Amerks Rolling Along

Amerks, AHL, Sabres, Hockey, Red Wings, Knighthawks, Bills, etc..
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insagt1
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Amerks Rolling Along

Post by insagt1 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:39 pm

Its often not how you start, but how you finish (thankfully).
For 50 minutes, this game was a snoozer. Often unwatchable. Wedgewood was the best Amerk on the ice during that time because the offense was in deep freeze.

But suddenly CJ Smith woke them up (and the small assemblage of fans) with a beaut of a goal on a delayed penalty with around 11 minutes to play. Then a few minutes later, there was that man Taylor Leier! On breakaways, he is everything that Justin Bailey was not. Leier almost always scores on breakaways...Bailey almost never scored on breakaways. Leier has 19 goals...9 with the Amerks. The guy is money in the bank.

Olofsson completed the scoring with a rocket that had the Utica goalie immediately smashing his stick against the goalpost in total disgust.

In the end, the scorers scored and the goalie saved. I am officially stopping the 'inconsistent goaltending' as one of the Amerks weaknesses. Wedgewood has been outstanding since Xmas. Now if he has an off night, thats what it will be...simply an off night. This was his 5th shutout and he has allowed only 1 goal in his last 3 starts. He may just be our key to some post season success this year.

The team didn't play well for two periods, but no real need to dwell on the negatives. they figured it out and got the 2 points. The PP was ineffective until Smith's goal on the delay....and then Olofsson's blast. The PK was strong. It was the 39th win of the season and they maintained their 2 point lead on the Crunch, who also won. They trail Charlotte by 2 points. Both teams have a league best 39 wins. This weekend showdown should be fun. Our guys remember those two miserable games to open the season.

Announced crowd of 3,100. Maybe 2,300 or 2,400 actually present. Wednesday nights are a disaster. What to do? Could we get more Sunday games after NFL ends, instead of Wednesdays? (I know...Sabres hate the 3 in 3 weekends so that probably won't happen). How about starting Wednesday games earlier, like 6:30..getting everyone home earlier? Might make a difference.

4 game win streak! Love it.

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UncleBenny
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Re: Amerks Rolling Along

Post by UncleBenny » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:38 am

It's a good thing they woke us up for the last 10 minutes otherwise some of us might have fallen asleep on the drive home because that first 50 minutes was incredibly boring. Just seemed like a sloppy game from both sides, with the only moments of "excitement" being the predicatably terrible AHL reffing, it's just really hard to believe some of these calls. Cornel completely let up on his hit yet still gets kicked out of the game, I could see 2 for boarding but 5 and a game? Uncalled for and only happened because the Utica guy stayed down. And then in the third Pilut eats a straight punch right to the mouth, only Leier gets called for defending him after the original punch, how does the ref allow that to happen?

On Pilut, am I the only one to notice how much crap other teams give him? If you watch him off the puck and after whistles, he's constant getting cheap shots from the other team. Is it just because he's a younger guy that spent much of the season in the NHL, or is he doing something else to deserve it? Just something I have been wondering, as he seems to be targeted more than anyone else on the Amerks.

Overall, it wasn't pretty but we've won 4 in a row and the team seems to be on a slight roll. I believe last night was also a "4 point game" as far as us clinching a playoff spot, as we kept Utica that much further behind us, not that I think our berth is in doubt. Would love to get all 4 points this weekend but I think 2-3 is a reasonable expectation given who we're playing.

insagt1
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Re: Amerks Rolling Along

Post by insagt1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:09 am

Since Jan 1 Amerks are 9-4-1 at home and 10-3-2 on the road. (19-7-3 total) Amerks have not played well at home this season...but lately they have been better (5 wins in last 7). They have been incredible on the road and take a 5 game road win streak into Charlotte this weekend. Our last road loss was Feb 12...one month ago. Compare all of this with last year, when we pretty much faded second half...while racking up ungodly numbers of loser points.

Amerks will try and equal their longest win streak of the season on Friday. (5 games).

Another annoying thing last night (and this has become a recurring issue) are the linesmen refusing to drop the puck on faceoffs. It seemed mandatory last night that one guy had to get tossed on EVERY faceoff. Thats unnecessary.

Amerks really need to address the Wednesday night dilemma next season. It may not be easy but simply doing the same thing over and over isn't going to help. Can we get more Sundays? Or Saturdays? And fewer Wednesdays..or change the start times? This year we may have hit a new low for Wednesday attendance. The arena is mostly empty...no matter what they 'announce'. Sad.

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UncleBenny
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Re: Amerks Rolling Along

Post by UncleBenny » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:56 am

insagt1 wrote:Another annoying thing last night (and this has become a recurring issue) are the linesmen refusing to drop the puck on faceoffs. It seemed mandatory last night that one guy had to get tossed on EVERY faceoff. Thats unnecessary.
Why is this? I don't watch enough NHL games to know if it is common place there as well. Is there some difference in rules or are the refs doing something different in the AHL? I do also notice this and it gets incredibly annoying, the players seem to get pretty frustrated as well. Dropping the puck shouldn't be that complicated.

Keith, would be cool(and maybe make a good story) if you could pop the question to some of our centers, what the hell is wrong with the AHL faceoff procedure? It would be interesting to hear what they think about it.
insagt1 wrote:Amerks really need to address the Wednesday night dilemma next season. It may not be easy but simply doing the same thing over and over isn't going to help. Can we get more Sundays? Or Saturdays? And fewer Wednesdays..or change the start times? This year we may have hit a new low for Wednesday attendance. The arena is mostly empty...no matter what they 'announce'. Sad.
I personally like Wednesday games and hate Sundays. Just feel like I have other stuff to do on the weekend. I don't know what you do to help attendance though. Slash prices, more deals? It wasn't this bad in previous years that I can remember, what changed? I don't really want more Saturdays either, it seems like Friday/Saturday back to backs don't draw well either.

moose14609
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Re: Amerks Rolling Along

Post by moose14609 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:10 am

Speaking of questionable officiating - how is it that Mazanec, or the team was not penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the Amerks' third goal when he was constantly slamming his goal stick across the one goal post until it finally snapped, and the shaft wound up on the far boards? I saw the same thing in a recent NHL game, and nothing was called there either. I was sitting at the end when Pilut was punched - the ref was looking right at the incident, and did nothing, other than penalize Leier. Well, as we always say, it's often the retaliation that gets the penalty.

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keithLGA
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Re: Amerks Rolling Along

Post by keithLGA » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:16 pm

UncleBenny wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:56 am
Keith, would be cool(and maybe make a good story) if you could pop the question to some of our centers, what the hell is wrong with the AHL faceoff procedure? It would be interesting to hear what they think about it.
I'll ask but I doubt I'll get answers, talking about the officials is a big no go territory. Will have to save it for a day everyone is in a good mood.

As for the unsportsmanlike for stick smashing it'll never get called unless someone else is around and at immediate risk of injury. Just some frustrations. As for Pilut getting throat punched, that's baffling!!! Especially since Leier got roughing for just pulling the guy out. Ridiculous.

insagt1
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Re: Amerks Rolling Along

Post by insagt1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:24 pm

UncleBenny wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:56 am
insagt1 wrote:Another annoying thing last night (and this has become a recurring issue) are the linesmen refusing to drop the puck on faceoffs. It seemed mandatory last night that one guy had to get tossed on EVERY faceoff. Thats unnecessary.
Why is this? I don't watch enough NHL games to know if it is common place there as well. Is there some difference in rules or are the refs doing something different in the AHL? I do also notice this and it gets incredibly annoying, the players seem to get pretty frustrated as well. Dropping the puck shouldn't be that complicated.

Keith, would be cool(and maybe make a good story) if you could pop the question to some of our centers, what the hell is wrong with the AHL faceoff procedure? It would be interesting to hear what they think about it.
insagt1 wrote:Amerks really need to address the Wednesday night dilemma next season. It may not be easy but simply doing the same thing over and over isn't going to help. Can we get more Sundays? Or Saturdays? And fewer Wednesdays..or change the start times? This year we may have hit a new low for Wednesday attendance. The arena is mostly empty...no matter what they 'announce'. Sad.
I personally like Wednesday games and hate Sundays. Just feel like I have other stuff to do on the weekend. I don't know what you do to help attendance though. Slash prices, more deals? It wasn't this bad in previous years that I can remember, what changed? I don't really want more Saturdays either, it seems like Friday/Saturday back to backs don't draw well either.
When we were first married, my wife and I went every Sunday homegame. Never went on Wednesday. I agree back to back Fri-Sat probably is no good either...but I bet the Sat game draws more than a Wednesday game. Some cities still draw well mid-week. Many don't. I'll still take this back to years of lousy hockey. Many of the lost fans have not realized this is a very good team. Part of THAT is virtually no marketing or media..outside of the few of us who post here. When the team gets less coverage than a non essential high school game, you know you are in serious trouble. The paper is convinced that their readers ONLY like high school sports...period. I have no clue why TV gives us such minimal coverage. Danger and Batt...they give us some love. And Matthews complains about the lack of coverage of our local teams...but when you call to agree and complain...he backpedals and says the company line...'nothing you can do'. (I do seem to recall though that he was the lone voice who got Frontier Field built...and it worked. )

Amerks don't market well. And they are handcuffed by years of playoff failure. Get us to the Conference finals and see how many show for a Wednesday game. I offer, it will be like old times. Failing that, same old same old I guess.

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