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Amerks Weekly - Dec 3-Dec 9

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Another weekend split was not enough to maintain their division lead.

Micheline Velovolu | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Wednesday 12/5 - 7:05pm - vs Utica Comets (10-12-1-1)
  • Friday 12/7 - 7:05pm - vs Providence Bruins (10-8-4-0)
  • Saturday 12/8 - 7:00pm - at Syracuse Crunch (12-5-2-0)

AHL North Division Standings as of December 3rd

The Amerks went 1-1-0-0 last week. That was not good enough to hold onto their North Division lead. As you can see above, Rochester holds a 2-point advantage over Syracuse, but the Crunch have two games in hand, so when ranked by points percentage, Syracuse is technically in first place. The Crunch are riding a 12-game point streak and are 8-0-2-0 in their last ten. The only thing separating these two teams right now is Rochester’s two wins in their only head-to-head matchups so far. These teams will face each other another ten times throughout this season; those ten games could very well decide the division.

Based on points percentage, the Amerks remain in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference and a tie for fifth place in the league.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Nov 26-Dec 2: 1-1-0-0

The Amerks split another weekend and have officially “forgotten how to hockey.” While the goaltending rebounded from last week, the offense has hit a concerning dry spell.

Bright Spots

  • Victor Olofsson broke his five-game scoreless drought by following up his shot and tipping in his own rebound for his 7th of the year on Friday night; it was an important one, as it was the only goal of the game.
  • Scott Wedgewood posted his second shutout of the season in Friday night’s win, stopping 35 shots to give his team the win. He was also the best player on the ice for the Amerks in their 3-0 loss on Saturday night.
  • Nathan Paetsch made his season debut for the Amerks on Saturday night and he looked like he hadn’t missed a game all season.
  • Will Borgen and Andrew MacWilliam were reunited after two games apart and they were once again the best defensive pairing for the Amerks. Will has introduced a noticeable grit to his game recently, and while he still occasionally skates out of position to lay a hit, he’s also showing more confidence in the O-zone, pinching when appropriate and putting the puck on net when he doesn’t see a better passing option.

Room For Improvement

  • Seemingly unstoppable early in the season, the Power Play became borderline unwatchable during November. They are 3-for-43 in their last 12 games. The future isn’t bright, with Lawrence Pilut’s nine PP points still on recall with the Sabres.
  • Where did the offense go? A team with as much potential firepower as this roster should never find themselves with only one GF at the end of a weekend.

Look Ahead

With several injuries causing lineup headaches in Buffalo, it’s likely that the Amerks will continue to be shorthanded for the foreseeable future - and the timing couldn’t be worse, as it’s a three-game week for the team.

On Wednesday night the Utica Comets roll into town, followed by the Providence Bruins on Friday (who stormed back to steal an OT victory in their previous meeting). They’ll finish the weekend on Saturday night as they hit the road for their first game in Syracuse against the red-hot Crunch.

Transactions

  • November 27, 2018 - Lawrence Pilut (D) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.
  • November 30, 2018 - Matt Tennyson (D) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.

Video Room

(Both teams could use some video editing assistance this week. The home win is somehow 5+ minutes long for a 1-0 shutout... with extended periods of random game footage.)

Game 20 - 11/30/2018 - Home Win vs WB/S Penguins

Game 21 - 12/1/2018 - Away Loss at Binghamton Devils

Injury Report

  • Kyle Criscuolo - Lower Body - Week to Week

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 13-5-2-1 and sit in second place in their division.

Jonas Johansson is 7-3-1-1 with a 2.49 GAA and an .910 SV%.

Old Friends

  • Matt Moulson: 6+12=18 in 20 games with Ontario.
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 4+3=7 in 24 games with Milwaukee.
  • Colin Blackwell: 4+0=4 in 11 games with Milwaukee.
  • Cliff Pu: 1+2=3 in 19 games with Charlotte.
  • Seth Griffith: 5+10=15 in 22 games with Manitoba.
  • Jordan Nolan: 7+8=15 in 24 games with San Antonio.
  • Hudson Fasching: 6+7=13 in 19 games with Tucson.
  • Taylor Fedun: 1+2=3 in 3 games with Texas / 1+0=1 in 5 games with NHL Dallas Stars.
    (20 games remaining in Dallas until he generates a seventh-round pick for Buffalo).

The Moose at The Zoo

Pretty much the only thing about the Amerks that made me happy last week was this short clip of The Moose visiting Anoki the polar bear at Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo.

Anoki is clearly more interested in some tasty moose meat than a couple toys. In any event, it was a clever photo op for the best mascot in sports.

Question of the Week

What effect, if any, do you think William Nylander’s extended contract holdout and subsequent big-money deal will have on younger brother Alexander Nylander?