From Where I Wish I Hadn’t Sat: Griffins at Amerks, 10/4/13


Last night marked the first of four meetings between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Rochester Americans. If you hadn’t already guessed by the title, the Amerks’ home opener did not go as well at they had planned. At the end of the night the final score was 8-1, Griffins. Sometimes the score isn’t indicative of how a game actually went (see: Sabres at Red Wings, 10/2/13), but in this case it is an accurate portrayal of how things went. After the jump you’ll find The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good:

-They didn’t get shutout? That’s all I have.

The Bad:

-I’m not sure what the referee thought he saw on the Griffins’ 7th goal, but from where I was sitting (and I have a fairly good view of these things) it didn’t look like this was an actual goal. From what I could see the puck was heading over the line, but Lieuwen was able to get his glove on it before it crossed. Perhaps the referee blocked my view and it came out of his glove, however.

-How about you find a way to get a power play and NOT ruin it by taking a penalty? Just saying.

-I’ll say this, Hackett wasn’t good. But –and this is important here– he wasn’t the only problem last night. That 6th Griffins’ goal? It bounced off of Alexander Sulzer. I’m not sure how you can blame Hackett for that. There were a fair number of fans around me pining for David Leggio, but oh how soon people forget last season’s home opener. You know that one where the Amerks had a 4-0 lead, went down 5-4, and eventually won 6-5 in the shootout. You know who was in net that night? Leggio. Don’t get me wrong, I think the organization was wrong in in re-signing him, but I see why they didn’t.

  1. Goalie 1 (by full AHL season): 45GP, 23-16-4 W-L-SOL, 2.37GAA, 0.916SV%; 44, 20-17-6, 2.38, 0.917; 43, 19-20-3, 2.66, 0.907
  2. Goalie 2: 36, 22-12-0, 2.80, 0.911; 54, 28-24-2, 2.64, 0.917; 64, 38-24-1, 2.56, 0.924

Which one of these goalies is Leggio and which one is Hackett? If you remember last season well enough, you’ll know that Goalie 2 is David Leggio. I left out the two games Hackett played with the Amerks last season, as well as the two AHL Leggio has played with two other AHL teams. Obviously there was no sense in comparing this season, as the Hershey Bears haven’t played a game yet. I suppose if you judge a goalie by their W-L record (which is a poor way of judging a goalie), then Hackett seems like a mediocre goalie. However, if you look at their GAA and SV%, you can see that Hackett has been better than Leggio in every season of his career, save last season. If you want to continue thinking that Hackett is an awful goalie, then you are more than welcome to do so. I’ll wait to see if he can regain his previous form before I start calling him awful.

-Maybe this roster isn’t as good as I thought. Actually, that’s probably accurate. I may have been too positive in my season preview. Nothing to do with the game, of course, but I want to acknowledge that I may have had a case of the dumbs.

The Ugly:

-EVERYTHING. I can’t think of anything that didn’t look ugly last night. WOOF. The team acted like they had never played together before. Cassidy kept mixing lines up to try and find some chemistry, but there was nothing. Yes, the Griffins won the Calder Cup last year, so they’re good and blah blah blah. That’s no excuse for how the Amerks played last night.

-I think the tweet below accurately describes the game.

Final Thoughts:

Boy was that an awful game. I really do not see how they let this happen next week against the Utica Comets. They have plenty of time to practice, so hopefully they can deal with the numerous issues from last night. There are a handful of players who are guaranteed an AHL roster spot, but there are a number of players who didn’t play like they wanted to be in the AHL.  On one hand it would have been good for them to play again tonight or Sunday so they would be forced to put the game behind them. Other the other hand, it’s probably a good thing that they can dwell on this loss for some time. Being embarrassed at home like this could be a strong motivator. Although, that didn’t seem to matter against the Marlies for the past two seasons. The next time the Amerks face the Griffins is December 6 in Grand Rapids. Let’s hope they return the favor.

In Cassidy we trust.

Tweet of the night:

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