From the Eagles Desk: Hello Offense

After scoring just 2 goals in 3 games last week the beloved Eagles came back strong with 11 goals in 2 games this week. They gave up 11 goals as well so there were some sacrifices but there’s something to build off now.

Injuries/Transactions

– David Warsofsky returned after a two-month absence due to injury and put up 6 points. Nice to have you back!
– Mason Geertsen was out for both games due to UBI. He also cut his hair this week for a good cause.
– Pavel Francouz was re-assigned from the Avs after some backup duties. He started Saturday’s game
– Martin Kaut finished up playing with the Czech team at WJC’s and played both games over the weekend.
– Joe Cannata was re-assigned to Utah on Saturday and Josh Anderson sent down Sunday evening.

COL 5 – BAK 4

Goals: Kosmachuk (Davis), Warsofsky (Joly), Shvyrev (Herbert, Greer), Agozzino (Wars, Kaut), Kosmachuk (Toninato, Joly)
Shots: +31/-51
PP 1-3, PK 5-6

Lineup:

This game was back and forth all night. Despite giving up an early goal and being outshot 16-10 they left for 1st intermission up 2-1. The second was even on the scoreboard and the shot board, highlight was Igor scoring his first goal since October. The 3rd period was all turtle with Bako outshooting them 22-8 and the teams trading goals. Needless to say, Spencer Martin was pretty awesome, stopping 47 of 51.

COL 6 – STK 7

Goals: Toninato (Bass), Agozzino (Wars, Beaudin), Meloche (Aggz, Joly), Joly (Meloche, Wars), Meloche (Wars, Aggz), Aggz (Davis, Wars)
Shots: +29/-46
PP 3-4, PK 3-4

Lineup:

Colorado had a 2-1 lead halfway through the first but 3 goals in less than 2 minutes late in the period made this one kind of a downer. Francouz was maybe a little off adjusting back to the AHL and the defense couldn’t give the puck away often enough in really bad situations. For the second time in the weekend they gave up 20 shots in a period. More pain in the 2nd as two more goals gave the Heats a 6-2 lead before Nic Meloche broke back on the power play. Another early goal in the 3rd made it 7-3 then score effects took over. The Eagles got within one but could go no further.

Breaking Down: Week 13

Summary

Goals: +11/-11, season +92/-106

The guys went from 2/3rds of a goal per game last week to 5.5 goals per game this week. My math tells me that’s an 825% increase in scoring. Pretty sweet, eh? The offensive outburst kicked them up a few spots to 24th in the AHL but the defense took a hit and are now in 20th.

Shots: +60/-97 (38%), season +1033/-1094 (48.6%)

Bakersfield is a total volume-shooting team so it’s not a huge surprise they dropped 51 on the Eagles this week. Stockton, like Calgary vs the Avs, is just a team they never match up well against. Add San Jose as another team that grossly outshoots them on average. I’ll take a look at this at the end of the season but I’ll bet that taking out those 3 teams puts the Eagles fairly even on shot share.

Shooting percentage: 18.3%, season 8.9%
Save percentage: 88.7%, season 90.3%
PDO: 107, season 99.2

Shot production was fairly average this week so the offense was driven mostly by shooting percentage, which was about double the average. I’ll take it, they’ve been sliding a bit lately and last week shot less than 5%. Save percentage wasn’t all that bad for a team that gave up 11 goals. Even at a normal Sv% rate they would have given up 10 so despite the bad optics on some of the goals, especially by Francouz on Saturday, this was a case of giving up way too much volume.

PP: 4-7, season 21-143 (14.7%, 27th)
PK: 8-10, season 125-149 (83.9%, 8th)
Special Teams percentage: 98.6

This is fun, the Eagles scored 1/7th of their PP goals on the season in Saturday’s game. Stockton has one of the worst PKs in the league so it was a good opponent to get some confidence from. The power play to penalty kill rate is starting to edge towards too many PKs again so that’s something to monitor.

Individual

Your scoring hero of the week is David Warsofsky with a goal and 5 assists. Agozzino had 3 goals and 2 assists, Michael Joly had a goal and 3 assists and Nic Meloche had 2 goals and an assist. Kosmachuk had 2 goals, Davis had 2 assists and Toninato one of each. Good week!

Overview

After a truly awful offensive showing last week it was important that the coaching staff find a way to activate the offense. Adding David Warsofsky was a big part of that and it was great to have Martin Kaut back. The relationship between talent and scoring isn’t linear, there’s a tipping point. Last week they didn’t make it there but this week they did.

I try to be wary of looking at on-ice goals against for individual players because there’s 4 (or 3) other knuckleheads and a goalie on for just about every goal and things like dumb changes and plain old accidents happen. Mark Alt was on the ice for 5 of the 9 even strength goals against and both on the PK this weekend. Every D made mistakes, especially against Stockton, but his role is to be the vet defensive stopper and that wasn’t the case. That said, the pairing with he and Boikov is the weakest one and poorly constructed. The other two pairs are in the Avs favorite puck-mover-with-a-defensive-guy mold and they didn’t have nearly the trouble that the 3rd pair did with getting trapped in the d-zone. As gruesome as this game was in the first 30 minutes they need to save the tape and play it back when they’re figuring out how they want to arrange personnel for the Eagles this Summer. It’s important to have plenty of both kinds of defensemen so situations like we’ve had all year where there’s zero puck skill on the blueline make it impossible to score or defend.

Last week the staff watched the team give up a ton of goals and not score any. This week they scored a ton and gave up a ton. The progression will be to make the adjustments so that they score a ton and don’t give up any. They’re back at home so they’ll have a bump from the crowd and they are in a flatfooted tie with Bakersfield in the standings. Two regulation wins will give them a 5 point lead over Bako for the final Pacific playoff spot to open the 2nd half of the season. It’s time to go.

Next up

Home for the first time in a while vs Bakersfield on Fri/Sat

Thanks to the AHL for stats and standings and to the Colorado Eagles for the feature photo.

earl06

Scoring LW, punchy climber for the Ardennes classics, spirit guide

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