The beloved Rampage lost a pair of mid-week games to Grand Rapids and Texas, both of which they held leads in the 2nd period and couldn’t hold on. That makes 3 blown leads in the last 5 games, I’m going to call that a trend. They’re still at 9-5-1, good enough for 3rd in the Pacific, but signs this won’t last are popping up all over the place.
GRG 6 – SAR 3
In a mirror image of last week’s school day game in Michigan the Rampage got a lead and then totally collapsed in the 2nd period, giving up 4 straight goals and ending up with a 6-3 loss. Helping the collapse were 7 minor penalties in the 2nd, 4 from Felix Girard alone, and a bit of a step back from newly crowned AHL Player of the Week Spencer Martin.
Goals: Blais, Kostin, Thompson
Shots for: 38
Shots against: 34
PP 1/3, PK 4/6
TX 4 – SAR 3
Felix Girard scored on the 1st shift, setting up a back and forth affair for the first 2 periods. An ill-advised pass from Andrew Agozzino with a half minute left in the 2nd turned into a breakaway for Roope Hintz and the score was tied going to the 3rd. The Stars scored with 6+ minutes left thanks to some soft play in the d-zone from Brendan Ranford and it held up despite some good chances late for the Rampage.
Ville Husso left with an injury 7 minutes into the game and Klim Kostin was close behind so the lineup was a little short most of the night.
Goals: Girard, Greer, Belzile
Shots for: 29
Shots against: 30
PP 1/3, PK 3/5
– EV got the team to reverse the shot share deficit somewhat with a 67/64 edge in the 2 games. Unfortunately the goals were 10/6 against.
– As I’ve been harping on for a while the defensemen have been taking a large percentage of the Rampage’s SOG. In these 2 games it was 22/67 or about a third, which is about as high as it should be but does provide evidence that the forwards stepped up their efforts to get pucks on net.
– In these 2 games the shooting percentage was 9% while opponents shot 16%, a big PDO reversal. If this is the beginning of regression to the mean then there will be pain ahead.
– Penalties are also killing the club. They had 16 minors called on them which resulted in 11 penalty kills. They were successful on 7 of them or 64%. What was once a top-3 PK in the league is now average at 82.6% and 14th. I heartily recommend reducing PKs from 5 per game down to a more manageable level.
– For the first time all year Coach Veilleux went with a #youngerfaster lineup, benching slow ineffective vets Joe Colborne and Trent Vogelhuber along with Adam Musil and Shawn St-Amant. Nic Meloche was also in and Jesse Graham out. The results weren’t fantastic but that shouldn’t deter him from sticking with the premise. Now that Greer and Grimaldi are back from Colorado there’s a chance to craft a quick lineup that can possess the puck better than we’ve seen in the past few weeks. It’s a sure bet that playing the way the Rampage did in October will get them to the bottom of the division by January.
San Antonio gets a rematch at home Saturday vs the Stars then head to California for Thanksgiving.