The Buffalo Sabres are fighting tooth and nail for the slim hope that some teams above them will falter, and they'll sneak in to the playoffs after a disappointing season.
Their AHL affiliate, however, is sitting pretty heading in to the home stretch, needing just two points in their final three games to clinch a playoff berth. To that end, the Amerks are adding some extra bodies in preparation for the playoffs - the team announced yesterday that they've recalled Dan Catenacci from his OHL team and goalie Connor Knapp from the ECHL.
Catenacci in particular has had a very strong season, earning 79 points this year, good for 13th overall in the OHL, and added nine more points in Owen Sound's 12 playoff games. He'll add speed and scoring to an Amerks squad that could use a bit more of both.
Knapp, meanwhile, will likely be just an extra body in case of emergency, as the Amerks are already stocked in net with three other goalies on the roster. David Leggio is still the #1 netminder, and the recently acquired Matt Hackett would likely play before either Knapp or Nathan Lieuwen.
The Amerks have also recently added highly touted center prospect Johan Larsson thanks to the trade Buffalo made with Minnesota that sent Jason Pominville packing. Larsson has one goal and three assists in six games so far with Rochester, but his game is all about strong two-way play with leadership and scoring upside, which sounds like what playoff hockey is all about.
With their reinforcements in town and with three games to go, the Amerks hope to quickly reach their magic number of two, and then will start to prepare for the payoffs, likely as the five or six seed. Sunday, April 21 is the final day of the AHL season.