I said I’d have a story, so I guess I’ll share a story. A story about a long ago, far away Amerks game. As far away as Syracuse, which really might as well be a third world country, as far as I’m concerned. My sister, brother-in-law, niece, and I like to go to away games, and we try to go to one a season. I missed out last season, when the plan was Montreal/Bell Centre for Amerks/Bulldogs (I didn’t think that going out of the country was a solid life choice after spending 10 days in the hospital. I must be getting old and responsible or something). The season before last, however, we made the trek to Syracuse. March 16, 2012. Worst. Experience. Ever.
We sat right behind the bench, as we often do. Right in front of a morbidly obese gentleman (I use the term loosely) who insisted on calling Joe Finley a "wife beating f****t" in front of my 5 year old niece, even after he was politely asked to stop. Right in front of a woman who did nothing but scream obscenities the entire time. We complained to the ushers, who made it VERY clear they didn’t give a flying fig, since we were not Syracuse fans. The only redeeming point of the night was that I spent the second period sitting with a Rochester expat right next to Drew MacIntyre, who was on a bar stool (I’m not even kidding) across the ice from the rest of the team. Nothing but amenities, over in Syracuse. He and I spent the period talking about tattoos. That was pretty sick, and almost (almost) made the trip worth it! So, there’s my story about Syracuse. Probably way more lame than my lead up made it out to be, but I hope you hung in because I went to some Amerks home games since we last met!!
"And, we’ll never be royals: It don’t run in our blood." (Lorde, Royals)
I got a new job, meaning I could safely leave one of my two jobs that have been preventing me from attending hockey games, and give notice at the other one. That is a weird statement, but it’s been a fairly strange six months, so it makes sense to me. There’s a few things I noticed about this AHL club in person that simply reading post-games and the stats pages clearly don’t indicate: Matt Hackett is a REBOUND MACHINE. Guys. Like. HOLY BALLS DOES HE GIVE UP JUICY REBOUNDS. I can’t even with this guy. I know he’s not David Leggio. I actually keep reminding myself of that. But ... man. I used to joke about Ryan Miller, on an off night, "Oh, hey! He stopped one!" This isn’t a joke with Hackett. He stops ‘em, he just doesn’t hang on to them ... it’s rough.
That’s not to say that they’re a bad club to watch. I mean, they’re not great. There’s holes. There’s mistakes. But they’re (mostly) fun to watch. Wednesday was really fun, Friday was a little less fun, and Monday was just not really that fun at all, but hey! Live hockey! In all seriousness, the Amerks did just about everything they could to successfully lose on Friday to Binghamton, and they accomplished that goal. Then, they drove to Binghamton on Saturday and just got blown out of the water. Monday, they met the Lake Erie Monsters in a Veteran’s Day Matinee, which went to the shootout. The Amerks ... aren’t great on the shootout. Loser points for everyone!
Not everything is terrible, however ...
Phil Varone: Homeslice has 14 points (3+11) in 12 games. He leads the team in points, although my number 2 is hot on his heels ...
Luke Adam: Luke is tied for 6th in the AHL in goals, with 9 in 12 games. He’s on FIRE. I’m not holding my breath on him getting the call from Buffalo. It seems that Luke can’t replicate his success in Rochester in the NHL, and I’m ok with that. There is no shame in being an AHL lifer (oh, hey, Mike Zigomanis!)
Speaking of the Devil ... Mike Zigomanis leads the team with a +8 (hooray for the most useless stat in all of hockey!). He has 9 points (4+5) in 12 games and a beard that was clearly inspired by my beloved Boston Red Sox. As of November 11th, Ziggy was looking about as homeless as Jarod Saltalamacchia, only less on the "making meth in a trailer somewhere in southern Alabama" side of homeless.
The Amerks revealed their special edition Frozen Frontier sweaters prior to the game start on Monday. Holy. Moly. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. I asked for one for my birthday, as to not interfere with my pre-existing plans to buy an Amerks red 3rd and a Penn State sweater this season. I think my mom is taking up a community fund, if you’re interested in donating.
Oof. They’re bad on the shootout. Someone let Chadd know to cover this in practice. Not just the shooting part, but the stopping pucks part.
Matt Hackett really needs some rebound control. I don’t know what he needs to do to get that quality, but he should start working on it immediately.
The Amerks have a lot of away time this weekend, including Hamilton Wednesday at 10am, Utica (who finally won a game - good on them!) on Friday, and Binghamton again on Saturday. Have a great rest of your week, and let’s go Amerks!