The box score shows the Allen Americans lost to the Tulsa Oilers 3-1 last night before a crowd of 5370 at the BOK Center and are now in last place (tied with Tulsa) in the Central Division. There are plenty of reasons for the optimists to say there is nothing to worry about and they have a point. It is only three games into the season, Allen has a very talented team, they are still jelling, the game on Sunday was the third game within 48 hours, they had to travel and this team always starts slow. After all, they were 3-3 after six games last year.
However, if you are the pessimist you have to be saying the team has never been below .500 in any of their championship seasons after three games, is turning the puck over way too much, ranks 23rd in the league in goals scored having only six goals in three games (one was an empty net goal) after leading the league in goals scored last year with an average of 4.06. In three games the Americans are 1-14 (7.1%) on the power play which ranks 22nd after having a power play percentage of 21.9% last year which ranked 2nd in the ECHL. A losing record of 1-2 is cause for concern.
One thing clear from past experience is coach Steve Martinson is not long on patience when he doesn’t see the team performing up to expectations. All you have to do is look at the transactions from last season when the team got off to a slow start. Here is a sample just from the first couple of weeks last season.
Justin Baker – acquired in trade
Geoff Irwin – traded
Greger Hanson – acquired in trade
Spencer Asuchuk – signed SPC
Jack Combs -signed SPC
Sy Nutkevitch – released
Austin Smith – signed SPC
Devin DiDiomete – traded
John Ryder – traded
Jesse Astles – acquired in trade
– Steve Martinson is always looking for ways to improve his team and based on past experience and the results of the first three games it won’t be long before he makes some moves.
MARTINSON POST GAME COMMENTS:
– Needless to say coach Martinson was not a happy camper after the loss in Tulsa. Short and to the point, here is what he had to say:
“We had turnovers on all three Tulsa goals”
“We are just not greasy enough in the way we are playing”
“We have too many guys trying to make plays that are not there”
“Our top players need to pick it up”
“Our depth isn’t scoring and isn’t hard to play against”
– The team arrived back in Allen late last night and unless plans changed will not practice today. They will depart tonight around 8:00 p.m. on the 842 mile trip to Colorado where they will play the Eagles and former teammate Darryl Bootland on Wednesday.
– The San Jose Barracuda beat Bakersfield on Saturday 4-3 for their second straight win after losing their first game. Aaron Dell was in goal and is 2-0 on the season with a GAA of 2.00 and save percentage of .932. Chris Crane had two assists Saturday night.
– Based on one game it appears the picture quality on ECHL TV is improved this season. All teams are required to have HD cameras this year so that may account for the picture quality. Just four days left to get the early bird special. You can watch all of Allen’s away games for just $89.99.
– I am going hunting for a couple of days so no blog post until Thursday morning. Hope it is all about a big win in Colorado.
DID YOU KNOW: The championship winning ways of the Allen Americans churns out a lot of players with leadership ability. In addition to current captains Chad Costello and Gary Steffes, former Allen Americans that are wearing the “C” this year include Jamie Schaafsma (Fort Wayne), Trevor Ludwig (Missouri) and Jarret Lukin (Evansville). In addition to Aaron Gens in Allen, Darryl Bootland, Trevor Hendrikx, Jack Combs, and Drew Daniels are all wearing an “A” for their team.