From the Eagles Desk: Zombie Pirates

The beloved Eagles flew up to Milwaukee to face the Admirals in a 2-game set last weekend and came away with 4 points. Both games needed extra time, one shootout and one settled in OT, but giving points away to the Ads doesn’t hurt Colorado in the standings. Five games in and we’re still waiting for the first regulation win of the season but the Eagles do sit 4th in the Pacific with 6 points.

Injuries/Transactions

– Anton Lindholm recovered from whatever was ailing him last week vs Ontario and dressed for game 1

– Calle Rosen has not fared as well. No show and no update.

– Julien Nantel made his season debut in game 1, Ty Lewis took a seat to accommodate

– Kevin Connauton was sent back from the Avs and joined the lineup

– Antoine Bibeau was MIA in Milwaukee. After his debut the less we see of him the better. Hunter Miska was called up from Utah to back up Werner.

– AJ Greer’s dustup in game 2 earned him a 6-game suspension. He will be eligible to rejoin the team November 9th in Texas.

COL 3 – MKE 2 (SO)

Goals: Megna (Dries), Dries (Connauton), SO – Joly, Greer
Shots: +29/-30
PP 0/6, PK 3/4

Lineup:
Condra – Tynan – O’Connor
Greer – Bowers – Kaut
Dries – Shvyrev – Megna
Joly – Nantel – Henry

Renouf – Alt
Lindholm – MacDonald
Connauton – Timmins

Werner
Miska

Scratch: Campbell, Lewis, Larocque, Anderson, Rosen, Bibeau

Jayson Megna opened the scoring with the Eagles first 1st period goal of the season, it was a shortie even. The Ads tied in the 2nd on a power play. Dries scored midway through the 3rd but MKE tied it back up a few minutes later. That was it for scoring until shootout ace Michael Joly put one past Troy Grosenick then AJ Greer put it away on the next chance. Adam Werner stopped both Admiral attempts.

COL 3 – MKE 2 (OT)

Goals: Joly (Tynan, MacDonald), Condra (O’Connor, Timmins), O’Connor (Tynan, MacDonald)
Shots: +35/-36
PP 1/4, PK 3/4

Lineup:
Condra – Tynan – O’Connor
Greer – Bowers – Kaut
Dries – Shvyrev – Megna
Joly – Nantel – Henry

Renouf – Alt
Lindholm – MacDonald
Connauton – Timmins

Werner
Miska

Scratch: Campbell, Lewis, Larocque, Anderson, Rosen, Bibeau

This game was lively with both teams combining for 150 PIMs. AJ Greer got in a fight early in the 2nd then left the box for another earning a double game-misconduct and later a 6-game suspension. Joly and Condra scored in regulation then Logan O’Connor sealed the sweep in OT.

Breaking Down: Week 3

Goals: +5/-4, season +13/-16

Scoring has been a struggle as usual, especially at 5v5. Of the Eagles 13 goals only 6 have come during normal play and 3 of those were late in games down by 2 or more. This is fairly alarming for a veteran club that isn’t counting on much of a bump from young players improving through the season. We’re still seeing chemistry being built and new players adapting to the system so there’s a little upside but if that doesn’t happen pretty quick it’s a bad sign. Most of the struggles seem to come from poor offensive coaching and that’s something they just have to live with.

Shots: +64/-66 (49.2%), season +166/-154 (51.9%)

The Eagles are 5th in the league in shot generation and 20th in shots against, which doesn’t seem to add up but here we are. Safe to say the Eagles have an adequate shooting volume but I have a lot of doubts about the quality of chances generated. It’s probably the same with shots against, the staff can suppress quality while giving up quantity.

Shooting percentage: 7.8%, season 7.8% too
Save percentage: 93.9%, season 89.6%
PDO: 101.7, season 97.4

Take out the opening night outlier game with Bibeau in net and the Eagles are doing fine save percentage-wise. Shooting percentage is low for the AHL and has cost them 2 or 3 goals so far, which all goes back to offensive coaching.

PP: 1/10, season 3/25, 12% (24th in AHL), 1 SHGA
PK: 6/8, season 18/21, 85.7% (10th in AHL), 1 SHGF
Adjusted Special Teams percentage: 98.5

The Eagles lead the league in many penalty minute categories but don’t actually take that many minors relatively. What they also don’t do is capitalize on the chances they have which means that special teams are a net drag on scoring.

Your scoring stars of the week are Dries and O’Connor with 1G/1A each and Tynan/MacDonald both with 2 assists. Shoutout to Conor Timmins for his first AHL point, he’s now tied with Nick Henry and Adam Werner for the Eagles rookie scoring race lead.

Overview

The Eagles are grinding out some points, which is good, but no wins in regulation through 3 games is a red flag. Scoring in the first couple months of the season is relatively easy compared to later in the year so if it’s not happening now then that’s another red flag. There’s been some lack of finishing ability but the big problem has been generating genuinely dangerous scoring chances. Like I mentioned above the quantity is there but quality is questionable.

Some of that is chemistry, early on we’re not seeing any really. None of the lines have any consistent offensive threat yet. That puts the staff in a tough spot, do you go with patience and hope the chemistry develops or do you tinker until some combinations hit? I don’t think they can wait long, there are 9 games in the first 16 days of November so if there are still more questions than answers after the San Jose series this weekend they’ll need to figure out how to score some goals quick or die.

The ECHL’s top goalscorers are Josh Dickinson (7G in 5 games) and Travis Barron (6G in 5 games). Grizzlies coach Tim Branham said last Spring that they, along with Ty Lewis, are too good for the league. So why are they there? Question their NHL upside all you want but they’ve moved past the ECHL and would be fine in the AHL if there was room. Why didn’t someone leave some for them?

Next up

The Barracudas come to town for a weekend set 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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