From Where I Sat, Amerks Edition: Lake Erie Monsters

Tonight marked the third of six meetings between the Rochester Americans and the Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche). While there is certainly much I could say about this game, I believe I will let my standard of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly do the talking for me tonight. As I mentioned in my previous “From Where I Sat” post, I was in my usual seat tonight. The final score tonight was Lake Erie 2, Rochester 6.

The Good:

– The Amerks capitalized on 3 of their 8 power play chances and killed off 4 of the 5 penalties. The only Lake Erie marker came on yet another penalty by Luke Adam. More on this later.

– Derek Whitmore with another 2 goal performance. He is the only Amerk that is now guaranteed a 20+ goal season. I hate to turn this into a negative, but the only other Amerks who really have a shot at hitting the 20 goal mark are Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno. That assumes, however, that Kassian is returned to the Amerks. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

– Only 5 Amerks did not register a point tonight. Obviously scoring 6 goals in a game increases your odds at getting a point, of course.

– Tonight’s goals were scored by 5 different Amerks. Even scoring is always a good thing, although the Amerks could use a little more of it.

– Luke Adam got his first 2 points as an Amerk tonight (2 assists). I am not sure if it was Lake Erie reeling after they lost the lead, or Adam finding his way, but they need him to play like that more often. He made a few great plays tonight, but also had a few bad turnovers.

– Guys standing up for each other. On a play late in the third period, Lake Erie forward Justin Mercier boarded Maxime Legault and was immediately challenged by Travis Turnbull. Afterwards a secondary altercation between Igor Gongalsky and Lake Erie defensemen Danny Richmond. As much as I would not be bothered if fighting were removed from the game, it is always a good thing to let your teammates know you have their backs. Fans generally like to see it as well. Those were two of the three fights tonight, the other was Corey Tropp in the first period. Tropp finished a goal shy of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

– Although it has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the game, I thought it was hilarious that the arena DJ played “Why Can’t We Be Friends” when a scrum broke out after the whistle in the third period. Nice touch. They need to build on that proper selection of music. More on this later.

– Yet another come from “behind” victory. It took only 3 unanswered goals in the second period to win the game.

The Bad:

– Drew Schiestel made a scary turnover when the Amerks were on a power play in the first period. I am not sure who the Lake Erie player was who grabbed Schiestel’s errant defensive end center ice pass, but Schiestel is lucky it went off the post. That is the second game now where his defense has made me have a few “oh crap” moments. And Dennis Persson is sitting, why?*

– If I were an opposing team wanting to score a power play goal right now, I would hope that Luke Adam takes a penalty. Teams are 3 for 3 on the power play when he takes a penalty. I know correlation does not imply causation, but I find this very odd. In other words, stop taking penalties Luke!

– Officiating, as always, left much to be desired. Colin Stuart received a tripping penalty when the Lake Erie player took his own goalie out. Also, how does Mercier get away with boarding and Turnbull receive 2 minutes for roughing? That is the definition of garage league officiating. The Amerks certainly got away with a few penalties, but that call still puzzles me, as it seemed like a very obvious boarding call on Mercier.

– Playing music because it has the day in the title. I complain about this EVERY time, but simply because it is Friday it does not mean that you have to play “It’s Friday I’m In Love.”

– I have been letting jersey fouls slide, but I want to call  out the kid wearing the obviously fake Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings jersey. Everything on that jersey was screen printed. Even the bloody Reebok logo on the back. Save your pennies kids and buy a legitimate jersey.

The Ugly: (Hard to find in this game.)

– Moments after I was poking fun at the weakness of TJ Brennan’s slap shot, Brayden McNabb slapped a puck directly into the [beautiful] face of Marcus Foligno. Fortunately it was not too serious, but it did result in him losing a chicklet and getting a large cut on his lip. I imagine he will be back on the ice tomorrow.

– Lake Erie’s starting goaltender Gerald Coleman. He made 11 saves in the first period, and then proceeded to give up 3 goals on the first 4 Amerks’ shots in the second period. Not all of it was him, but I needed something to put under this column and he seemed worthy of it. Also, the  backup goalie James Reid did not look very good either.

Final Thoughts:

The Amerks played very well tonight on all fronts. Unfortunately, last Friday they dominated the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars), and got manhandled by the San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers) on Saturday. Hopefully that will not occur this weekend, as they travel to Cleveland on Saturday to finish off the home and home with Lake Erie. They will be back in action on Sunday in Rochester to play the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Racists), a team they have only defeated once this season.

In Coach Rolston we trust.

*Note: I do like Drew Schiestel, but his defense scares the crap out of me sometimes. As does that of Dennis Persson.


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