Yesterday we brought you a look at Bryan Allen's time in Florida from the perspective of Panthers fan and blogger Todd Little from Litter Box Cats. Today it's time to look at his last stop on the road to Anaheim and why it seems to have been so much more successful than these early days of his Ducks' stint.
Without further ado, here's Corey S. (MyFriendCorey) from Canes' Country:
Greetings Anaheim Calling readers, we at Canes Country have been told that there have been some debates about current Anaheim defenseman and former Hurricane, Bryan Allen. Apparently his season has not gotten off to a good start and many are wondering how long he will continue to play poorly. Allen spent only a season and half with the Hurricanes so I won't have all the answers, but I might be able to provide some insight into what kind of player Allen is and how he performed during his tenure with the Hurricanes.
When Allen was acquired in 2011 in exchange for Sergei Samsonov's expiring contract, he didn't really make much of an impact in his first few weeks with the team. He was mainly used on the third pairing and as a penalty kill specialist but nothing more. He began to have a more defined role in during the 2011-12 season when he was used on a pairing with Tim Gleason and the two quickly became the "shutdown pair" for the Hurricanes. These two were trusted with playing around 18-20 minutes a night against opposing team's top lines and logging big minutes on the penalty kill, as well. The general consensus among Carolina fans was that they did a good job in this role and complimented each other well. Many of them actually wanted Allen to be re-signed since he filled a need for this team as a stay-at-home defenseman and wasn't traded at the deadline.
In addition to making life tough for opposing forwards, Allen was also the team's best shot blocker and arguably their top penalty killing defenseman. He basically fit the mold of a top-four shutdown defenseman last year with the Hurricanes. The downsides to his game are that he isn't very mobile, he provides little to no offense and has a tendency to take bad penalties. It was often a double whammy when he got sent to the box because he was one of the team's better penalty killers.
Seeing how he already has 19 penalty minutes in eight games, it looks like the Ducks have gotten more of the bad side of Allen than the good. He has also posted some brutal underlying numbers this year with a Corsi ON/60 rate of -14.66. Eight games is a small sample size, obviously but that's still very bad and an indication that Allen is spending way too much time trapped in his own zone. Allen wasn't exactly a player that drove possession in Carolina but he certainly was never that bad either.
So, what exactly is causing Allen to play so poorly with Anaheim? I mentioned that Gleason and Allen were able to complement each other well last year because they played similar styles. According to Behind The Net's Time On Ice tracker, Allen has been used with Cam Fowler more than anyone else this year, which seems a bit odd because those are two very different defensemen. He also isn't being assigned the toughest minutes since Francois Beauchmein and Sheldon Souray are handling those. I wouldn't say that either defenseman is dragging one another down but pairing Allen with a more defensive-minded player might help him improve a little bit.
If you want more information on him, check out our recap of his 2011-12 season.