It is getaway day for the Allen Americans as they head to Kansas City (475 miles) where they will play the Mavericks on Saturday (7:05 CST), Sunday (4:05 CST) and Monday (1:05 CST). Allen then returns home to play the Mavericks twice more (February 19 & 20). The team will not practice today before they leave with departure scheduled for 11:00 am.
– The Allen roster is down to 20 players with two goalies, eight defensemen and 10 forwards but that includes forward Colby McAuley who is on injured reserve. Not much room for injury or illness with so few players. As I mentioned yesterday there is no doubt Steve Martinson has been on the phone trying to add a player or two on what is a very lean roster.
– Weather conditions are as bad in Allen as the team will experience in Kansas City. Over the next few days Allen could see 4-7 inches of snow with some estimates even higher and the temperature could go below zero (-1). In Kansas City the forecast is more like two inches of snow with -8 the low before the Americans get out of town. Here is what is in store for the hometowns of some of the players over the next few days. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit and are not wind chill temps. Some wind chills will reach -50:
-34: Zane Franklin, Marwayne, Alberta
-27: Dyson Stevenson, Shaunavon, Saskatchewan
-27: Turner Ottenbreit, Yorkton, Saskatchewan
-27: Ben Carroll & Colby McAuley, Sherwood Park, Alberta
-22: Conner Bleackley, High River, Alberta
-21 – Phil Beaulieu, Duluth, Minnesota
For the guys from British Columbia (Asuchak & Kneen) it will be warmer at home than it will be in Allen. Monday night could see -1 in Allen while it will be 22 at home. The player you should really feel sorry for is goalie Justin Kapelmaster as in his hometown the lowest temp the next few days will be 71. Justin hails from Coral Springs, Florida.
– Not a lot of new info to cover today as you can tell by the weather information. Haven’t covered Allen’s individual stats for a while so here are the leaders and ECHL rank (in parenthesis) for some of the major categories:
Points – 20, Corey Mackin (#3)
Goals – 10, Jesse Mychan (#3)
Assists – 15, Matt Register (#2)
Penalty Minutes – 48, Zane Franklin (#4)
Minor Penalties – 14, Zane Franklin (#1)
Shots – 83, Jesse Mychan (#2)
Defensemen Points – 17, Matt Register (#1)
Defensemen Goals – 3, Les Lancaster & Nolan Kneen (#3)
Defensemen Shots – 51, Matt Register (#1)
Rookie Points – 13, Joe Garreffa (#4)
GAA – 2.14, Jake Paterson (#3)
Save Percentage – .933, Jake Paterson (#3)
– There are some ECHL stats that seem out of whack in this pandemic season with half of the teams not playing. The one that seems really strange is hat tricks. There have been 122 games played thus far with just one hat trick. The lone hat trick was scored on January 2 by Felix Robert of Wheeling who scored the Nailers first three goals against Indy. Wheeling ended up losing the game 5-4 in overtime. The single hat trick in 122 games is less than 1%. In the shortened 2019-20 season there were 72 hat tricks in 797 games which is 9% of the games with a hat trick.
– There have been 12 shutouts in 122 games which is 9.8%. In the shortened 2019-20 season there were 92 shutouts in 797 games which is 11.5%.
– The final comparison between last season and thus far this season is penalty shots. So far this season there have been seven penalty shots in 122 games which is 5.7%. Two of the seven penalty shots have been successful (one by Spencer Asuchak). The penalty shot success rate is 28.6%. Last season there were 39 penalty shots in 797 games which is 4.9%. Of the 39 penalty shots 11 were successful for a success rate of 28.2%.
– When you look at the three stats, penalty shots and shutouts are close percentagewise from last season to this season. However, hat tricks are way down. Maybe they will catch up as the season progresses or maybe there is something else going on. Part of the reason for so few hat tricks this season could be the delayed start of the AHL that meant a lot of good goalies start the season in the ECHL who are now on AHL rosters.
– There are four games on tap in the ECHL tonight. If you are scoreboard watching the game to keep an eye on is Wichita at Utah, the two teams right behind Allen in the standings. These teams will also play each other on Saturday and Sunday. The other game of interest is Fort Wayne finally starting their season as they will be in Wheeling. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview on all of the games tonight: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2021/2/echl-today-feb-12 tonight.
– I sure don’t have the answer to what advantage Fort Wayne may have in playing so few games (50 vs 72) compared to the rest of the teams in the league. You would think playing a grinding style like the Komets would benefit by a shorter season. On the other hand they need to play well right from the get go as there is not as much time to sort things out if they get off to a poor start. Also, the advantage of fewer games is offset by a more condensed schedule. The first month of their season Fort Wayne plays only two teams. The best team in the league, Indy, with a points percentage of .806 they play five times. The worst team in the league, Wheeling, with a points percentage of .333 they play nine times. Still seems strange they play only six of their 50 games against opponents in their own conference and those six games don’t happen until the last two weeks of the season. As coach Martinson always says, all you can worry about is beating the team your are facing and if you beat them all you will win the championship. Good advice rather than carping about all the things you think are unfair.
DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson’s regular season record since joining the Allen Americans in 2012-13 is a lofty 330-184-35-25 which is a winning percentage of .627. Martinson now has 1057 wins, second most all time. He trails all time leader Scotty Bowman by 187 wins and don’t count Martinson out in catching Bowman.