BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
In simple statistical terms, it's easy to see why the Condors have yet to win a game this season.
They lead the ECHL in goals allowed (4.43 per game) and are next-to-last in goals scored (1.43 per game).
Condors at San Francisco
When: 7:30, tonight at the Cow Palace
Radio: KHTY (970 AM)
Records: Condors 0-6-1, Bulls 2-5-1
Notes: This is the home opener for the Bulls, who started the season with eight road games due to the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace ... The Bulls have lost four straight ... The Condors host Las Vegas on Saturday night and host Stockton at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Which pretty much explains why the Condors are 0-6-1 as they head to San Francisco to face the Bulls tonight.
"It certainly doesn't feel good from my perspective," Condors coach Troy Mann said. "With all the changes that were made in the organization in general all summer you anticipate a good start. It just hasn't happened."
Porous goaltending early on certainly as been a major concern for Mann.
Tyler Bunz (3.39 goals-against average and .893 save percentage) is on recall to Oklahoma City in the American Hockey League, which left Paul Karpowich (4.68/.832) as the lone goaltender for last weekend's games in Alaska. The Condors were outscored 15-3 in three losses to the Aces.
With Bunz expected to remain in Oklahoma City for a while, the Condors have bolstered the goaltending with the signing of 10th-year pro Andy Chiodo.
Chiodo, 30, played in eight NHL games early in his career, has over 90 games at the American Hockey League level, and has spent six of the past seven seasons playing in Europe.
He was in AHL training camp with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Penn. earlier this year and joined the Condors on Wednesday. Chiodo will certainly see action this weekend with the Condors play three games in three days.
But, while it's easy to point out the goaltending woes, equally troubling is the lack of offensive production, especially from the top six forwards. No Condor has more than three points seven games into the season.
"I'm trying to find ways to make it better and somehow find the right fit, the right combination to get us on the board," Mann said.
To that end, Mann switched up his forward lines at practice Wednesday, but went back to his previous lines Thursday.
"I just didn't like the feel," he said of his switching up lines. "On Friday in Alaska we played great for 37 minutes and that's what I want to see for 60."
As he has been all season, Mann is satisfied with the play of his third line of center Gary Steffes and wingers Tyler Brenner and Michael Neal. Neal and Steffes are among six players with three points each.
"When you look at the forward position we've had a lot of guys struggle," Mann said. "Some high-end resumes that came here -- whether it's slow starts, not anticipating how good this league really is -- have not produced to what we thought.
"We need more production from the so-called top six."