Friday, February 13, 2015

Incredible Individual & Team Statistics Plus Five Ways to Improve the ECHL

The Allen Americans lead the ECHL in points (70) and winning percentage (.778) so you would expect they would be among the league leaders in some individual and team statistics. The fact is the statistics reinforce the outstanding season Allen has had thus far. Here is a look at an update on individual and team stats.


- When you consider there are 28 teams in the ECHL, if a player is in the top fifteen in any statistical category that is quite impressive so to see the numerous categories that are dominated by Allen players is amazing. Will try to illustrate this below by listing the top three players on the team with their stat and then where they rank in the league in that stat. Have included Jack Combs even though he is no longer with the team.

Points - Costello 73 (#1), Combs 56 (#2), Steffes 50 (#6)
Goals - Steffes 31 (#1), Combs & Costello 22 (#5)
Assists - Costello 51 (#1), Combs 34 (#4), Gens 26 (#21)
Power Play Goals - Steffes 12 (#1), Schultz 7 (#3), Tyler Ludwig 5 (#22)
Power Play Assists - Costello 17 (#1),  Gens & Combs 11 (#8)
Shorthanded Goals - Hanson 4 (#1), Six tied with one
Game Winning Goals -  Steffes & Combs 6 (#3), Hanson  5 (#8)
Penalty Minutes - Lyon 240 (#1), Gens 129 (#12), Clarke 112 (#19)
Plus/Minus - Costello +25 (#3), Combs +24 (#4), Trevor Ludwig & Steffes +23 (#5)
Shots On Goal - Steffes 161 (#3), Costello 143 (#13), Combs 135 (#26)
Points By Defenseman - Gens 33 (#3), Young 30 (#5), Baker 28 (#10)
GAA - Gill 2.43 (#7)
Save Percentage - Gill .918 (#7)
Goalie Wins - Gill 24 (#1)
Minutes Played - Gill 1954 (#2)

- Allen defensemen dominate the statistics for defensemen. They occupy four of the top fourteen spots in scoring by defensemen (Gens (#3), Young (#5), Baker (#10), Tyler Ludwig (#14). No other team has more than two in the top twenty. Tyler Ludwig is #2 in goals scored (12) and #3 in power play goals (5), Aaron Gens #2 is assists (26) and power play assists (11), Gens is #2 in penalty minutes (129), Justin Baker is #3 in shooting percentage (15.6%), and Trevor Ludwig is #3 in plus/minus (+23).


If you somehow combined all team statistics Allen would come out on top. Here is how the Americans rank in the 28 team ECHL in some of the statistical categories. The first number is Allen's number and the second number is how they rank in the ECHL.

Win Percentage - .778 (#1)
Points - 70 (#1) 
Average Goals For - 4.20 (#1)
Average Goals Against - 2.67 (#5)
Average Shot For - 33.09 (#2)
Average Shots Against - 29.78 (#13)
Power Play Percentage - 21.3% (#4)
Penalty Kill Percentage - 89.7% (#1)
Average Penalty Minutes - 22.18 (#3)
Win % When Scoring First - .833 (#8)
Longest Winning Streak - 9 games (#3)
Home Winning Steak - 11 games (#1)
Team Plus/Minus -  +217 (#1) 
Goal Differential -  +69 (#1)
Home Wins - 19 (#1)
Road Wins - 14 (#6)

- There are some stats where Allen is either at or close to the bottom of the league. Penalty shots is one of those stats as Allen is 0-2 on penalty shots (Combs & Schaafsma) and in the only penalty shot against the Americans, Missouri scored a goal. Allen is ranked #26 (.333) when games go to overtime as they are 2-4. The Americans rank #17 in attendance with an average of 4021.


Below is a portion of an article written by Justin A. Cohn of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette ( where he talks about some things the ECHL should consider changing. Most of these have been talked about on this blog in the past but Justin does a great job of providing the ECHL with a concise list of potential changes most fans would like to see happen. Almost positive you will find some of your pet peeves on this list.


What’s in a name?

ECHL is an acronym. No matter how many times the ECHL tries to convince you it’s not, claiming its brand is besmirched by calling the league anything other than ECHL, the premise is silly. The average person sees ECHL and assumes it’s short for East Coast Hockey League, which of course it was for many years.
The ECHL doesn’t want to be regarded as East Coast – it has teams all the way to Anchorage, Alaska – but therein lays the problem because for every new team that enters the league, it creates a bevy of fans and reporters who then refer to it as the East Coast Hockey League. Many players, coaches and general managers – all of whom know better – call it the East Coast Hockey League every day, and you can’t introduce people to a product when they can’t even comprehend what to call it. So just change the name and move on to more important things.

Change OT

The AHL has been testing out a new sudden-death overtime system this season and the ECHL would be wise to follow suit. It’s four minutes of four-on-four, then three minutes of three-on-three before a shootout. The NHL is interested in the format. People are thankfully tiring of shootouts – especially the three-rounders used in the NHL and AHL – and this adds some excitement and fairness to the games. The gripe that the three-on-three OT could be too tiring for teams’ top players is silly; sometimes third-line players are the best fits for those types of situations.


Gone are the days that radio was the only way to keep track of your favorite team on the road. Now, through ECHL-TV, which is provided through Neulion, you can watch all the games (live or otherwise) on your computer or mobile device. It’s wonderful. You can stream four games at one time.
But there’s a hitch: The all-access pass, which doesn’t include the playoffs, costs $299.99. That’s insane, when you consider that you can get the NHL equivalent of 40 out-of-market games and multiple camera angles for $159.

Tracking rosters

Fifteen former ECHL players have made their NHL debuts this season, 556 all-time. But have you tried keeping track of transactions of the team you follow? The Komets have had 12 players called up at various points this season, yet none of those moves are on the transactions report at
Fans who want to keep track of players going in and out of the ECHL need to do so through third-party sites that aren’t exactly reliable.

All-Star lame

Few things are as unexciting as an all-star game in the minor leagues, but the ECHL has taken it to an even stranger level. Not only did it this year pit all-stars against a mediocre host team (Orlando), but the game didn’t even include many of the league’s best players, such as Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski. If anything, it was an all-prospect game with players chosen by coaches who are thought to be the best under-24 AHL material.
Have an all-star team chosen by fans, reporters and broadcasters take on a future stars team chosen by coaches. The best players will make it, and the fans will have some interest.

DID YOU KNOW: The Reading Royals have won 12 consecutive games which is the longest win streak in the ECHL in the last five years and have moved into first place in the Eastern Conference standings. Only six teams in the history of the ECHL have had longer win streaks led by the 2007-2008 Cincinnati Cyclones who won 17 consecutive games. Last season (2013-2014) Aaron Gens and Riley Gill were teammates on the Reading team where they finished first in the conference but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the #8 seed (Fort Wayne). Gill was also a member of the 2012-2013 Reading team when they finished first in the conference and went on to win the Kelly Cup. Riley was the Kelly Cup MVP going 13-4 during the playoffs with a GAA of 1.91 and save percentage of .930. Gill had four shutouts in the playoffs with two coming in the final series.

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