ST. JOHN’S, NL – With the ECHL season ending earlier than usual, so did the Newfoundland Growlers chances of becoming back-to-back ECHL Champions. But, before the cancellation, were they staying on course for another Kelly Cup? In order to find out, I dug back into The Sin Bin archives and evaluated their season on a month-to-month basis.
Beginning with the basics, Newfoundland was on pace for a stellar March. Going 5-0 in their only games of the month, the Growlers proved they weren’t ready to take their foot off the gas.
HOME AND AWAY RECORD
In the 2019-20 ECHL season, the Growlers also broke the league record for consecutive home wins. Spanning from mid-October to the beginning of February, the Growlers were able to string up just south of 20 straight W’s.
|MONTH||GP||AWAY RECORD||HOME RECORD|
It’s no secret that Newfoundland has one of the highest travel distances in the ECHL. Surrounded by water, the Growlers are often forced to travel by air in a predominantly bus-driven league. In this table, I calculated the Growlers’ monthly distance totals. For comparison, the Growlers AHL parent affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, had a season total of 15,906 miles (25,598 km), a number close to what Newfoundland traveled in January alone.
|MONTH||GP||DISTANCE MI/KM||RECORD||STARTING LOCATION|
|OCTOBER||8||2,627 mi. (4,227 km)||4-4||St. John’s, NL|
|NOVEMBER||13||6,873 mi. (6,873 km)||9-4||Reading, PA|
|DECEMBER||11||14,565 mi. (14,565 km)||9-2||Portland, ME|
|JANUARY||11||12,992 mi. (20,908 km)||9-2||St. John’s, NL|
|FEBRUARY||11||8,241 mi. (13,262 km)||6-6||St. John’s, NL|
|MARCH||5||5,852 mi. (9,417 km)||5-0||Orlando, FL|
|TOTAL||60||51,150 mi. (82,317 km)||42-18||—|
Sparked in the 1950s by the Montreal Canadiens, the plus/minus stat has become commonplace among many hockey teams and leagues since the 1960s. In this chart, the Growlers found themselves with a negative team plus/minus just twice in 2019-20:
|MONTH||HOME +/-||AWAY +/-||OVERALL +/-||MONTHLY TOTAL|
|MONTHLY AVERAGE||+8.83||+2.50||+11.33||Total: 240-172|
GOALS FOR AND AGAINST AVERAGES
Backed by Parker Gahagen, Angus Redmond, Maksim Zhukov, and more in the crease, Newfoundland finished the 2019-20 season with a goals against average (GAA) of just under 3.00. Meanwhile, the Growlers had a goals for per game average (GFA) of just under 4.00.
|MONTH||GP||GOALS FOR||GOALS AGAINST||GFA||GAA|
GAME-WINNING GOALS (BY MONTH AND NATIONALITY)
As for game-winning goals, the Growlers found themselves with 42. On last season’s roster, Newfoundland had 14 Canadians, seven Americans, one Belarusian, and one Russian. With the forwards comprised mostly of Canadians, it was no surprise they dominated the game-winning goals chart.
WHAT’S COOL ON TWITTER
Cheers to the ☀️☀️☀️ pic.twitter.com/9TTG7uXEp4
— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) May 29, 2020
A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Zack Power covers the AHL’s Toronto Marlies primarily and also periodically covers the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers. Follow Zack on Twitter for all the latest Marlies (and occasional Growlers) news and notes!
Don’t forget to follow The Sin Bin on social media via Facebook and Twitter for all additional AHL, ECHL, and SPHL minor league hockey news and analysis!