of five-minute overtime in the ECHL 39% of overtimes required shootouts. This season it is closer to 17%. Here are the shootout stats by number of shootouts by team.

  • 0 – Five teams (Utah, Newfoundland, Reading, Indy, Trois Riviéres) have yet to be in a shootout.
  • 1 – Eight teams
  • 2 – Seven teams
  • 3 – Four teams
  • 4 – Four teams (Savannah 3-1, Fort Wayne 2-2, Cincinnati 1-3, Florida 0-4)

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about the longest winning streaks in ECHL history. I am sure many will remember the year South Carolina set the all-time record (23 games), the Americans beat the Stingrays in the Kelly Cup finals. It was Allen’s first year in the ECHL.

Toledo currently has 13 straight wins to join the all-time list. It is the longest win streak in the ECHL since 2017. Toledo will try to extend the streak tomorrow night in Wheeling. Here is the longest single season win streaks in ECHL history.23 – South Carolina, 201517 – Colorado, 2017*17 – Cincinnati, 2008*15 – Victoria, 200914 – Missouri, 201514 – Louisiana, 200114 – Knoxville, 199413 – South Carolina, 200913 – Las Vegas, 200713 – Toledo, 2023*Won Kelly Cup

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Friday, October 25th
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Puck Drops:
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Saturday, October 26th
Kansas City Mavericks @ Allen Americans
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Wichita Thunder @ Allen Americans
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