- Had a chance to attend practice yesterday and spend a few minutes with the coaches afterward. They were pleased with how practice went this week as they were able to work on many different aspects of the game. The big thing for the weekend is to make better decisions as many of the mistakes that lead to odd man rushes are mental errors not physical errors. Injured reserve decisions will not be made until today however Jarret Lukin has not practiced all week and has been in street clothes the times I have attended practice so would assume he will be on IR. Mark Guggenberger will be in goal.
- Colt King received a seven game suspension for the incident with Garrett Clarke on Tuesday. It is time to move on but it does make one wonder what the other leagues think about discipline in the CHL. I have it on good authority that many inside the locker room folks (including Missouri) expected a minimum of a ten game suspension given the incident and the fact that this was the third time King had been thrown out of a game this year. It seems as if the CHL has a reputation of treating these incidents lighter than any other professional league. The Garrett Clarke one game suspension for shooting the puck into the bench intentionally is another good example.
- Steve Martison's perspective on fighting is different than one might think given he was an enforcer during his playing days and had 488 penalty minutes in one year (1985-1986). Obviously the rules on fighting have changed since then. Martinson tells his players you must give the other player a chance to fight. If they don't want to fight, if they won't drop their gloves, you have to skate away. Sometimes players don't follow this advice such as Alex Penner last year and Martinson feels you need to come down hard on these types of incidents. My guess is he was one of those in the camp that thought seven games was not enough for the King/Clarke incident.
- In the only game on tap in the CHL last night Tulsa dominated Brampton in the the Beast's first home game in over a month. Tulsa out shot Brampton 42-24 and won the game 6-4. The official attendance was 2034. Tulsa has moved back into 2nd place in the standings with what seems to be the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense. The high scoring Oilers lead the CHL having scored 94 goals (Allen is second with 75) but also lead the CHL in goals allowed with 88. Having the most goals allowed in the league is an unusual stat for a second place team. As a comparison, first place Rapid City has allowed just 40 goals.
- All ten CHL teams are in action tonight. In addition to the Allen versus Missouri game another matchup to keep your eye on is Rapid City versus Quad City. The Mallards have had trouble getting respect around the league because they are 7th in the standings. This is primarily due to the fact that they have played fewer games than anyone in the league as their winning percentage would rank them 3rd. A chance for Quad City to gain some respect if they can acquit themselves well in Rapid City this weekend.
- If you didn't get a chance to listen to the Tommy Daniel's Allen Americans radio show on Wednesday night it was a great opportunity to get to know the players. This program was at corporate sponsor Hirsch's Meat Market in Plano and the guests were Trevor Hendrikx and Dallas Ehrhardt. These broadcasts take place most every week with different players joining Tommy for an hour of hockey/personal talk. The schedule is posted on the Americans web site (allenamericans.com) and all you have to do is click on "The Allen Americans Radio Show" block on the bottom of the page to see the schedule. The next show is on Wednesday (December 18th) at Palio's Pizza in Fairview and scheduled players are the Flow Brothers (Berube & Lukin). Tommy encourages fans to come to the event but if you can't attend in person tune into 107.3 for some good radio.
- With all of the talk about the dangers of fighting and the implementation of the new helmet rule this year, former Dallas Stars coach, Ken Hitchcock, had this to say, "Lets not take our eyes off the ball, the problems are the
shoulders to the head and the hits from behind. Its not the fighting."
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has a reputation around the CHL as being this tough, intimidating, dirty team but the statistics this year would not bear that out. Missouri leads the league in "dirty" play as they have had five different incidents that have led to league suspensions and their players have been suspended a total of 18 games. Allen has not had a single player suspended thus far this season.