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

Scouting Report – 11/25/16 – Tyler Strachan

November 26, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Comets was disappointing on many levels. The roster lacked the forward depth to allow Rochester to compete for a full 60 minutes. In what has developed into a common trend for the Amerks, there was almost no physical play. Nick Baptiste was the one bright spot tonight. He was on a mission to make things happen and looked by far the best player on the ice for the Americans. His silky smooth mitts have now netted him 9 goals and 3 Assists in just 11 games at the AHL level.

Tyson Strachan improved upon many things from Wednesday night’s performance. He needed to be more physical in front of the net, turn the puck over less, and be more efficient starting the breakout. From the very beginning of the game he made significant strides. He was very conservative passing in the zone and sent every thing up the boards. Also, he did a much better job clearing players from the front of the net and keeping their stick off the ice. Unfortunately Strachan’s night ended prematurely. He took a shot directly in the face at the twelve minute mark in the [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 11/23/16 – Erik Burgdoerfer

November 25, 2016 - By

By Dennis Allen, Jr.

There were a lot of questions facing how the Amerks would perform tonight after the recent call ups of Cole Schneider and Cal O’Reilly. They looked very much like an undermanned roster playing without a captain. In O’Reilly, Schneider and Fedun, the Amerks were missing their top 3 point scorers this year accounting for 47 of the Amerks 135 points accumulated before tonight’s game. Including the 4 points Carrier has, that is over 37% of the Amerks total scoring missing from the lineup. Tonight there was no quit in the Amerks.  While Bailey, Nylander and Baptiste all played very well offensively and were able to combine for 3 goals and 3 assists, from top to bottom the Amerks did not play well enough to be competitive.

The box score of tonight’s game will tell you that Erik Burgdoerfer was a -2 and had four penalty minutes. That does not do his performance any justice. I thought he was the best blue liner the Amerks had tonight. And that is reflected in the grade I have assigned to him; B+. I personally don’t think he deserved either one of the penalties he was assessed. On the [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 11/18/16 – Nick Baptiste

November 19, 2016 - By

New Lets Go Amerks contributor Dennis Allen Jr. will be posting a scouting report on a different player each home game (and the odd road game) he attends.  You can see his previous scouting reports at: http://rocscouting.blogspot.com  …… and be sure to follow him @RocScout14

Dennis is an aspiring scout wrapping up his associates program for sport management.

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I had very high hopes for the Amerks tonight after the return of Baptiste and Rodrigues was announced.  After one period it seemed like the Amerks were firing on all cylinders and were going to dominate the game.  Unfortunately, they were not able to maintain that standard of play and were eventually edged in a shootout loss.  I was encouraged by what I saw from the Nylander Rodrigues and Bailey line that produced a beautiful goal in the first period.  I had extremely high expectations for Baptiste tonight based on all the time he has spent with the Sabres and the production he has had with the Amerks.  I felt very let down by his performance tonight and as a result I am going to give him a C- grade.

Baptiste played along side Cole Schneider and Cal [...]Read More

Season 61 – Preview

October 13, 2016 - By
Season 61 – Preview

(10/13 PM Update)

For the third summer in the last 4 years, the Amerks roster looks good…ON PAPER.  “Blah Blah Blah”, “Yeah, whatever”, and “So what”.  I hear you, guys.  But it’s October – so I’m going to put on my hopeful and optimistic mask for the time being.

I was excited about Cunneyworth returning last season and being joined by Paul Fixter. That clearly didn’t work out and an encouraging clean sweep of the coaching staff was made, resulting in a planned move of Dan Lambert becoming head coach.  I REALLY like this guy.  I’ve said before that the last time a rookie head coach replaced a Hall of Fame head coach we won the cup – with Torts replacing Boxie in 1996.  I feel like Lambert is a straight shooter and has a desire to win here.  I’m just as excited about the assistants.  Brad Tapper seems like a no-nonsense guy who understands that competing for a Calder Cup is still important and Chuck Weber was a head coach I liked here in 2010-2011 and with a little roster luck might have won here that season.   I think we’ve needed more fire from our coaching staff and these [...]Read More

Time flies regardless

October 4, 2016 - By
Time flies regardless

5 seasons have passed since the Sabres purchased and re-affiliated with the Amerks.  While the on-ice product has been mostly miserable and sometimes embarrassing this last half-decade, there have been some players I’ve enjoyed watching here over that time period.  Here are 10 (and why) in no particular order:

  1.  Freddie Roy – A throwback to the 80’s and 90’s type of Amerk.  Played like he was a foot taller than he was.  I said no order but he is #1…and its not even close.  #Roychester
  2. Travis Turnbull – Missing a lot from this time period was passion…not the case here.  Frozen in my memory is Turnbull, after winning a spirited scrap, WWE’ing a WHOOO and pumping his fist to the crowd.  Not sure why he wasn’t given more of an NHL looksie – could do it all really.
  3. Derek Whitmore – Local boy proud to wear the crest.  Could put the puck in the net, too, which is incredibly rare here in recent years.  Another local player may want to listen to a few of Whitmore’s interviews. #Pride  #Respect
  4. Matt Mackenzie – Criminally underrated defensive Dman at this level as evidenced by a team leading +11 in 2013-2014….and I don’t [...]Read More

Devastating fires affect former Amerk

May 6, 2016 - By
Devastating fires affect former Amerk

This past week some devastating fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta forced an evacuation of the city and leveled entire neighborhoods. Thankfully there weren’t any casualties but sadly a lot of homes and personal belongings were lost in what is expected be the largest insurance event in Canadian history at over $9 billion.

One family that has been impacted is a name that Amerks fans will remember from the 2008/2009 season. Mike Brodeur was signed to a PTO in December 2008 when goaltending was a train wreck and I remember writing at the time, “he could be our only hope.” His stellar play delivered on that hope and helped turn the season around. Mike also played in The AHL All-Star Game that season. After that Amerks season he went on to play for the Binghamton Senators before injuries ultimately ended his career early.

Click through and help them out if you can through this GoFundMe page – https://www.gofundme.com/22qv93g

Along with his wife Melissa they also have two sons, Beckam (4yrs old) and Ryan (4 months old). They left their home with only some clothes in a suitcase as the city was quickly evacuated. Their home and everything else was wiped out [...]Read More

No excuses this season

April 18, 2016 - By
No excuses this season

It’s over.  One of the more disappointing seasons of at least the past 35 years has mercifully finished.

This isn’t last year’s team who could say Buffalo’s tanking devastated their roster.  It’s not a season like 2008-2009, 2010-2011, 2011-2012 or 2013-2014 where significant injuries both here and above (Florida+Buffalo) led to too many ECHL’ers playing each night.  There is no dual affiliation excuse or financial issues hanging over our head excuses.  There was no revolt against a coach like in 2009-2010 (allegedly).  There was a great veteran core ON PAPER.  There were legit prospects.  There was an experienced coaching staff.  We had strong depth right down 390 in Elmira.   There are NO excuses.  This team didn’t play to expectations and ended up 26 out of 30 teams in the AHL.

And it didn’t just end…it ended with some of the most miserable, disinterested and embarrassing play I’ve ever seen from a professional team – especially at home:

  • Lost their last 6 home games by combined score 38-10.
  • Lost 8 of their last 10 at home by a combined score of 54-21.
  • 7x in those last 10 home games they had a 4+ goal deficit at some point.  Seriously?
[...]Read More