This is the weekly edition of Idaho Steelheads Power Rankings, where we at IdahoSteelheads.com will see where the Steelheads and their players rank among the best of the best in the ECHL.
Winning a hockey game on the road is never easy, and often times special teams come into play in a big way. The penalty kill has certainly been a boost to the Steelheads, but where does Idaho’s road PK stand in relation to the rest of the ECHL? Let’s find out!
*All Statistics current as of 3/14*
5) Quad City Mallards; 86.2 percent PK on the road
The Quad City penalty kill sits 12th in the ECHL but has been a stronger asset on the road, one of the reasons they are fighting on the fringe of the Western Conference playoff picture. The Mallards are four games into a six game road trip, winning three of those games. In the last four games, the Mallards have killed off 18 of 19 penalties.
4) Florida Everblades; 86.7 percent PK on the road
Sometimes statistics can mislead you. Yes the Everblades have the ECHL’s fourth-best road penalty kill, but part of that success is heavily buoyed by the Everblades performance early in the season. The Everblades were the top-rated penalty kill in the ECHL up until February 25th, but now rank 10th. Much of that decline is due to their penalty killing performance at home, but they’ve struggled lately on the road as well. The Everblades have given up eight power play goals in the last seven games (65.2 percent). The penalty killing decline coincides with a general decline in Florida’s play, going just 4-5-1 in their last ten and falling out of first place in the South Division.
3) Idaho Steelheads; 87.0 percent PK on the road
The Idaho Steelheads penalty kill has been on a tear in general of late, killing 28 of the last 29 disadvantages and going perfect over the last eight games. Yet the Steelheads PK has been an even louder statement throughout the season on the road, important with the Steelheads tied with the Allen Americans for the most road games played so far this year. The Steelheads have killed off 35 of 36 disadvantages (97.2 percent) over their last 12 road games and, not surprisingly, the Steelheads are 9-2-1 in those 12 games.
2) Allen Americans; 87.2 percent PK on the road
The Allen Americans have the sixth ranked home penalty kill, the second ranked road penalty kill, and the top overall penalty kill in the ECHL. That pretty darn good. The Americans have given up just five power play goals in 15 road games dating back to New Year’s Day, going 52 for 57 (91.2 percent) over that time. The Americans have faced the fifth-most shorthanded situations on the road this season with 125.
1) Orlando Solar Bears; 89.5 percent PK on the road
Like their Sunshine State side-kicks, the Solar Bears’ top-ranked road penalty kill is misleading if you assume it is representative of a unit that is dominant overall. The Solar Bears are one of the league’s worst teams on the penalty kill when playing in front of their own fans, with their 78.6 percent kill ranking 25th in the ECHL, leveling their overall percentage at 15th in the league (84.2 percent). Still for purposes of this list, the Solar Bears do come out on top, and their 11 power play goals against on the road is the lowest total across the ECHL. Four points out of a playoff spot, the Solar Bears have won four straight road games and five of the past six. They’ve killed 18 of 20 penalties in that stretch.