If you haven’t been to an Amerks game in a few years, you certainly got smacked with a dose of reality at the 2013-14 home opener. The same team that won it all in ’96 and went to the finals in ’99 and ’00, lost 8 to 1 in a completely one sided match versus the Grand Rapids Griffins. Even worse, the Griffins hardly broke a sweat. We knew the Griffins would be a tough team to beat–after-all, they won the Calder Cup in 2012-13. We just didn’t know they would be THAT tough. Just a week later the Amerks looked dramatically better and earned a decisive 4-1 victory against the Utica Comets. Then on Saturday night the Syracuse Crunch mopped the ice with the Rochester Americans winning 5-1. The worst part is, the game wasn’t nearly that close. One look at the second period stats is enough. The Amerks had only a single shot on goal. Nope, that isn’t a typo. They had ONE shot on goal during an entire 20 minutes of play. They also took a ridiculous number of penalties. Saturday night’s second period was one of the worst periods of hockey the Amerks have played in [...]Read More
The Amerks core is built, and it appears to be quite strong. Not only are these guys very talented, but many could be a C or A on any team at this level.
Center: Matt Ellis
Center: Mike Zigomanis
LW: Jamie Tardif
D: Drew Bagnall
D: Alex Sulzer
With a featured Outdoor Event and an entry into the Spengler Cup – a very strong team is mandatory this season.
Most importantly – a core like this could help the Amerks end their playoff series win drought of 9 seasons.
After a second frustrating trade deadline in a row, Eric Bourgeois and Jason Bonno discuss the Amerk playoff roster (who’s on it, who is not), playoff chances……..and Darcy Regier.
Eric: He was clearly very important to the team in many ways as its captain and is sorely missed. Good for him in getting NHL time, but I think he would have cleared waivers so that he could have played with us in the playoffs.
Jason: This was a tough blow to the Amerks. Porter’s speed and puck possession were elite at the AHL level, and are two things the Amerks severely lack currently. He was the backbone of the Amerks forwards. Beyond his offensive abilities, he was also responsible defensively and was a key PK’er. I can’t say 100%, but my guess is he would have cleared waivers. His 1-way deal next season was a nice security blanket and probably would have scared off teams from claiming him.
Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno
Eric: I’m okay with considering them “graduated” and therefore not eligible for the playoffs here, but boy does the Buffalo organization need some playoff experience for its young players. And it’s not like Hodgson [...]Read More
Darcy Regier answered our previous question of “Does Buffalo care about winning here” with a YES.
With the additions of Adam Pardy and Patrick Rissmiller, the Amerks now have a legitimate veteran core that is capable of a Calder Cup run. Rissmiller (34 years young) is particularly important because he gives some age to a rather young team.
Defined as having played 320+ pro games at the AHL or higher level, the Amerks now have 4 veterans in Pardy, Rissmiller, Mancari and Tarnasky to go along with the exempt spot (260-320 games) that Captain Kevin Porter fills. League rules allow up to 5 veteran spots to be used per game (plus the exempt spot, and goalies are excluded) so we still could use one more. Matt Ellis is a possibility and frankly I would like a little depth added to this most critical core, too.
So please Darcy, make that a YES – with a exclamation point! Teams who compete for the Calder Cup never have a shortage of veteran players, and Rochester’s storied history – as displayed in banner form in the War Memorial – are proof of this.
-Written by Jason Bonno
Buffalo Sabres management is failing the Rochester Americans. The season, which arrived amidst much hoopla with the NHL lockout, is starting to come off the rails by the middle of December, with apparently no help in sight. To the contrary, the positive is just that, it’s only the middle of December and there are 55 games remaining. However, one has to wonder if Sabres GM Darcy Regier and Kevin Devine, who oversees Amerks hockey operations, really have any pulse on what is happening to the Amerks – and if they do, do they care?
It didn’t start well on the injury front, with the Amerks losing Corey Tropp for the season during their very first game. Many fans hoped for a replacement player right away. That the Sabres management would recognize losing their top winger in the first game could be a devastating blow, especially in a league with so much talent. But nothing happened. It was understandable, especially when Brian Flynn capitalized on his new opportunity. He has, perhaps, become the Amerks’ best forward and arguably MVP to date.
However, it didn’t end there. As it seems to happen to every year to the Amerks, [...]Read More
The longest rivalry in the AHL continues as the Bears open up their 75th season at home. The Amerks fell behind by 3 in the second period but made a huge comeback fueled by a 4 for 6 performance on the power play and some awful goaltending by Dany Sabourin (4 goals against, 3 saves in second period). Marcus Foligno had his best night so far as a professional with 2 goals and 2 assists. Cody Hodgson added 3 assists and T.J. Brennan had 2 goals and 1 assist. On the Hershey side, Garrett Stafford had 4 assists and Jeff Taffe had a goal and 3 assists.
Final Score: Amerks 8, Bears 7
Joe Finley & Matt MacKenzie vs Patrick Wellar & Garrett Mitchell
Nick Tarnasky vs Matt Clackson
The Grand Rapids Griffins make their only trip to Rochester in search of their first win of the season. The Griffins took a 2 goal lead in the second period but 3 power play goals by the Amerks sealed the victory for Rochester with the final score ending 4-3.
The Binghamton Senators head to Rochester for their first of 8 meetings against the Amerks. The Senators would dictate play all 60 minutes as David Leggio attempted to keep the Amerks in the game with Robin Lehner stopped 32 of 33 shots, most of which being routine saves. Zemgus Girgensons recorded his first point as a professional, an assist on Kevin Porter’s goal. The loss put the Amerks at 1-2-0 on the season.
10/13/2012 The Rochester Amerks head up to Toronto to face the Marlies for the first time since being eliminated in the playoffs. The Amerks penalty trouble would cost them as the Marlies went 3-for-7 on the power play for a 3-1 Marlies victory. Ryan Hamilton was the star of the game with 2 goals.
10/12/2012 The Crunch and Amerks kick off the 2012-13 AHL season in the Blue Cross Arena. The Crunch erased a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead. Mark Mancari tied the game at 5 during a 5 on 3 power play with 7 minutes left and then won it in the shootout.
(Special thanks to main contributor – Jason Bonno)
The long hockey offseason is finally ending and the Rochester Americans are preparing to open the season Friday night against their longtime rivals, the Syracuse Crunch. It’s been an interesting offseason, to say the least, as the NHL has locked out its players. For Amerks fans, however, this means being able to watch players who otherwise would have made the Buffalo Sabres. Cody Hodgson, acquired in the trade with Zack Kassian at the trade deadline, headlines that group along with Marcus Foligno. Guys like Corey Tropp and Brayden McNabb also had excellent chances to make the Sabres based on training camp play. The offseason also saw the return of former Amerk Mark Mancari, who had somewhat of a rocky past with Amerks fans, but today appears more mature – a better player and someone who is looking to take on a leadership role. Rounding out the well-knowns is the return of Amerks 2011-2012 MVP goalie David Leggio.
The stability the Amerks and the rest of the AHL will have during the lockout without any recalls will help improve the product we see on a nightly basis.
We’ll first breakdown the Amerks’ forwards [...]Read More