The Rampage split a home-and-home with Texas over the weekend, with the back half kicking off the annual month long Rodeo Road Trip. As you may remember things started to slide a bit around this time last season so nipping losses in the bud will be extremely important. With Saturday’s loss they fell from 2nd in the Pacific to 5th with Stockton right on their heels.
SAR 4 – TX 2
Goals: Blais, Vogelhuber, Butler, Sundqvist
Shots: 28-27 (51%)
PP 1/7, PK 5/5
TX 5 – SAR 1
Shots: 24-28 (46%)
PP 0/3, PK 3/4
By The Numbers
The power play was absolutely disgusting in game one and did everything but lose the game. After giving up 2 shorthanded goals to fall down 2-0, Coach Veilleux made some adjustments like telling the guys to stop making blind back passes. Who knew that was a bad idea in the first place? Side note – I noticed the Avs made the same adjustment on their power play Tuesday. By the end of the game it was back to ok, with Oskar Sundqvist tipping in a Nic Meloche shot for an insurance goal.
Game two was very physical and even until the 3rd period where the Rampage made a series of unspeakable errors to go from 1-1 to down 5-1. They didn’t play poorly but it’s troubling to crumble like that when they’re starting a road trip that traditionally kills their season. The good news is that they’re 7-2 vs Texas on the season.
Shots for: 52
Goals for: 5
Shots against: 55
Goals against: 7
Shot share: 48.6%
Shooting percentage: 9.6
Save percentage: .872
Once again we had a Rampage/Avalanche conflict so I got to watch the second game on-demand. Along with Brian Rea’s brilliant yet biased commentary I also got to track zone exits. The pros track this by attempts and account for all players on the ice and that’s just a little too involved for the time I have available. What I’m interested in is who actually exits the zone and how. I broke it down by player and whether it was a carry, pass or dump. Overall the Rampage had 67 zone exits at 5v5.
1st period: 20
2nd Period: 17
3rd period: 30
Legend – Player C/P/D
1st line 6 total, 4 with posession
2nd line 15 total, 13 with possession
3rd line 7 total, 6 with possession
4th line 5 total, 4 with possession
Defense 33 total, 24 with possession
– The 2nd line of Blais/Sundqvist/Belzile had almost half of the zone exits by forwards. That says two things, they got out of the zone well and they were in the zone a lot. This was probably the shutdown line, not Girard’s as you might think.
– The Agozzino line must either be sheltered or really bad at exiting the zone (or both)
– The wingers were often the primary puck movers out of the d-zone out of the forwards
– The top pair of Butler and Warsofsky had almost half of the team’s dump outs. Despite having 13 zone exits between them only 5 were with possession. That’s not good.
– The pair of Siemens & Meloche on the other hand were really good at exiting with possession. 11 total exits – 5 carries/6 passes/0 dumps. A few of Meloche’s exits came in the 3rd when he was put with Chris Bigras but still, those two were the most effective at leaving the zone all night.
– Other random standouts were Klim Kostin, who is also a fine zone entry specialist, at 4 exits and only 1 dump. Mason Geertsen had 6 exits which is counter-intuitive since he’s paired with Bigras, who only had 2. Geertsen was also fair at zone entries which should lead you to wonder if there’s a little more to his game than most give him credit for.
– One note on these: The Stars bucked the trend lately of every team forechecking the Rampage D massively to get extended zone time. No idea why. Either they can’t or Derek Laxdal didn’t care.
Wednesday at Rockford 8pm ET
Friday at Grand Rapids 7pm ET
Saturday at Milwaukee 8:30pm ET
Monday at Iowa 8pm ET
That’s a lot of games…
Thanks the the San Antonio Rampage for the feature photo and the AHL for statistics