If one thing is certain, it’s that the Amerks will welcome the chance to face off against a team other than the Comets. For the second time in a row Utica completely outclassed the Amerks in their home building (on 10/21). Most evident were the teams shortcomings on special teams. Rochester went 0-6 on the power-play, while giving up 4 power-play goals to the visitors. The massive disparity brings up something that could become a real issue for the Amerks this year; And it’s not the first time we have seen it under coach Taylor. In his previous stint as the Amerks special teams coach they faced similar struggles.
Like the majority of the roster, Adam Krause struggled against Utica. In fact, he was down right awful, and might have played his worst game as a pro. He took two bad penalties in the first period. Instead of amping up his game to atone for the mistakes, he continued to spiral. I’m going to rate his performance an F.
Offensively, Krause was completely ineffective. Clean zone entry was not something his line was ever able to accomplish, so he needed to rely on a physical presence, and workman like effort to win pucks deep. Unfortunately, those were not aspects of his game on this night. Krause only finished checks well in the first period of the game. As it wore on, the power and speed slowly flickered out of his game until he was simply going through the motions. He did have one great opportunity to score on 2 on 1, but mishandled the puck and wasn’t even able to get off a shot. It was certainly a night to forget.
Defensively things were not any better. Krause looked slow and lazy on the forecheck for much of the night. He wasn’t able to put any pressure on the Comets, and the two penalties he took early further compounded Rochester special teams woes.
I chose to scout Krause against the Comets because I thought he played a fantastic game the night before against the Checkers (10/20). He certainly doesn’t have elite speed, but if he is going to make up for that, he will have to play smart physical hockey going forward. With young players like Danforth, Kile, and Muzito-Bagenda waiting in the wings in Cincinnati, as well as Rodrigues and Nylander out injured, it is very possible Krause could wind up on the roster bubble soon.