ALLEN, TX – It was the type of practice you might expect after playing three games in three days, traveling 1000 miles back home from Jacksonville and taking Monday off to recuperate. A lot of drills working on strategy with some skating drills at the end (without the puck) working on conditioning.
You might think 50 games into the season everyone would be in peak condition but not the case according to Steve Martinson and it isn’t just what happens on the ice. For players to be in peak condition, they need to combine hard work on the ice with an off-ice strength and fitness program along with good nutritional habits.
– There are a few guys banged up and/or sick but everyone with the exception of Zach Hall should be ready to go for the games against Utah on Friday and Saturday.
– Wichita was in Cincinnati last night and beat the Cyclones 3-2 to move back in a tie with Allen for third place in the Mountain Division with 56 points. The Thunder still have two games in hand over the Americans. Wichita plays Rapid City at home three times this weekend.
– The men’s Olympic hockey tournament got underway today with Slovenia upsetting the USA 3-2 in overtime. Here is the game recap: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports/Olympic-Men-Hockey-USA-Slovenia-474027103.html
– Here is the best article I have seen about the tournament, the history, the teams, the players and the rules that will get you all prepared for Olympic hockey that culminates in the gold medal game on February 25. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2755294-olympic-mens-hockey-2018-complete-guide-to-pyeongchang-winter-games
– Florida Everblades goalie Martin Ouellette was named Goalie of the Week by the ECHL yesterday. I am sure Allen would agree with this selection since Ouellette allowed the Americans just one goal in two games. In three appearances last week he was 3-0 with a GAA of 0.67 and save percentage of .975. Here is the press release with all of the details. https://www.echl.com/playeraward/ouellette-named-ccm-echl-goaltender-week-feb-13
– Here is a list of Allen’s top 10 point scorers if you look at average points per game:
1.63 – Olivier Archambault
1.19 – Zach Pochiro
1.06 – Casey Pierro-Zabotel
1.00 – Bryan Moore
1.00 – Gary Steffes
0.93 – David Makowski
0.86 – Vincent Arseneau
0.78 – Alex Guptill (Allen games only)
0.75 – Joel Chouinard
0.63 – Colby McAuley
– The Allen Americans have used 31 different players so far this season which is a little on the low side compared to most ECHL teams. Colorado and Kalamazoo have used the fewest players (26). Norfolk (46) and Brampton (45) have used the most players.
– Aaron Dell is making $625,000 as the San Jose Sharks backup goalie this season but will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will undoubtedly sign a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with some NHL team. When you think it was just a few years ago Dell was playing in Allen making less per day than his meal money is in the NHL. Here is a story where Dell talks about how he tries not to think about the upcoming free agency and is living in the moment. https://www.nhl.com/news/aaron-dell-living-in-moment-with-sharks/c-295902414
– The conversation about the line brawl between Kansas City and Toledo over the weekend doesn’t seem to be quieting down. Players, coaches and front offices continue to share their points of view and as you might imagine they are very different. The Sin Bin’s Joe Rozycki shared his thoughts on this incident but also shares his perspective more broadly related to fighting and violence in hockey. My view on this topic is the ECHL is moving away from fighters who can’t play, to players with skill that can fight. A good read on this topic from Joe. By the way, the league has not handed out suspensions from this incident as of this morning: https://thesinbin.net/klotz-the-fallout/
DID YOU KNOW: I recently saw an NHL stat called “highest percentage of team goals involved in” which had Connor McDavid at the top with 43.8%, followed by Jack Eichel with 42.7%. I decided to take a look at the top three scorers in the ECHL as of today and see what percent of their team’s goals they have been involved in with either the goal or an assist. Here are the percentages:
60 points: Shawn Szydlowski – Fort Wayne – 29.0%
58 points: Justin Danforth – Cincinnati – 36.7%
54 points: Casey Pierro-Zabotel – Allen – 32.1%
Since Chad Costello was the most prolific scorer in the ECHL in the last 20 years I decided to look at his three seasons in Allen to see what percent of the goals he was involved in and saw numbers that rival the best in the NHL. Just another stat that shows how valuable Chad was in Allen.
46.0% – 2015-16
42.8% – 2014-15
41.5% – 2016-17