Browsing posts in the ‘Amerks’ category

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

We don’t matter

January 13, 2017 - By
We don’t matter

Quick post….

If you thought losing coverage in your own local paper sucked, how do you feel about your owner not even acknowledging your existence?

TP: We’re involved in two professional major leagues. We’ve got 62 teams, two championships, and it’s hard to win. We have a lacrosse team also. We’re doing the best we can to bring a product to Western New York that people can be proud of as championship teams.

Buffalo News article

Thanks for thinking of us Mr. Pegula!

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

Playoffs are a real possibility

January 6, 2017 - By
Playoffs are a real possibility

Happy New Year! I’d like to start 2017 off with some optimism.

Because I didn’t pay attention this summer… I just learned a couple of weeks ago there was no crossover rule for playoff seeding this season (where if the 5th place team in the other division in our conference has more points than the 4th place team in our division they bump them). THIS… combined with a very good last week of 2016 has completely changed our playoff chances.

A quick look at the current standings shows the Amerks trailing Toronto by 1 point for the 4th and final playoff spot in the North Division, although the Marlies do have a game in hand. We play Toronto a whopping SEVEN times more this season, including tonight and 3 other times this month alone. Staying ahead of them along with Utica and Bingo is our ticket in. CURRENT STANDINGS

As always in the second half of the season, this will become your best friend for gauging playoff probabilities: http://www.sportsclubstats.com/hockey/USA/AHL/Rochester.html
A scenario of a 23-18-2 finish to the season would give us better than an 80% chance of making it. Now, if Toronto were to catch on [...]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

Scouting Report – 12/26/16 – Justin Bailey

December 27, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

The Amerks came back from holiday break wearing their road blues; it was not the only way they looked like a different team. Coach Dan Lambert did a total reboot of the forward lines. The new top line featuring Schneider, Kennedy, and Bailey combined for 6 points. Bailey earned the game’s first star for his two goals. Lambert had the magic touch tonight, as the Amerks were able to triumph over the Crunch for the first time in six contests. The night was charged with a physical energy uncommon of anything fans have witnessed at the Blue Cross Arena this year. Syracuse grew more frustrated as the game progressed, and were not able to execute the way they have in the past. The catalyst of that frustration was Justin Bailey.

Although Bailey was able to net two goals, and earn the first star of the night, the product he put on the ice was far from perfect. I am going to rate him an A- -. On the opening power play of the night, 95 was able to end the Amerks prolonged goal drought. He crashed the net well, and was able to bang home [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 12/19/16 – Tim Kennedy

December 20, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Tonight’s 4-1 collapse was one of the worst games Rochester played all year. After leading 1-0, the Senators scored four unanswered goals, snapping the Amerk’s three game home win streak. If O’Reilly had not been gifted an assist on what was a largely an individual effort, Baptiste-O’Reilly-Schneider would have gone their 3rd strait game without a point. The #1 line is a combined -11 over that stretch. Once again that lack of production filtered into special teams play. Rochester has now failed to score on 23 strait power plays. The lone bright spot of the night was the hard work of Justin Bailey, who scored the only goal. After a shaky start to the year, he is really starting to heat up.

Among the things to be disappointed about was the return of Tim Kennedy. Tonight his rating was a J, for jet-lagged. After traveling over 30 hours this weekend, and moving his family from Sweden on Thursday, it looked obvious he wasn’t prepared to play. His slow reactions were most evident in the face-off circle. He lost almost every draw he had tonight (most of them cleanly).

Offensively, Kennedy was never really able [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 12/17/16 – Cal O’Reilly

December 18, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

The Amerk’s were able to squeak out a close one in overtime tonight with a 3-2 win. Justin Bailey blazed into the zone, beat his man on the wing, and deeked the keeper to get the overtime winner. For his goal he earned the first star of the night.

In my opinion, the real star of the show was Taylor Fedun. His ability to skate the puck effectively makes him the offensive catalyst the Amerks need on the point. He made beautiful stretch passes to start the breakout; including one gorgeous pass from behind his net, through the neutral zone, onto the stick of his right winger. With him on the point, power play zone entry was flawless. In Fedun’s absence this has been a glaring weakness. When he did not skate the puck past center ice, he was able to find an easy entry pass. He assisted on the first goal, and scored the go-ahead goal on a nice top-shelf wrister. I also think Erik Burgdoerfer played a great game. He made several heads up plays in the defensive zone, and is evolving into a key blue liner.

Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 12/14/16 – Vaclav Karabacek

December 15, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Tonight’s 5-2 victory against the Marlies might just be the best of the year. In a contest that was bogged down by some questionable officiating, Nick Baptiste played a near perfect game; and was able to record a hat trick. Also Dan Catenacci was able to bust out of his slump, scoring a goal, and earning the second star. Power play woes continued as the Amerks went 0 for 4 on the night. Lambert attempted to put Nelson on the point. Instead of rising to the task, Nelson continually turned the puck over impeding zone entry on a consistent basis. He even gifted the puck away on the point leading to a breakaway for the Marlies.

I am going to give Vaclav Karabacek an A- in his Amerks debut. In my first ever viewing of him I was very impressed. He played mistake free hockey for most of the night. I loved his fore-checking effort, and he combined with Catenacci for a nice assist. He was a +1 on the night and was able to register 2 shots on net. He was not involved in any special teams, but I think he is starting to develop [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 12/2/16 – Cole Schneider

December 3, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

The Amerks were able to hang on by the skin of their teeth tonight against the Toronto Marlies for a 3-2 victory. Rochester played an amazing first period, but after that, they didn’t look very sharp. Tonight’s game was flooded with special teams play: It honestly felt like there was no 5 on 5 hockey in the second frame. Dan Lambert decided to go with 5 forwards on the power play all night. They went 1 for 7 as a result. The team had difficulty getting set up and neither Rodrigues or Schneider looked good on the point. I’ll give Coach Lambert a bit of credit for being creative without Fedun and Nelson, but it just didn’t work. The difference tonight was the Baptiste-O’Reilly-Schneider line. I expected them to dominate, and they didn’t disappoint. The trio finished with 5 points, scoring all 3 goals. I was most impressed by the play of Nick Baptiste. I think his days in Rochester are numbered. His 10 goals lead the team so far this year and he is one of three Amerks to average over a point a game (others: Captain Cal and Cole Schneider).

Tonight I scouted Cole [...]Read More