Friday, March 16, 2018

Vincent Arseneau Loaned to Utica, Steve Martinson's Philosophy on Loaning Players, Team and Individual Stats and More

 Vincent Arseneau was loaned to the Utica Comets (AHL) yesterday and joins four other players (Archambault, Schoenborn, McAuley and Williams) on assignments to AHL teams. Whenever these assignments take place I typically get questions about the whys and wherefores. Hopefully this will answer some of the rules and philosophy regarding players in Allen going to AHL teams.

- The first distinction is between players on AHL contracts and those that are not. Schoenborn, McAuley, Williams, Makowski, Asuchak and Moore are all under contract with San Jose so they can only be called up by that team. The same is true for Jake Paterson who is under contract with the Milwaukee Admirals and Thomas Frazee who is under contract with the San Antonio Rampage. Players that do not have an AHL contract are free agents and can be loaned to any AHL team and that is the case with Oliver Archambault and Vincent Arseneau.

- Coach Martinson feels it is important to loan players and talks about that when he is recruiting his team. Some coaches manage to not loan players at all and some only want to loan players to their AHL affiliate. That is not Steve Martinson's philosophy. Sometimes the timing is awful when players are loaned and it leaves the Americans shorthanded but it is important for players to know Allen is a place where their development comes first. As coach Martinson told me when I asked him about Arseneau being loaned to Utica, "I've always tried to compare loaning players to investing in the stock market. The day to day transactions can be very painful but the long term is better and helps to have a healthy environment for players to develop. You don't want your whole team looking to be called up but you also want players that are driven to get better."

Martinson went on to say, "It is hard to pay a lot of players enough money to give up their dream to play in the NHL and I could never afford that. Players that are asked to do that should look at Bobby Robins. Bobby played one year in the AHL after college but five years later I loaned him to Providence (AHL). Fast forward three years and he played in the NHL. We are losing Arseneau at a tough time but this may be the organization that gives him an avenue to the NHL. I didn't play in the NHL until I was 28 and it was with my fourth organization. In Allen we really want to win but we are not going to sacrifice players future to do it. When players play the game right and deserve a chance it is rarely convenient timing but that is the league we are in. I am working hard at adding players to our roster."

- Martinson's approach to loaning players is just another one of many reasons he can recruit great players and why he has won 10 championships.


It has been a while so I thought today would be a good day to take a look at the individual stat leaders. Below are the team leaders in various statistical categories with the league rank in parentheses:

Games Played:
61 - Joel Chouinard
61 - Casey Pierro-Zabotel
60 - Josh Thrower

59 - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (11th)
54 - Alex Guptill (17th)
51 - David Makowski (25th)

25 - Alex Guptill (17th) 
18 - Vincent Arseneau (50th)
17 - Bryan Moore (69th)
17 - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (69th)

42 - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (4th)
41 - David Makowski (7th)
32 -  Joel Chouinard (16th)

Power Plays Goals:
7 - Joel Chouinard (12th)
6 - Eric Roy (23rd)
6 - Alex Guptill (23rd)

Power Play Assists:
18 - David Makowski (3rd)
15 - Joel Chouinard (6th)
11  - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (23rd) 

+25 -  David Makowski (16th)
+23 - Casey Pierro Zabotel (19th)
+21 - Joel Chouinard  (21st)

Penalty Minutes:
189 - Bryan Moore (4th)
124 - David Makowski (20th)
107 - Alex Guptill (33rd)

Shots On Goal:
204 - David Makowski (11th)
161 - Thomas Frazee (41st)
152 - Alex Guptill (61st)

Points by Defenseman:
51 - David Makowski (2nd)
42 - Joel Chouinard (4th)
27 - Eric Roy (36th)

Goals by Defenseman:
12 - Eric Roy (3rd)
10 - David Makowski (10th)
10 - Joel Chouinard (27th)

Assists by Defenseman:
41 - David Makowski (3rd)
32 - Joel Chouinard (9th)
15 - Eric Roy (68th)

2.48 - Jake Paterson
3.07 - Jeremy Brodeur
3.14 - Stephon Williams

Save Percentage
.926 - Jake Paterson
.920 - Jeremy Brodeur
.908 - Stephon Williams


-  Here is how the Americans rank in the ECHL in some critical statistical categories:
Points - 68 (13th)
Winning percentage - .557 (12th)
Goals scored - 203 (9th)
Goals against - 194 (12th)
Goal differential - +9 (10th)
Penalty minutes - 1281 (1st)
Power play - 16.6% (19th)
Penalty kill - 80.8% (21st)
Shorthanded goals for - 6 (17th)
Shorthanded goals against - 8 (13th)
Ave. goals scored per game - 3.33 (9th)
Ave. goals against per game - 3.18 (15th)
Ave shots for per game - 31.38 (20th)
Ave shots against per game - 36.31 (23rd)
Shooting percentage - 10.5% (5th)
Save percentage - .913 (4th)
Attendance - 4004 (15th)


-  Goal differential (goals for minus goals against) is a key statistic when looking at team success. The Americans are 85% through the season and their goal differential is +9. Last season the Americans finished with a goal differential of +91. The five teams that have already qualified for the playoffs (Florida, South Carolina, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Colorado) have goals differentials ranging from +38 to +79.

- If you look at the stats above and notice Allen has the fifth best shooting percentage in the ECHL and the fourth best save percentage it should make for great offense and defense. The problem is the Americans don't generate enough shots (ranked #20) and they give up too many shots (ranked #23). 

- It is important to look behind the numbers as it relates to penalty minutes. Allen has taken 1281 penalty minutes this season which is 141 more than any other team in the league and 697 minutes more than the least penalized team in the ECHL (Reading). However, when you look at power play opportunities allowed the Americans are fifth having been shorthanded 271 times. Idaho and Orlando have given up the most power play opportunities (308).

- Allen doesn't have the most minor penalties or major penalties but have far and away the most misconduct penalties and game misconduct penalties. The Americans have 20 misconduct penalties (10 minute) and the next closest is Florida with 14. Allen has 14 game misconduct penalties. No other team in the league is in double digits in game misconducts. Coach Martinson talks about penalty discipline all of the time and the stats show it is an area in need of improvement coming down the stretch.

- Special teams have certainly been perplexing for much of the season. Allen has given up more road power play goals (32) than any other team in the league.

- One thing of note is the offensive contribution of the defensemen. David Makowski is third on the team in scoring (51 points) and Joel Chouinard is fourth (42 points) Allen is the only team in the ECHL that has two defensemen in the top four in scoring.

- The Allen Americans "Iron Men" are down to two. Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Joel Chouinard are the only players that have played in all 61 games this season.

- Allen has 11 games remaining in the regular season and currently has a winning percent of .557. They have eight games remaining against teams with winning percentages above .557 and three games remaining against teams below .557. Of the Americans 11 remaining games they have four against Colorado (two at home), two against Idaho (both at home), two against Wichita (one home one away), two against Kansas City (both at home) and one against Tulsa (at home).

DID YOU KNOW: Earlier in the season the Allen Americans were on pace to have the most penalty minutes in team history put have reduced their penalty minutes a lot over the last month. Here are the penalty minutes for each year since Steve Martinson arrived in Allen. The 2017-18 number is a projection based on average penalty minutes per game in the Americans 61 games this season. One thing of note is Allen won the Kelly Cup in 2016 when they had their lowest number of penalty minutes and in 2015 when they had their highest number of penalty minutes.

2017-18:   1512
2016-17:   1432
2015-16:   1189
2014-15:   1644
2013-14:   1498
2012-13:   1571

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