From Where I Sat, Amerks Edition: Section 114, Row H, Seat 5

Tonight was my first Rochester Americans (and AHL) game, so before I get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, I’ll say that I was quite pleased with the outcome of the game. I will definitely be back for more, but I would have regardless of whether or not they had won. I’m not one of those fans who only cares about a team when they are winning. I’m still trying to familiarize myself with the players, so bear with me for a little while. I’m fairly familiar with the drafted prospects, but some of the other guys will take me a while. Since you may not be aware of the outcome, the final score was Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) 2, Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) 7. I usually like to include a photo, but I neglected to take any, and apparently they must only exist in some secret vault that the average person cannot access.

The Good;

– The Amerks won their first home game in convincing fashion.

– Zack Kassian had a relatively solid game offensively, earning his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season. The latter came after he made a nifty center ice pass to Phil Varone on the rush, and then stuffed Varone’s centering pass into the net. He still has a way to go, but if he can keep it up he’ll earn himself a high spot on the call-up sheet. He did, however, finish the night with an even rating. I’d hold the fighting major and game misconduct against him, but he was sort of forced into that fight.

– Jonathan Parker’s 3 point 1st period. Me gusta Jon. I’m going to keep my eye on this kid, he may very well earn himself a jersey in my closet if he can play well enough. He wasn’t exactly noticeable for the remaining two periods, but I liked what I saw.

– Ticket prices. Three of us attended the game tonight for less than I paid for my Sabres home opener ticket BEFORE the StubHub fees.

– The beer. I know it sound stupid, but they had Brooklyn Lager (even if it was $6.50 a can (ouch)). I haven’t exactly been impressed with the beer selection at the F’N Thunderdome Center, so this was a pleasant change.

– Some of the arena music. If they can play Volbeat at an Amerks game, they can play Volbeat at a Sabres game. Other music selections were worse than those at Sabres game. More metal please!

The Bad:

– Shaone Morrisonn. Okay, he had some nice plays, but how does anyone finish as a minus player when your team scores 7 goals?!? Shamo was the only Amerk to finish as a minus player tonight, coming in at -1. He looked like a slightly better version of the Shamo that Sabres fans will remember from last season, but not that much better.

– The Griffins. They really didn’t look very good through most of the game. They had their stretches, often for longer than you’d like to see, where they looked very good. Those stretches, however, usually ended in a Amerks’ rush and subsequent goal. If memory serves me correctly, I believe that at least 4 of the Amerks’ 7 goals were scored off of rushes. And their goalie? lol I was joking with the guys sitting behind me about him during warmups. We got our wish.

– The fans that left with a few minutes remaining in the 3rd period. I’ve made my thoughts on this clear on several occasions, so I won’t belabor the point.

– The number of jersey fouls per capita. I’m the guy that likes to call people out of their jersey fouls, so I’ll run through the list of them I saw tonight. Stop with this please. Just stop! Note: These are only the ones that I noticed.

  • Guy wearing a Canadiens hat, jersey, and jacket.
  • Kid wearing a 1988-92 Penguins jersey. That jersey was older than the kid wearing it.
  • Guy wearing a Brian Boucher Flyers jersey
  • Not a jersey foul, but there was a guy wearing a Martin Brodeur shirt and a kid wearing a Flyers hat and shirt.
  • Guy wearing a Patrice Bergeron “Stanley Cup Finals” Bruins jersey.
  • The award for most random jersey foul goes to the guy wearing the University of Colorado jersey. It’s not every day you see someone walking around Rochester, NY sporting a jersey for a D-III hockey team.
  • Woman wearing a Tyler Myers 2010-2011 Sabres 3rd Jersey. Sorry, he plays for the Sabres, but he’s never played in Rochester, or the AHL for that matter.
  • Kid wearing a Tyler Myers Sabres home jersey. See the last jersey foul.

The Ugly:

– Some of the hits the Amerks made. I’m all for integrating opposing players into the boards, but do it smartly. The Marcus Folingo boarding penalty was especially troubling for me. Fans booed it, but the refs got that one correct. Kudos to Folingo for backing himself up afterwards. You can’t do something like that and not expect someone to come after you.

– The number of fans in the Blue Cross Arena. There were far too many sections (mostly the upper bowl) that had 2 or 3 people sitting in them. I know it’s a Sunday game, but please show up. Don’t let the two terrible losses at the beginning of the season scare you away from this team. These guys have talent, they showcased that tonight. Please Amerks fans, show up for the games.

Final thoughts:

In all honestly, I could have saved you the trouble of reading the above and made my recap very succinct by quoting South Park. “Dude, that was some uber pwnage.” But where would the fun be in that?

In Professor Rolston we trust.*

* I’ll rotate this until I can find an acceptable substitute for “Tylers.”


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