Wake up Toledo, home opening day is here! The Walleye will kick off the first of 36 home games against Central Division opponent Quad City! Last weekend Toledo got their first win of the season against the Mallards in their home opener, so expect Quad City to come in with payback on the mind. Roster changes have impacted both teams already, as the Walleye may have to field their first emergency back up goaltender of the season. When reviewing the following season stats, I suggest to take them with a grain of salt. After all, the start of the year is rather chaotic as teams gel and figure out how to play their style of hockey. As a result, standings and statistics will start to hold more weight after the first 10 to 15 games have been played.
League Standing: 16th with 2 points
Western Conference Standing: 9th out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 4th out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 2.50, with 5 goals scored tied for 15th
Goals Against Average: 3.00, with 6 goals allowed tied for 13th
Power Play: 0.0%, percentage is tied for 17th, have failed to score on seven PP opportunities
Penalty Kill: 100%, percentage is tied for 1st with 0 Power Play goals allowed on 5 Penalty Kills.
Quad City Mallards
League Standing: 17th with 2 points
Western Conference Standing: 10th out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 5th out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.00, with 9 goals scored ranking 9th
Goals Against Average: 4.00, with 12 goals allowed tied for 22nd
Power Play: 0.0%, percentage is tied for 17th, have 0 Power Play goals on ten PP opportunities
Penalty Kill: 77.8%, percentage is ranked 21st with 2 Power Play goals allowed.
Over the course of the week Toledo had to make changes due to injury and additions to the team. To start off, forward (F) Colin Martin was moved from Reserves to the Injured Reserve, which will be effective back to October 11th. Charlie O’Connor was placed on Reserves to make room for Mike Borkowski (F), who was assigned to Toledo from Grand Rapids. In six games with Toledo last year he had 3 goals and 9 points, so expect him to bump up the scoring while with us. Finally, Matej Machovsky is listed as day-to-day after re-aggravating a lower body injury against Fort Wayne, so the Walleye signed Kent Nusbaum as an emergency back up goaltender. A training camp attendee, Nusbaum will potentially backup Nagle this weekend. Machovsky will serve as backup if he is able to play however.
Quad City Mallards:
The Mallards have also had quite a few roster changes this week. To start off, their opening night goaltender, C.J. Motte, has been loaned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. As a result, Quad City signed goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos to a standard player contract. For skaters, the Mallards also lost Keegan Kolesar (F) to the Wolves due to reassignment from Las Vegas, but gained defenseman Willie Roskab in a trade from Worcester.
Quad City gave us all we could handle during the season opener, but your Walleye were able to prevail thanks to a solid performance from Nagle and a game winning goal from Jenks. One of the main reasons that game was so close was because of the Mallard netminder Motte, who as mentioned earlier is not with the team currently. Toledo needs to take advantage of this and come out peppering the net to test the replacement Quad City goalie. Another area the Walleye need to improve on is the Power Play, which has gotten off to a slow start with 0 goals on 7 chances. Coach Watson will be looking to get his special teams unit on the board should the opportunity arise, and the addition of Borkowski will help in this regard. Expect a dog fight as both teams look to rebound from loses, and be sure to get loud for opening night Walleye hockey!