ALLEN, TX – Today is one of those days where there is not much to report so I call it a this-n-that news day. Here goes:
– Stopped by practice yesterday and the team got in some skating after a couple of days off. I think coach Steve Martinson was cognizant of another weekend of three games in less than 48 hours. The team will work on special teams at practice today.
– There were several Allen roster changes reported on transactions yesterday. Bryan Moore was assigned to Allen by San Jose, Zach Pochiro was placed on reserve and Riley Gill was placed on 21-day injured reserve effective October 22nd. I had the chance to talk to Moore and he is glad to be back in Allen where he will be getting plenty of ice time. Riley Gill’s return to the lineup is unknown. Because the effective date of being placed on IR is retroactive to the day after he was injured he is actually eligible to come off IR after this weekend but that seems unlikely.
– It is always difficult to compare teams early in the season by looking at the point totals because of the crazy schedules. Utah has already played 12 games, while Jacksonville has played just six. Kansas City has only played one home game but has played seven road games. Quad City has played seven home games and just two road games. The best way to compare teams is to look at winning percentage. Here are the top five:
.889 – Wichita
.875 – South Carolina
.850 – Florida
.750 – Wheeling
.722 – Toledo
All four divisions are represented in the top five with the South Division the only one with two teams in the top five (Florida & South Carolina). Allen is ranked #18 at .545.
– Before the start of the season, many felt the Mountain Division was the best in the league. One way to measure that is to look at inter-divisional records. Thus far the Mountain Division is 4-2-0-0 against the North Division, 4-2-1-0 against the South Division and 4-3-1-2 against the Central Division.
– Here is an interesting stat for you. There have been 126 games played in the ECHL so far this season and in those games, there have been 11 penalty shots called with just two of the 11 converted for goals. The Allen Americans are the only team with more than one penalty shot as they have three of the 11. Zach Hall has taken two penalty shots and Jonathan Lessard one. All were unsuccessful.
– Allen and Idaho are two of the most penalized teams in the ECHL which should make for an interesting matchup this weekend. Idaho has been called for 70 minor penalties (second most) and 11 major penalties in 10 games. Allen has 64 minor penalties and 10 major penalties in 11 games.
– How is this for an odd stat. Rapid City is in last place in the Mountain Division but has the best home penalty kill percentage in the ECHL at 100%. The Rush have killed off 27 straight penalties at home. The road penalty kill is completely different as it is ranked #24 at 76.5%.
– Colorado lost to Fort Wayne at home last night by a score of 4-3. The Eagles got off to a great start this season winning their first six games. However, they have now lost four of their last five games. The Americans trail the second place Eagles by just two points.
– Greger Hanson played last night in his second game for the San Diego Gulls (AHL) since being recalled. It was a tough night for the Gulls who played at home and were beaten by the Texas Stars 6-2. Texas out shot San Diego 35-15. Greger didn’t have a point but did record two shots on goal.
DID YOU KNOW: The slow start to the Allen power play this season is nothing new. The power play is currently at 13.0% and ranked #21 in the league. Here is what I wrote one year ago today:
“The Allen special teams have gotten off to a very slow start with the power play at 6.4% and the penalty kill at 80.4%. The Americans had the best power play in the ECHL last season converting on 21.1% of their opportunities but did you know early in the season the power play struggled. One year ago today the power play percentage was at 12.5%. What saved the team last season was a great start on the penalty kill. A year ago today the penalty kill percentage was at 94.4%.”
– So the poor start to the power play happens every year as evidenced above. Here are the power play and penalty kill percentages for December 9th the last three years. FYI, despite the poor start, the Allen power play finished last season (2016-17) ranked #3 at 24.4% and in 2015-16 finished the season ranked #1 at 21.1%.
2017: PP 13.0% & PK 89.6%
2016: PP 6.4% & PK 80.4%
2015: PP 12.5% & PK 94.4%