Saturday, March 29, 2014

Martinson Post Game Comments, Amateur Forward Coming, Playoff Tiebreaker Stats

A lot went well for the Allen Americans last night as they doubled up Denver in shots on goal with an impressive 50 shots to the Cutthroats 25 and they won the special teams battle scoring a power play goal while holding Denver scoreless on the power play. A couple of odd man rushes spelled doom for the Americans as Denver scored with less than four minutes remaining in the game and despite a valiant effort by Allen with an empty net extra attacker they could not get the goal to tie the game and Denver won 3-2 before a smaller than average Friday night crowd of 4152 at the Allen Event Center.  The loss gives Denver second place in the standings but still leaves Allen something to fight for as with a win tonight (Saturday) in the rematch with Denver the Americans would assure themselves of third place in the standings.


- Other than the outcome I liked a lot of what I saw tonight. I think what hurt us is their goalie saw too many of the 50 shots we had. Toward the end of the game I thought we paid the price to get in front of the net but we just couldn't get the puck to go in the net. We had a ton of puck possession but we allowed two Denver goals on odd man rushes. It is so disappointing to out play a team especially as we did in the first period when we had a 14-4 shot advantage. Then we make a mistake as the defenseman steps up in the slot where we already have a forward which leads to a two on one and we let them have a cross ice pass and they put the puck in the net. You don't want to give a two on one break to Gale and Bembridge.

- I obviously didn't like Denver's last goal. On the second goal we got beat one on one coming out of the corner and it wasn't a real hard shot. Our offense wasn't good enough to overcome those mistakes.

- Tomorrow night we have to get in front of the goalie and make sure he doesn't see the majority of the shots. Janakeff only needs one shift per game but I might start him tomorrow night. I haven't made that decision yet but we will talk about it and give it some thought.

- Lavoie should return for the playoffs. Oklahoma City will be signing some junior players and college players as they become available after their playoffs. It would have been nice to have Alex tonight as he is our leading scorer but with 50 shots we weren't having trouble generating shots. We had enough offense to win tonight without Lavoie.

- It is disappointing as we were in position to win the game and get second place but obviously that didn't happen so now we have to go out and build on the positive things from tonight like the shots and puck possession. I don't want to go into the playoffs having lost our last three games so we want to get the win tomorrow night.

- I thought there were a couple of major penalties at the end of the game, both against McMillin, that were not called and I will ask the league to review them.

- I have an amateur player flying in Sunday that is a three time close to thirty goal scorer in the Western Hockey League and he should help in the playoffs. (Based on information put out by agent Darryl Wolski on social media overnight, the amateur player is Cain Franson, who just finished his junior career with the Vancouver Giants. Franson is a 6' 2"  183 pound left wing who shoots left. He has scored 27, 29 & 30 goals the last three years in Vancouver. He has a brother, Cody, who is a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs).

- Jon Zion skated this morning at the pregame skate and he is getting closer. If this was a game seven he would have probably played. I think he will be ready to go Wednesday and I think we will use him if he is ready. I haven't decided how many defensemen (six or seven) will be on the playoff roster.

- We will have 19 players on the playoff roster plus one on injured reserve plus the amateur we are bringing in. It doesn't mean all 19 players on the roster will be healthy. We can't afford to have three injured players on our roster and play short. So we will have some decisions to make once we get through the game tomorrow night and we see how our injured players (Zion, Kerbashain, & Hendrikx) are progressing.


- With a goal last night and Alex Lavoie with Oklahoma City the team leader in points is now Spencer Asuchak. Really impressive that the team's two leading scorers are the two rookies.

- Tyler Ludwig, who has had a 14 game and 8 game scoring streak this season, had an assist last night and now has a team leading six game scoring streak.

- Quite a shootout in Brampton last night as the Beast beat the Rush 3-2 with goalies Tim Boron and Kristofer Westblom combining to stop the first 25 attempts. The shootout went to the 13th round before Scott Howes finally scored to win the game. Howes has only played in 35 games for Brampton but has 25 goals including six game winning goals. Between his time in Allen last year and Bampton this year Scott has played in 57 games and scored 46 goals.

- Congratulations to Arizona goalie Andrew Engelage for being named the CHL's Most Outstanding Goaltender yesterday. It was the closest race of any of the major awards with Engelage earning 16 of the 41 votes on ballots returned beating out Missouri’s Shane Owen by just two votes.  Along with Engelage and Owen, Rapid City’s Tim Boron, Denver’s Kent Patterson and Quad City’s Ty Rimmer and were also finalists for the Scott Brower Award. 

- With just seven games remain to be played the CHL average attendance is still slightly trailing last years figures. It will be very close as to whether 2013-2014 exceeds the 2012-2013 attendance figures.

- If you noticed, the John Snowden "biting incident" did not lead to any further discipline by the CHL such as a suspension. If you examine the video closely you can see that Matt Stephenson was pushing his forearm into Snowden's head as he was laying on the ice and it was right over his mouth. Everyone involved in this incident agreed it was blown way out of proportion and there were contributing factors that led to the teeth marks on Stephenson's arm. I know John was embarrassed by the incident and it is important to let everyone know that "all parties" involved from both teams felt it was way over exaggerated.

- Tie breakers are certainly going to be a factor in the playoff seeding. All that is determined at this point is Missouri is #1 and Denver is #2. Remember the first tiebreaker is total number of wins not including shootout wins. Here are those numbers for teams still vying for postion:
Allen - 33 (Allen has 81 points with one game remaining)
Rapid City - 30 (Rapid City has 81 points with one game remaining)
Quad City - 29 (Quad City has 72 points with two games remaining)
Brampton - 29 (Brampton has 71 points with one game remaining)
Tulsa - 30 (Tulsa has 69 points with two games remaining)
Arizona - 27 (Arizona has 69 points with one game remaining)
What does this all mean?  Allen is in the drivers seat for the third seed with the tie breaker over Rapid City. Quad City with a one point lead and two games remaining is the favorite to finish fifth. Arizona loses tie breakers to Tulsa and Brampton so they are most likely the #8 seed and will take on Missouri in the first round. Tulsa with two games remaining and the tie breaker over Brampton has the best chance to move up. It will all be decided by Sunday night.

Courtesy CHL Memes

Courtesy CHL Memes

DID YOU KNOW: Regardless of the outcome of the game tonight the Allen Americans will finish  the season with the fewest points in team history.
2009-2010:  89 points
2010-2011:  97 points
2011-2012:  87 points
2012-2013:  87 points
2013-2014:  81 points (one game remaining)

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