ALLEN, TX – Today’s article is titled This ‘N That because it will cover a bunch of unrelated topics from near and far:

– The Americans were back at practice yesterday preparing for what will be a critical four game series against the Missouri Mavericks over the next ten days. How they perform in those four games will go a long way to determine if Allen can retain the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

– The new college goalie, who was to arrive yesterday, is not arriving until today. As he did with Jamie Murray, expect coach Martinson to start the new goalie this weekend.

– Coach Martinson continues to work the phones trying to improve the roster and be prepared for any contingency that may arise between now and playoffs. He has to consider the impact of injured players, who will be assigned from San Jose, the availability of junior and college players and will players recalled by other AHL teams (Hanson) return.

The playoff roster can expand by two players (20 active, 4 reserve) but that has salary cap/budget/housing implications. The bottom line is General Manager Martinson may be busier than Coach Martinson over the next couple of weeks.

– Allen has a five point lead over Cincinnati and a six point lead over Utah for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

Here is how the rest of the season breaks down for each team:

Allen (79 points) – The Americans have seven games remaining. Their next four games are against Missouri (2 home 2 away) and then they close out the season with three games against Evansville, all at home.

Cincinnati (74 points) – The Cyclones have nine games remaining with just three at home. They play Indy three times (1 home 2 road), Quad City twice on the road, Toledo twice (1 road 1 home), Fort Wayne once at home and Toledo once on the road.

Utah (73 points) – The Grizzlies have eight games remaining with five at home. They play Tulsa three times at home, then go to Idaho for one game, then return to play Alaska twice at home and then finish the season with two games in Rapid City.

– The Missouri Mavericks are within reach of many ECHL records including most points in a season.

The Mavericks have 101 points with nine games remaining. The record for most points in a season is 116. A more likely record for Missouri to reach is most home wins in a season.

The Mavericks have 27 home wins with five home games remaining. They need to win three of the five home games to tie the record of 30 which has been accomplished three different times.

– Jonathan Lessard who was part of the 2014 championship team in Allen was waived by Norfolk yesterday.

– This will be my last regular blog post for a while. Tomorrow I am  going to post a story about the off-ice officials and then I will be going on vacation for a couple of weeks, visiting the National Parks of Costa Rica.

As in the past, Mary Betz & Ted Hosterman have graciously agreed to write the blog in my absence. It won’t be every day, but you can count on game previews and recaps plus some special things they have up their sleeves.

I will return in time for the start of playoffs.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to Ed for today’s question.

Q: What is the rule concerning the trapezoid behind the net? Can a goalie play the puck outside the trapezoid?

A: The trapezoid behind the net is called the “restricted area.” It limits the area in which goaltenders can handle the puck. Goaltenders are allowed to handle the puck in this area behind the net, but they cannot handle the puck anywhere else behind the net.

Photo Courtesy: Dianne Webster
Photo Courtesy: Dianne Webster

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