Monday, April 9, 2018

Allen Regular Season in Review - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, First Round Schedule, Intern Thank You, Points Earned by Season and ECHL Attendance Increases

With five days before the first Allen vs Idaho playoff game and plenty of time to slice and dice the upcoming Kelly Cup playoffs I thought today would be a good day to take a look back and review the regular season. Before I begin here is the complete schedule for the upcoming series with Idaho. Note all of the times are Eastern Daylight Time.

- If you had to describe this season for the Allen Americans in one word that word would be inconsistent and it started right out of the gate. The Americans won their first three games of the season by averaging over six goals per game and outscoring their opponents 19-8 but then turned around and lost five in a row. That pattern would repeat itself several times over the course of the season though losing streaks were more prevalent than winning streaks. There were four losing streaks (four or more games) and just two winning streaks of that length. The low point came from the end of December to the end of January when Allen lost 11 of 13 games.

- If you look at the entire season it was a good start followed by a disastrous middle followed by a good finish. Here are the winning percentages broken into three monthly groups. To give you an idea of how bad January and February were the winning percentage (.326) was much lower than the winning percentage of the worst team in the ECHL this season which was Quad City at .382.

.641 - October, November, December
.326 - January and February
.647 - March and April

- One stat that may surprise you is the number of players used this season. Because of  the many injuries, call ups, suspensions and retooling of the lineup it felt like the Americans had to use a lot more players this season than in the past. Not the case at all as there were 41 players used this season compared to 42 last season and 46 in 2015-16.

- Allen finished the season with the lowest point total in team history (78) and remember the first five seasons in the CHL they only played 66 games rather than the 72 they play in the ECHL. The Americans point total decreased by 26 points from last season which is the biggest year over year decrease in the history of the franchise.

- If there is a single stat that sticks out from the first three ECHL seasons it is goals allowed. The first three ECHL seasons the Allen defense was remarkably consistent allowing 203, 204 and 203 goals. This season the goals allowed jumped to 232. Goals scored were down dramatically from last season (235-294) but actually higher than the 222 goals scored in 2015-16 when Allen won the Kelly Cup.

- Special teams proved to be an Achilles heel most of the season for Allen. The Americans have always been at or near the top of the league in power play and penalty kill percentage. The stats this season are way below the past three seasons. Here are the stats:

Power Play
17.1%  -  2017-18
24.4%  -  2016-17
21.1%  -  2015-16
21.9%  -  2014-15

Penalty Kill
81.6%  -  2017-18
84.4%  -  2016-17
86.6%  -  2015-16
86.3%  -  2014-15

- I have talked in the past about the unofficial stat that is used to measure special teams where you add the power play and penalty kill percentages together. Anything over 105% is considered outstanding and anything under 100% is considered poor. This stats shows what happened this season on special teams.

98.7%   -  2017-18
108.8% -  2016-17
107.5% -  2015-16
108.2% -  2014-15

To give you an idea of the impact of good special teams play if Allen had the stats from prior years they would have scored 22 more power play goals and allowed 15 fewer on the penalty kill. That 37 goal swing would have meant a lot more points in the standings.

- While you can't deny this regular season has been the worst since Allen joined the ECHL there are some similarities to the 2015-16 championship team. The Americans have been in the ECHL four seasons. The first and third seasons Allen had outstanding stats, finished second in the league in points and had goal differentials of  +89 (2014-15) and +91 (2016-17). They were favorites to win the Kelly Cup which they accomplished in 2014-15. In Allen's second year in the league (2015-16) and again this season the stats weren't so good with goal differentials of +18 (2015-16) and +3 (2017-18). The Americans weren't considered favorites in 2015-16 but won the Kelly Cup and they certainly aren't considered a favorite this season.

- There were two players that answered the call for all 72 regular season games this season which is an amazing feat and of such value to the team. Two veterans, Joel Chouinard and Casey Pierro-Zabotel are the 2017-18 Ironmen. Joel hasn't missed a game since joining the Allen Americans and joins a select group of players that have been Ironmen multiple seasons. Joel, Jamie Schaafsma and Jason Deitsch did it twice and Chad Costello three times. Casey was also an Ironman last year when he played for Colorado. Here is the complete list of Allen Ironmen.

2017-18 - Joel Chouinard, Casey Pierro-Zabotel
2016-17 - Chad Costello, Joel Chouinard
2015-16 - Chad Costello
2014-15 - Chad Costello, Aaron Gens, Jamie Schaafsma
2013-14 - Spencer Asuchak, Daniel Tetrault, Mike Berube
2012-13 - Jamie Schaafsma, Jason Deitsch
2011-12 - Jason Deitsch
2010-11 - Colton Yellow Horn, David Strathman
2009-10 - Bruce Graham, Christian Gaudet

- Some performances of note during the regular season include David Makowski and Joel Chouinard being two of the highest scoring defenseman in the ECHL. Makowski was second (54 points) and Chouinard was fourth (51 points). Joel was first in power play goals (8) and Eric Roy was second (7). Makowski had his 54 points in 58 games for a points per game average of .93 which led all defensemen. Casey Pierro-Zabotel finished the season sixth in the ECHL in points (69) and was second in assists (50).

- Olivier Archambault only played 19 games for Allen this season but what an impact he had in those 19 games. In just 19 games he finished sixth in goals scored (13), eighth in assists (18), sixth in plus/minus (+12) and first in points per game (1.63). What a difference he would have made had he been in Allen all season.

- Here are the team leaders for the regular season.

Points - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (69)
Goals - Alex Guptill (27)
Assists - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (50)
Plus/Minus - David Makowski (+28)
Penalty Minutes - Bryan Moore (218)
Power Play Goals - Joel Chouinard (8)
Power Play Assists - David Makowski (19)
Shorthanded Goals - Thomas Frazee (2)
Points Per Game - Olivier Archambault (1.63)
Game Winning Goals - Bryan Moore (5)
GAA - Jake Paterson (2.92)
Save Percentage - Jake Paterson & Jeremy Brodeur (.917)

- Here is a photo montage of the season set to music which was created by photographer Lauren Lyssy. Great job by Lauren.


- The Indy Fuel was the last team to qualify for the ECHL playoffs by defeating Kalamazoo 2-1 yesterday in a win or go home game. It is the first time Indy has qualified for the playoffs since joining the ECHL. Here are the details.

- Some unsung heroes, who help me out a lot, are the interns that work for the Allen Americans. These are bright young talented people who help provide content for the blog with Sporfie highlights, load videos on my YouTube channel, share post game interviews and help in any way they can. I want to thank Eric, Tyler, Alex, Ryan, Kamen and all of the other interns that help out on game day. They are a pleasure to work with and do a great job. Thanks to all. 

- The ECHL drew 4.3 million fans this season and averaged 4424 per game. Attendance increased by 173 per game over last season. It is the first time attendance has increased since the 2013-14 season. The decline from 4706 in 2013-14 to 4251 last season has finally been reversed. Hopefully that trend will continue next season.

DID YOU KNOW: Here is a list of the regular season points Allen has earned in each season since they were established. Remember the first five season in the CHL they played 66 games compared to the last four seasons in the ECHL when they played 72 games. The playoff finish is in parentheses.

78 points  -   2017-18 (??????????)
104 points -  2016-17 (lost in second round)
89 points  -   2015-16 (won championship)
106 points -  2014-15 (won championship)
83 points  -   2013-14 (won championship)
87 points  -   2012-13 (won championship)
87 points  -   2011-12 (lost in first round)
97 points  -   2010-11 (lost in conference finals)
89 points  -   2009-10 (lost in championship finals)


  1. Replies
    1. I ran into Riley on the concourse Saturday night. He said he is still suffering with daily headaches. I am guessing that until those subside, he won't be cleared to play.