It’s the first practice I have been able to get to in the new year, and as usual at ESL, it is freezing cold.
The biggest question is still the status of contract talks with goaltender Mike Brodeur. We asked him after practice and apparently a contract has not been offered to be signed, but his agent has been in talks with the Panthers.. he said he’ll be calling his agent today to try and find out what’s going on.
Mike Brodeur has been selected to the Canadian team for the AHL All-Star Classic, looks like his value continues to go up every day.
I guess we left a few minutes too early to get the scoop, Brodeur gave Kevin O the following quote in the Democrat and Chronicle:
“I’m kind of at a loss for words, it’s an honor and a privilege to be chosen to the All-Star Game,” Brodeur said after this morning’s practice at the ESL Centre. “We’ve been playing great as a team and that accounts for it.”
Shawn Matthias was called back up to the Florida Panthers again, this is his fourth call up in seven days. Or something like that.. Anthony Stewart was the human yo-yo going back and forth last year, appears as if Matthias has taken his place. Matthias rejoined the Panthers in Toronto for their game tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
Riley Emmerson (sprained ankle) and Michael Duco (broken cheekbone?) are still not practicing.
Rory Fitzpatrick is doing a full practice with the team and looks to be more than ready for the game on Friday night. He is also dressed like he is playing in the Winter Classic with a full head warmer on under his helmet. Rory said he believes he’s cleared to play so we should expect him back in the lineup this weekend.
Cory Murphy is a lot smaller than I recalled him being. Not that it matters for his skill level and what he brings to the ice, I just thought he would be taller than Jacob Micflikier.
With Murphy on the blue line leading the defensemen and Mike Brodeur in net, the Amerks were able to sweep the weekend in Manitoba. This was a huge feat for the team, and should really translate well into this busy weekend.
Stefan Meyer scored with 5 seconds left on the clock to send last Saturdays game against the Moose into OT, he said that Murphy’s “slap shot / pass was put perfectly onto the stick where the stick did all the work putting the puck in the net.”
Everyone has wanted a sniper to be able to score a ton of goals, but it appears all we really needed was a goalie and some help on defense. Let’s hope when Rory returns and Cory Murphy is gone the defense continues to play as well as they have.
The Amerks’ next game is Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena against the Syracuse Crunch. The puck drops at 7:35pm. Expect a few extra fans there because of last weekend’s sweep of the Manitoba Moose.
On Saturday, the team travels down to Binghamton to take on the Senators. And on Sunday, the Amerks are back at home against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Two weeks ago, the Amerks blew a 3-0 lead in Hamilton.
I give them a bit of a break on that one. Only because our goalies were both extreemly sick along with half of the team. But, it came down to what goalie could stop throwing up long enough to play the game. So, now that the team isn’t suffering from the flu bug, they need to show the Bulldogs what they are made of now.