Breaking Down: Rampage – The First 10 Games

The beloved Rampage gained a win and an overtime loss this weekend in Iowa to finish their first 10 games at 7-2-1 and the most points in the Western Conference. Oddly enough they have managed this without a single player on the leaderboard in any offensive or goaltending categories. It’s been a team effort from day one.

Scoring

Sam Blais and Felix Girard lead the team with 4 goals each. Blais has only played 5 games thanks to a callup and missing a game due to injury. Girard has zero assists which speaks to who he’s been lined up with all season and his role. Aggz and Toninato are the only other players with more than 2 goals.

Andrew Agozzino is tops on the club with 9 points. Kostin, Blais and Reid Petryk have 6 each. Going back to the team effort thing, every skater has at least one point. Given how fluid the roster usually is in the AHL this speaks well to this year’s depth.

Overall the Rampage have 33 goals and their average is 10th in the league. 6 of those came thanks to the power play and 1 shorthanded. In the past, even strength scoring has been a major problem for the Avs affiliates so 2.6 per game is new territory. In the 1st period they are a +2, the 2nd period is weakest as usual at -1 and they are amazing in the 3rd at a +8.

Shooting

Aggz also leads the team in shots taken with 22. A handful of players average less than a shot per game – Kostin, Musil, Vogelhuber, Colborne – all forwards. The defensemen have taken a fair share of the shooting, 106 out of 278 total shots or 38%. As shown below, this probably isn’t a good thing and maybe the forwards ought to think about shooting some more.

Shooting percentage – 11.9%
Sh% (forwards) – 16.3%
Sh% (defensemen) – 4.7%

1st period Sh% – 11.9%
2nd period Sh% – 12.5%
3rd period Sh% – 11.0%

The 27.8 SOG per game is 24th in the AHL and one of the team’s glaring weaknesses. They’re about 2 shots per game below the median clubs in the league and that adds up. In the first period they are being outshot by 17, outshot by 10 in the 2nd but have a massive advantage 100-72 in the 3rd. Considering they have been leading often going into the final frame, that’s pretty stout.

Defense

San Antonio has given up 24 goals total, 6 on the PK and 1 shortie. Like even strength scoring, even strength defense has been shored up massively – only 1.7 against per game.

Team Save percentage – 8.8%
1st period Sv% – 7.9
2nd period Sv% – 12.2
3rd period Sv% – 4.2

They tend to give up fewer and fewer shots as the game goes on. 101 in the 1st. 98 in the 2nd and only 72 in the 3rd, again addressing a longstanding issue of letting down in the 3rd period in seasons past. Compared to the league the 27.4 shots against per game is 6th and right where I’d like to see them stay consistently.

Special Teams

The power play is starting to fall off a cliff, just a few games ago it was in the top 5 but now sits in 20th. The PK was #1 coming into this weekend and stumbled a bit to 3rd. The big issue is taking too many penalties and has been all year. That said they draw a lot too and their PP/PK ratio is only 49::51.

PP% – 14.3
PK% – 88.2

Overall

Things that are good:
Even Strength Scoring, Penalty Kill, Depth Scoring, Team Defense, Shot Suppression, Sealing the Deal

Things that are bad:
Shot generation – especially from the forwards, power play, 2nd period Malaise

Things that are concerning:
PDO – 1031, Special Teams (PK%+PP%) 1025, if these continue to normalize there could be trouble, played a lot of bad teams so far

As much as I’m not a fan of the roster construction and a few of the lineup choices I can’t argue with the results so far. More than half of their wins have come against teams at the bottom of the standings so it’s hard to get a handle on where they really stack up in the Western Conference. They have a game against Rockford coming up and that could tell us something. Texas was in 1st place before the Rampage took 3 straight (lucky) wins and that does tell me something. They still look something like the team from 2 years ago that started out hot and then blew up before Christmas.

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