Woo! It's always cause to celebrate when you hit a milestone. With this week's article, I have doubled my number of blog entries. I joke, of course. I got some great feedback and future suggestions from last week's article. Some suggestions were good, some were made by people that don't realize that I do this in my free time. For free. So short of starting a Patreon, those suggestions will remain a fantasy. 

In the future, this will be where the updated numbers from the previous weekend will be discussed. But since the Phantoms haven't played a game since the Truman Administration, we're a week away from that feature being added. So we'll look at the current Eastern Conference rankings. 

Week of 2/15/21

The weekly previews return and the Phantoms are off of a 2 week hiatus!Well, I'm back with a preview. I'll be honest with you, I'm not even sure what week to call this, what with all the postponements and games not played. This has been the hardest season to try and track the league, and the past couple months my work schedule and home life have not let me even begin to worry about it. With so few updates from the league it's not easy to jump back in but I'll give it a shot. This week the Phantoms (6-14-2-1) hit the road and head to Muskegon (16-11-1-2) for a pair of games then return home to face the league leading Chicago Steel (21-7-2-0).

We meet the Lumberjacks in Muskegon while they are on a 5 game skid, only managing 1 point in a shootout loss to Green Bay. Back for the 'Jacks is Danil Gushchin, the San Jose Sharks prospect, now in his 3rd season for the 'Jacks. He was not expected to play in the USHL this season but the pandemic has thrown the OHL season into chaos and he was "loaned" back to Muskegon for the season. Gushchin has 17g, 22a on the season to lead the team in scoring. Not far behind him is Cameron Berg with 17g, 20a on the season and a little bit of a drop off between 2nd and 3rd with Tanner Kelly and his 12g, 15a on the season. 

On defense, the 'Jacks have a very promising '03 in Jacob Guevin. With 6g, 17a Guevin leads all rookies, forwards and defensemen, in total points and assists. He is also 3rd overall in defensemen scoring. In addition to his offense, he has not sacrificed anything on defense, he's second on their blueline in +/- and +9. Speaking of the most hated stat, the plus/minus, Alex Gange has an impressive +22 while adding 3g and 13a.

Wow! After all these years, I’m writing my first HockeyPhan.com blog. Actually, this is my first blog...ever. I’m surprised I hadn’t done this earlier and more often. I tend to be better with the written word, as opposed to tripping over my tongue, which you all seem to enjoy me doing week after week on the podcast. At least here, if I screw up, I have plenty of time to fix it and no one will ever know I made a miscake.

What I will be doing here will be a weekly thing. (Don’t hold me to that) So future posts will be much shorter than this one. This first post will be the Marvel Origin Story. And thus goes...

Among a small but merry group of Covelli friends, I have the nickname “Stat-Man”. This is because of the last few years of fielding requests from Justin for “off the beaten path” stats that are not found in the USHL Universe. And to date, I have fulfilled every request. Back in December, a request was made to me by someone who we’ll just refer to as Bob. We had talked about how it seemed like the Phantoms almost never had a lead in a game. And he asked me if there was any way to find out how many minutes so far this season the Phantoms had actually led. I imagine that NextGen stats keeps track of that for the NHL, but it is definitely not a stat kept in the USHL.

So, I sat down and went through all 7 or so games the Phantoms had played up to that point, going box score by box score, adding up the total time the Phantoms held a lead. And it was bad, like, baaaaaad. That idea evolved into how much time they trailed and were tied and what percentage of the season were those times. I continued tracking these numbers into spreadsheets, adding games from the next couple of weeks as they were played.

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