Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Allen and Kansas City Fight for Playoff Spots, Who's Hot Who's Not, What Teams Have the Most 15+, 20+ and 30+ Goal Scorers, Olympic Update & Best Cellys Video

After completing three days off for the delayed All-Star break it is back to work today for the Allen Americans. Allen is preparing for two big games on Friday and Saturday in Kansas City. It is hard to believe that it is the end of February and these two franchises, who started the same year (2009-10) back in the Central Hockey League (CHL) and have so much history together, are battling just to make the playoffs in their respective divisions.

- To say Allen and Kansas City are struggling would be an understatement. The Americans have lost 11 of their last 16 games including five of their last six. It is even worse for the Mavericks who haven't won a game the entire month of February and are on an eight game losing streak.

- The season is 75% complete and it is still uncertain if Allen and Kansas City will be in the playoffs. At least Allen is currently in a playoff spot occupying fourth place in the Mountain Division with a slim one point lead over fifth place Tulsa. Kansas City has been in a free fall in February and is now out of the playoffs looking in. The Mavericks are in fifth place in the Central Division, five points behind fourth place Kalamazoo and just one point ahead of sixth place Indy. Anyway you slice it the games this weekend will be huge for both teams in their pursuit of a playoff spot.

- One way to look at the teams moving forward and those losing ground in the Mountain Division is points earned over the last 10 games. What that shows is Colorado losing a lot of ground to Idaho and the rest of the contenders all playing around .500 hockey. Here is the complete list of points earned over the last 10 game. Maximum points is 20.

14 points - Idaho
11 points - Allen
11 points - Tulsa
9 points -  Utah
9 points -  Wichita
7 points -  Rapid City
6 points -  Colorado

- Colorado played in Wichita last night and beat the Thunder 5-3. The teams play again tonight in a rare back to back midweek series. After the game tonight Colorado heads to Tulsa to take on the Oilers on Friday and Saturday.

- There are five ECHL games on tap tonight with four Mountain Division teams in action. In addition to Colorado at Wichita the Idaho Steelheads are in Rapid City to take on the Rush. Here is the "ECHL Today" with all of the details:

- The hottest team in the ECHL right now is the Fort Wayne Komets who have a point in 10 straight games and a record of 9-0-0-1. At the other end of the spectrum as the coldest team in the league is Kansas City who has lost eight straight with a record of 0-7-0-1.

- The USA men's Olympic team was eliminated last night, losing to the Czech Republic in a shootout. Here are the details and video highlights:

- Here is an opinion piece about the Olympic men's hockey tournament and how the absence of NHL players impacted the outcome. It also lays out the rationale for the NHL's decision not to let their players participate and why it may be different in 2022.

- Now the focus is on the USA women's hockey team who will face Canada in the gold medal game for the third straight Olympics. This will be an epic game between two teams that the entire women's hockey world has been anticipating for four years. This one will be worth staying up late for tonight (NBCSN 9:45 pm). Here is another story about this rivalry:

- How about a a video on the best hockey cellys ever:


DID YOU KNOW: Allen has three players with 15 or more goals (Guptill, Pierro-Zabotel, Moore). There are five teams in the league that have five players with 15 or more goals (Florida, Fort Wayne, Idaho, Manchester, Wheeling). There are two teams that have three players with 20+ goals (Fort Wayne & Idaho). There are two players in the ECHL with 30 or more goals. Michael Joly (Colorado) has 36 and Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (Manchester) has 30.

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