Caught the tail end of practice again today and not much new to report. Mike Berube was back with his "two upper lips" as he referred to the cut he got yesterday in practice which went all the way through and took about twenty stitches to close. The team did some different drills than normal today. Coach concentrated on more individual skating and skill work the last two days to try not to have the players be stale from practice all week. Starting tomorrow they will get back to the meat and potatoes stuff like special teams, line and system work.
- With the rainy weather cramping tee times today many of the players are at Top Golf this afternoon.
Also had a chance to attend the live radio broadcast at La Finca Chiquita with Tommy Daniels interviewing coach Martinson. There was a good turnout and the food was excellent. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:
- When asked about the reason Allen has a better road record than home record Martinson pointed to two things that help contribute to playing well on the road. First is the depth of the team. Since the home team has last line change they can exploit teams that don't have good depth. The depth of Allen helps in these match ups. The second reason Allen plays well on the road is because they are a physical team and can't be intimidated on the road like some other teams.
- It is frustrating having the injuries with our amateur players but it is part of the game. Both Justin Kirsch and Bryce Aneloski are headed home. Aneloski really did a great job of carrying the puck, jumping up on the play, and helped us with puck possession on the power play.
- The one good thing about the amateur rules is if they get hurt they can be replaced. Right now we have ten forwards and seven defensemen so Martinson is hesitant to sign another defenseman. He is talking to forwards right now as several teams in the Western League are going to be out of the playoffs soon. He wants to wait and see what is going to happen with our injured players that have been here all year before he makes a decision. He wants to hit a home run so he is going to be deliberate on who to bring in behind Aneloski because we have enough players to play this weekend.
- Alexandre Lavoie, our new amateur, is going to be a real good player for us. He is a heads up guy, moves his feet well and is a play maker. He was the seventh leading scorer in the QMJHL.
- The guys coach is talking to now are more of the big winger type, gritty guys who are tough to play against.
- One of the advantages the Americans have when recruiting amateurs is the large network they have with all the guys Matvichuk, Ludwig and Belfour know who are coaching. Martinson said it was the largest network he has ever been involved with.
- Martinson uses Facebook as a recruiting tool as it quickly gets you connected directly with the players and you can also learn something about them.
- When asked about Brian McMillin, who is leading the CHL in goals and points Martinson said Brain is an example of a guy that has had to earn his way. He is playing the lightest he has ever played, is skating great, moving his feet, and he is really snapping the puck. He is playing with our best passer because he is our best scorer right now.
- Doyle will be coming off the IR in the second round and that is all we know for sure right now.
- The Brampton franchise announced today that they will be known as the "Beast" and when asked about the impact of Brampton being in the CHL coach Martinson was skeptical on how this can work. While there are plenty of rumors on what might happen and most experts agree there will eventually be just one AA league we will just have to wait and see what happens for next year. The one thing certain is Allen will be playing.
- When asked about team leadership and what Martinson would look for next year he commented on how he really wants self motivated players and prefers not to count on one guy. He prefers a guy with a little less skill but is hard to play against and will finish his checks. He doesn't like one way (offensive) players who just make their living on the power play.
- On Maiani & Pineault it is still wait and see as to when we might see them play. With Doyle coming off the playoff IR slot somebody will have to go on the IR for the next round. Fortunately that decision can wait until Sunday.
The playoff schedule for the Fort Worth vs Wichita series has finally been released as follows:
Conference Semi-finals (best-of-seven)
Fort Worth Brahmas vs. Wichita Thunder
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 10 – Fort Worth at Wichita, 7:05
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 11 – Fort Worth at Wichita, 7:05
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 18 – Wichita at Fort Worth, 7:30
Game 4 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Wichita at Fort Worth, 7:30
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 21 – Fort Worth at Wichita, 5:05
*Game 6 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Wichita at Fort Worth, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., Apr. 24 – Fort Worth at Wichita, 7:05