The severely undermanned Rampage created something out of nothing last week, beating Charlotte twice and inching closer to the .500 mark for the season.
- AJ Greer was sent back after Wednesday’s Avalanche game. While we will welcome him with open arms, he was far from the most deserving of a demotion.
- Nathan Lieuwen was recalled from the Eagles on Thanksgiving for reasons unknown.
- Center Joe Devin was released from his PTO on Thanksgiving and returned to the South Carolina Stingrays
- Jesse Mychan was sent back to the Eagles on Tuesday. They are a little strapped for players and the Avs seem to be working with their ECHL partners a lot better than they did with Ft Wayne. Everyone’s happy.
- Also on Tuesday, the Rampage signed Alaska Aces forward Stephen Perfetto to a PTO. Don’t even want to know why.
- Sergei Boikov was (finally) called up from the Eagles this week, presumably to replace Ryan Stanton
- Julien Nantel was a full participant at practice on Tuesday, which is great news. Gabe Bourque was also there after missing the 3rd period Saturday with illness.
- Trent Vogelhuber continued practicing in a non-contact jersey, Alex Ranger joined the list of wounded and did not practice.
- Bigras, Compher, Elson, O’Brien, Stanton and Smith all still MIA from the ice.
- Reid Petryk was cleared by the Avs on Saturday and might have began skating this week.
What we know:
LBI - Vogelhuber, Smith, Elson, Petryk
UBI - O’Brien
??? - Bigras, Compher, Ranger
With Lieuwen called up, one of the goalies must have some issue. The flu is making it’s rounds through the locker room, perhaps that’s all it is.
Week 6 Fast Facts
SAR 3 - CHA 1
Shots: 27-22 (55.1%), Bourke & Grimaldi led the team with 4 each
Special Teams: PP 0/3, PK 3/4
Spencer Martin saved 21/22 (.955)
Goals: Bourque (2), Henley (1), Grimaldi (5)
SAR 2 - CHA 1
Shots: 27-34 (44.3%), Nunn, Whitney & Corbett led the team with 3
Special Teams: PP 0/2, PK 1/1
Spencer Martin saved 33/34 (.971)
Goals: Jardine (3), Grimaldi (6)
A couple of impressive and, I’ll admit, unexpected wins against a skilled Checkers team. Take a look at the rosters from these games and they don’t exactly inspire confidence. What is inspiring confidence these days is the way the staff has implemented a system that allows players to drop in on a PTO and start suppressing shots like everyone else (except Matt Lahsoff). All it requires is a little discipline and a decent attitude about playing hard and it works.
Makes one wonder why this is not working nearly as well for the Avs. I think by now we all suspect it’s mainly a player issue but there’s probably a component of it that doesn’t work as well in the more skilled NHL and that’s something that Coach Bednar will have to adapt as the season rolls on in Colorado. For now and for the Rampage it’s effective on one half of the red line, it just needs a little punching up for the offense.
Goals: Grimaldi 6, Greer/Compher 5
Assists: Greer & Grimaldi 9, Compher/Bourke/Whitney 5
Points: Grimaldi 15, Greer 14, Compher 10
Shots: Grimaldi 52, Whitnet 40, Sislo 37
We all know plusminus is a dumb stat but outliers do say something. Matt Lashoff is -13 in 11 games. Next worst regular D is Jardine at -2. Stanton is +7 and Siemens is +5.
Grimaldi is T9 for points in the AHL
Martin is 11th in AHL GAA (2.21) and 12th in Sv% (.924) despite a couple shaky outings. He’s also now 4th in minutes played and T2 in wins (8).
Greer still leads rookies in PP points and is 2nd in overall points and assists
Compher is 12th in rookie points
San Antonio is 28th in goals per game (2.41) but 11th in goals against (2.65)
Shots for (27.71) 25th, Shots against (27.06) 4th
Shooting% - 8.7
Save % - .902
PDO - 989
Shooting percentage is starting to normalize but still some upward mobility as far as save percentage goes. That will help, if it ever happens. The big thing the Rampage need to work on is increasing shots per game while not giving up on their fine suppression numbers.
Texas (and Dallas) have gotten healthy recently while the Rampage have not. The Stars sit in 4th place with an 8-6-2 record, which really isn’t a whole lot different from SA’s 8-9-0 at this point in the year. Even so, this is turning into a great rivalry from the perspective of Avs fans new to the matchup, records didn’t matter much last year and the series ended up pretty much dead even.
Lines/Pairs from last week:
Whitney - Belzile - Bourque
Bourke - Grimaldi - St Amant
Devin - Sislo Mychan - Henley - Ranger
Siemens - Lindholm
Lashoff - Corbett
Geertsen - Jardine
So add Greer, Nantel, Perfetto, Boikov, Lieuwen & perhaps another forward and subtract Devin, Mychan, Ranger & probably one of the goalies for this weekend.
Friday vs Texas 8:30pm ET
Saturday at Texas 8pm ET
All games on Ticket 760
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No conflict tonight, Saturday’s game will end sometime during the 1st period of Avs/Canucks. Stop by and support your prospects!