INDEPENDENCE, Mo – Through two months of play, the Kansas City Mavericks continue to be undefeated at home. With another two games to challenge that fact this weekend, there is a lot riding on the Tulsa competitions the next two evenings.
A home reputation is not the only accomplishment the Mavericks look to maintain. They have the fourth-best winning percentage in the league, but a pair of losses would take it down from the .700’s. The Mavericks have been around the top-5 range in the league for the majority of the season thus far, but have fallen since losing to Wichita. They now sit 9th in the league in a 4-way tie with 23 points alongside the Norfolk Admirals, the Florida Everblades and the Adirondack Thunder. Taking 4 points this weekend could put the Mavs back up where they want to be.
Ride the Energy Wave
It’s getting to the point where you can’t help but think about the home streak. The Mavericks snapped their overall seven-game winning streak on November 16th. But the sevem-game home streak stays alive. You don’t want to put too much focus on statistics and streaks, but it may float in the back of the mind of some of the players. The best thing the team can do is build off of the home crowd’s energy and take pride in the things that are going well. Athletes, in general, do not perform their best when they dwell on some of the things that may not be going their way. So keeping the eye on the prize may not always be a bad thing when it comes to the big picture within an organization.
Make a Statement
These games will be the third and fourth meetings between these two teams this season, and the Mavericks have yet to come out on top. The Oilers sit in the top 3 of the league, and a win or two by the home team could jump start an exciting stretch of games. The Mavericks got their good start to the season, but there is still a long way to go. Each game needs to be put at the same level as a playoff qualifier because, at the end of the season, they’re going to wish for some of the games back if the standings stay tight.
“I think we’re really well conditioned. We practice hard. We don’t stop very much, and we don’t go to the board very much,” said head coach John-Scott Dickson.
That just might be the piece which sets this team apart. If you’re working harder than the guys on the other side of the ice, chances are you will win more battles than they do. When guys are getting put on extra shifts or it’s getting to the final minutes of a period, coaches are going to want the men which play like it’s their first shift of the game.
Mix, Match, Movement
The ECHL transactions from November 29th showed that Matt Robertson was suspended and removed from the team’s roster. He had played 16 games in his 3rd season with the Mavericks, registering 12 points with 5 goals and 6 assists in that time. According to KCTV news and the team website, he made the decision to take a leave of absence. While seeing a player go is not something you want to see, the Mavericks are still left with 13 active forwards with Robertson’s departure.
Puck drop for both Tulsa games will be at 7:05 pm, with Saturday night predicting to be a busy one for fans as it’s Marvel Superhero-themed night with a teddy bear toss following the first home goal.