The first thing I take note of each morning at practice is who is on the ice and who is not. Usually I ask my friend Ed who always arrives earlier than I do. Most of the time when players are missing it is something coach Martinson doesn't want reported in the blog. It could range from a player heading to the AHL, to the flu, to a sore ankle from blocking a puck, to a concussion, to pink eye.
- The one absence yesterday was Jeremy Brodeur and that meant only one thing, he was headed to San Jose. This could be a great opportunity for Jeremy because it is atypical. San Jose traded goalie Troy Grosenick three days ago so they need a back up goalie for the rest of the season. This isn't a short term fill in because of injury. If Brodeur performs well he could be with the Barracuda for a long time. Here is the press release issued by the San Jose Barracuda. http://www.sjbarracuda.com/news/detail/barracuda-sign-goaltender-jeremy-brodeur-to-pto
- Brodeur's replacement is Jake Paterson who was assigned to Allen today by the Milwaukee Admirals. Paterson was a third round draft of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2012 NHL draft. He will arrive in Allen in time to practice on Thursday and will be ready if called on this weekend.
- As for the Allen practice yesterday it was nice to see the guys having some fun with a three-on-three cross ice tournament to conclude practice. I heard a lot of chirping about which team won and who cheated. For the record the white jerseys claimed victory but the red jerseys disputed the win because the white jerseys didn't switch goalies as instructed by coach Martinson when he left the ice before the scrimmage started. I think Martinson accomplished exactly what he intended and that was for the guys to have some fun. With the team struggling it was great to see the smiles, chirping and good natured grief they were giving each other.
- As the month of February passes it is time to update the month by month record for the Americans. After a disastrous January (3-9) Allen fans were looking for a turnaround in February. It may be hard to remember but the month started out gangbusters. Allen beat Colorado at home on February 1st and 2nd by scores of 5-2 and 5-1. They traveled to Tulsa on February 3 and beat the Oilers 5-3. It sure looked like the turnaround had happened with three wins in three days while outscoring the opponents 15-6. Unfortunately after February 3rd the team finished the month losing seven of eight games.
- Here is Allen's monthly record, points earned and winning
percentage for each month of the season. As you can see the collapse in
January was significant. February wasn't a whole lot better after the three wins to start the month. March will be make or break for the Americans as they try and make the playoffs.
October 3-2-2-0 (8 of 14 points earned = .571)
November 7-4-0-1 (15 of 24 points earned = .625)
December 8-3-2-0 (18 of 26 points earned = .692)
January 3-9-0-0 (6 of 24 points earned = .250)
February 4-6-0-1 (9 of 22 points earned = .409)
- Kansas City goalie Mavric Parks was named ECHL Goalie of the Week yesterday based on his performance against Allen last week. Parks selection makes two of the last three weeks the Goalie of the Week earned the honor playing the Americans. Florida goalie Martin Ouellette was Goalie of the Week on February 13.
- If you watched the Dallas Stars game last night you saw a team that beat Calgary 2-0 but had no business winning the game other than goalie Ben Bishop stood on his head. I listened to Ken Hitchcock's post game press conference about his team's poor play and couldn't help but think how his comments apply to the the Allen Americans and how similar coach Martinson would describe a loss and what is needed to turn things around. Here are a few of Hitchcock's quotes. The first question asked was about how the game was weird and hard to get a handle on:
"A weird game, what did we give up, 30 scoring chances. You find that weird? I find it really pisses me off?"
"It is not technical, we are just being outworked and we are being outworked at the puck. When you are outworked at the puck you get outraced up the ice, you get beat on the boards, you get strangled on second opportunities and we don't have traffic at the net on a consistent basis. All the things good power plays have we have stopped doing."
"Every player in that locker room knows we can play better and they all know we are going to play better."
"Right now this has to matter a lot more to them (players) than to us (coaches). What I have to do is monitor that and I have to make sure to hold them accountable. As far as the emotion and everything that goes into it, that has to takes place in the locker room. It really comes down to who is leading and who wants it."
- While Allen is idle until Friday, other Mountain Division teams are in action. Last night Rapid City beat the Mavericks in Kansas City 2-1 and Wichita lost at home to Fort Wayne by a score of 5-3. Tonight Utah is at Quad City and Tulsa is at Colorado.
- Rapid City won in Kansas City last night, something Allen couldn't accomplish last weekend. Rapid City is idle until the games in Allen this weekend. Rapid City is 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games, Allen is 3-6-0-1.
DID YOU KNOW: Not sure this stat proves/shows anything about the Americans but I took the time to compile the information so thought I would share. The best I could come up with is the team likes scoring odd number goals. The four odd numbers (1,3,5,7) were achieved in 70% of the games while the five even numbers (0,2,4,6,8) were achieved only 30% of the time. I know, I have gone too far (haha). Here are the number of times Allen has scored zero through eight goals this season.
0 goals - 5 times
1 goal - 9 times
2 goals - 4 times
3 goals - 16 times
4 goals - 4 times
5 goals - 11 times
6 goals - 3 times
7 goals - 2 times
8 goals - 1 time