Today is the day!

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Today is the day!

Today is the day that the Allen Americans start their post-season trek towards the Kelly Cup. As we have said all season, it doesn’t matter how you get there, just so you make it. There has been lots of analysis on statistics and the actual match-up between the Steelheads and the Americans, so let’s look at another perspective.

“The playoffs are such an exciting time of year for our community,” Matt Canavan, president of the Allen Americans said, “the bar is set high in Allen and the expectation is to win the championship.”

Tommy Daniels (The voice of the Allen Americans) said “This never gets old. 9 straight seasons in the playoffs is an amazing accomplishment by this team. Coach Martinson has put together another team that can complete for a championship. The journey begins tonight.” Follow Tommy on Mixlr tonight.

We have said all along that the Americans have the will to win and have predicted that they will make the playoffs. That reasoning came from several variables and characteristics expressed by the team as a whole and individually from Coach Martinson to all the players. So, what make-up is needed to accomplish a championship?

First, you need leadership. Coach Martinson’s leadership is solid and his approach works. He is outspoken and, as I’ve learned from hanging around players of every professional sport my entire life, most of them respect that outspokenness, because they know where their boss stands. This is validated through his past coaching achievements here in Allen. Next in line is the leadership expressed by the players. Just as a great quarterback navigates his team down the field, a great captain navigates his team on the ice. In order to be efficient as a captain, one cannot worry about what a teammate’s stats are or what they did in the last game, he must focus on the moment at hand and guide his team to victory. This can only be accomplished by an intelligent, patient, grounded and driven individual. Captain Joel Chouinard and Alternate Captain Casey Pierro-Zabotel fit into this category perfectly. When we watch games, we focus on the entire team, but if you only focus on Chouinard or Pierro-Zabotel during a game, your perspective of the leadership they bring to the team on and off the ice is comparable to the best of them. It can only be described as poetry on ice.

Let’s build a parallel universe to compare this poetry that creates champions. Not only does the captain need to manage with intelligence, patience and be driven with grounded play, but the players must express the same. A great example of this was in Allen on April 6, 2018. There was a point in the game that it looked very dismal, but all of a sudden Bryan Moore scored and Braylon Shmyr answered immediately with another goal. The will to win had just evolved into a serious momentum change. It’s hard to negate that any team has the will to win. Every player wants to win or their commitment to the game would never have been enough to get them where they are, but once you establish momentum, it can be a game changer. Momentum can be attributed to sports just as leverage is to a business deal. if you do not have leverage or momentum, it’s an uphill battle. Once a team has had momentum throughout a game, such as Idaho did here on the 6th of April and that momentum shifts, it breaks into your will to win. Who could have predicted that Matt Foget would have turned into Babe Ruth at the goal with just seconds left in OT.

To put this in perspective, we have compared it to Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII. With 3:10 left in the game Joe Montana and the 49ers needed a TD for the win. Montana showed patience, intellect and was grounded, yet driven to win and that is just what he did. A while back I mentioned to another media personality, coming into the game on the 6th, that after talking to many of the players, they seemed very relaxed pre-game. Their response to me was “let’s hope they’re not too relaxed.” Well, if this media personality would have been around at Super Bowl XXIII and witnessed the calmness of Joe Montana, he would have predicted that the Niners would have lost 50-0. Poise, confidence and patience always has the power to change the outcome of a game. Check out the below video of Joe Montana’s calmness during the game winning drive. Then take close note of Sam Wyche (Bengals coach), he could sense the momentum had shifted and was literally remarking about it. At one point Joe Montana was in the huddle with the offense and noticed they were very nervous. He said “Look up there, it’s John Candy in the stands.” This took the other player’s minds off the pressure and for a fleeting moment they weren’t nervous. The winning drive was majestic.

In essence, the same thing happened against Idaho on the 6th. From the direction of Coach Martinson to Joel Chouinard’s and Casey Pierro-Zabotel’s calmness and leadership to the players staying focused on making goals one at a time, they performed the same type of comeback that the Niners did in Super Bowl XXIII. There is a level of play and greatness that shines from certain teams and players, when needed, and northDsports.com feels that the Allen Americans have the team that can attain that level. One player or an entire team can never play at that level 100% of the time, but when it’s needed to step up the volume, and they act on it, great teams and dynasties are formed and championships are won, whether it be in the NFL, NHL or the ECHL.

Check out some of the great plays while making the playoffs

The Allen Americans has proven they can turn it on when needed. Coming back to Allen next week 1-1 with the Idaho Steelheads would be ideal. Again, I am hearing chatter: “who’s going to show up?” “Let’s hope they have the will to win!”; quit wasting your time, The Allen Americans are GOING to show up and YES they DO have the will to win. And win or lose, you will never convince me that they do not give it their all.

So, the slate is clean starting tonight. Forget about the season. All teams competing have pressures, but the Allen Americans have resilience and can play with the best of them. They proved that against Idaho at home. Good luck guys and see ya next week. Hope you’re 2-0 on your flight home.

Do the following images look like players who are ready?

Game 1 starts tonight in Boise at 8:10 p.m. Allen time, with game 2 starting at the same time tomorrow night.

Below is the schedule next week web the Americans return to Allen. Use our code: NORTHD for ticket discounts. Use the code at the Allen Event Center box office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling the Americans front office at 972-912-1000.

Game 3, Wednesday, April 18th – Idaho at Allen 7:05 pm

Game 4, Friday, April 20th – Idaho at Allen 7:05 pm

Game 5, April 22 -Idaho at Allen 6:05 pm (if necessary)

Best of seven series

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