I told you last time: The Amerks were bad. I mean, they lost twice - including a shut out (!!!) - to the worst team in the AHL. The worst team by a landslide. Guess what? They countered by winning a few games! You go, Glenn Coco! (Sorry. I’ve spent a lot of time with guilty pleasure movies lately ...)
"Cause I don’t need another reason to turn it up too loud ..." (The Alternate Routes, California)
The Amerks are 3-3-0-0 in their last six. I’m pretty awful at math (that’s a lie), but that’s a .500 in their last six games. So, that isn’t awful. It’s WAY better than the Sabres. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that Rasmus Ristolainen is out indefinitely with an "upper body injury," which is hockey code for concussion. He was sucker punched in the waning minutes of the Black Friday game against the Lake Erie Monsters by forward Mitchell Heard. According to my resources, he is still not practicing with the team and has only just started to ride the stationary bike a little bit, indicating that the symptoms continue to be rather serious. All of that being said, however, he has been given permission by the Buffalo Sabres to participate in the World Junior Classic with Finland if he has fully recovered.
Speaking of those Monsters, the Amerks have a pretty Monsters-heavy schedule throughout the month of December. Starting on November 29, really. Out of an 11-game span, the Amerks and Monsters face off five times. That includes two games this week, on Wednesday 12/11 and the Frozen Frontier outdoor game on 12/13, and a home and home on 12/20 and 12/21. This is a good thing for the Amerks, as the Monsters are North Division rivals, and the Amerks are 10-3-1-1 against the North Division. How good is that? Well, they’re 0-7-1-1 vs the rest of the AHL. That’s ... not so good, yeah?
On December 4, the Amerks blew out those bottom of the league Utica Comets 6-1. This may not sound like a difficult task, but Rochester played an awesome third period, which is something that has been sorely lacking this season. It did not keep up during their matches against Grand Rapids on December 6 and 7, however ...
There is a lot of fun stuff coming up!! That’s hot! (Say that in your Paris Hilton voice, mmmk?) The Frozen Frontier events kicked off on Tuesday, 12/10, with a pick-up game on the Frontier Field rink between members of Rochester’s media. I wish I had been invited! I can’t play, but I can skate, and it would’ve been a sweet experience. I’ll have more for you on all the Frozen Frontier goings ons later this week. The Amerks are also gearing up to answer an invitation to the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland. They were last invited in 1996, and remain the only professional hockey club to ever be invited to play in the tournament. The tournament runs from December 26 to December 31.
Patrick Kaleta collided with Lake Erie’s goaltender during the November 29 match and suffered a season-ending torn ACL. Even though I dislike Kaleta, I never like to see a player hurt in any way, shape, or form, and I hope he has a speedy recovery.
The Amerks are 10-10-2-2 with 24 points. Y.U.C.K. I can’t swear here, I don’t think, or I would tell you what I really think. That’s stinky. If the playoffs started today, Rochester wouldn’t make the cut. They need to continue to shape up, or it will be an abbreviated season. I, for one, would like to see them make it through the first round of the playoffs without getting swept for a third year in a row ...
Like I said, I’ll have much more for you later this week on the Frozen Frontier and the multiple events surrounding the rink that’s been built at Frontier Field in Rochester. It is how I am kicking off my birthday weekend, so I will be there (with full on entourage), and will gladly share my thoughts and feelings when all is said and done. I hope to see some of you there - just look for the Scott Nichol sweater - and, as always, let’s go Amerks!!