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Amerks Weekly - Nov 26-Dec 2

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Amerks split their weekend set of games

Micheline Velovolu | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Friday 11/30 - 7:05pm - vs Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (8-8-3-1)
  • Saturday 12/1 - 7:05pm - at Binghamton Devils (8-10-3-0)

AHL North Division Standings as of November 26th

The Amerks went 1-1-0-0 last week. They remain in 1st place in the division, but have seen their lead shrink to 3 points, as the Syracuse Crunch are riding a 9-0-1-0 stretch on the back of Cory Conacher who has a stunning 25 points in just 13 games played so far this season. To make matters worse, the Crunch have two games in hand. These two teams will meet ten more times this season, so it’s too soon to draw many conclusions.

The Amerks have dropped one position to third place in the Eastern Conference and dropped three positions to fifth place in the league.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Nov 19-Nov 25: 1-1-0-0

The Amerks saw their first player call-up of the season as the long-awaited recall of Lawrence Pilut was made by the Sabres on Wednesday. Curiously, Pilut sat in the press box and watched the Sabres win on Wednesday and Friday night, never getting his first NHL game action before being returned to Rochester late on Friday evening. Fans in Rochester were rightfully frustrated and annoyed by the late transaction, as the Sabres played an early game on Friday and the team seemingly had plenty of time to send Pilut back to Rochester before the Amerks’ 7pm start, but that did not occur.

For the second consecutive week, the Amerks started the weekend with an ugly Friday night loss, this time at home vs Utica. Coach Chris Taylor did not mince words in his post game comments, stating that he thought this was the team’s worst game of the season.

“A total team loss.”

It’s impossible to say if Pilut’s presence in the lineup would have changed the outcome, but it’s unlikely he would have made things worse. Let’s hope Jason Botterill doesn’t make a personnel mistake like that again.

The most obvious mistake on the night was this ugly turnover by Brendan Guhle. It’s worth pointing out if only because it is so uncharacteristic of what we’ve come to expect from this young player.

However, with Pilut back in the lineup, the Amerks hit the road for their first of ten games against Binghamton this season. They played with a significantly stronger game and left town with a victory thanks to a strong effort empty net goal from Alexander Nylander.

The Amerks gave up another late third period goal so Alex’s empty-netter wound up being the game-winner. Of note, Pilut’s point streak ended at 7 games in Binghamton.

All in all, it was another disappointing weekend for the Amerks, who most certainly should have walked away with four points instead of two.

Bright Spots

  • C.J. Smith registered a career high 3-assists in Friday night’s loss. He now has 17 points in 19 games and continues to be one of the Amerks’ most dependable forwards.
  • Zach Redmond yada yada yada... all this guy does is score goals... and make assists... and play rock solid defense...
  • Jack Dougherty (acquired in the Nick Baptiste trade) scored his first goal as an Amerk.
  • Rochester continues to pile on the shots on goal, with 47 on Friday night and 37 on Saturday night.
  • This has nothing to do with the team’s play, but they announced a pretty cool home-and-home series with the Cleveland Monsters. Check out these jerseys!

Room For Improvement

  • Speaking of shots on goal... I really want to see Alex Nylander be more selfish and put the puck on net a lot more. In that 47-shot game on Friday, Alex was credited with none. His all-around game is developing nicely and I think it’s time that the self-dubbed “Snipe Show” starts living up to his nickname.
  • Someone figure out what’s gotten into Tage Thompson in Buffalo, bottle it up, and give a fridge-full of it to Brendan Guhle. No one doubts Guhle’s ceiling as a future quality NHL defenseman... except for maybe himself right now. As I mentioned in the comments last week, the Amerks coaches must recognize that Guhle was the organization’s best defensive prospect just 6 months ago.

Then Buffalo won the lottery and drafted Dahlin.
Then Buffalo went out and signed the SHL’s defenseman of the year.

Meanwhile, the 21 year old watched two Swedes fly in and skate right past him into what appears to be guaranteed Sabres roster spots.

Hopefully they’re trying to coach him through this and keep his spirits and motivation high. Remember that Assistant GM Steve Greeley awarded Guhle with the “MVP” at the end of Dev Camp in the summer. Young psyches can be fragile. I’m not saying Guhle’s is, but I certainly wouldn’t blame him for feeling a little deflated after having a great 2017-18 season and then getting essentially leapfrogged by strangers in the summer.

  • I need more from Andrew Oglevie. 1 point in 13 games isn’t cutting it for me. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to get him rolling, but his promising development camp set my expectations high and he hasn’t lived up to them. Perhaps he could benefit from a line-shuffle, but it doesn’t look like Chris Taylor has any intention of doing so.

Look Ahead

Another week of practice ahead of a Friday night home matchup with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and then a trip to Binghamton for the second consecutive Saturday night.

Transactions

  • November 21, 2018 - Lawrence Pilut (D) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.
  • November 23, 2018 - Lawrence Pilut (D) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester.

Video Room

Game 18 - 11/23/2018 - Home Loss vs Utica Comets

Game 19 - 11/24/2018 - Away WIN at Binghamton Devils

Injury Report

  • Kyle Criscuolo - Lower Body - Day to Day

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 12-5-2-0 and sit in second place in their division.

Jonas Johansson is 6-3-1-0 with a 2.51 GAA and an .910 SV%. Early last week he was awarded the CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week award.

Old Friends

  • Matt Moulson: 5+11=16 in 17 games with Ontario.
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 4+3=7 in 22 games with Milwaukee.
  • Colin Blackwell: 4+0=4 in 11 games with Milwaukee.
  • Cliff Pu: 1+2=3 in 15 games with Charlotte.
  • Seth Griffith: 5+7=12 in 19 games with Manitoba.
  • Jordan Nolan: 4+8=12 in 21 games with San Antonio.
  • Hudson Fasching: 5+6=11 in 18 games with Tucson.
  • Taylor Fedun: 1+2=3 in 3 games with Texas / 1+0=1 in 2 games with NHL Dallas Stars.
    (23 games remaining in Dallas until he generates a 7th round pick for Buffalo).

Americans Made

Lawrence Pilut was featured in the latest edition of this Amerks player video series.

Question of the Week

I’d like to generate more conversation in the comments, so I’m going to start asking a question each week which I hope will get you all talking.

Q: With the Sabres streaking, are you comfortable leaving these prospects in Rochester to continue their development, or do you think they’d be better off getting playing time in Buffalo at the risk of disrupting the Sabres’ current chemistry?