Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Denver Preview, Player Community Visit, Most Penalized Teams

Had a chance to stop by practice yesterday and the good news is everyone was skating. Doesn't mean everyone is 100% as this time of year all of the players are dealing with some type of physical problem but at least everyone was a full participant in practice. To me the team had the look of a team on a five game win streak with a combination of hard work and fun. It is good to see the Allen Americans confidence on the upswing. The two game series with Denver this weekend will be another challenge and and the biggest challenge will be to to control their top line. If you look at Denver scoring they have league points leader Garrett Bembridge with 50 points and his linemate Troy Schwab with 43 points. No other player on the Cutthroats has 20 points. So the game within the game to keep an eye on will be the Americans matchup against Bembridge and Schwab. Would assume that assignment will go to McMillin, Fox, & Hanson.

- Garrett Bembridge has 244 AHL games to his credit but most of those games were 10 years ago. He has played hockey in Germany, Italy and last year in Japan. A seasoned veteran who is having a career year with 50 points (25 goals 25 assist) in just 31 games. He has scored at least one point in 27 of Denver's 31 games and has 16 multiple point games. His 179 shots on goal are 36 more than anyone else in the league. As a comparison Jonathan Lessard leads Allen in shots with 99. Definitely a player to watch this weekend is #41 Bembridge.

- The Americans have only played Denver once this year back on November 1st. Allen won in a shoot out with Darryl Bootland getting the game winning goal when as the tenth skater he skated in and took a point blank slap shot.

- Here are the team comparisons:
                                  Allen Americans            Denver Cutthroats  
RESULT OF LAST GAME               WIN  4-3 vs RPD            WIN  2-0 vs TUL    
GAMES PLAYED                      31                         31                 
RECORD                            19-10-2                    16-9-6             
POINTS                            40                         38                 
HOME RECORD                       9-5-2                      11-4-3             
AWAY RECORD                       10-5-0                     5-5-3              
SHO RECORD                        3-2                        1-4                
LAST 10 GAMES                     7-3-0                      5-3-2              
LAST 5 GAMES                      5-0-0                      4-0-1              
OCTOBER                           5-0-1                      5-0-0              
NOVEMBER                          7-6-0                      5-6-3              
DECEMBER                          5-4-1                      4-3-3              
JANUARY                           2-0-0                      2-0-0                           
SCORING FIRST                     11-3-1                     12-3-4             
LEADING AFTER 1ST                 9-3-0                      8-0-4              
LEADING AFTER 2ND                 12-1-1                     9-0-0              
TIED AFTER 1ST                    6-2-1                      7-6-0              
TIED AFTER 2ND                    7-0-1                      4-5-5              
TRAILING AFTER 1ST                4-5-1                      1-3-2              
TRAILING AFTER 2ND                0-9-0                      3-4-1              
WHEN OUTSHOOTING OPPONENT         10-6-1                     7-8-1              
1 - GOAL GAMES                    9-2-2                      6-3-6              
GOALS FOR PER GAME                3.58                       3.19               
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME            3.13                       2.97               
SHOTS FOR PER GAME                34.35                      33.77              
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME            31.39                      34.00              
POWER PLAY RECORD                 31 - 172   18.0%           37 - 157   23.6%   
PENALTY KILLING RECORD            25 - 170   85.3%           29 - 160   81.9%   
SH GOALS FOR                      6                          4                  
SH GOALS AGAINST                  6                          3                  
PIM AVERAGE                       23.61                      18.16              

Allen                 30   42   36   3   111    
Opponents             28   35   32   2   97     
Denver                28   32   37   2   99     
Opponents             22   36   28   6   92     

 - Special teams often are the difference between two good teams and this weekend should be no different. Denver has the #1 power play unit in the league (23.6%) while Allen has the #2 Penalty Kill (85.3%).

- Rapid City was shut out 3-0 at home last night by Tulsa who broke a five game losing streak. Rapid seems to have hit that tough streak that happens to all teams sometime during the season. They have lost three games in a row, three of their last four at home and five of their last seven games. To make matters worse they head to Missouri for two games this weekend. If they lose twice to Missouri in regulation the Mavericks will take over first place.

- A special thanks to Phil Fox, Greger Hanson and Andrea Hanson for taking the time to join the Heritage Ranch Allen Americans fan club last night and share some great stories about their childhood,  time in college (they all graduated from Northern Michigan University), and life in professional hockey. The best story was Andrea and Phil telling about teaching Greger to drive when he first arrived at Northern Michigan from Sweden. Won't tell the entire story here but suffice it to say red lights are located in a different part of the intersection in Sweden than in Marquette, Michigan.

DID YOU KNOW:  Brampton leads the CHL in penalty minutes (767), minor penalties (223), and ten minute misconduct penalties (9), but Allen leads the league in major penalties (40), and St. Charles leads the league in game misconduct penalties (11). 


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