INDEPENDENCE, Mo. –  2018 brought a year of half the 2017-18 season and half of the 2018-19 season, each with different storylines and big-time performers stepping up to represent the Mavericks.

There are highs and lows for every team but for the Mavericks, their highs and lows have differed as the squad matures.  If you were to look at this team last year you would not see much of a correlation to the team they have now. Some of the names on the backs of the jerseys are the same but this year’s squad carries an identity and a sense of belonging the team last year did not visibly present.

The 2017-18 team had a different leadership identity in Tyler Elbrecht. He was a very physical presence and at the beginning of the season. It seemed if there was not a fight involving Elbrecht in the first period you had found yourself in the wrong arena. This toned down through the heart of the season and the final push for a playoff position, but his style of leadership greatly differs this year’s Rocco Carzo. Carzo came off a knee injury that ended his previous season quite early. He only played in 12 games last year and in this season alone he has already doubled that. The veteran forward is a comeback story that motivates the rest of the team to be a part of what could be a pretty impressive year.

The 2018-19 version of the Mavs started out with their best first stretch of games in team history going 9-1-1-0 in the first 11 games and keeping a perfect home record until mid-November.

Revamped Returners

New faces will make their way into the locker room every season but the faces that stay are some of the ones to be talked about. The gameplay of your consistent core will have a ripple effect that will be felt throughout the rest of the lineup. Here are how these players last season’s performance compares to the progress that has been made thus far this season.

Jared VanWormer (3rd Season)

Last Season: 42 points with 22 goals and 20 assists in 70 games played.
This Season: 29 points with 13 goals and 16 assists in 29 games played.

Corey Durocher (2nd Season)

Last Season: 14 points with 6 goals and 8 assists in 21 games played.
This Season: 2 points with 1 goal and 1 assist in 3 games played.

Greg Betzold (2nd Season)

Last Season: 22 points with 7 goals and 15 assists in 50 games played.
This Season: 12 points with 7 goals and 5 assists in 29 games played.

Nate Widman (2nd Season)

Last Season: 16 points with 4 goals and 12 assists in 70 games played.
This Season: 7 points with 1 goal and 6 assists in 29 games played.

C.J. Eick (2nd Season)

Last Season: 6 points with 1 goal and 5 assists in 22 games played.
This Season: 10 points with 6 goals and 4 assists in 27 games played.

Rocco Carzo (4th Season)

Last Season: 5 points with 2 goals and 3 assists in 12 games played.
This Season: 25 points with 9 goals and 16 assists in 29 games played.

Mark Cooper (2nd Season)

Last Season: 47 points with 23 goals and 24 assists in 68 games played.
This Season: 25 points with 9 goals and 16 assists in 21 games played.

Mason McDonald (2nd Season)

Last Season: 3.16 goals against average and 0.894 save percentage in 27 appearances.
This Season: 2.61 goals against average and 0.907 save percentage in 12 appearances.

Seasonal Stats

Last season rewarded the Mavericks with an overall record of 34-32, but this season as of now, has an 8% decrease in the win percentage with the squad sitting at a 16-11 win loss record.

Goals Scored

2017-18: 204
2018-19: 97

Goals Against

2017-18: 223
2018-19: 89

Shorthanded Goals

2017-18: 3
2018-19: 3

Power Play Percentage

2017-18: 18%
2018-19: 20%

Penalty Kill Percentage

2017-18: 80%
2018-19: 80%

This team has proved they could really be something special when all the pieces fall into place. It’s easy to have high hopes when your team is on a roll and winning a lot of game but how they respond to failure shows the true character of the organization. Last year, the Mavericks longest losing streak struck them through the heart of February going eight games without a victory. For the rest of the season, the team did not go more than three games without earning a win. Something that hopefully will not take that many games for the guys to figure out this season.

The longest Kansas City has gone without a win this season is four games. A challenging road trip threw a curveball to the team and because of it a bit of a wakeup call ensued, and the team bounced back. The 2017-18 team was showing sparks of the possibility of them making the playoffs and what that kind of hockey would look like towards the dying games of the season. This season, this team is proving themselves to be a contender and if they keep up the quality hockey they convinced opponents they are capable of, fans might be in for a pretty fun playoff run come April.