A pivotal game #4 is tonight at 10pm on the road against the Abbotsford Heat for the Rochester Americans. Take a 3-1 series lead and everything is in favor of the Amerks, allow the Heat to tie the series 2-2 and there could be something to be concerned about.
The game is at 10pm Eastern Time and you can listen at 1280AM in Rochester or buy the game for $9.99 through AHLLive.com. The feed for the last game was pretty good, a decent enough quality that I had it playing through my big screen TV. I’ll have the Live Chat up and running again starting at around 9:45 EST at http://letsgoamerks.com/livechat
If the Amerks keep playing they have the last two games they should do alright. Besides the first eight minutes or so of game 3 the Amerks have been in control and leading the play on the ice making the Heat play catch up. Tyler Plante has made key saves when needed, the defense has scored, Mike York has assisted on seven goals, Shawn Matthias has played very well and of course Graham Mink is playing his best hockey in a while.
One key area for the Amerks is on defense, someplace they struggled at during the regular season but are doing a good job at. Here’s a quick blurb from The Tri-City News talking defense:
BLUELINE BRIGADE MUST IMPROVE
Playfair laid much of the responsibility for Monday’s defeat on the defensive corps. The Heat head coach believes Rochester’s blueliners have out-played their Abbotsford counterparts, and he had the stats to back it up.
“Rochester’s defencemen are winning,” Playfair said. “They’ve got 12 points, we’ve got eight points. They’re plus-10, we’re minus-10. They’re getting 12 shots a night from the back end, we’re getting seven shots a night from the back end. Our back end has got to step up and be a lot better, starting with Staffan Kronwall.”
Pretty strange to see an article talking about the Amerks defense leading the way but it’s happening at the right time.
For anyone who is superstitious about hockey, during the game on Monday night I had on a Buffalo Sabres sweatshirt and as soon as my wife made me change it the Amerks went on their scoring rampage. Coincidence or the Hockey Gods at work? You make the call.