Monday, April 17, 2017

Practice Update, Why a Series Tied 1-1 is Normal for Allen, Playoff Update and a Look Back

As the Allen Americans prepare for game three of their opening round series with Utah it will be interesting to observe practice today. If you witness enough practices you can tell a lot by the demeanor of the players and coaches on the ice. Would expect today's practice to be more nose to the grindstone, high speed, high octane and serious than most. Will also be looking to see if Zach Hall is participating in any way. Coach Martinson has mentioned there is a chance Hall could play on Wednesday.


- Coach Martinson said several times in his post game meeting with fans after the 4-1 loss on Friday that he was looking at the positive out of the game and that was the third period. If you recall the Americans outshot Utah 17-5, scored their only goal of the game and had numerous other quality scoring chances. It was fascinating to hear fans expressing concerns and Martinson expressing confidence saying at one point it is only one game folks.


- Monitoring social media and message boards over the weekend I noticed the concern about the play of the Americans far outweighed the coach Martinson point of view. So I decided to take a look back at the 14 previous series since Steve Martinson took over in Allen in 2012-13. It is obvious he is 14-0 in those 14 series and has won four straight championships. When Martinson says he is not worried about a 1-1 tie in a seven game series and his team just needs to play up to their capabilities he knows what he is talking about.  Counting the current series with Utah the Americans have taken a 2-0 lead three times in 15 series, the other 12 series were tied 1-1 after two games. Here is the year by year breakdown of each series after two games, the team involved, whether it was 1-1 or 2-0 after two games and the series result.

2017
Utah                     1-1   ???

2016
Idaho                   1-1   4-3
Missouri               1-1   4-2
Fort Wayne          2-0   4-1
Wheeling             1-1   4-2

2015
Tulsa                   2-0   4-1
Rapid City           1-1   4-2
Ontario                1-1   4-3
South Carolina    1-1   4-3

2014
Brampton            2-0   4-1
Quad City           1-1   4-3
Denver               1-1   4-1

2013
Denver              1-1   4-1
Missouri            1-1   4-3
Wichita              1-1   4-3

- If you look at the playoff history above you can see why coach Martinson's approach is to not overreact to 1-1 series as that has been the norm for five years now. One conclusion you can draw from the stats above is when Allen takes a 2-0 series lead it will be a short series for sure. Another interesting stat is of the 15 series above only twice have the first two games been on the road, Missouri in 2016 and Denver in 2014.


- For history to repeat itself Allen is going to have to play well in Utah on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. In a seven games series the better team almost always wins and most unbiased observers would stipulate Allen is the more talented team.


- Who would have guessed after the first two playoff games the top line of Hanson, Asuchak and Costello would not have a goal, just two assists and are a combined -4. The team points leaders after two games with one goal and one assist are Tyler Barnes, Josh Brittain, Joel Chouinard and Wade MacLeod.


- Only three players are on the positive side of the plus/minus stat led by Joel Chouinard at +4. The other two are Josh Brittain (+3) and Wade MacLeod (+1). Including the regular season and playoffs Chouinard is now a hard to believe +51. The next closest on the team is Dyson Stevenson with +26.


- The team totals after two games show Utah has the lead in goals (7-5) but Allen has the lead in shots (62-54). Allen is 1-7 (14.3%) on the power play while Utah is 1-9 (11.1%). Allen has taken 12 penalties for 27 minutes and Utah has taken 10 penalties for 23 minutes.



OTHER COMMENTS

- There is only one ECHL playoff game tonight as Greenville visits South Carolina for game three of their series. The Swamp Rabbits lead the series 2-0.


- The San Jose Sharks lost to the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 at home last night and now trail in that series 2-1. It was the second game in a row the Oilers blanked the Sharks. Here is a recap: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/16/sputtering-offense-late-mistake-costs-sharks-in-game-3-loss-to-oilers/


- The San Jose Barracuda don't open their first round playoff series until Friday against Stockton. In the AHL the first round of the playoffs is a best of five series. The series is a 2-2-1 format and the Barracuda have home ice advantage. Their home games will be Friday, April 21, Sunday April 23 and if necessary Tuesday May 2. The games in Stockton will be Friday April 28 and Sunday April 30. Seems like the pace is a little more leisurely in the AHL which allows for more rest and more weekend dates.


DID YOU KNOW: I am always reminded at this time of year how fortunate I have been as well as all Allen fans since Steve Martinson became coach of the team which coincides with the start of the blog. Many fans won't see four championships in a lifetime let alone four in a row. Even more amazing is all four of the championships were won at home. Here is something I included in the blog back in 2015 as the Americans were on the way to their first Kelly Cup. You may recognize the players in the picture from left to right as Justin Baker, Jamie Schaafsma, Tyler Ludwig and Chris Crane. The only player you can't see in the picture is the goal scorer, Gary Steffes. And for those few of you who wonder about what game this was after reading the info below it was game one of the Western Conference final and Steffes scored 88 seconds into the game. Here is what I has to say back in 2015.  

 I have a media credential and spend plenty of time in the press box as it is a great source of learning, education, dialogue and information from writers, photographers, broadcasters and off ice officials but when it is time to drop the puck I take my place in the seats I have had since 2009 and become a fan. Photographer Kimberly Sauer took the picture below of the guys celebrating the Gary Steffes goal in the 8-2 win on Sunday. If you look in the background you can see Barry the Blogger and friend (Jerry Tucker) as fans. That is me with the yellow headset listening to the voice of the Allen Americans, Tommy Daniels, and joining the "celly" with the red light.

Barry the Blogger and friends join in the "Celly"

  


4 comments:

  1. It is my understanding that Joel Rumple has a PTO contract with Stockton

    ReplyDelete
  2. I understand we had a better run at offense in the 3rd. However....
    Do the keep the stats for how much time you play without a goalie?

    ReplyDelete
  3. On a side note. Here is Allen getting some jersey blog love with a cool new concept jersey design.
    http://www.icethetics.co/concepts/2017/4/16/allen-all-in-blue

    ReplyDelete