From the Eagles Desk: Measuring Up

Considering how the Eagles struggled against Stockton last year and dropped 2 to the Heat on opening weekend, taking 3 points was a bit more than one would expect. Friday’s game was only their 2nd regulation win vs STK and despite a fairly tragic loss Saturday they still came away with a point, which kept them in 3rd place for the moment.

The trip to Tucson was a different story. Game 1 looked closer than it was at times and outside of a yolo 2nd period the Eagles were beaten soundly. Game 2 looked promising with a 1st period goal and a lead up until halfway through but the Roadrunners shut things down once they got the lead and sailed to the victory.

These are the top two teams in the division so 4 very difficult games in 6 days, measuring stick games. Against the league they combine to give up a little more than a half-point per game to opponents so taking 3 is above average. The Eagles did ok but if they want to compete for the division they have a ways to go.

Injuries/Transactions

Greer and Dries were with the Avs in Chicago Friday but made it to the BEC for Saturday’s game.

Griffen Molino was signed to a PTO, played Friday then was released back to the Grizzlies.

Dan Renouf returned to the lineup after a minor injury

Kaut, Bowers and Dickinson continued to convalesce and were not on the trip to the desert.

Antoine Bibeau had surgery on an injury he sustained in Sharks training camp and is out for the season. Nice trade, guys.

COL 5 – STK 2

Goals: Wagner (Timmins, Connauton), Shvyrev (Joly, Renouf), Condra (Megna, Timmins), Condra (Campbell), Megna (Wagner, Renouf)
Shots: +32/-26
PP 0/5, PK 5/6

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

Renouf – Alt
Lindholm – MacDonald
Connauton – Timmins

Werner
Miska

Scratch: Anderson, Kaut (UBI), Bowers (?BI), Dickinson (LBI), Bibeau

COL 4 – STK 5 (OT)

Goals: Dries (Connauton), Greer (Dries, Timmins), Campbell (Timmins, Condra), Condra (Megna, MacDonald)
Shots: +32/-34
PP 1/3, PK 3/3

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

Renouf – Alt
Lindholm – MacDonald
Connauton – Timmins

Werner
Miska

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

COL 3 – TUC 6

Goals: Greer (Renouf, Joly), Lindholm (Megna, Condra), Condra (Connauton)
Shots: +49/-32
PP 1/6, PK 2/2

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

Renouf – Alt
Lindholm – MacDonald
Connauton – Timmins

Werner
Miska

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

COL 1 – TUC 2

Goal: Megna (Timmins, Lewis)
Shots: +34/-40
PP 0/3, PK 4/5

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

Renouf – Alt
Lindholm – MacDonald
Connauton – Timmins

Miska
Werner

Scratch: Anderson, Barron, Kaut (UBI), Bowers (?BI), Dickinson (LBI)

Breaking Down: Week 10

Goals: +13/-15

Shots: +147/-132

Shooting percentage: 8.8%
Save percentage: 88.6%
PDO: 97.4

This seems like a pretty high-event week but I think there are some rink effects from the AHL’s shot counter in Tucson. Shooting percentage was right at season average but save percentage was quite a bit lower and on a downtrend.

PP: 2/17
PK: 14/16
Special Teams percentage: 99.3

This was a pretty good week for the special teams at a net even but slightly below par due to a minute penalty advantage. It’s pretty bad when a good week means your special teams didn’t actually hurt you though.

Your scoring stars of the week are Condra with 4G/2A, Megna with 2G/3A and Timmins with 5 assists.

Overview

Let’s take a look at scoring by line for the week, shall we:

1st line (Condra/Megna/Campbell) – 7G/6A, 13 points
2nd line (Greer/Dries/Joly) – 3G/3A, 6 points
depth forwards – 2G/2A, 4 points
defensemen – 1G/12A – 13 points

This seems fairly well-rounded. A top line scoring a majority of the goals, lots of assists from the blueline and some depth scoring. So why did they lose 3 out of 4? The 5v5 goals are pretty spread out among the various forward lines and defense pairings. That probably indicates the bottom 6 is struggling a bit since they don’t play as much as the top 2 lines and by the eye test that checks out. The 4th line (Lewis/Shvyrev et al) definitely struggles to clear the zone at times. Julien Nantel and Nick Henry have had good chemistry but their effectiveness dropped off a bunch when Ryan Wagner replaced Colin Campbell. Coach Cronin beams when he talks about Wagner but he’s neutralized what was recently a very effective line.

Campbell was bumped up to the top line several games ago. Granted that line has been effective by itself but concentrating the experience on one line seems to have taken it’s toll on the others. It’s tough for an AHL coach to balance putting all the vets together vs spreading them out so they can help individual lines. It’s pretty rare in my experience that going top-heavy works for the good of an AHL team as a whole. If this slide continues the staff are going to have to re-think this before it puts the Eagles in a hole.

Some fun facts from the week:

The Eagles lost their first two games of the season after scoring the first goal.

11 of Colorado’s 21 games have been decided by 3 or more goals. They are 5-6-0 in those and 5-4-1 in the closer matches. Let’s cut down on the blowouts.

Colorado is now 19th in the AHL in goals for (2.86) and goals against (3.05)

Conor Timmins is red hot. After 4 points in his first 11 pro games he has 2G/7A in his last 8. He doesn’t qualify as a rookie for some bizarre reason but if he did he would be tied with Evan Bouchard of the Condors/Oilers, both at 3G/10A and Timmy did that in 2 fewer games.

Next up

Tonight in San Diego then back home for a week of practice and the teddy bear toss once again vs the Gulls next weekend.

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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