Author Archive

Scouting Report – 2/22/17 – Tim Kennedy

February 24, 2017 - By

Even though the Amerks put forth their best lineup of the year Wednesday night in Buffalo, fans were still left wanting more. The return of Bailey, Baptiste, and Rodrigues was tarnished by a lack of effort and an All Star game feel. Thankfully the backbone of the Amerks this year (Linus Ullmark) stood strong with 39 saves. Karabacek also played well extending his goal scoring streak.

Another player making a notable return was Buffalo native Tim Kennedy. Though effort was not an issue, Kennedy struggled to make an impact. With a man advantage, at even strength, and on the kill, every part of Kennedy’s game was average. Fittingly, I will rate his performance a C.

On the power play Kennedy played a very minor role. He contributed nothing to zone entry, just waiting at the blue line for a dump. After the Amerks were set up, he assumed his position in the slot waiting for a deflection. Surrounded by Comets, the puck very rarely found his stick. He was able to redirect a shass (shot-pass) from Fedun on the point; unfortunately, it ricocheted harmlessly into the chest of the waiting netminder. Kennedy was no doubt limited by the role [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 2/19/17 – Taylor Fedun

February 22, 2017 - By

The presence of Taylor Fedun kick started the Americans back to winning ways on Sunday night. The team is now 12-9 in the 21 games he has put on an Amerks sweater, and 9-21 without him. In addition to a great overall game, he registered an assist bringing him to 18 points on the year and 0.86 points per game. He trails only Cal O’Reilly and Cole Schneider (.93 and .94). I am going to rate his performance a B+.

Offensive production is without question the most important aspect of Fedun’s game. His ability to skate the puck has been a difference maker since he arrived in Rochester. Sunday night was more of the same. Fedun led the breakout with patience under pressure and executed a few of his trademark two line stretch passes. His ability to find the sticks of teammates is unrivaled by anyone on the roster. The area the Amerks missed his talents the most was on the power play. However, in his return they were 0-4 with a man advantage. His ability to skate the puck made zone entry a breeze, his passing on the point opened countless shooting lanes, but Fedun’s shooting was awful. During [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 2/17/17 – Alexander Nylander

February 19, 2017 - By

The play of Nylander Friday was a microcosm of his time with the Amerks. Throughout the night he showed flashes of the first round talent he possesses. But, ultimately was defined by the glaring weaknesses in his game. I am going to rate his performance a C-. After comparing his style of play with Sweden to the effort he has put forth in Rochester, I am beginning to question his organizational fit.

There are two main differences between Nylander’s usage in Rochester and Sweden; his role on the power play, and on the rush. With a man advantage at the World Juniors, Nylander was extremely effective on the left point. He has strong body control and a right-handed shot giving a quick trigger. He picked out a few great cross-ice passes that led to assists, and was also in position to skate the puck. Against the Sound Tigers he spent all his time on the wing waiting for his teammates to dump the puck in. Nylander is painfully ineffective digging the puck out from the boards. His lack of desire to play physical hockey was on display as the Amerks had a difficult time getting set up. With Sweden this [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 2/10/17 – Patrick Mullen

February 12, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Friday night the Amerks suffered a debilitating 3-2 loss to the Devils. Their third period collapse is only the latest example of the team’s inability to put together 60 minutes of good hockey. Captain Cal was by far the best player of the night for Rochester. He was a team best 19 of 26 in the face-off circle and assisted on the second goal. The defensive pairing of Burgdoerfer and Mullen also played very well. Burgdoerfer is unquestionably the best defenseman on the roster, and it shows every time he steps out on the ice.

Patrick Mullen played a very steady mistake free game. I am going to rate his performance a B-. The Devils weren’t able to give Mullen much work; but he performed admirably when called upon. Late in the third the newest Amerk made what looked to be a game saving stop from his knees when Ullmark was pulled out of the crease.

Offensively, Mullen showed bright spots, but ultimately wasn’t able to do enough to be impactful. He was very conservative passing the puck to start the breakout. Most times he was unable to find the stick of a forward and [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 2/9/17 – Justin Bailey

February 10, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Thursday night the Sabres were dominated by a much better Anaheim Ducks team. A late rally when the game was out of reach narrowly kept them from being doubled up in shots. They were unable to contain Corey Perry who finished with two goals and an assist in this one-sided affair. Strength vs. strength, the Sabres top line just wasn’t able to measure up. However, I was very impressed with what I saw from the Bailey-Reinhart-Gionta line. They enjoyed most of the possession when on the ice, and created some really good chances.

After watching Bailey during the 10 minuets of ice time he received, I am certain that he belongs at the NHL level. I am going to rate his performance a B+. He wasn’t able find the net, but he did register his first NHL assist. He was able to leave his mark on the game even with limited ice time.

Offensively, Bailey was the same lightning rod that he has been in Rochester. It very quickly became clear that his speed will still be a factor at the NHL level. On two separate occasions Bailey skated the puck all the way [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 1/27/17 – Brady Austin

January 29, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

The Amerks continued to slide Friday night dropping their third straight game. During that stretch they have also managed only one goal per contest. It seems the absence of Captain Cal has had a profound impact on the scoring output of both Cole Schneider and Nick Baptiste. In what is becoming an all too familiar site, the one-man show of Justin Bailey was not enough. Even with the Ice Caps starting to slide, I fear the lack of organizational depth is an obstacle too big to overcome. In this troubling stretch one of the major bright spots has been the play of the top defensive pairing.

Brady Austin played his usual steady brand of hockey. I am going to rate him a B+. Unfortunately, he was on the ice for both Albany goals or he might have earned my first outright A of the year. In the final two periods he was able to bring a physical aspect that his game has lacked at times.

Austin is not exactly known for his offensive prowess, but tonight was one of his better games. His passes out of the back were measured and resulted in only one turnover [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 1/25/17 – Daniel Muzito-Bagenda

January 27, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

In a defensive struggle the Amerks eventually fell to the Marlies in the 7th round of a shootout. Once again the teams top line was held without a point as Fasching secured the only regulation goal. Even though he was electric with the puck, Justin Bailey failed to find the net for the second game in a row. The same excitement could not be found in the game for fellow prospect Nick Baptiste. The player I have been gushing about all season has almost completely disappeared and is showing no signs of improvement. If the Amerks are going to have any chance of making the post season other players will need to step up. Tonight it was Erik Burgdoerfer who played a phenomenal game to help keep the Marlies off the score sheet in the final two frames. He was able to take the body on the rush so efficiently that Toronto was faced with an impossible task creating odd man rushes. He was consistently able to staple his man to the boards and dispossess him of the puck with ease.

Daniel Muzito-Bagenda was also among players that stepped up. I am going to rate [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 1/13/17 – Hudson Fasching

January 15, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Tonight the Amerks will feel shortchanged taking no points from their match up against the AHL’s best, Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. They outscored the penguins 2-1 when at full strength, but surrendered two power play goals. Muse played a solid game; but if Linus Ullmark had not been opening doors in Buffalo, I think the Amerks get two points. Baptiste had another frustrating night featuring several turnovers and a terrible penalty where he chose to chop down his man instead of attempting to play defense. The funk he has entered immediately after Bailey got called up is an even greater indicator of his immaturity issues. However, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda seems to be taking the roster moves in stride. He rebounded from a healthy scratch on Wednesday with a fantastic game adding another goal to his resume. I was most impressed with his ability to skate the puck into the offensive zone through traffic; it is not something I previously thought to be in his bag of tricks.

Bagenda’s line mate Hudson Fasching played a very steady game. Despite a disappointing stat line, I am going to rate him a B+. He seemed to have a very solid [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 1/11/17 – Kyle Bonis

January 12, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Tonight’s game against the Hartford Wolf Pack was a huge letdown. From the first line to the fourth the Amerks played an unacceptable game. Captain Cal led the charge; he was dominated in the face-off circle and his body language was deplorable. A player slamming his stick and shrugging his shoulders all night should not be wearing the “C”. Lead goal scorer Nick Baptiste was mentally and physically taken advantage of. He continuously turned the puck over in every zone of the ice and spent far too much time after the whistle engaged in hostile conversations. The young prospect has accumulated multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties already this year. I worry that his immaturity might threaten the progress he has made. The Cornel-Bonis-Vaive line made such a minuscule impact they barely played in the 3rd period. Together they combined for only one of the Amerk’s thirty-one shots.

Kyle Bonis played the worst game I have ever seen from him. I am going to rate him a D. I think he is in serious danger of loosing his roster spot. If Grant had cleared waivers then his days in Rochester would have surely been numbered. The only positive [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 1/6/17 – Evan Rodrigues

January 8, 2017 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Rochester was able to secure a fourth win in their last five games at home against the Crunch. Cal O’Reilly scored the lone shootout goal and the Amerks were able to hang on by the skin of their teeth. With Bailey and Fedun missing from the lineup fringe players were able to step up. Kyle Bonis made a very compelling case to play AHL hockey past his 25 game PTO. In this his 24th tilt he was able find the net, and was a team best 10 of 14 in the face-off circle. Muzito-Bagenda also scored a nice wrap around goal. For the first time since returning from injury Vaclav Karabacek was able to make a difference in the fore-checking game. He also made several gritty plays in the corner that led to turnovers, and assisted both Bonis and Bagenda’s goals.

Evan Rodriguez played a very solid game on all fronts. I am going to rate him a 4 tonight, because I now think he will be good enough to play 4th line minuets in the NHL. In the past Rodrigues has struggled to make an offensive impact; relying only on his fore-checking and instigating abilities [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 12/30/16 – Jean Dupuy

December 31, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

For the first time in four tries the Amerks were finally able to defeat the Phantoms in a 4-3 overtime thriller. After a shaky first five minutes, I was starting to get an all too familiar feeling about how the game was going to go. However, everything changed when Baptiste hit O’Reilly on a bullet of a centering pass leading to the opening goal. He finished the night with two more assists, including one to set up Fedun for the game winner in overtime. Even though Baptiste was the best player tonight, the X-factor was the work of O’Reilly and Kennedy in the face off circle.

Dupuy also performed admirably on draws. After losing his first three face offs he was able to turn things around, going 3 for 7 on the night. However, he brought much more to the table than that. His physical play was unmatched by any other player on the ice. Dupuy also registered five shots and an assist, resulting in the most complete game of two-way hockey that I have seen all year. It was not without a few miss steps though. I am going to grade him an A-.

[...]Read More

Scouting Report – 12/28/16 – Casey Nelson

December 30, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

After taking what seemed to be a giant step forward against the Crunch, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms dominated the Amerks on Wednesday night. In the 4-2 contest Rochester was only able to muster 16 shots. Once again the play of Justin Bailey was the highlight of the night. He scored his 5th goal in four games on a well-taken wrister in the slot. Also, Jean Dupuy impressed in his return to the ice. After a long absence he provided a much-needed lift in the faceoff circle. Without Burgdoerfer, Bennett, and the new acquisition Shea, the Amerks defensive core struggled. Like most nights, Geiger was completely outclassed by the opposition. However, his partner Casey Nelson played his best game in weeks.

After what has been a shockingly rough month for Nelson he was much better than I expected. Even so, there is still plenty of room for improvement. I am going to rate him a B-. So far this year Nelson has had serious issues with turnovers and defensive positioning. Tonight he committed very few turnovers, made a few nice interceptions, and played disciplined positional hockey. His willingness to skate the puck through the neutral zone [...]Read More