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From the Rampage Desk: Week 4 - Struggles at Home Continue

NHL: Preseason-Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The beloved Rampage had a promising 2-1 week and now head back out on the road to California for a couple of weeks. Up first is a late night (for me) game in Bakersfield and then a couple of weekend matinees in San Jose.

Injury & Roster Report

- Turner Elson is out with LBI and has missed the past 3 games
- Jeremy Smith is out with an undisclosed injury, word is that he’s day2day but is not on the current trip
- Chris Bigras left last Thursday’s game vs Cleveland with an undisclosed injury and hasn’t been back in the lineup. He is also considered day2day.
- Reid Petryk has been out for the last month with a broken foot, should begin skating once the team returns from California
- Mason Geertsen was cleared by the Avalanche doctors and officially joined the roster Friday. He was in the lineup for Sunday’s game.
- Julien Nantel was a late scratch for Sunday’s game, no news on why. St Amant took his place, it could be that he got a game before being reassigned to the Eagles or perhaps the flu is going around.
- Cody Corbett has had LBI for a while, he may or may not be available at this point
- Along with Shawn St Amant, Sergei Boikov has been reassigned to the Eagles
- Nathan Lieuwen was called up from the Eagles on Tuesday, so either Martin or Simpson must be questionable for this week’s games
- Gabriel Bourque was sent down from the Avalanche on Monday

Hot Taek Numero Uno - Lots to digest here, I’ll start with Boikov’s demotion. It’s not a big surprise, despite putting up a couple of assists and generating a little over a SOG per game, he’s struggled with penalties (5 minors in 8 games) and typical rookie stuff like hideous turnovers, blown assignments and spectating. With Mason back from injury he wasn’t going to play much so some ECHL time makes a lot of sense.

Sam Jardine appears to be much more than an ECHL filler guy in the Dev Staff’s minds. He’s beaten out Corbett and now Boikov for playing time. Wild guess is that they see him as a defenseman version of Reid Petryk, let him play and see how far he goes. Take it as a given that Bigras & Lindholm are top priority for development time with Geertsen, Boikov and now Jardine competing for 2nd tier minutes. Corbs has been written off I fear but he may still be in there. I don’t really have a problem with this right now.

What I do have a problem with is the Lashoff signing if it becomes a long term deal. Optimally I’m sure the staff want 3 vets and 3 youngsters in the defensive lineup every night. However, there are 5 (or 6) youngsters that need time to develop into the vet role, taking that PT away from them and giving it Lashoff I see as a crutch. While he seemed solid against Cleveland, he wasn’t much of a steadying influence on Sunday vs the Reign. Stay tuned on that.

Second, with Gabe Bourque’s reassignment the Rampage are flush with forwards. There’s an entire line of guys that are out or haven’t been in the lineup yet. Elson/Bourque/Petryk are all solid players, who are they going to supplant? The obvious candidates are from the 4th line, which I’d hate to see since they’ve been very effective, and Garry Nunn who’s scored a couple of goals, including one on the PK, and generates scoring chances wherever he’s been put in the lineup. Chances are that the Rampage are going to have some pretty talented players in the press box throughout the season.

Week 3 Fast Facts

Thurday: SAR 4 - CLE 2

Shots on Goal: 31-27 San Antonio (53.4%), Mike Sislo and AJ Greer led the team with 5 each
Special Teams: PP 0/3, PK 6/7
Spencer Martin saved 25/27 (.926)
Goals: Compher (2) from Grimaldi & Greer
Greer (2) from Grimaldi & Boikov
Belzile (1) from Bourke
Nunn (2) from Bourke

Friday: SAR 4 - CLE 1

Shots on Goal: 29-28 SA (50.9%), Grimaldi led with 4, Sislo & O’Brien had 3 each
Special Teams: PP 0/7, PK 6/6
Spencer Martin saved 28/29 (.966)
Goals: Compher (3) from Greer & Grimaldi
Sislo (1) from Whitney
O’Brien (1)
Nantel (1) from Bourke & Boikov

Sunday: ONT 4 - SAR 2

Shots on Goal: 31-21 Ontario (40.4%), 5v5 Shots 23-10 ONT (30.3%), 5v5 Corsi 47-29 ONT (38.2%), Lashoff led with 4, Sislo had 3
Special Teams: PP 1/7, PK 2/3
Spencer Martin saved 27/30 (.900)
Goals: Sislo (2) from Henley & O’Brien
Jardine (2) from Lashoff & Greer

The Good

- AJ Greer continues his point per game pace with linemates Grimaldi and Compher establishing themselves as the offensive drivers of the team. Not only that, but they appear to be getting tougher zone starts as time goes on.

- The vets showed signs of getting out of the early season funk with Whit/OB/Sislo all getting their first points of the season

- Troy Bourke had 3 assists in the 2 Cleveland games, fellow 4th liners Belzile & Nantel joning him with their first points of the year.

- The Penalty Kill is just ridiculous this year. This wasn’t even a good week and they only let in 2 goals in 16 chances. Overall they’ve let in 4 goals in 41 chances, but wait, they have 2 SHGs so they’re really a -2 in 41 chances. Holy cow!

The Bad

- The Ontario game. Just about all of it. They were dominated the whole time, if the Reign hadn’t had a million dumb penalties it would have been even uglier. First time all year they were badly outshot.

- The Power Play. 1 for 17 on the week and now 5 for 51 on the year. It’s horrible to watch. The vets on the 1st unit won’t shoot and get zero traffic in front of the net and the guys on the point can’t keep the puck in the zone. Hopefully they did some shuffling around in practice before taking off for California because it’s very ineffective right now and the Rampage draw LOTS of penalties.

- This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the 4th line, usually Belzile/Nantel/Bourke, struggled mightily with St Amant instead of Nantel against Ontario. I’ve suspected that Nantel is a major possession driver and facilitator on that line and this offers a little proof of that.

Hot Taek Numero Dos

As bad as the Ontario game looked on the ice and on paper, they were playing their 4th game in 6 days after flying back from Cleveland. They didn’t look horribly gassed but they didn’t have that last 5-10% of energy that’s crucial to getting to pucks first and other tryhard stuff. It makes a difference, especially against a big physical team like the Reign. Add in overplaying Jardine and Lashoff in the 3rd period with poor results and it is what it is.

Preview: Bakersfield & San Jose

Bakersfield is right above the Rampage in the standings (6th) and have a 2-3 record giving up 3 goals per game. The Barracuda is in 3rd but they’ve played half the games San Antonio has so other than scoring a lot who knows what they’re all about. We know the ice will be iffy at the SAP Center and they’ll have good tunes.

Team Leaders

Goals - JT Compher 3, 5 players with 2
Assists - AJ Greer 6, Grimaldi 5, Bourke 4
Points - AJ Greer 8, Grimaldi 7, Compher 5
Shots on Goal - Grimaldi 25, Whitney & Sislo 21, Greer 16
Goalie stats - Martin has a .929 Sv% and 1.98 GAA, these are MOL 10th in the league for starters


Wednesday at Bakersfield, 10pm ET

Saturday at San Jose, 4:15pm ET
Sunday at San Jose, 6pm ET

All games on Ticket760


Coach Veilleux post-game vs Ontario

Topher’s Analytics: Corsi Report vs Ontario

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Today’s game doesn’t conflict with the Avs but both weekend games do. Check back here for all the news and updates.