This is it. That’s been a common theme throughout the 2011/2012 season for the Rochester Americans in needing to find ways to turn the season around and stay alive. At times when they’ve seemed down and out they’ve found a way to rebound and win some games. Can they find a way to go on a three game winning streak? The odds are against them being down by two games in a best of five series but we should expect a decent hockey game Monday night at the War Memorial.
(Photo courtesy of Dave Sturm, you can see his entire album here)
As of Monday morning it looks like there’ll probably be a crowd of over 5,000 which is pretty impressive for a first round playoff series, a round that typically has some low attendance all around the league. The crowds were small in the first round of the 2010 playoff series. They were small in 2007 as well. Even back in the lock out year the second home playoff game had 5,817 attend on a Friday. It helps to have cheaper tickets this season and also being owned by the Buffalo Sabres means a push by the Sabres to sell tickets, something they didn’t have much of a desire to help with when they didn’t own the Amerks.
If you don’t have tickets click the link below for $12 tickets and help pack the barn.
$12 Tickets: http://bit.ly/IfzCpR
Back to the game itself, it’ll be a battle and for the Amerks to win they’ll need a perfect game from David Leggio and a game free of mistakes from everyone else. The Amerks and Marlies have played in 12 games now this season and every game has been decided by one goal.
If the Amerks are going to win they’ll need to find a way to keep the puck away from Jerry D’Amigo who has scored four goals this series.
If they Amerks are going to win they’ll also need to try and get some scoring from other players. The Amerks have scored six goals this series in two games and they’ve been scored by three players. Marcus Foligno, TJ Brennan and Phil Varone each have two goals. The assists have gone to nine players but goals are needed.
Still without a goal or an assist in this series is three key players: Derek Whitmore, Colin Stuart and Corey Tropp. That’s not to say they’ve played poorly but they are guys the team could use to find a way to score down in the series.
The Marlies are a better team plain and simple. They’re better scoring. They’re better defensively. It’ll be disappointing if the Amerks are swept in the series but it’ll be because the other team was just better.
The one thing this Amerks squad has though is a desire to win and not give ever give up. The puck drops at 7:05pm and it’ll be time for a three game winning streak which will prevent the Calder Cup from going to Toronto.
Injury Updates: Evan Rankin will be out with a bad cut on his lower right leg. It apparently happened in the first period on Sunday and he’s out for at least this series if it continues and possibly longer. Shaone Morrisonn will be a game day decision. He’s been a big part of the Amerks defense all season and they just aren’t the same defensively without him.
For game day updates make sure to follow @KevinODandC and @DropThePuckWHTK on Twitter. My schedule hasn’t been in my favor in terms of getting the locker room coverage but those two are on top of things.
Did I mention $12 Tickets? Click here if you need them: http://bit.ly/IfzCpR