Cyclones Report: Topsy-Turvy Beginnings

(Photo Credit: Cincinnati Cyclones)

Rob Madore, Admirals tendy gear set galore, has been an awfully busy man in net for the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL this season. (Photo Credit: Cincinnati Cyclones)

Still a bit bummed out over the Milwaukee Admirals weekend results? Well, looking at our friends down in the ECHL, you really out to be fortunate that the Ads have been as hot and consistent as they have been.

The Cincinnati Cyclones start to their 2014-15 season has seen a lot of win one-lose one ups and downs. They have a record of 11-8-2-0 (24 points) and currently sit in fifth place of the North Division which ranks them eleventh in the Eastern Conference.

They have scored an equal amount of goals as they have allowed, 53. They are fourth from the bottom in regards to total penalty minutes, 13.4 penalty minutes per game. They have the twelfth overall power-play in the ECHL, 17.8 power-play percentage. And their penalty kill is the second worst in the league, 78.0 penalty killing percentage.

Like the title says: topsy-turvy. Things have been consistent – just consistently and splendiferously average.

The current outfit of players in our system currently residing in Cincinnati includes: Jaynen Rissling, Mikko Vainonen, Zach Budish, Josh Shalla, and Rob Madore.

Shalla has been the man that he has always been for the Cyclones. He has produced 14 points (9 goals, 5 assists) from 15 games. Each and everyone of those goals were scored in the month of November in a span of 12 games. He also scored 5 goals in a 4 game span. If there is some way some how that he could bottle up some of his ECHL magic and unleash it at the AHL level it would be a rewarding sight to see. ECHL Shalla… 0.90 points per game. AHL Shalla… 0.28 points per game. That 4 game span I just talked about? He scored as many goals for the Cyclones in that window as he has in 58 games with the Admirals.

Budish was a player that I almost felt was unfortunate to be sent down when he was. While he may have been on the fourth-line at the time – he picked up 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 6 games for the Admirals. For the Cyclones he has now played in 13 games while recording 12 points (2 goals, 10 points) with a plus/minus rating of +5. I always feel people expect Austin Watson duplicated work and numbers from Budish. Truth is, he doesn’t do anything too flashy, too fast, too offensively polished, but he doesn’t make hair-pullingly bad mistakes. When it came to his reassignment from Milwaukee this season it came with the mindset that Joe Pendenza and Frédérick Gaudreau can play center as well as the wing. Were Budish more capable at the center-ice position I wonder who would have been sent down at the time.

The two young defensemen that are in system right now in Cincinnati, Vainonen and Rissling, are both guys that I wouldn’t expect offense out of. They are finely tuned for defense and, between the two of them, have a combined 2 points thanks to Vainonen’s 2 assists. They are a combined -3 on the ice and have 40 penalty minutes between the two of them. Workmanlike is the term to use for them. If you see Rissling’s profile picture on Twitter – it sums them both up rather nicely, I think.

A player I was massively happy that the Admirals signed in the off-season, Madore, has been the Cyclones rock in net so far. He has started all but 4 games this season for the Cyclones and has the following stat-line to show for it: 11 starts, 5-4-0-2 record, 3.15 goals against average, 0.883 save percentage, and 1 shutout. It hasn’t been as awe-inspiring as his 2014 Kelly Cup run that gave him the MVP honors despite coming up on the losing side of things in the final. Perhaps Madore sums up the Cyclones start better than anyone: average and should be better.

The Cyclones will have a busy run of games coming up shortly as they prepare for 13 games in the month of December. It will be interesting to watch whether or not some success can be sustained during that slate. Their longest winning streak so far consisted of 3 games. That run ended and started a 5 game losing streak… topsy-turvy. Here’s hoping the next Cyclones Report will have brighter news in the wins department.

Added Footnote: The Admirals assigned Jonathan Diaby and loaned Joe Pendenza to Cincinnati.

How have our players been doing in the ECHL? Do you feel Josh Shalla will ever be able to have as big of an offensive impact for the Admirals as he does for the Cyclones? Is there a Kelly Cup hangover for Rob Madore?

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