Newly promoted Washington Capitals assistant coach Scott Allen held his first media availability with Capitals press on Tuesday. Allen will take over for the recently departed Scott Arniel, who left this off-season for a position with the Winnipeg Jets.
Allen is grateful for his promotion to the NHL, but he doesn’t see his time spent along the way as paying his dues.
“It’s always a special feeling. It’s the best league in the world. It’s the best players in the world. It’s the only league you can win a Stanley Cup in. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the minors. People use the terms “paying their dues”. I don’t look at that for one second. I’ve been so fortunate and extremely lucky. I’ve coached the last 26 years straight through, in pro hockey, between the minors and the National Hockey League, from the beginning of the season to the end.”
Allen, who will be responsible for the forwards and Capitals penalty kill, said first and foremost he wants to bring an aggressive style of play to the Capitals penalty kill.
“I’d like to keep it in the upper part of the National Hockey League, that’s for sure. I think the penalty kill, for sure, can be a difference maker, night in, night out, in the National Hockey League, especially,” said Allen.
“In the past I’ve been a big believer and a builder on trying to be fairly aggressive. It certainly plays into personnel. I think the Caps certainly have the personnel to play an agressive style.”
The Bears penalty kill recorded a fairly impressive 10 shorthanded goals last season, which was 8th-best in the AHL. (Stockton Heat 15). Joe Snively led the Bears with three shorthanded goals in just 35 games played before he was recalled to the Capitals. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby had one shorthanded goal in 44 games for the Bears .
The Bears penalty kill ended the season with an overall success rate of 81.6%, which was 12th best in the AHL. For reference, and a baseline, the Capitals ended the 2021-22 season with an 80.4% penalty kill percentage, which was also 12th best, in the NHL.
#Capitals new assistant coach Scott Allen breaking down game footage for one of his “101% Always” camps this morning. He meets with #Caps media at 2:30 today. #ALLCAPS (🎥: @101percentalways) pic.twitter.com/OnlRCMITr7
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) July 26, 2022
Allen believes his time spent with the Capitals younger players in Hershey will be a big benefit in his new role with the Capitals.
“I think it’s a tremendous help. I did this one other time with the Florida Panthers. I’d been coaching with their minor league team for a couple of years, both in San Antonio and in Portland. Then went to the NHL with Florida. I think it makes a big difference, especially knowing some of these younger guys, who are hoping to break through and become regular National Hockey League players.”
Allen has not coached with Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette in the past, but he has coached against him, going all the way back to 1997 when Laviolette was head coach of the Wheeling Nailers and Allen was coaching for the Johnstown Chiefs in the ECHL.
By Jon Sorensen