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From the Rampage Desk: Week 12 - Travel

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

The beloved Rampage head to Tucson this weekend to begin a two-week road trip on the West Coast, the longest of the year. With the playoffs looking extremely doubtful at this point it’s time to settle down and play in the moment.

Roster/Injury Report

- Shawn St Amant was re-assigned to the Eagles on Wednesday

- Mat Clark was waived by the Avs on Wednesday. He cleared yesterday and was assigned to San Antonio. Rampage Nate talked to him this week and he indicated that he should get into a game on this road trip.

- Jeremy Smith is up with the Avs currently. Coach Bednar talked a little about Varlamov’s situation before the Avs game on Thursday and described it as an “ongoing issue”. No timetable for his return and it looks like even when he does he’s going to have to be carefully managed, which means that Smitty & Marty will probably be spending quite a bit of time with the Avs for the rest of the season. The Eagles have been making some goalie moves that say to me they don’t expect Kent Simpson back in the foreseeable future.

- Chris Bigras finally dressed for the Texas game and while a little rusty provided some skill from the blueline which has been sorely lacking all year.

- Duncan Siemens took a stick the face in the 1st period Tuesday and missed the rest of the game. Also did not skate in practice before they left on the trip but he is with the team. Troy Bourke also didn’t skate in final practice for reasons unknown but he’s with the team in Tucson.

What we know:

Elson (LBI), Vogelhuber (LBI) and Geertsen (?BI) are not on the trip. Mason skated in a non-contact jersey in the last couple of practices but the other 2 were MIA.

Clark, Petryk and Sislo were full participants in final practice and should be good to go.

Bourque was in a non-contact jersey but is on the trip.

Fast Facts: Texas

SAR 2 - TEX 1

Shots: 25-34 (42.4%) Greer & O’Brien led with 5, Compher had 4
Special Teams: PP 1/3, PK 4/5
Spencer Martin stopped 33/34 (.971)
Goals: O’Brien (4), Corbett (2)

Team Leaders

Goals: Grimaldi 9, Greer 8, Compher 7, Whit/Nunn 6
Assists: Greer 13, Grimaldi 12, Whitney 10, Compher 8
Points: Greer/Grimaldi 21, Whitney 16, Compher 15
Shots: Grimaldi 90, Sislo 74, Whitney 72, Nunn 56, Greer 55

Grimaldi 6th in AHL in Shots
Compher 3rd in AHL in Shooting Percentage
Martin 5th in AHL in Saves
Greer 5th in AHL Rookie points, T4th in Rookie PP points
Nantel T1st in AHL Rookie SH goals & points
Jardine 5th in AHL Rookie PIMs

Record: 13-15-2, 8th in Pacific, 14th in WC, 24th in AHL

PP: 13.2% 28th
PK: 85.1% 5th

Goals for: 71 (2.37/gm) 29th
Goals against: 85 (2.83/gm) 12th

Shots for: 841 (28.03/gm) 24th
Shots against: 864 (28.80/gm) 12th

Sh%: 8.4%
Sv%: .902

PDO: 986
ST%: 98.3

Team shooting percentage is low but about as good as it can get without significant improvement from the power play. Like I’ve said all year, if the Rampage are going to improve their horrible scoring they will need to shoot more and start capitalizing on the power play. They’ve had 147 PPs, the most in the AHL and just a shade less than 5 per game, and yet have a paltry 20 PPGs. They need work 5v5 for sure but those are free points given away every night.

Preview: Tucson

A couple of weeks ago the Rampage took 3 out of 4 points from the Roadrunners at home. Now they are in the desert for another deuce.

Lines from Wednesday practice (courtesy of Rampage Nate)

Whitney - O’Brien - Sislo
Greer - Compher - Grimaldi
Nantel - Henley - Nunn
Ranger - St Amant - Petryk - Bourque (NC)

Bigras - Lindholm
Clark - Corbett
Geertsen (NC) - Boikov
Jardine - Young

MIA - Bourke, Siemens

Seems unlikely that they would have sent St A down to the Eagles if Bourke wasn’t healthy enough to play or Bourque really close. I’ll call that Bourke will be back centering the 3rd and Big Sam will center Pete and Ranger/Bourque.

Best case on D is that Duncan needed a day off from getting smacked in the face and Mason was a placeholder with Boikov. We’ll see on that. At the end of the last Tucson/San Antonio game RRs forward Garrett Ross tried to goad Duncan into a meaningless fight towards the end of regulation. They both went off for unsportsmanlike and from the penalty box Ross was screaming insults at Duncan until the end of the game. Probably won’t happen now but there was some unfinished business there, and by unfinished business I mean Duncan pummeling Ross within an inch of his life.

Schedule

Friday at Tucson 9pm ET
Saturday at Tucson 8pm ET

All games on Ticket760

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The Avs are off tonight but tomorrow the two squads play concurrently. Stop by and say hi.