From the Eagles Desk: We Know the Way

The beloved Eagles were in San Jose for a weekend set last week. Game one saw some early scoring then Adam Werner playing lights out to seal the deal. Game two started with two quick goals by the Cudas, then a whole bunch more. 1 and 1 on the road isn’t bad but San Jose is now the division bottom-feeder so getting blown out wasn’t pretty.

Injuries/Transactions

– Kaut and Bowers practiced in no-contact sweaters last week but were not available for game play

– Tim McGauley was called up from Utah Thursday

– Jayson Megna was returned by the Avs on Friday

– Josh Dickinson was injured early in Friday’s game and is out with who knows what

That’s it for the pre-game transactions but there were plenty this week

– AJ Greer was returned Saturday night but not in time to dress for the game. He was recalled on Thanksgiving along with Sheldon Dries.

– Hunter Miska was recalled from Utah after winning goalie of the week honors in the ECHL

– Tim McGauley was sent back to Utah after the games but recalled on Wednesday

– Colin Campbell was released from his PTO and signed to a regular contract for the rest of the season

COL 4 – SJ 1

Goals: Dries (Condra, Alt), Nantel (Henry, Campbell), MacDonald, Joly (Timmins)
Shots: +27/-36
PP 0/2, PK 4/5

Lineup:
Mac – Dries – Joly
Henry – Nantel – Campbell
Wagner – Dickinson – Condra
Lewis – Shvyrev – Barron

Lindholm – Rosen
Renouf – Alt
Connauton – Timmins

Werner
Bibeau

Scratch: Kaut (UBI), Bowers (?BI), Anderson, McGauley

The Eagles have finally found the joy of scoring early. This time Sheldon Dries lit the lamp less than 7 minutes in and the guys held the lead until the checkered flag. The 2nd period went from good to bad but was a wash on the scoreboard. P3 was very turtle but a pair of ENGs and some fantastic work by Adam Werner sealed it.

COL 2 – SJ 6

Goals: Condra (Campbell, Shvyrev), Dries (Megna, MacDonald)
Shots: +41/-22
PP 1/3, PK 4/7

Lineup:
Condra – Megna – Campbell
McGauley – Dries – Joly
Wagner – Nantel – Henry
Lewis – Shvyrev – Barron

Lindholm – Rosen
MacDonald – Alt
Connauton – Timmins

Bibeau
Werner

Scratch: Anderson, Kaut (UBI), Bowers (UBI), Dickinson (LBI)

Antoine Bibeau made his 2nd start of the season for the Eagles and similarly let in a bunch of goals and ended up injured somehow. In what became a glorified scrimmage, Colorado put in a couple of meaningless goals in the 3rd and outshot San Jose 33-12 in the final 40 minutes.

Breaking Down: Week 9

Goals: +6/-7 but even at 3 apiece 5v5 on the weekend
For the season they are at +46/-49 and +30/-28 at 5v5

Shots: +68/-58, buoyed by a bigtime San Jose Turtle in the blowout
Fun fact: The Eagles are 3-4-0 when outshooting the opponent and 6-2-0 when they get outshot. Shot volume is situational with this team, which is fine.

Shooting percentage: 8.8%
Save percentage: 87.9%
PDO: 97.6
Shooting percentage was on par with the season but goaltending was not. Right now the Eagles are hovering around the 100 PDO mark on the season and have been for about 5 games. This is who they are for the most part, if it keeps up then they should be able to make the playoffs without too much trouble.

PP: 1/5
PK: 8/12
The adjusted special teams percentage for the season is now 91.1, which is terrible. Both the PP and PK hurt them on a regular basis. Over the last 3 games they are +1 at 5v5 and -6 on special teams, mainly because of poor penalty kills.

The chart above is the Eagles combined special teams percentage over the past 17 games, one-quarter of the season. The red line is a moving average. 3 games ago they broke below the trend line, mainly because of the PK. That’s not a good sign and like the Avs they really need to shore that up.

Your scoring stars of the week are Sheldon Dries with 2 goals, Mac back on defense with 1G/1A and Campbell with a pair of assists.

Overview

With all the injuries, both with the Avs and on their own roster, plus the special teams issues, the Eagles enter the weekend 3rd in the Pacific by a fair margin and with 2 games in hand on the chasers. Ontario has fallen off a cliff at 2-8 in their last 10 and Bakersfield hasn’t won a game in their last 4. So by playing .500 hockey the Eagles have gone from 6th to 3rd somehow. I’ll take it but that’s not going to last. The flipside of that is Stockton is in town and they generally destroy the Eagles so with 2 losses they’ll be right with the Reigns and Condors by Sunday. Don’t do that.

If Antoine Bibeau is genuinely dealing with injuries then fine, it is what it is. I would hope that the staff is a little more careful playing him then because he’s been a nightmare. Two starts, just under 80 minutes of PT, 8 goals against on 34 shots. When Werner or Miska are on the ice, the Eagles have a .922 save percentage. When Bibeau is in it’s at .765. No team is good enough to start with that kind of handicap and there’s really no reason to try and fix it. The Eagles don’t need him, they have two goalies that can get it done. Let Bibeau be the Avs EBUG if need be but there’s no reason to use him in Loveland.

Next up

Weekend set vs Stockton at home.

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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