Manchester Storm

The Manchester Storm have had a few rough seasons. From not making the playoffs to uninspired play the team will be once again unable to compete in the playoffs for the third year in a row. So what changes have to be made?

The storm last made the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, a season they finished second overall. That season they were Patton champions and Mike Hammond of the Storm finished as the league’s top scorer with 83 points, however, they lost to the Fife Flyers and their season was over.

The Storm, which was founded in 2015, is currently in 9th place with 12 wins and 37 points in 54 games. They have been outscored 210- 150 and the team +\- is a -60.  19 players on the current roster are a – in the +\- category.  The team has a goal per game average of 2.79 but the team goals-against average is a goal higher at 3.89 per game.

The special teams are not any better. The power play is operating at a 18.3% and the penalty kill is at 75.3%. The team is led offensively by forward Adam Brady, who has 25 goals and 35 assists for 60 points in 54 games. The team is led offensively on the defensive end by Dallas Ehrhardt, who has accounted for 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 53 games.

Veteran goaltender Jason Bacashihua is the leading goaltender, appearing in 36 games, posting a 3.37 GAA, and a .886 save %. Help could be on the way in goaltender Philip Pearson, who joins the Storm from the Bradford Bulldogs, in which he appeared in 8 games, posting a 3.04 GAA, .922 save %, and a 4-4-0 record. Goaltender James Donnie was with the Storm but has been loaned to the Nottingham Panthers.

Since the last timenthe Storm made the playoffs the problem has been consistency, goaltending, and defense. The common occurrence has been that goaltending has been bad because of bad play in the defensive zone. The defense has been bad, almost nightly looking out of place and scrambling in their zone. Consistency because they rarely put together winning streaks to get out of this funk.

Because their season is over the Storm has plenty to think about this off-season. The defense and goaltending need an upgrade, and they could use another scorer. If the team comes back next season almost looking the same then we can expect the same results. The team needs to make changes if they want to proceed in the season and make the playoffs next season.

The team also lacked toughness. Linden Springer was the only quality player they had with toughness and he led the team with 195 minutes. He can handle his own but leaving the rough stuff to just him is going to wear him out. The Storm needs additional toughness from someone else.

During rhe 2019-20 season, the Storm ended up with 18 wins and 41 points in 49 games, missing the playoffs. They were outscored 151-119 and had another awful +\- of -32. The next season didn’t matter as the 2020-22 season was officially canceled.

The stats do not lie, the team needs a makeover. Too many goals against, sloppy play by the defensemen, and the +\- is horrendous. This off-season is going to be huge as the Storm look to make the playoffs in the 2022-23 season. Without
changes things stay the same. The city of Manchester needs to experience playoff hockey again and want to see a winning team take the ice. A few changes and the Storm could very well be in contention again.

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