From Where I Sat: Stars at Amerks, 2/20/2013
Tonight marked the first of two meetings between the league leading Texas Stars and the Rochester Americans. There are quite a few things one could take away from this game. The foremost being that there is a reason why the Stars are first in both the Western Conference and the AHL. The final score was 5-1 Stars, which is entirely indicative of how the game went for the Amerks. After the jump you’ll find The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
-They didn’t get shutout? I guess that is something good.
-The first period was mostly even until the Stars scored on a rather odd play. David Leggio thought he had the puck under control, but it slipped behind him and the Stars’ Mathieu Tousignant was able to poke it into the net for his first of the season before any Amerks were able to get to the net to back Leggio up. After that things didn’t go very well for the Amerks.
-They finished their checks. This game definitely had some decent hits in it, especially during the first period.
-The first period after the Tousignant goal. After that goal the Amerks were outshot 6-2.
-Oh look at that, another shorthanded goal against.
-Oh look at that, their only goal came on a special teams play. You have to go back to the third period of the game against the Marlies on February 1 to find their last even strength goal at home. That’s a span of 184:03 without an even strength goal at home. Until Luke Adam’s even strength goal against the Bulldogs on Monday, the Amerks had gone 194:54 without an even strength goal. That was scored at the 1:06 mark of the second period against the Lake Erie Monsters on February 12. I am, of course, excluding a Phil Varone third period empty net goal in that same game. Basically, this team cannot score at even strength.
-David Leggio has been pretty damn good for the last month or so, but tonight he wasn’t very good at all. Granted his defense didn’t help him out much, but ouch.
-The entire second period. I don’t even know where to begin with this. It took the Amerks about 6-7 minutes to get their first shot on net. Then they gave up a bad shorthanded goal. Just an ugly ugly period of hockey.
-The entire third period. I could take you through the entire third period, but there is no need to do that. While the game against the Bears on Sunday featured some pressure on the forecheck, tonight was pretty much a repeat of Friday’s game against the Aeros. Zero pressure on the forecheck and nobody in front of the net. I’ll give credit to the Stars for their defensive efforts, because they absolutely dominated the Amerks in this period. Don’t let the Amerks favorable shot margin (9-8) fool you, because it wasn’t close and their shots were mostly harmless.
-For at least the last 6:30 of the third period the Amerks had ZERO shots on goal. I jokingly said to my brother “Watch them not get another shot on goal for the remainder of the period.” They must have heard me, because that is exactly what they did.
-This is now the third straight home game where they have looked mostly awful in both zones. It makes one wonder if that fantastic win streak was an aberration.
-The Amerks power play. They faced the 21st ranked penalty kill in the league and manged to give up a shorthanded goal on it. The power play has looked dreadful at home since they last scored on it on Friday against the Aeros.
-The Amerks have now be outscored 12-3 in their last three home games, and 12-5 in their last four games. They’ve also been outshot 92-88 in their last three home games, and outshot their opponents 137-122 in their last four games. Although the latter statistic is slightly biased as they outshot Hamilton 49-22 on Monday.
1. Alex Biega: He scored their only goal and was one of three Amerks to finish +1.
2. Zemgus Girgensons: He threw his body around tonight, but that was about it.
3. Me: Because nobody wants to join me when I try to get the “Let’s go Amerks!” chant going.
“See Me After Class”:
1. Nick Tarnasky: Stupid penalty in the second period for chirping and a -3. Not a good night for him at all.
2. Matt MacKenzie: Another rough game for MacKenzie, who has been struggling since returning from injury. A -3 tonight.
3. Adam Pardy: Several giveaways and he took a bad boarding penalty which led to the Stars’ power play goal to make it 3-0.
The Amerks are undoubtedly missing some key players due to injury, namely Brian Flynn and Evan Rankin. Either (or both) of those guys returning would most definitely help them out, but that isn’t entirely the problem. Someone is going to have to step up and try to right the ship at home. The next home game is Tuesday, February 26 at 7:05 pm. Expect to see a preview for that game Tuesday morning.