Amerks playoff picture: Mid-March

The Amerks need some help ... to say the least.

The Amerks need a wing, a prayer, all the help in the Eastern Conference, and a (n expletive of choice) miracle to get into the playoffs. And they're getting none of it.

"Hold out your hand - can't you see I'm a drowning man sinking?" (The Trews, The Power of Positive Drinking)

It's been a while. Two months and ten days, actually. That's 27 Amerks games, in case you're counting. To say that I dropped the ball a little is probably an understatement. That included some pretty low games, including a 10-5 loss to the Toronto Marlies (the only team that has secured a playoff position, as of this writing), a 6-1 loss to Binghamton, and matching 4-0 shutouts to Binghamton and Albany. It's also included some great games, though: 7-4 and 7-3 wins, respectively, over Syracuse and Springfield and a 4-0 shutout of Binghamton. They've been out-scored 86-78. And March isn't over yet.

But that IS the good news. The season isn't over yet. The Amerks are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. They need that wing and that prayer, that miracle, and help from pretty much every team in their division and then some, but it's not a lost cause. The Amerks have 13 games left on the year. And they will, likely, get help from outside sources. The Amerks aren't bad. They've not been bad all season. They have, often, not been as good as the teams that they've been up against, but they are not a bad team. This is, of course, one of the things that makes them quite frustrating to watch - the skill is there, you can see it, but it doesn't always show itself when it really needs to.

As it stands right now, the Amerks are 7 points behind Utica and Hartford, and 6 behind Portland for a playoff spot. That's some ground to cover, but certainly not impossible. The Amerks welcome the St John's IceCaps, and NHL All Star John Scott, back to Rochester for two games - Wednesday and Friday - and then face the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday. These could prove to be a huge weekend for Rochester.

I am joining with #HockeyFightsDV again this season, to benefit the Willow Center in Rochester, NY. I have pledged $1/Patrice Bergeron goal, $5/Amerks Goalie SO, $1/Amerks win, $2/"Ryan Miller Shutout," $25/Amerks or Sabres goalie point, to be updated at the end of each month this season. You can pledge, too, at