WICHITA, Kan. – Welcome to the latest (delayed) edition of Monday Headlines, where I look back at the previous weekend of ECHL action and give you some headlines from across the league.
Let’s get after it!
Fort Wayne Komets Have Entered the Chat…
The Fort Wayne Komets opened their 50-game season Friday night in Wheeling, where they played the Nailers. Komets fans will see a steady diet of the Nailers and Indy Fuel the first month of the season before seeing the South Carolina Stingrays and Jacksonville Icemen in the last half of March.
When breaking down the Komets’ schedule, I am confounded that the Komets are in the Western Conference yet only play six games against teams in the conference (3 vs. Wichita, 3 at Utah). It appears the Komets’ path to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference is largely going to be based on what happens on teams in the Eastern Conference. They play Indy 20 times, Wheeling 17 more times, South Carolina three times, and Jacksonville once.
As I’ve said time and again through the return-to-play process, there are no good solutions to many of these issues, but it seems to me that the league should have moved the Komets in the Eastern Conference with Wheeling and Indy west.
Either way, the Komets return to action tomorrow evening against the Indy Fuel.
Another Bad Friday Night for Home Teams:
Following up on the impressive Friday night stat from last week, home teams last Friday night went 1-2-0-1 and are now 1-10-3-1 in the last five Friday nights.
This stat will turn around at some point, but even that it has lasted five-plus weeks is impressive in and of itself.
Stat of the Week:
Scoring first is huge in the ECHL, but especially this season. Through 138 games played in the league this season, teams are a collective 104-20-11-3 when scoring first (.804 winning percentage).
Orlando is the team’s lone unbeaten team when scoring first, 8-0-0-0, while the Wheeling Nailers are the league’s only team below .500 when scoring first, with a record of 2-3-2-0 (.429 winning percentage).
Here’s how the league has stacked up when scoring first since 2014-15:
|Season||Record When Scoring First||Winning Percentage|
|*2019-20 (*=thru 3/15/20)||561-169-50-15||.747|
The Sin Bin’s Player of the Week:
Danny Moynihan (Tulsa): The Oilers forward piled up seven points (2G, 5A) in three games against the Rapid City Rush. He has 11 points (4G, 7A) in his last five games and is tied for second in the ECHL with 11 goals, seventh with 20 points in 17 games this season. Moynihan has tallied 156 points (66G, 90A) in 189 career ECHL games with Tulsa, Kalamazoo, and Alaska.
The Sin Bin’s Goalie of the Week:
Jake Hildebrand (Florida): For the fourth time in his career, the Everblades netminder has won the league’s goaltender of the week honors. He went 2-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average, and a save percentage of .950 in two appearances at South Carolina last week. The 27-year-old stopped 31 shots in a 4-2 win on Wednesday and made 27 saves in a 5-1 victory on Saturday. This season, he’s 5-0-1 in seven appearances, ranks second in the ECHL with a .936 save percentage, fourth with a 2.01 goals-against average.
Matthew Harding is the Editor-in-Chief for TheSinBin.net, covers the ECHL and the Wichita Thunder. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SinBinThunder.