Just look at the numbers.
After a horrible three-game road trip where the Rampage could have saved themselves a ton of money by simply mailing in the results (some may argue that’s just what they did) rather than fly to Manitoba and Milwaukee, where they were outscored 15-6, the Rampage are now an AHL-worst 4-15-1 on the road.
They are the only AHL team with less than double-digit road standing points — nine — and have been outscored 77-44 on enemy ice. To be fair, this road trip coincided with the call-ups of the Rampage’s leading scorers the past month or so, but the team was completely outclassed in three-straight losses. Considering the team will play 10 games on the road during the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo beginning Feb. 8 in Iowa, Rampage fans should be concerned about the future of this season’s playoff chase.
Meanwhile, with two home games this weekend tonight and tomorrow, the Rampage boast the third-best home record at 17-6-0, with an expanding franchise record 11-game winning streak each time they take the ice since Thanksgiving. The challenge for this weekend — Friday’s opponent, the San Diego Gulls come in with an 10-1-1 record in their last 12 games, including an 11-game unbeaten streak at 7-0-1-2. They are hot. Saturday’s opponent, the Stockton Heat, haven’t lost in regulation in their past three games, 1-0-1-1, but are 3-5-1-1 in their last 10 games and are in sixth place in the seven-team Pacific Division.
Gulls goaltender, Kevin Boyle, was just added to the AHL All-Star Game this weekend. The Gulls have managed to post this impressive run despite the ups and downs of recalls, since their NHL affiliate, the Anaheim Ducks, have been continually stubbing their collective toes since mid-December, just ending a record 12-game losing streak. Part of the tailspin has also included another team record — 0-4-3, a seven-game home winless streak. The Ducks last win at home was Dec. 12, including a 5-1 loss to the Blues Wednesday night.
Following the game, the Rampage got some great news … the cavalry is arriving from the Blues with Sammy Blais and Mackenzie MacEachern returning to San Antonio despite Blais scoring his second goal of his NHL season, and Double-Mac picking up his first NHL assist to go along with his first big-league marker last week.
Earlier this week, the Blues also announced Rampage All-Star Jordan Kyrou and NHL veteran Jordan Nolan will play in San Antonio this weekend. Since the Blues are on their nine-day NHL sabbatical, why not have both Jordan’s keep playing here since they don’t have to play the waiver game.
QUICK STRIKES — With only nine standing points on the road, the Rampage are the only AHL squad under double-digits…the Rampage have been outscored 77-44 away from the AT&T Center, while lighting the lamp 69-39 at home over opponents…San Diego has the 7th best road power play in the league…Stockton, Saturday’s foe, has the third best PP right now…the Heat’s penalty kill is 30th on the road, however…SD averages 3.61 goals per game — third best in the league while the Rampage rank 28th at 2.63…continuing the trend of being really, really good and really, really bad, the Rampage are 15-1 when leading after two periods, but one of four AHL teams that have not come-from-behind when trailing after two period with a league-worst 0-16-1 mark…this will be Rampage goaltender Jared Coreau’s first chance to play against his former mates since the deal that brought him here earlier this month…Coreau was 3-6-3 with the Gulls with an inflated 3.57 GAA…former Rampage captain, Ben Street, has been playing with the Gulls since Jan. 10, after starting the season with the Ducks, dressing for 21 NHL games, scoring three goals and two assists in Anaheim. Street was the Rampage captain in absentia three years ago. He began the season here, but was called up to Colorado in October and was hurt, not re-joining the Rampage until March, 2016.