From the Eagles Desk: Can’t Beat the Heat

The Eagles don’t match up well against Stockton, we know this. After finishing up the season series this weekend it’s clear that the Heat know exactly how to exploit Colorado’s weaknesses. If there’s a bright side it appears that either the other Pacific teams don’t watch Heat/Eagles games or they can’t implement that strategy.

Injuries/Transactions

– Josh Anderson and Joe Cannata were re-assigned to the Grizzlies before the weekend.
– Dom Toninato, fresh off scoring his first NHL goal on Thursday, and Sheldon Dries were sent back after Saturday’s games.
– Andrew Agozzino was called up to the Avs on Sunday, we assume to play for the Avs on Monday night.
– Caleb Herbert was re-assigned to the Grizzlies on Sunday morning.
– Looked like there could be some injuries coming out of the Stockton series, we’ll see about that through the week.

COL 2 – STK 5

Goals: Shvyrev (Nantel), Lewis (Wars, Aggz)
Shots: +29/-24
PP 1-5, PK 4-4

Lineup:

The Eagles were never in this one. Every time you looked up the puck was flying past Frank. They mustered a little score effect magic in the 3rd with a couple of goals on 14 shots but overall this was just a terrible game.

COL 3 – TEAM 6

Goals: Barron (Lewis, Shvyrev), Kaut (McGauley, Toninato), Kosmachuk (Shvyrev)
Shots: +34/-33
PP 1-6, PK 7-9

Lineup:

This game didn’t really start off that bad but the 2nd period was probably the worst 20 minutes of hockey the Eagles have played all year. David Warsofsky really struggled, giving up 2 odd man rushes that turned into Stockton goals and a stick penalty on the PK that led to the 2nd 3v5 kill of the period. Anton Lindholm was perhaps even worse. The main difference is that Wars has been pretty strong all year and Lindholm… hasn’t. Highlights include an awesome play by the 4th for a goal, Shvyrev outlet to Lewis then pad pass to Barron and in, a wicked wristshot goal by Kaut and an amazing 60 foot backhand pass by Igor to Kosmo on the back door for a goal. Take the good with the bad I guess.

Breaking Down: Week 20

Summary

Goals: +5/-11, season +140/-159

Not much you can say about a pair of 3-goal losses. Just bad. Frank was mediocre on Saturday and Marty had to fend off at least 10 odd-man rushes and three 5v3 PKs. When the 4th line is the top offensive threat to counter all that it’s not going to end well.

Shots: +63/-57 (52.5%), season +1533/-1681 (47.7%)

There are a bunch of score effects in this week’s shot totals so not something that’s meaningful. Game 1 was over before they got anything to go on net consistently and game 2 started well then got progressively slower and slower.

Shooting percentage: 7.9, season 9.1%
Save percentage: 80.7, season 90.5
PDO: 88.6, season 99.6

This would be a great time to have some shot location and danger data. Stockton was loading up on odd-man rushes all weekend and pressure on the defensemen created tons of turnovers. They looked like the Avs a few weeks ago, maybe there’s a delay effect going on.

PP: 2-11, season 33-207, 8 SHGA (15.9%, 28th)
PK: 11-13, season 192-232, 12 SHGF (82.8%, 9th)
Special Teams percentage: 98.7 (adjusted – 100.0)

I’m going to adjust these percentages for shorthanded goals here. The power play is a net 25-for-207 or 12.1% and the penalty kill is 204-for-232 or 87.9%. That gives an adjusted special teams percentage (PP+PK) of 100.0 or dead even. The gap between penalties taken/drawn continues to widen.

Individual

Your scoring star of the week is Igor Shvyrev with a goal and 2 assists, first timer! Ty Lewis is the only other guy with a multiple-point weekend with a goal and assist. Honorable mentions to Travis Barron, Martin Kaut and Scott Kosmachuk for chipping in the other goals.

Overview

The Eagles have played the Pacific Division pretty strong this year, except for the Heats of course.
Bakersfield: 4-4-0
San Jose: 2-2-0
San Diego: 3-3-0
Tucson: 6-2-0
Stockton: 2-5-1
Ontario: 4-1-0
Central: 3-4-3

The goal is to get into the playoffs and they’ve played the playoff teams strong, so there’s that at least. Sixth place Stockton has had their way with them but up to this point no one else has been able to mimic their style.

Stockton kills the Eagles because they are a heavy forechecking team and live off odd-man rushes. The Eagles weak defense falls right into their hands, add pressure then profit. Now most teams also kill the Heat because they give up a ton of chances against, that’s something Colorado hasn’t been able to capitalize on enough. Stockton also has a terrible PK, which doesn’t matter since the Eagles are terrible on the PP, and it washes out. Speed is something that Colorado has used against the slower teams in the division but that too washes out with the Heat.

It’s interesting to break down why there’s one team that wins the matchup every time even though they aren’t a good team overall. I don’t think there’s any reason to adjust the Eagles roster to counter this next year other than getting rid of some of the slow D with no puck skills and work on getting some players that can score rather than acquiring a talentless palooka mid-season to put in the top 6 because he has sandpaper and leadership. Rule #1 of roster construction: Do no harm.

Next up

A long week of practice then Saturday in Ontario. Next week the Rampage come to town on Wednesday/Thursday.

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

One thought on “From the Eagles Desk: Can’t Beat the Heat

%d bloggers like this: