The ECHL final schedule was published yesterday. It is a little late since the Americans have already played 28% of their games but I thought it would be worthwhile to do the annual “deep dive” on the Americans schedule. It is probably more information than you would ever want to know about the schedule but it will give you many different views of what coach Martinson and the team have been dealing with and will be dealing with in 2020-21.
– From a travel standpoint the Americans will make two more trips to Rapid City and two more trips to to Utah. They have been to each place once already. Allen will have just three games with opponents outside the Western Conference when they visit Greenville later this month (February 25, 26, 27).
– Below is a complete list of Allen’s 72 games by opponent. Teams with an asterisk are Western Conference foes.
18 games – Utah (8 home 10 away)*
16 games – Rapid City (7 home 9 away)*
13 games – Tulsa (8 home 5 away)*
11 games – Wichita (8 home 3 away)*
11 games – Kansas City (5 home 6 away)*
3 games – Greenville (0 home, 3 away)
– Note the emphasis on conference play. Allen will play 96% of their games (69 of 72) against Western Conference foes. It is noteworthy and disappointing the Americans play just six different teams (only five at home) compared to 12 or 13 different teams the last three seasons.
– Given the pandemic it is a surprise that Allen is playing Tulsa and Wichita fewer times than normal while playing Utah and Rapid City more times than normal. Playing one team (Utah) 18 times is an all time record by far.
– Allen does not play again in Wichita but will play the Thunder five more times at the Allen Event Center, April 20, 30, May 1,2 and June 2. The three games at the end of April and beginning of May are makeup games for postponed games in January.
– Here is a breakdown of the schedule by month.
December – 6 games (5 home, 1 away)
January – 10 games (0 home, 10 away)
February – 12 games (5 home, 7 away)
March – 11 games (6 home, 5 away)
April – 15 games (12 home, 3 away)
May – 15 games (5 home 10 away)
June – 3 games (3 home, 0 away)
– Allen’s worst month is behind them as they spent the entire month of January on the road. April and May will be a long grind with 30 games in 59 days.
– With the exception of one trip for three games in Rapid City (April 14,16,17) the Americans will be at home for 50 days between March 22 and May 6. The longest road trip remaining on the schedule is the last half of May when the Americans play nine straight road games.
– One of the many things the team looks at when the schedule comes out is how many times they have to play three games back to back to back. Three games in three days is stressful especially if there is travel involved. Players are more prone to injuries in these situations. In 2018-19 three-in-three happened eight times. In the shortened 2019-20 Allen was scheduled to play three games in three days seven times. In 2020-21 Allen will play three-in-three eight times. Between now and the end of the season the Americans have five:
Dec. 31, Jan. 1,2 – Wichita (H), Wichita (A), Wichita (A)
January 29, 30, 31 – Utah (A), Utah (A), Utah (A)
February 13, 14, 15 – Kansas City (A), Kansas City (A), Kansas City (A)
March 12, 13, 14 – Utah (A), Utah (A), Utah (A)
April 1, 2, 3 – Utah (H), Utah (H), Utah (H)
April 23, 24, 25 – Utah (H), Utah (H), Utah (H)
May 7, 8, 9 – Tulsa (A), Tulsa (H), Tulsa (H)
May 28, 29, 30 – Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A)
– Allen has a few times where they play the same team four or five games in a row. It starts this weekend as the Americans will play Kansas City five straight (3 away, 2 home). Between March 3-14 Allen plays Utah four straight (1 home 3 away) and follow Utah with four straight against Tulsa (2 home. 2 away). Allen plays Tulsa four straight again between May 5-9 (3 home, 1 away). Allen’s final four straight against the same team comes on May 19 when the Americans play the Grizzlies four times in five days in Utah.
– Here is the current point percentage for the six teams on Allen’s schedule. The number of times Allen plays each team is in parenthesis:
.725 – ALLEN
.719 – Wichita (11 games)
.632 – Utah (18 games)
.605 – Greenville (3 times)
.452 – Tulsa (13 games)
.447 – Kansas City (11 games)
.381 – Rapid City (16 games)
– Here is the press release issued by the Allen Americans with more details on the final phase of the schedule including a link to the schedule: https://allenamericans.com/news/general/americans-announce-final-phase-of-the-regular-season-schedule/
– Here is the ECHL press release on the final phase of the schedule which includes a calendar where you can see the schedule for all teams: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2021/2/echl-announces-remainder-of-2020-21-schedule
– It is disappointing that Fort Wayne, who was added to the seven team Western Conference and is about to start play, is not on Allen’s schedule. As a matter of fact, Fort Wayne only plays six of their 50 games within the Western Conference, three each against Wichita and Utah. Fort Wayne gets a break by only playing 50 games instead of 72, but they play 88% of their 50 games outside the Western Conference. If you were a conspiracy theorist you would really go nuts because the league has scheduled Fort Wayne to play the worst team in the league (Wheeling) with a points percentage of .333 a whopping 19 times. That’s 38% of the Komet’s 50 game schedule. C’MON MAN!
DID YOU KNOW: Travel has certainly gotten easier for the Americans from the days of “Big Red” when the team bused everywhere. Now the team flies everywhere except Wichita, Tulsa and Kansas City. The only bus trips the Americans will make the remainder of the season are two trips each to Tulsa and Kansas City.
A far cry from the past as I pulled this out of the archives: During the 2015-16 season the Allen Americans were scheduled to travel 30,000 miles to their 36 road games with 22,000 miles being on the bus. They flew on the 8,000 mile round trip to Alaska.