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From the Rampage Desk: Week 15 - Nosedive

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NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The beloved Rampage find themselves on a 5-game winless skid and once again the scoring has dried up with only 9 goals in that time. Luckily a couple teams that are also on the strugglebus are in town for the weekend.

Roster/Injury Report

- Spencer Martin has once again been called up to Colorado because of Varly’s ongoing groin problems that will keep him out until after the All-Star break at the very least. Word is that Marty will make his NHL debut in the near future, so that’s nice. Looking at the Avs schedule, they are off from the 25th to the 31st so he could drop back down to San Antonio for the Ontario series next weekend, play in the AHL ASG and be back with the Avs if needed.

- Kent Simpson has been recalled from the Eagles to be backup to Jeremy Smith while Martin is with the Avs. Side note: Nathan Lieuwen is MIA, hard to say whether he’s in San Antonio rehabbing or just gone but he’s not on anyone’s roster right now.

- Felix Girard made his Rampage debut Saturday after being acquired by the Avalanche in the Cody McLeod trade.

- No new info this week on injuries so AFAIK Turner Elson and Trent Vogelhuber are still out with long-term LBIs and that’s it. Anton Lindholm took a puck in the face a few games ago and is sporting the full cage but playing full-time.

Fast Facts: Iowa/Texas

IA 4 - SAR 1

Shots: 31-21 (59.6%) Sislo/Greer with 4, Bigras/Pete/Boikov 3
Special Teams: PP 0/2, PK 3/4
Jeremy Smith stopped 17/21 (.810)
Goal: Compher (10)

IA 2 - SAR 1 (OT)

Shots: 34-39 (46.6%) Whit had 6, Corbs 4
Special Teams: PP 1/4, PK 4/5
Spencer Martin stopped 37/39 (.949)
Goal: Whitney (9)

TX 4 - SAR 3 (OT)

Shots: 24-29 (45.3%) Greer/Whit had 4, Boikov 3
Special Teams: PP 0/4, PK 3/3
Spencer Martin stopped 25/29 (.862)
Goals: Petryk (2), Grimaldi (12), Lindholm (1)

Two points and 4 even strength goals (3 against chronic sieve Texas) over the weekend. Both overtimes were horrifying with multiple odd man rushes given up vs Iowa and Texas capitalizing on lacksadaisical play 9 seconds into the frame. Unfortuantely it looks like the Rampage have fallen into the same bottomless pit the Avs have where solid play gets nullified by a few errors and anemic offense every night. Difference here is that the Rampage might actually be able to climb out on their own. Shoutouts to Reid Petryk to making it up to the 1st line yet again and producing to boot, and to Anton Lindholm for scoring a pretty (and unexpected) goal for his first as a North American pro.

Preview: Manitoba/Rockford

Both the Moose and the IceHogs sit below the Rampage in the standings so this would be a fantastic time to start playing competent hockey again and pick up 6 points. A sweep would get the gang back to .500 for the umpteenth time this year, a rematch with RFD on Wednesday could finally put them over.

Lineup from Monday:

Whitney - O’Brien - Petryk
Greer - Compher - Grimaldi
Bourque - Girard - Sislo
Henley - Bourke - Nantel

Bigras - Clark
Lindholm - Boikov
Siemens - Corbett

Martin
Smith

Gus Young and Garry Nunn have seen a lot of time in street clothes lately, undeservedly in my opinion. Best guess is that since the Avs are holding their organizational meetings this week they wanted to look at some other guys (like Corbett) to see if they’re worth keeping around. Julien Nantel was scratched on Saturday, again undeserved in my eyes, so it’s becoming imperative that the Avs do something either at the AHL level or the NHL level to move a forward. If Elson or Vogie were healthy right now this would be a huge issue.

The defense has struggled since Chris Bigras and Mat Clark returned to the lineup and now we have a blender going that has split effective pairings up in search of new chemistry. Not that I’m pining for the Sam Jardine on the top-pairing days, but there are guys that work well together that could help the team a lot more if they were put back together again. Also bench Corbett for Gus Young please, <10 minutes a night of clownshoes even strength play plus some PP time isn’t worth it.

Felix Girard played Saturday and Monday without benefit of any practice time so we ought to get a better idea of what he’s all about in the next few games. Three penalties and on the ice for a couple goals including the Texas OT debacle wasn’t very impressive but he generally looked like a promising guy that was figuring out the system and teammates.

Schedule

Friday vs Manitoba 8:30pmET
Saturday vs Manitoba 8pmET

Sunday vs Rockford 4pmET

All games on Ticket760

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Thanks to the Avs taking on the Sharks extremely late on Saturday night there is only a few minutes of overlap with the Rampage this weekend. Stop by and support your prospects!