|That's Charlie Effinger. He just won the Goaltender of the Week Award for the third time this season, ya heard.|
Although there have only been fourteen games since the last time we checked in with the Mavericks, there are only twenty games left in something like forty days. So this is as good of a time as any to see what the Mavs are doing right, doing wrong, and need to do during the home stretch of the season. (Note: this review follows a similar format as the second quarter stats post, so in lieu of me repeating stats, please refer any comparisons to that previous post.)
*Just another note before we get started: Something that hockey leagues do that annoy me are include a shootout winning goal in the overall goal for/goal against team totals, even though this goal does not get counted toward or against an individual goal scorer or goaltender's total, nor does anyone end up with a plus or minus because of that goal being scored. I don't know, just kind of dumb. Anyway, for these particular stats, and any previous stat-nerding posts, goals include shootout winning goals, unless otherwise noted*
*The Mavs are currently third in the Turner Conference with 58 points and a 27-15-4 record. They have 153 goals for and 144 goals against.
*In the past 14 games, the Mavs are 11-2-1 (!). They have had winning streaks of four, two, and five during this time. The five game streak is currently in progress, and is their second longest of the season (six game streak to begin the season). They are also 3-1 in OT games during this stretch, winning one game during the overtime period, and two in the shootout. They have also lost a shootout. They have recorded 55 goals for, and have given up 40 with one shutout.
*Vern Cooper is gone, but you knew that already...
*There are eight Mavs who have played at least 40 games through 46 games this season.
Remember when the Mavs were struggling to score?
*The Mavs have moved up to seventh in scoring overall with 153. They trail league leader Wichita by sixteen, and division leading Fort Wayne by five.
*96 goals (again, total counting SO winners) over the course of the first 32 games (3.0 avg.). 57 goals during the past 14 games (3.93 avg.).
*73 goals over the past twenty games (3.65 avg.).
*In 2010-11, they had 103 goals over the course of the first 32 games (3.22 avg.), and 35 goals during the next fourteen games (2.5 avg.). 138 goals after the first 46 games (3.0 avg.).
*During this fourteen game stretch:
--Goals during four game win streak: 19
--Goals during next five games (2-2-1): 19
--Goals during current five game win streak: 19
*Who is carrying the mail on offense? Well, in the past fourteen games.
Dale Mahovsky: 3 goals, 11 assists
Seabass: 4 goals, 10 assists, plus one shootout winner
Ed McGrane: 10 goals, 11 assists, plus one shootout winner
JS Dickson: 7 goals, 6 assists (one hat trick)
Dave Pszenyczny: 8 goals, 7 assists
*SeaBass Thinel (“SeaBass” officially from now on) still leads the team with 54 points (14+40=54). But, Ed McGrane is hot on his trail with 50 points, and the team lead in goals with 22. Thinel has moved up to sixth in the league in points. He is second in assists with 40, trailing Evansville’s Todd Robinson by ten. McGrane is tied for fifth in the league in goals, trailing the leaders, Quad City’s Brandon Marino and Evansville’s Brian Bicek, by six.
*Don’t forget JS Dickson, second in goals on the team with 21.
*New acquisition Patrick Schafer has seven goals in sixteen games with the Mavs.
*Ryan Jardine exists (8+10=18, -2).
*So, the offense has improved, which is nice. The problem there never appeared to be lack of shooting, either. McGrane is third in the league with 193 shots, and Thinel is 18th with 157. Maybe the scoring problems can be attributed to shooting percentage. No Mav has better than JS Dickson’s .154%, which is only good for 19th in the league.
The Mavs still can’t score on the powerplay, right?
*The Mavs are third in the league in powerplay percentage! Their percentage, 19.89, is over two percentage points below the league leaders (Quad City with 22.09).
*The Mavs are very middle of the pack when it comes to powerplay goals and powerplay opportunities. Their 36 goals are tied for seventh in the league, and their 181 opportunities are eleventh overall. That is 16 goals since the last time we left the Mavs. 16 PPG in 14 games! w00t!
*JS Dickson has 8 PPG (tied for fifth in the CHL), McGrane has 6, and four Mavs are tied with four. Thinel and McGrane lead the team in PPA with 14 and 13, respectively.
*The three league leaders in PPG all have ten. Quad City’s Brandon Marino and John Snowden, and Dayton’s Brandon Naurato.
*This Quad City team sounds fairly decent.
*The Mavs are +16 in goal differential during this stretch, having given up 40 goals and lost one shootout (41 GA total, 2.93 avg.). Throughout the whole season, the Mavs have given up 144 goals in 46 games (3.13 avg.).
*In comparison, the Mavs gave up 40 goals (that includes the one shootout winner) in 2010-11 during games #33-46. Overall, by game #46, the Mavs had given up 130 goals (2.83 avg.).
*During the current fourteen game stretch:
--GA during four game win streak: 9 (with one shutout)
--GA during next five games: 22 (includes the one shootout “goal”)
--GA during current five game win streak: 10
*The defense is still not up to par with last season’s D. But, hey, look at all of the defenders in the black!
*There are still no Mavs anywhere near the league leaders in plus/minus. Three Fort Wayne players are in the top three, one with a +22, and two with +21.
*JS Dickson is a team worst -6, despite, you know, all of the goals he scores.
Here is something to think about as the Mavs get closer to the playoffs. Penalty minutes.
*Although, the Mavs have moved up to sixth in the league in PIM with 809, no individuals are killing the team. The Mavs finished with 1197 PIM last season.
*Pszenyczny leads the team with 97 PIM. Wakita has 92. Lewis has 91. The league leader, Quad City’s Jason Kostadine, has 170. Lewis had 205 all of last season. This is something to watch, but not something that is seriously killing them. Well, actually, let’s look at the PK numbers.
*The Mavs were fourth on the penalty kill (82.6%) through the first half of the season. Since then, the Mavs are twelfth with 80%. They have given up 13 goals while on the penalty kill in the past fourteen games.
*The league best is Evansville at 86.18% giving up 30 goals, while the league worst is Dayton with a 74.16% success rate and 54 goals given up.
*13 of 40 goals (not counting shootout winners, obviously) were scored on the PK. Still not terrible... but, the Mavs PK could take a lesson from its improved PP.
In summation, penalties are not killing them, but it definitely could not hurt to avoid taking untimely penalties.
Oh, and thank goodness for Charlie Effinger.
*He has started the past fifteen games (11-3-1) without Szuper (left for KHL) and Festa (traded).
*Gerry Festa finished his season with the Mavs 2-4-2 with 24 GA, a 3.00 GAA, and .904 SV% in eight appearances.
*Szuper was 1-0, with 3 GA, a 3.00 GAA and .930 SV% in one appearance with the Mavs (a 6-3 home victory over Quad City on January 7th).
*Effinger is third in games played for goalies with 33, six behind the leader Nick Boucher of Fort Wayne.
*Effinger has given up 41 goals during the past fifteen games, with one shutout. He has given up 13 goals (one shootout loss) to Quad City in three games and was chased once during that stretch (0-2-1).
*Eff-bomb is second in the CHL in wins (22), trailing Boucher (27). He is tied for tenth in GAA with 2.77, and seventh in SV% with .919%.
*And a warm welcome back to Jakub Macek, who has finally found a home with the Mavs. He relieved Effinger in one of the Quad City loses, giving up 4 goals on 13 shots.
*Also, it must have been pretty cool for those rec league guys that played back up goalie while that position was in transition. Props to you fine gentlemen.
*Home record during the past fourteen games:
7-1-1 (both losses to Quad City)
*Home record overall:
*Away record during the past fourteen games:
*Away record overall:
*The Mavs remain third in total attendance with 125,650, over 13,000 above Rapid City and 27,000+ below second place Wichita. The IEC also sees the third most fans on average, up seven to 5,463 since we last checked.
*The Mavs are celebrating 500,000 fans this Friday! It only took less than three seasons to accomplish what the New York Islanders could not do all of last season. (Joke not intended. That is a real stat.)
*If the season ended today, the Chicago Wolves would be a five seed in the Western Conference of the AHL playoffs. But, they trail the division leading Charlotte Checkers by two points with a game in hand with 26 games remaining. They have 146 GF and 129 GA, and they are an ugly 0-3 in the shootout. Goalie Matt Climie is among the league leaders in SV% (0.927%). JP Testwuide has an assist in sixteen games, and fifteen PIM. Dustin Friesen has a goal and two assists in nineteen games, and is a +6.
*Oh, but what about our dear, sweet Mavericks? What are their playoff chances you ask? Well, four teams qualify from each division, so the Mavs would clinch as the third place team in the Turner Conference with 58 points. They trail second place Fort Wayne by four points, and lead fourth place Quad City by three. They lead fifth place Rapid City by only four. They have twenty games remaining, ten at home and ten on the road. Thirteen of those games are against Berry Conference teams, two are against Rapid City, one against Dayton, two against division leading Evansville, and two against cellar dweller Bloomington. It should be pretty damn interesting over the next few weeks!
Scoring has picked up, and that’s good. The defense is still, well, the same defense, but the Mavs have put themselves in the best possible place with a stable roster going into the final month of the season. Of course, it won’t be easy, but if the offense stays hot, and Effinger plays at the top of his game, this team should skate into the playoffs as a three or four seed. Without any head-to-head games against Fort Wayne remaining, it may be hard to unseat them as the two seed. Evansville would have to play uncharacteristically to fall out of the top spot, let alone the top two spots. Finally, head coach Scott Hillman has a functioning powerplay, so, yeah, hopefully they don't screw it up. Of course, the Mavs should have clinched a playoff spot by now, but I guess they are just trying to give the other teams some hope, which is pretty damn nice of them.
Please check out the Missouri Mavericks official site for news and updates from your favorite local hockey team, or at the CHL’s official site for league-wide news as we creep closer to the playoffs. Also, the KC Star and the Pitch have Mavericks news occasionally, so be sure to check those sites. Be sure to read Mavericks Weekly on the Mavs’ site every week for updates, game previews, and upcoming events at the IEC. And, for constant Mavs news and recaps, shoot on over to the Missouri Mavericks Blog. He does interviews and everything, like a real journalist! I feel like a jerk for not referring you there in the past, so make it up to me by visiting his site.