Monday, November 7, 2016

Allen Woes Continue With a 5-1 Loss to Alaska - The Stats Tell All

The Allen Americans lost to the Alaska Aces 5-1 on Sunday before a disappointed crowd of 4313 at the Allen Event Center. There is no way to sugar coat the team's performance over the last two weeks as they have lost three games in a row and five of their last six. The Americans overall record now stands at 4-6. Only three teams (Missouri, Rapid City, Indy) in the 14 team Western Conference have a worse winning percentage than Allen.

- There has been a consistency in the team's poor play recently and that was evident again on Sunday, a slow start, defensive lapses and uncharacteristic special teams play. Allen was out shot 11-4 and outscored 2-0 in the first period. The Aces took a 3-0 lead before the Americans scored their only goal of the game when Jake Marchment batted in a rebound with less than a minute remaining in the second period. Alaska crushed Allen in special teams play as the Aces were 4-8 on the power play while the Americans were 0-7. To be fair, Alaska had four different occasions where they had a five on three power play.

- The most inexplicable part of the Americans recent woes is the special teams play. For the most part the poor special teams play is attributable to players that have been in Allen the last two years when the special teams were the best in the league. While it isn't a mainstream NHL statistic, the barometer for overall special teams success in hockey involves the combination of the penalty kill and power play percentages. The magic number teams strive to achieve is greater than 105% combined. Anything under a combined 100% would be a disappointing special teams effort. Last season Allen led the ECHL with a combined 107.5%. This season they are one of the worst in the league at just 84.9%.

Here are some stats that give you an idea of just how bad it has been for Allen after 10 games which represents almost 15% of the season.
- The power play percentage is at 4.5% which is ranked #25
- The Allen overall penalty kill percentage is 80.4% which is ranked #23
- Allen's road penalty kill percentage is 64.3% which is ranked #26
- Allen is allowing 3.50 goals per game which is ranked #23
- Allen is allowing 36.00 shots on goal per game which is ranked #24
- Allen has been outscored in the first period 15-7
- Allen has lost all six games where their opponent has scored the first goal of the game
- Allen has not scored a power play goal on the road (0-15)

- Things don't get any easier for the Americans as they leave tonight for a road trip that will take them to Colorado for a game on Wednesday and to Utah for games on Friday and Saturday. Utah leads the Mountain Division standings while Colorado is second.

- This team is way too talented to continue the losing ways of the recent past. They will get it turned around and they will have to be led by the core group of returning players. However, if the poor play continues you can be assured there will be roster changes.


- Our power play was anemic again tonight. We just aren't moving and when we do move and get some chances we are just not putting the puck in the net. We are standing still and turning the puck over or getting frustrated and taking poor shots.

- Alaska had four different five on three opportunities and while I thought some of the calls were soft we need to be more disciplined to avoid these situations.

- A lot of the same guys that scored all of our power play goals last year are struggling this season.

- I think we had a few more shots than were credited but we missed the net a lot. We are just not shooting the puck well when we get scoring opportunities. The guys that were here last year need to step up and make some plays when we are struggling like we are now.

- We are not banging the boards with bodies and finishing checks. Mathers has been going out and trying to get some momentum by fighting and I give him credit for doing that but I have always thought you need guys finishing checks and being hard to play against.

- We will spend a lot of time on the road looking at power play video and going through all of the choices we are making. I talk about things all the time but I will make everyone sit down and watch it and look at it over and over.

- Sometimes players tend to gamble when things aren't going their way. You have to gamble with percentages and we are not doing that. We are gambling soft. We are too often on the wrong side of of our guy when we don't have the puck in our offensive zone and that results in scoring chances for our opponent.

- We will get this thing turned around. We may need a different type of player to get it turned around but we will get it turned around. I thought we would play a lot better this weekend to be honest.

- Dyson Stevenson and J.P. Lafontaine will be in the lineup on Wednesday. Riley Gill will also be on the road trip and may be ready to go on Wednesday. 


- Former Allen defenseman Nolan Descoteaux had a goal and two assists in the game on Sunday
  and was selected as the #1 star of the game.

- Adam Helewka, who played in both games this weekend for Allen on a rehab assignment, will return to San Jose today. It is possible another player from San Jose will be assigned before the Wednesday game in Colorado.

- The Allen Ice Angels are on their way to the Dominican Republic today for the annual calendar shoot. Always a fun time and amazing photos.

- Happy birthday to Tristan King who turns 26 today. Tristan is sidelined with an injury and will not accompany the team on the road trip.

- Dodie's, which is right across from the Allen Event Center, has become the official watch party site for the Allen Americans away games. It is the place to go to join your fellow Allen fans to watch the road games.


- Here are some photos from the game courtesy of Dianne Webster:

Matt Willows gets a new twig

The Aces protecting their goal

Eric Roy gives the referee an earful while Allen trainer Jaime Garcia checks on Jamie Murray

After two fights on Saturday, Mathers & Stewart get reacquainted on Sunday during warmups

Check out the puck on the side of Jamie Murray's facemask

DID YOU KNOW: Canadian born players make up 48.7% of all ECHL players while American players make up 46.1%. The Allen roster has 52.2% from the US, 45.5% from Canada and 4.3% (Greger Hanson) from Sweden.

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