It has been two weeks since Allen played a game at home and after this weekend the Americans will play only two home games in the next month. The Utah Grizzlies are in town to take on the Americans tonight (7:05 pm) and Saturday night (7:05 pm).
- Tonight will be the third of six games (4 home 2 away) between these teams this season. The teams split two games earlier in the season. They were both in Allen. On November 1st Jeremy Brodeur was making his second start for Allen, stopped 42 of 44 shots and lost the game 2-1. Allen was out shot 44-24 in that game. On January 10 Allen beat Utah 6-3 led by Alex Guptill who had a hat trick and Olivier Archambault who had two goals.
- Allen has fared well against Utah since joining the ECHL with an
overall record (regular season and playoffs) of 13-4-0-0. Last year
Allen was 4-0-0-0 against the Grizzlies in the regular season and beat
them 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs.
- As for the Allen lineup tonight there are 11 healthy forwards with Zach Hall out and seven defensemen. One forward and one defenseman will be healthy scratches. I would expect Jeremy Brodeur to be in goal as he typically starts the first game in back to backs. Jeremy has had a save percentage above .929 in five of his last six starts including a .970 in Allen's win in Jacksonville on Sunday.
- Utah has lost three games in a row and six of their last seven. The Grizzlies are 12 points out of a playoff spot with little hope of making up that much ground. Utah has made numerous roster changes including four that were announced yesterday. The Grizzlies traded for former Allen goalie Joel Rumpel a week ago and former forward Jake Marchment was one of the four players added yesterday. According to AHL transactions Marchment has been recalled by San Antonio so it is doubtful he will be in the line up tonight. Here is the Utah press release on the four the players they added yesterday. http://www.utahgrizzlies.com/team-news/headline-news/?article_id=3466
- Here is a comparison between Allen and Utah this season:
Team Record 25-20-4-2 (56 points) 17-23-6-4 (44 points)
Division Ranking 4th - Mountain 6th - Mountain
Conference Ranking 8th - Western 12th - Western
League Ranking 14th 23rd
Last Game 3-1 Win (Jacksonville) 2-1 Loss (Rapid City)
Goals For 168 149
Goals Against 162 176
Power Play 17.9% (40/224) 15.7% (37/236)
Penalty Kill 80.2% (45/227) 81.9% (37/204)
Leading Scorer Pierro-Zabotel (14-40-54) Walters (20-24-44)
Most PIM's Moore - 156 Howe - 137
- Here is how Allen and Utah rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (21.76) - Utah 10th (16.38)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 10th (3.29) - Utah 20th (2.98)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 12th (3.18) - Utah 23rd (3.52)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 16th (31.57) - Utah 13th (32.74)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 23rd (36.78) - Utah 7th (30.16)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 10th (17.9%) - Utah 21st (15.7%)
Home Power Play %: Allen 6th (20.2%) - Utah 16th (17.1%)
Road Power Play %: Allen 15th (15.7%) - Utah 19th (14.3%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 23rd (80.2%) - Utah 18th (81.9%)
Home Penalty Kill %: Allen 10th (85.6%) - Utah 25th (77.4%)
Road Penalty Kill %: Allen 27th (75.0%) - Utah 4th (85.6%)
One stat that that stands out is goal differential. Allen is +6 (168
for & 162 against) while Utah is -27 (149 for & 176 against). Utah lost their last game 2-1 but has given up six goals in three of their last six games.
Allen averages 3.29 goals per game but has not exceeded three goals in
their last four games (2,0,1,3).
If you look at season long special team stats Allen has an advanatge on the
power play. The Americans power play percentage at home is 20.2%
compared to Utah's road power play percentage of 14.3%. Their penalty kill percentages (home Allen, road Utah) are identical at 85.6%. Allen has struggled on special teams the last five games (all road games). The Americans power play percentage over the last five games is a paltry 4.2% (1-24) and the power play percentage is 80% (4-20). Utah has lost four of their last five games. The Grizzlies power play percentage over the last five games is 14.8% (4-27) and their penalty kill is 83.3% (4-24).
- Scoring the first goal of the game has not worked to Utah's advantage recently. The Grizzlies have lost four of their last five games. In their lone win they didn't score first. In three of the four losses they managed to score first but still lost the game. Allen's record when scoring first is 20-4-2-0. Utah on the other hand has scored first 19 times this season but lost 10 of those games.
- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Andrew Bruggeman (#25) and linesmen Brian Bull (#95) and Aaron Schacht (#31).
- I mentioned yesterday that this is the time of the season where teams become buyers or sellers when it comes to player personnel decisions depending whether they are playoff bound or not. The trade referenced above between Colorado and Utah could very well be one of those trades. Here is the press release issued by Colorado. Notice in addition to the players announced, Utah also got "future considerations" which most likely means another player will be sent to Utah after the season. Just my guess but it seems Colorado has gotten some pieces to help in their payoff run and Utah is already thinking about next season. http://coloradoeagles.com/echl-news/colorado-acquires-olsen-watson-in-trade-with-utah/
- Allen has been a team of streaks recently. They lost six games in a row, then won four in a row and then lost three in a row. With a win in their last game they have to opportunity to get back on a winning streak against Utah.
- In other Mountain Division action tonight Rapid City is at Wichita, Colorado is at Idaho and the Tulsa Oilers are at home against the Florida Everblades.
- The Toledo Walleye are the only ECHL team not in action tonight and that is too bad since they can't seem to get beyond the fact the ECHL suspended Kansas City's Garrett Klotz for only eight games for the line brawl in Toledo last Saturday. Here is the latest from the Toledo Blade with the subtle headline, "ECHL shows true colors with spineless suspension." http://www.toledoblade.com/DavidBriggs/2018/02/15/ECHL-shows-true-colors-with-spineless-suspension.html
- Here is the ECHL Today which gives you information on all 13 ECHL games on tap tonight. https://www.echl.com/echl-today-feb-16-2018
- San Jose Barracuda captain, John McCarthy, is currently is South Korea as a member of the USA Men's Olympic hockey team. John has been sending back reports to the Barracuda sharing his thoughts about being an Olympic athlete. If you haven't had a chance to check it out here is the link. http://www.sjbarracuda.com/news/detail/the-olympic-report-with-john-mccarthy
- The USA men's hockey team defeated Slovakia 2-1 last night. Here are the details: http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/donato-scores-college-kids-power-us-slovakia-53133867
DID YOU KNOW: Here are the leading scorers for Allen over the last 10 games.
10 points: Alex Guptill (6 goals, 4 assist, +2)
9 points: Joel Chouinard (4 goals, 5 assists, +8)
7 points: Casey Pierro-Zabotel (2 goals, 5 assists, +5)
7 points: Vincent Arseneau (3 goals, 4 assists, +7)
6 points: Colby McAuley (3 goals, 3 assists, +6)
5 points: David Makowski (1 goal, 4 assists, even plus/minus)
5 points: Bryan Moore (1 goal, 4 assists, +4)