The beloved Rampage are off until practice on Thursday except for the youngest member of the team, Mikko Rantanen.
Like the NHL, the American League has tweaked it's All-Star format for 2016, creating a round robin of divisional teams leading to a final for all the glory. The games start out 4v4 then swap to 3v3 at halftime. Since we're all excited to see Mikko play, the Pacific Division games are scheduled thusly (all times EST):
7:18pm Pacific vs North
8:30pm Pacific vs Atlantic
9:06pm Pacific vs Central
Denver/Rocky Mountains: 5pm MT on Altitude 2
San Antonio: 6pm CT on Fox Sports Southwest
I've tried to watch the AHL ASG in the past and found it even more painful than the NHL version, but I think with what we saw with the new format last night the leagues have hit on something that can interest fans.
Turning to our All-Star, Mikko Rantanen sits 3rd in AHL rookie scoring with 13 goals and 19 assists in just 27 games played. He's 2nd on the Rampage behind only Colin Smith but his 1.19 ppg yards everyone. We all know plusminus is a flawed statistic but he's at +22 on a team where most guys are negative and the next in line is Dennis Everberg at +7. It's hard to quantify all the other things he does like carrying the puck out of the d-zone or forechecking but he's a pretty complete player at the AHL level and probably nearing the end of what minor league development can offer him. Enjoy him while he's here because it won't be for long.
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A few Rampage/Komets notes:
- Justin Hamonic was called up to San Antonio from Ft Wayne today, offsetting the Corbet re-assignment after Saturday's game. Strange move if you ask me, interested to hear the thinking on this one.
- Mason Geertsen got the game-winning goal for the Komets on Sunday. Trevor Cheek scored for the 2nd game in a row.
- Cody Corbett wasn't available for Sunday's game but is expected to be in the lineup on Tuesday.
I'm going to give the AHL ASG a try with the new format so feel free to stop by and enjoy the only major professional hockey game in North America tonight.