It is going to be a relatively quiet week for the Allen Americans as they have a rare weekend off and won’t play again until March 12 when they begin a three games in three days series in Utah. Thought today would be a good time to take a look across the spectrum of statistics to access just where the Americans stand after 27 games (38% of the season) into the schedule and what the path forward holds.
STANDINGS – The Americans record is 17-9-1-0 for a points percentage of .648 which ranks them #5 in the ECHL and #3 in the Western Conference. Allen’s home record is 7-1-1-0 and its road record is 10-8-0-0. The Americans have a losing record over the last 10 games (4-5-1-0). Only two ECHL teams have won fewer games than Allen in the last 10 games.
GOALS – Allen has scored more goals (92) than all but two teams (Florida & Indy) and are averaging a healthy 3.41 goals per game. The Americans have given up 75 goals and are ranked #6 in average goals allowed at 2.78 goals per game. It wasn’t long ago Allen was ranked #1 or #2 in the league in goals allowed. In their last six games the Americans have given up fewer than four goals just once. However, Allen is one of just five ECHL teams with a positive goal differential (goals for minus goals against) The Americans goal differential is +17 which ranks them #4 in the league. It is no coincidence since the Americans were recently assigned five players from San Jose that have scored 14 goals in three games averaging 4.67 per game. Allen will head to Utah next week with the most skilled offensive team they have had all season.
SHOTS – Allen is ranked #3 in average shots per game (32.74) which is good but they also give up a lot of shots per game (32.63) which is ranked #12 in the league. Allen’s record when being out shot by their opponent is a respectable 8-6-1-0 but this is an area in need of improvement. Allen has given up over 40 shots in two of their last four losses.
SPECIAL TEAMS – Allen’s overall power play is ranked #5 at 16.8% (18-107). The power play is actually worse at home (13.5%) than on the road (18.6%). Going back a month the Americans have just four power play goals in 10 games. Over that time the power play is 4-34 for an 11.8% conversion percentage.
The penalty kill has been an Achilles’ heel for the Americans for quite a while. They are now ranked #12 overall at 79.4% (20-97). The percentage on the road is 78.1% and at home is 81.8%. Allen didn’t give up a power play goal in its win on Wednesday against Utah but that was the first time in six games they didn’t give up a power play goal. Going back to the end of January the Americans have allowed a power play goal in 11 of 14 games. In those 14 games the Americans penalty kill percentage is just 69.8% (16-53).
One stat to look at as a way of assessing special teams is adding the power play and penalty kill percentages together. Anything above 105% is considered excellent and anything under 100% needs improvement. Right now the Americans combined percentage is 96.2% which is lower than any team in franchise history. Even in the year Allen had the worst record in the ECHL (2018-19) and set their all time record for the lowest combined PP and PK percentage it was 98.4%.
Goal #1 for the Americans going forward has to be improved special teams play.
SCORING FIRST – Allen has scored the first goal of the game in 16 of their 27 (59%) games and have the second best record in the ECHL when scoring first. The Americans are 14-2-0-0 when scoring first which converts to a points percentage of .875.
PLAYING WITH THE LEAD – Allen is one of the best teams in the ECHL when playing with the lead and why getting off to a good start is so important to their success. The Americans record when leading after the first period is 10-0-1-0 and with a second period lead their record is 13-1-0-0. Contrast that to Allen’s record when trailing after the first period which is 1-5-0-0.
PENALTIES – Allen is in the middle of the pack when it comes to average penalty minutes per game. They are ranked #6 at 12.85 minutes per game. Only four ECHL teams have taken fewer than the 121 minor penalties assessed to the Americans. ECHL five minute major penalties, which are mostly fighting majors, range from six to 19. Allen is ranked #2 with 17 major penalties. The Americans have had more fights (16) than any team but Wheeling who leads the league with 17 fighting majors.
ATTENDANCE – Allen has played just nine home games while Indy has already played 17 home games. Seven ECHL teams have played 15+ home games. Allen is ranked #10 in average attendance averaging 1804 per game. Their attendance has ranged from 1246 (Tuesday game) to 2259 (Friday game). ECHL average attendance over 183 games is 2131 and ranges from 3356 (Jacksonville) to 966 (Wheeling). There is little doubt average attendance for the Americans will increase as the season progresses.
CONSISTENCY – If there is one word that describes what Allen needs going forward it is consistency. You can apply that word to everything from the roster to special teams to the defense and the goaltending. Nothing describes this more than looking at the stat for team highs in shots in a period. Allen has given up the second most shots in the ECHL this season in the first period (22) and third period (21). At the other end of the continuum the Americans have allowed the fewest shots all season in any period when they allowed only one shot on goal to Wichita on New Year’s Day. Allen has also allowed the second fewest shots in a period giving up two to Kansas City in the third period on February 13. If the Americans are going to move up the leader board they will have to be more consistent from game to game than they have been recently.
DID YOU KNOW: Here is Allen’s combined power play and penalty kill percentage for every season in franchise history;