Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Practice Observations, Power Rankings, PHPA Data, & WPHL

- Had a chance to stop by practice yesterday for a brief time and it seemed to be a light day after the long road trip. I know more was accomplished than what I saw but there was a lot of time devoted to an intra squad scrimmage. The guys were having a lot of fun. I know coach Martinson plans on working on some systems issues this week so assume that will be the emphasis starting tomorrow. Jamie Schaafsma was a full participant in practice but Jarret Lukin was not on the ice.

- The Minor League Hockey Report (MLHR) published their power rankings for the week which is a compilation of input from writers and bloggers around the league. If you haven't had a chance to check them out visit them at minorleaguehockeyreport.com. They do a lot of great reporting around the league both in written reports and podcasts. Here is the power ranking list but I encourage you to go to the web site to get the detail:
1. Rapid City
2. Missouri
3. Allen
4. Denver
5. Tulsa
6. Brampton & Quad City (tied)
8. Arizona
9. Wichita
10. St. Charles

- As I was putting together my input for the MLHR power rankings it was clear to me the one team in the league that gets very little attention and is better than their place in the standings is the Quad City Mallards. Here is what I included in my power ranking input: Quad City is the under appreciated team right now. They probably deserve to be higher in the power rankings than 6th even though they are in 7th place in the standings. They are only three points behind Brampton with five games in hand, four points behind Tulsa with seven games in hand and five points behind Denver with five games in hand. You could easily make an argument they should be in the discussion for the #4 power ranking spot as their winning percentage is the fourth best in the league. They were 2-1 this week with the loss being a shoot out loss in Missouri. And they spanked a good Tulsa team 9-3 on Saturday. The Mallard’s next three games are at home against Brampton. Keep an eye on the Mallards as they are a team on the rise.

- Saw the following information from the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) which I thought was interesting. It shows activity from the AHL, ECHL & CHL as the PHPA represents the players from all three of these leagues. I found the bar graph showing goals scored per game particularly interesting. This data represents the figures for the month of November.

 - Had a chance to spend some time talking with head trainer, Osama Kassab today and asked him about his wife, Tiffany, as I recently read a story she had written about the guys that are Biscuit for the Americans. Turns out Tiffany is a experienced writer who is just completing her master degree in the field. She will be doing numerous features for the Americans concentrating on things other than the on ice activities. I have heard Tiffany is working on a story about the "Hockey In Heels" event that recently took place and another story on player tattoos. Her stories are always posted on the Allen Americans web site. An interesting read about being the wife or girlfriend in minor pro hockey is a story Tiffany wrote last year when the Kassab's were in San Francisco as Osama was the head trainer for the San Francisco Bulls. One of the wives in the article was Leah Bowers whose husband, Justin, played for the Bulls. Justin Bowers played for the Americans in 2009-2010. All you have to do is Google, "Bulls' Wives, Girlfriends Stand by Their Men by Tiffany Kassab to read the story or go to the following web site. http://sfbay.ca/2013/03/26/bulls-wives-girlfriends-stand-by-their-men/

DID YOU KNOW:  The Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) was bought out by the Central Hockey League after the 2000-2001 season. A lot of people remember WPHL teams like the Austin Ice Bats, Lubbock Cotton Kings, Corpus Christi Ice Rays and the Ft Worth Brahmas but only the old timers remember the El Paso Buzzards, Monroe Moccasins, Tupelo T-Rex and the Alexandria Warthogs. Daniel Tetrault played in the WPHL as he was a rookie with the Austin Ice Bats in 2000-2001.

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