As the Allen Americans left Love Field this morning at 6:00 am heading for Utah the impact of the coronavirus has become very real. The NBA suspended their season because a member of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus. The NCAA made a decision March Madness will be played without audiences. The Toledo Walleye played at home last night against the Cincinnati Cyclones and only official teams members, credentialed personnel and media were allowed to attend. The San Jose Sharks will play their three remaining home games in March without an audience. With the predictions of the spread of coronavirus cases it seems it is only a matter of time before NHL and ECHL games will be impacted on a much wider scale. I see on social media this morning the NHL might make a decision to suspend games as early as today.
– While the NHL and NBA have the finances to survive it is hard to believe some ECHL teams could survive a suspended season. Playing games without fans would be even worse when you consider the teams would have all of the expenses with none of the revenue. Ticket sales account for somewhere between 60% – 80% of a team’s revenue. If you take that away and still have to play the games it would be the deathknell for more than a few teams in my opinion.
– Unless something happens today with ECHL guidance it will be the show must go on for the Allen Americans tomorrow night. Once again Allen will be playing with a lot of players out of the lineup. Injured players Alex Guptill, Olivier Archambault and Corey Durocher stayed home and some players on the trip are listed as day to day. Coach Martinson is working to get a couple of the players currently in the AHL back for the weekend and continues to recruit college players just finishing their collegiate careers. If some of these puzzle pieces don’t fall into place the Americans will be playing short against the Grizzlies.
– Have to admit as a person in the demographic where the coronavirus can be deadly and all of the depressing news about the postponing and canceling of public events, humor can be the best medicine. I saw this on social media several times and it made me chuckle. It goes something like this, adapted for the Allen Americans. “If the Americans end up playing games without an audience how will the players know when to shoot the puck on the power play.”
– South Carolina and Cincinnati both lost last night. South Carolina is now tied with Florida for the league lead in points with 92 points. Allen has 88 points with a four point lead and a game in hand over Cincinnati for the best record in the Western Conference.
– In closing all I can say is to stay safe and be smart. Life has changed for all of us. Social distancing is the new catch phrase and your life and the life of your kids, parents, grandparents can be turned upside down very quickly. On a personal note, today would have been my dad’s 100th birthday. During trying times like these having your parents around is reassuring no matter what your age. Happy birthday dad, thinking about you a lot today.
DID YOU KNOW: Scoring first makes some teams almost unbeatable. Leaguewide the winning percentage when scoring first is .747. The best:
.912 – Reading Royals
.871 – Allen Americans
.861 – South Carolina Stingrays
.859 – Florida Everblades
.855 – Toledo Walleye
.839 – Utah Grizzlies
.833 – Cincinnati Cyclones
.828 – Idaho Steelheads