So as many of you know, this time of year for us media guys is updating our media guide with all the stats that can be useful, helpful, or completely unnecessary (mostly that last one probably) during broadcasts, record keeping and of course for any of our written stories.
It’s nice to reference past performances and also see how certain players compare to other Calgary Top Affiliate alums.
Well a new section added this year happens to deal with how we performed as a team against opposing teams, breaking down head-to-head stats against each of our nine opponents, our scoring percentage against those nine teams, how our power play and penalty kill did on the road or at home against, and of course individual player performances against each teams.
Those are important not only because some players tend to have a team or two they have immense success with (the flipside is that there are some that have a tougher time playing against for whatever reason), but magnified is the importance of WHO that player is with two of our top point getters (Kenny Agostino and Derek Grant) finding new homes with the ST. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres organizations.
So without further adieu, let’s see some interesting facts against each of our opponents:
- The second periods for the Heat have been well documented as the toughest period as the goal differential against all opponents in the second periods are -41. In fact, 40.6% of all 224 goals scored against the Heat occurred in the first. That trend was very apparent vs. Bakersfield as the Condors scored 40% of their 45 goals against the Heat in the second period. The only period that the Heat outscored the Condors in was the third (+9 diff.).
- That being said, the Heat outshot the Condors by 78 shots.
- All five wins for the Heat had five different game winning goal scorers. Three have departed in free agency (Grant, Agostino & Drew Shore), one remains a free agent (Jakub Nakladal) and the other remains in the organization (Hunter Shinkaruk).
- Scoring was very spread out across the Condors lineup as 28 of 35 players recorded at least a point against the Heat.
- Derek Grant had an insane 9 goals and 6 assists in just 8 games vs. Bako. His shooting percentage was 19.6%!!!!! That will be sorely missed!
- The leading point getter who remains in the organization…or should I say…has been qualified by the organization, is Freddie Hamilton who had 2 goals and 4 assists in 11 games vs. Bakersfield.
- Jon Gillies played his last period of the 2015-16 season against the Condors stopping 100% of shots faced back on Friday, November 6, 2015. Small body of work yes, but he played a great period against Bako.
- Of returning players, Hunter Smith and Tyler Wotherspoon lead with a plus-3 rating.
- Matthew Ford of the Condors led the team with 6 goals and 15 points in 12 games. Condors captain Ryan Hamilton was tied second with 9 points but had a 19% shooting percentage.
- Iowa finished last in the Central, last in the Western Conference and last in the league, so it was a good thing that the Heat took both matchups against the Wild.
- Two rookies were credited with game winners as Austin Carroll won the wild affair in Des Moines while Hunter Smith scored that goal featuring that wacky fight right afterward in Stockton!
- While it was only two games, the Heat scored at a blistering pace, scoring on 17.1% of their 70 shots vs. Iowa.
- The Heat power-play unit finished with a 16.7% conversion rate for the season. It was 50% against the Wild in 10 tries.
- Derek Grant was officially credited with a team leading 6 points in two games vs. Iowa. Of the returning players to the organization, this was a team Emile Poirier excelled against with a goal and 3 assists, tied for second on the team (Kenny Agostino).
- Despite finishing seventh in the Central, second to last in the West and third to last in the AHL, the Heat finished the season series with the Moose even at two wins and two losses, however those two wins for the Heat resulted in overtime and the shootout meaning the Moose got at least a point in every matchup against the Heat.
- The Heat power play scored only once (at home) on 18 tries (5.56%) where as the Moose scored three times for a 17.6% conversion rate vs. Stockton.
- Only Garnet Hathaway and Emile Poirier are returning to the organization this year who had goals against the Moose.
- The Heat will also hope Moose goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stays in the NHL as the Heat managed just two goals in two games vs. Hellebuyck, making his goals-against-average 1.00 and a .955 save-percentage.
- However that could put Eric Comrie between the pipes and although he played just one game that was lost in the shootout, he had a an equally impressive goals-against-average and save-percentage allowing just the one goal against him…in the shootout…
- Only three times did the Stockton Heat score three or more goals against Peter Budaj, who played in all but one game against the Heat.
- Sticking with the second period trend, Ontario scored 16 goals in the second period against the Heat or 47.1% of their 34 goals against Stockton.
- Ontario had six players who shot 20+ times at Heat netminders, three who shot 30+ times and two who shot 40+ times. Stockton had five players who shot 20+ times with the team leader (Hamilton) shooting 26 times.
- The Reign saw five Heat goaltenders, the best of the bunch being Eric Hartzell’s two periods on Hot Pink Saturday. Joni Ortio, Kevin Poulin, Nick Schneider and Kent Simpson also saw time against the Reign.
- More on Budaj…who is awesome…he had a 1.65 gaa and .944 sv% vs. Stockton.
- Penalty minutes were very high as the teams combined for 432 minutes in the box. Ontario had two more minutes in the box than Stockton did. This was the most combined minutes in a season series for the Heat and the most they had against any single team.
- One of the guys I thought did a lot better vs. the Heat turned out to not be the case. Nic Dowd played 8 games vs. Stockton and only managed a goal and four assists. Now you’re saying to yourself, that’s pretty good, 5 points in 8 games played, but if you remember, he was always getting name dropped in the broadcasts, seemingly being everywhere on the ice. I expected for him to rank higher than sixth on the team in points against the Heat and definitely better than a 3.7% shooting percentage.
- Dowd was the Reign’s second leading scorer on the season with 48 points and had a 10% shooting percentage for the season
- This is partially Texas news but should Jack Campbell be the Reign goaltender this season, the Heat might be licking their lips. Albeit, in just one game vs. Campbell last year, the Heat scored four times on him. Campbell finished the game with a .879 save-percentage. Campbell also is one of the few players to have faced a Stockton Thunder and Stockton Heat shot! Former Texas teammate Maxime Lagace did along with Bakersfield Condor Ty Rimmer. Coincidentally, Lagace played for the Condors (ECHL) while Campbell played for the Idaho Steelheads.
- This was a series of the home ice advantage. The home team shutout their opponent with Jon Gillies doing it first and AHL legend Michael Leighton repaying the favor, especially after he was torched for four on the Heat’s Opening Night.
- Stockton kept Rockford from scoring a power-play goal in the two-game series. Rockford went 0 for 5. Stockton however went 3 for 11, good enough for a 27.3% conversion rate.
- Not much to say about the individual performers not named Gillies or Leighton. Knowing that in two games, the home team won via a shutout makes it easy for us to remember Derek Grant’s team opening score. We remember that Bill Arnold, Markus Granlund, Oliver Kylington, Freddie Hamilton and Drew Shore would score in that home opener and that Grant would add a second. On the flip side it was Vinnie Hinostroza, PC Labrie and Ville Pokka who had goals for the IceHogs.
- Kevin Poulin did play extraordinarily well though in Rockford, finishing the game with a 2.03 gaa and .929 sv%. Despite the shutout, Leighton would finish his season series vs. Stockton with a 3.22 gaa and a .892 sv%.
- The Heat did really well vs. the Texas teams, finishing the series vs. San Antonio with a 4-1-0-1 record, with their loss and shootout loss both coming on the road.
- 3-0 at Stockton Arena baby!
- The Heat power play was FEELING IT against San Antonio, especially at home, going 28.6% on the PP inside the friendly walls of Stockton Arena and 20% on the power play overall vs. San Antonio.
- Meanwhile, San Antonio managed just two power play markers on 26 tries, good for a Heat penalty killing rate of 92.3%!
- Good news! The highest point getter should also return after another big Calgary fish who’s last name could be Gaudreau or Hockey signs his deal! Freddie Hamilton led the team with 6 goals and was tied with Kenny Agostino with 10 points in 6 games against the Rampage!
- Only six of 30 players finished with a negative plus/minus…oddly enough including the team’s best goalscorer as Hamilton finished minus-2.
- Another player, like Nic Dowd, I expected more from thinking back was Mikko Rantanen. He was clearly one of the best players we saw all year and someone I’d fully expect to be in Colorado full time if not this year then very, very soon. Rantanen may have finished second on the Rampage in points vs. Stockton but he had just 2 goals and 2 assists. I just expected that number to be higher, but perhaps it’s a similar case as Dowd. Rantanen did lead Rampage shooters in shots vs. the Heat with 19 but scored on 10.5% of them.
- For as good as the Gulls were, the Heat ended the year with a positive record against the Anaheim affiliate, posting a 6-5-0-1 record.
- Again, second period trend killed the Heat here. A total of 16 of 36, or 44% of the Gulls goals came in the second period against Stockton.
- Both teams shooting percentages are fairly even and low. San Diego squeeked ahead of Stockton scoring on 9.5 of their 379 total shots while the Heat tallied on 8.6% of their 396 shots.
- Penalty minutes were high here too, 168 for the Heat and 204 for the Gulls. Second highest combined penalty minutes in a series right here.
- Stu Bickel had 52 of those penalty minutes for the Gulls. Probably more than Coach Dallas Eakins wanted…
- Best plus/minus vs. San Diego are two guys who will be back within the organization as Brett Kulak was plus-6 and Freddie Hamilton was plus-5.
- Hamilton was also the team leader in points with 10 and second on the team in goals with 4 vs. San Diego.
- The Gulls also saw five Heat goalies including Poulin, Gillies, Ortio, Schneider and Simpson.
- Chris Mueller was the point getter for the Gulls against Stockton, scoring 4 times and adding 6 assists to lead the team with 10 points. He led with 31 shots too.
- The dreaded combo of Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour weren’t too “dreaded”. The talented young defenseman combined for 8 points (four each) and only one goal (Theodore).
- Theodore was minus-5 and Montour was even vs. Stockton.
- To be clear how impressive this is, Montour finished tied with Mueller as the top point getter for the Gulls despite playing on the blueline with 57. Only four of those, all assists, were from games against the Heat.
- Theodore finished with the fourth most points on the Gulls with 38 in just 50 games. He again…held in check with just four points.
- Also, Montour had the most shots against the Heat with 33, two more than Mueller who actually led the Gulls in points against the Heat.
- If I could just skip this part, I’d have been happy, but if you talk about the good the Heat did in matchups against the second placed Gulls, you have to talk about the poor matchup they had against the fourth placed Barracuda… While the Heat won three games, they’d finish with their worst record against any team at 3-8-1-0.
- Five losses and one overtime loss came in San Jose, a building they’ve never won at. Maybe we could ask the Barracuda to move their games back to Sharks Ice where the Heat won in the preseason last year!
- The goal differential for the Heat was -26. San Jose was great in the second periods with 22 goals but carried that momentum into the third with 21 goals against Stockton.
- As a team, San Jose shot 15.3%, the highest of any team against the Heat.
- The worst offender? Well there’s a couple of them:
- Nikolay Goldobin, 7 for 20 = 35% shooting percentage
- John McCarthy, 8 for 27 = 29.6% shooting percentage
- Barclay Goodrow, 9 for 35 = 25.7% shooting percentage
- Trevor Parkes, 6 for 24 = 25% shooting percentage
- And that’s just a few of them…
- The worst offender? Well there’s a couple of them:
- Goodrow, McCarthy and Petter Emanuelsson all had two game winners each against Stockton.
- The Barracuda had 8 players with 10+ points vs. Stockton (Goldobin, 16; Goodrow, 15; Ryan Carpenter, 14; McCarthy, 13; Jeremy Langlois, 12; Parkes, 11; Joakim Ryan, 11; and Bryan Lerg, 10)
- Meanwhile the Heat had five players with 5+ points vs. San Jose (Agostino, 13; Hamilton, 9; Grant, 6; Shore, 6; Kenney Morrison, 5)
- The Heat used five goalies (Poulin, Gillies, Simpson, Schneider and Ortio) and none of them had a save-percentage above .900. The best? Poulin with a 3.98 gaa and .866 sv%.
- Meanwhile Aaron Dell went 5-1-0 vs. Stockton, had a 1.85 gaa and .948 sv%.
- Bottom line vs. San Jose is the record has to improve. While I think the turning point in the season was the five-game road trip we had in March, no question that the record against San Jose really did us in. We win a few more against this club and we’re heading to the post season while they are left wondering why they just missed. Sad part is we were leading on a few of those games and we let them come back on us. The entire series leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as I’m sure it does to the players, staff and to you fans (maybe not all bad for you Sharks fans though…least there’s a silverlining), but this has to change for 2016-17.
- I’m done…let’s move on to something again more positive.
- At least we sandwiched that negative with two positives. The Heat played well against Texas teams and the team that hails from Texas, Texas (okay…Cedar Park or Austin, Texas) is no different. The third placed team in the Pacific saw the sixth placed Heat go 4-1-1-0 on them with the lone loss coming in Texas and lone overtime defeat coming in Stockton.
- Goals were fairly even…I mean…really, really, REALLY close with 19 goals for the Heat and 18 against.
- They finished nearly identical in shots and goals per period
- 1st period: Heat= 6 for 74 | Texas= 6 for 73
- 2nd period: Heat= 4 for 63 | Texas= 7 for 72
- 3rd period: Heat= 8 for 81 | Texas= 4 for 54
- Overtime: Heat= 0-7 | Texas= 1 for 4
- TOTALS: Heat= 18-225 for an 8% shooting percentage | Texas= 18-203 for an 8.9% shooting percentage
- Nearly identical on the power play too:
- In Stockton: Heat= 4-15 (26.7%) | Texas= 2-18 (11.1%)
- In Cedar Park: Heat= 1-12 (8.3%) | Texas= 2-11 (18.2%)
- TOTAL: Heat= 5-27 (18.5%) | Texas= 4-29 (13.8%)
- Not too terribly different
- So why the success? Hard to tell. Going through the stats I thought it may be goaltending and maybe that’s it. The Stars sent Maxime Lagace to the pipes three times, and while he ended up going 1-2-0, he had a 1.67 gaa and a .956 sv%. The other two Stars tendys, John Muse and Jack Campbell had a 3.85 gaa or higher and were sub-900 on the save-percentage front.
- Jon Gillies pitched a shutout in his lone game vs. Texas and Kevin Poulin played three vs. Texas and had a 2.32 gaa and .927 sv%.
- For whatever reason we just matched up well despite being two, pretty evenly matched squads and a few bounces go our way and didn’t go theirs. That of course could change so the 16-17 Heat shouldn’t rest on their good record they built against Texas in year one.
- Especially when you know that the returning player with the most points is Emile Poirier, who had 3 assists against Texas.
Now these are just some observations from the research, and interesting ones at that. We know our team will be very new and pretty young, but other teams will find the same thing as well. Key players have left for greener pastures for all teams and you never know who makes the big club out of camp and which teams will have injury problems to where a key AHL player will be unavailable for the affiliate club for some time.
There’s always going to be someone to step up and seize an opportunity when it presents itself. However this tells an interesting story of the first year of the Heat, and ultimately sums up our year. We were really, pretty good against the top three teams in the Pacific, posting a .533 points percentage against the Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls and Texas Stars. We didn’t always perform our best when playing teams like Bakersfield, Manitoba and certainly San Jose.
But a lot of positives to take from year one and now we in Stockton have a far better understanding of what to expect in the AHL. Top tier players, top notch goaltending, and top competition. The Stockton Heat, like every team in the Pacific, will have to bring their best to 2016-17 in hopes of making the playoffs, and for the Heat, perhaps turning a couple of those records around and bucking trends before they become just that, historical trends we broadcasters, journalists and fans accept as fact instead of trends.
I don’t want to type the same things I typed in the San Jose section come August 2017!!!!
Also, schedule is coming soon! My guess would be in the next week…however it’s above my pay grade so don’t hold me to it! 🙂
I’ve featured a few more logos I like recently so let’s buck that trend, go with an awful one, and bonus points for awful because it’s from Bakersfield.
The Bakersfield Fog played in the West Coast Hockey League from 1995 to 1998 and to the town’s credit, they changed it to a much better name and logo, however have since ruined it with their orange Condor.
Reading the comments on SportsLogos.net are pretty funny too.
“Invader Zim’s demented cousin?”
“I have seen a lot of ugly logos but this is the worst I have ever seen”
and my personal favorite,
“Lame name for a team, especially since it’s nowhere near the coast.”
which got this as a response,
“You’ve never lived in CA, have you?”.
Umm….yea, he never lived where there is tule fog because I couldn’t have told you what it was before I lived in California!
But this does look like Invader Zim, it does look very ugly but at least it had something to do with the area.
Good job Bakersfield for making the change to Condors. Good job on your logo but now their bird looks like it was colored by a kid who got the eight crayon box instead of the kid who had the 64 or the 120…OR the 256!!!
They just decided they couldn’t make the bird look like an actual condor since you didn’t have the proper colors, so just make the whole thing orange! It never hurt them during their early years as they used like six colors in their logo, or even when they toned it down a bit, it still looked closer to what a real California Condor looks like than the Oompa Loompa bird they have now.
But give them credit, because it’s better than what could have been with the Bakersfield Fog…
Brandon Kisker is the Heat’s Director of Broadcast & Media Relations and will be entering his fourth season as a broadcaster in Stockton and second for the Heat. He yells a lot when excited, but that yelling is genuine, and typically fist pumps when goals are scored or big saves are made. He thinks Rick Jenerette is really top shelf…..and that is where mama hides the cookies. He’s excited for his first weekend in California since July 9 and 10. He’s also going to the Ports Pink Night tonight so if you’ll be there, come say hi! Follow him on Twitter @kiskerbc or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.