The weekend is here and the Amerks are on the road tonight in Syracuse and tomorrow in Toronto before the All-Star break and heading into the last couple of months of the season wins will become more important than ever.
They have to beat Syracuse and Toronto. They need two points. That simple. How that’s going to happen is anyones guess but any way they can do it will be acceptable.
Here’s a good writeup from Ted (insagt1 on the forums) about the current state of the team:
The standings don’t lie, from the bottom up:
Rockford 41; LE 41; Hamilton 41;GR 42; Tex 43; ROCH 44; Peoria 45 (all out of playoff contention currently)
San Antonio (ugh) 46; Mil 46; Chi 50;Abb 53; Hou 54
And then the 3 division leaders and Toronto is now 7 points ahead of us.
Amerks have to climb over Peoria first and then San Antonio currently 8th as well as Milwaukee, who has 2 games in hand. After that it gets downright ugly. For those at home not keeping score, the Amerks have not been playing well lately. Not counting the loser points they are a mere 3-7 over the last 10 games and as previously noted they have won only once at home in over a month.
They have no scoring. The leader is Whitmore, with an incredibly terrible line of 16 goals and 9 assists…25 points. Certainly on a pace to come in with the lowest point total to lead the team in Amerk history. Lack of scoring and a totally impotent power play will sink this team sure as the sun comes up.
Its no longer ‘early’. Given the compostion of this team right now, coupled with the endless litany of serious injuries (current and probably yet to come), this is not a playoff team and only the greatest of optimists could think otherwise. I thought they might be about a month ago, but their recent play has dimmed that light. Yes, they still scrap but they aren’t accomplishing much anymore. A win here, a loser point there…but mostly they are falling farther behind the pack.
To stop the bleeding, they need some help and this season, it doesn’t appear like that is in any way a priority with the Darcy Regier Sabres. Terry Pegula–please take note when this season is over.
In mid April, we could revisit this post and say…what a load of crap it all was as the Amerks blaze full steam ahead into the post season….and I would love for it to be so. But for now anyway, the trend does not suggest that. We have no goal scorers; we have no special teams; we have 2 inconsistent goalies; and we are still plagued by injuries. We will be in serious trouble if we tank tonites game and then lose again to the Marlies tomorrow….with Abbotsford looming next for back to back home games.
The Houston Aero’s have faced similar issues as the Rochester Americans this season but thanks to a leading scorer and strong goaltending they’ve stayed near the top.
The Aeros have been winning games this season — they’re in second place of the AHL’s West Division with a record of 21-9-3-9 (54 points), just one point behind the first-place Oklahoma City Barons. They’re tied for the second-best record in the AHL’s Western Conference, and they’re tied for the fifth-best record in the entire league.
That the Aeros continue to find ways to win games despite the huge number of players that have been sent to the Minnesota Wild because of the Wild’s injury epidemic is testament to the on- and off-ice leadership of DiSalvatore, the coaching of John Torchetti and the work in goal of the team’s other all-star, second-year goaltender, Matt Hackett.
The team has a few days off for the All-Star break after the game Saturday afternoon. I’ll be travelling to Atlantic City to cover the event.