2011-2012 The Hockey News AHL Predictions vs End of Season Standings

April 17, 2012 - By
2011-2012 The Hockey News AHL Predictions vs End of Season Standings

At the start of every season most publications try and predict the season ending standings, something I would never want the task of doing.  I decided to take a look back at the The Hockey News predictions for the 2011/2012 season compared to the final standings and for the most part they were way off.  This is absolutely nothing against The Hockey News or our awesome local reporter who picked them, just wanted to look back.  It’s almost impossible to predict how 30 teams will finish when their lineup in September will likely be completely different once the season starts and throughout.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted the Norfolk Admirals of all teams to win their last 28 games of the regular season for a historic finish.  The list could go on but since I had posted the predictions back in October I thought I’d see how the results were.

Western Conference

Predicted Final Standings Charlotte Checkers Oklahoma City Barons Peoria Rivermen Toronto Marlies Chicago Wolves Chicago Wolves Rochester Americans Abbotsford Heat Toronto Marlies Milwaukee Admirals Houston Aeros San Antonio Rampage Hamilton Bulldogs Rochester Americans Lake Erie Monsters Houston Aeros Texas Stars Charlotte Checkers San Antonio [...]Read More

Amerks are in the Race for the Calder Cup

April 16, 2012 - By
Amerks are in the Race for the Calder Cup

It was an up and down roller coaster of a 76 game season and at many times it didn’t seem likely but the Rochester Americans clinched a playoff birth on the last day of the American Hockey League season, when they weren’t playing.  The team defeated the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday night and the right scenarios played out on Sunday for them to earn the 7th seed in the Western Conference.

They’ll be playing against the Toronto Marlies, a team they only beat three out of ten times this season but every game was decided by one goal.  The Amerks were also without a full lineup in many of those games due to all of the call ups to the Sabres throughout the season.

It’s a new season and anything is possible.  The Binghamton Senators got key players back from the Ottawa Senators for the 2010/2011 playoffs and snuck into the playoffs as a 5th seed crossover and went on to win the Calder Cup.  This is what it’s all about for fans and players at this level, to get into the playoffs and win the Calder Cup.  There isn’t a single player that wants to end the season [...]Read More

Ok, THIS is It Tonight. Amerks Win and They are In.

April 14, 2012 - By
Ok, THIS is It Tonight. Amerks Win and They are In.

The Amerks had no problems handing the Syracuse Crunch a loss on Friday night and it’s now come down to tonight, the last game of the regular season against the Lake Erie Monsters.  It’s simple, the Amerks win in regulation or even in overtime and they’re in the playoffs.  The Monsters win and they’re in the playoffs. For the scenarios broken down click here.

Play a full 60 minute game like they did on Friday night and the win should come.  They had puck movement.  They scored goals.  They had hits.  They had fights.  They had defense that didn’t allow too many quality scoring chances on David Leggio.

Keeping it simple, the team knows how important the game is and none of them want the season to end.  They’ll have some support in Cleveland with the Amerks Booster Club going to the game with about 24 people and then a number of other fans are making the trip as well.

Short and simple, WIN THE GAME!

The only way to watch the game (other than traveling) is to pay $6.99 on AHLLIve.com for the feed.  You can also listen on WHTK 1280AM.

This is It, Amerks vs Crunch Tonight; Playoff Scenarios

April 13, 2012 - By
This is It, Amerks vs Crunch Tonight; Playoff Scenarios

This is it.  The Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch face off at 7:35pm and in the final weekend of the season both teams are desperate for wins to keep their playoff hopes alive.  The Amerks need the win a lot more than the Syracuse Crunch do if they’re to make the playoffs.  It’s pretty simple for the Amerks, win tonight and tomorrow and with a little help they’ll make the playoffs.  They’ll still have a chance with a three point weekend but can’t settle for anything less than four.

It doesn’t matter anymore what was not done last summer or during the season or the talk of the status of some players.  The only thing that matters is that the team that’s on the ice tonight and tomorrow wearing the Amerks crest goes out and wins two hockey games.  David Leggio needs to bring his A game.  The defense needs to be at the top of their game.  The offense needs to complete passes and put pucks on the net.  The power play needs to score and the penalty kill needs to kill penalties.  Hockey 101.

The coaching staff knows what is on the line.  The players all know what [...]Read More

Amerks Season is Down to the last Two Games after 5-4 Loss in OT

April 11, 2012 - By
Amerks Season is Down to the last Two Games after 5-4 Loss in OT

This is it folks.  There’s two regular season games left for the Rochester Americans and the race is close.  The Amerks are not out of the playoff race just yet but if they want to make it they can’t afford to lose a game.  It sure does sound familiar, the Sabres were in the same situation.

Doug Janik defeated the Amerks on Tuesday night with a penalty shot in overtime to give the Grand Rapids Griffins a 5-4 win.  It was a league leading 24th game in overtime for Rochester.  The call was easy for Jamie Koharski.  Phil Varone broke his stick and instead of just dropping it to the ice he took the shaft part and tossed it at Janik who had the puck, automatic penalty shot.  That was the game right there but it never should have come down to that.

(photo courtesy of David Sturm prohockeynews.com)

Corey Tropp scored two great goals in less than four minutes in the first period to give the Amerks a 2-0 lead and what should have been the momentum to continue building on that.  Unfortunately the opposite happened.  The Griffins scored two goals in 59 seconds to tie the game [...]Read More

Amerks Sign Ryan Grimshaw; Catenacci Out; Season is on the Line

April 7, 2012 - By
Amerks Sign Ryan Grimshaw; Catenacci Out; Season is on the Line

The Amerks are on the road tonight against the Hamilton Bulldogs, a team they have only beat twice out of nine games so far this season.  If the Amerks are going to make the postseason they’ll need to win at least four out of their last five games.  If there was a way to paint a bright picture I’d be trying my best but it’s easier to say that the season is on the line tonight.

The defense will be playing without Matt MacKenzie (upper body) and Dennis Persson (lower body) so they signed Ryan Grimshaw, from Greece, to an amateur tryout contract.  Grimshaw just finished four years at Harvard and played three games with Trenton in the ECHL.  After the Buffalo Sabres finish their season today in Boston they’ll send Brayden McNabb and TJ Brennan to join the Amerks in Glens Falls for the game on Sunday afternoon, hopefully it’s not too late.

Regarding Dan Catenacci:

Center Dan Catenacci has not played yet. He joined the Amerks after signing his contract with the Sabres but he isn’t healthy. He was struck in the ankle by a shot in his season finale with Owen Sound of the OHL.

Considering [...]Read More

Foligno Back for his Final Games as a Rochester American; Tropp Sent Down Too

April 6, 2012 - By
Foligno Back for his Final Games as a Rochester American; Tropp Sent Down Too

The Buffalo Sabres were eliminated from any post season chances on Thursday night so they have sent Marcus Foligno and Corey Tropp back to the Amerks.  The two players will join the Amerks in Hamilton for the game on Saturday night.

I think it’s safe to say these final five games for Rochester will be the last five regular season games that Foligno ever puts on an Amerks sweater.  The season started with him getting into a fight in the first week, to questioning if he knew how to pass the puck to becoming a dominant player who earned a call up and has been an important part of the Buffalo Sabres roster.  He’s proven he can be an NHL player every night.  If he isn’t already penciled into the Sabres lineup for next season it’d be a big surprise.

Back in early February I wrote a short novel about Foligno developing into a dominant player, you can read that here (warning: it’s long).

Corey Tropp has also been sent back to the Amerks.  He’s proven he has a future in the NHL as well, maybe not as quickly as Foligno but he can quickly get back there next [...]Read More

Amerks Season has Faded Fast; Not Much Hope with 5 Games Remaining

April 6, 2012 - By
Amerks Season has Faded Fast; Not Much Hope with 5 Games Remaining

The Buffalo Sabres were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday night and that offers a very distant glimmer of hope for the post season chances of the Rochester Americans.  The Amerks are currently in 11th place and two points behind the eighth place Houston Aeros.  The only chance the Amerks likely have of gaining ground and winning out the rest of the season is if the Sabres make sure that Marcus Foligno, Corey Tropp, Brayden McNabb and TJ Brennan are with the Amerks in Glens Falls on Sunday.

What’re the chances of the Amerks making the playoffs?  Doubtful.  If you’re a season ticket holder I wouldn’t be in a hurry to send money in for the tickets, I know I haven’t.

The Amerks have a losing record of 32-39.

Rochester has only won two out of their last ten games.

Prior to this losing stretch the Amerks had won seven out of ten games.

The only difference in the winning stretch was the presence of Brayden McNabb and TJ Brennan in the lineup.  They were winning without Marcus Foligno and Corey Tropp.

If the Amerks win at least four out of five of the remaining games and get some [...]Read More

Amerks Lose in Overtime; League Leading 23rd Game in Overtime

April 5, 2012 - By
Amerks Lose in Overtime; League Leading 23rd Game in Overtime

The good thing about the game on Wednesday night is that Amerks finally scored a goal after a drought of seven periods and over 147 minutes of play.  Luke Adam was in the penalty box for goaltender interference and Evan Rankin scored shorthanded for his 12th goal of the season.  One other good thing is that they played a lot better on Wednesday night than on Tuesday.

As of writing this Rochester is only seven points out of fourth place in the Western Conference right now.  The team in fourth place?  Abbotsford Heat.  Following the game on Wednesday the Amerks have played in a league leading 23 games beyond regulation time.  They have four overtime wins.  Nine overtime losses.  Six shootout wins and four shootout losses.  Turn half of those losses into wins and the Amerks are ahead of the Heat in the standings.

Tossing another ugly stat out in the air is that on Wednesday night it was the sixth time in a row that the Amerks have had a one goal lead going into the third period and ended up losing (not six consecutive games, just six games where they’ve had a lead into the 3rd).  The team [...]Read More

Amerks Loss to the Heat on Tuesday Night (with video)

April 4, 2012 - By
Amerks Loss to the Heat on Tuesday Night (with video)

The Heat completely outplayed the Amerks and won the game 4-0.  That’s the only recap needed.  Rochester has now gone six straight periods without scoring a goal and has been shutout two games in a row for the first time all season.  The loss puts the Amerks in a three way tie for 10th place in the conference.

So, what’s the issue with this team?  Pretty simple.  The other teams have deeper rosters than the Amerks.  It’d be hard to blame the loss on goaltender David Leggio.  He didn’t have much help in front of him.  The players on the ice were never able to move the puck outside of the Amerks zone for an extended period of time and put any pressure on the Heat.  Only 17 shots the whole game, maybe about five or six of those could be considered real scoring chances.  The Amerks were 0 for 6 on the power play and again, no real scoring chances.  Simply put it was a horrible game, especially this late in the season.

The losses of McNabb, Brennan, Tropp and Foligno have really hurt the depth of the roster, a roster that has struggled all season with depth.  TJ [...]Read More

Catenacci and Knapp Sign Entry Level Contracts

April 3, 2012 - By
Catenacci and Knapp Sign Entry Level Contracts

There’s seven games left in the Amerks regular season and they’ll have some potential fresh feet in Dan Catenacci who’ll join the team on the road as a forward fresh out of juniors.  We’ll find out tonight if he suits up and who sits out.  It’s doubtful that goalie Connor Knapp will see any action this season but he’ll get some practice time with the team.  It’ll be interesting though to see if he dresses as a backup over Drew MacIntyre who has not played since February 19th.

Update, here’s info on MacIntyre from Kevin Oklobzija:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/kevinoDandC/status/187277984527421441″]

Buffalo Sabres Nation wrote a 10 questions interview with Catenacci last summer, you can read that here.

April 3, 2012


(Rochester, NY)… Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Dan Catenacci on a three-year entry level contract and goaltender Connor Knapp on a two-year entry-level contract. Both contracts will take effect next season and both players will join the Rochester Americans tonight on amateur tryouts.

Catenacci (5’9”, 190 lbs., 3/9/93), selected by Buffalo in the third round (77th overall) [...]Read More

Amerks Lose in Shootout to the Crunch (with shootout and fight videos)

March 22, 2012 - By
Amerks Lose in Shootout to the Crunch (with shootout and fight videos)

The Amerks failed to win the game but getting one out of two points against a team not in your conference is better than not getting anything at all.  Rochester had a lot of chances to score goals throughout the second period but continued to hit the posts and give the Crunch too much room and they were able to succeed.  The Amerks had a lead until halfway through the third period Peter Holland scored the tying goal and then Dan Sexton scored the eventual game winner in the shootout.

This game wasn’t lost because the Amerks were without Marcus Foligno, Corey Tropp and Travis Turnbull but because they were inconsistent the whole game.  Those three players certainly would have helped but the game wasn’t lost due to their absence.

Igor Gongalsky and Kyle Kurtz had the only fight of the game at 5:06 of the first period.  There weren’t many punches thrown but the two certainly gave it a shot against each other.  You can see the video here:

Back to the game..

Shaone Morrisonn, Nick Crawford and Brayden McNabb scored the three goals for the Amerks in the 4-3 loss.  Is that a good thing or bad [...]Read More