Looking back at the first 20% of the Season

The Amerks loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday evening ended the first 20% of the season.  The team has won two games, at this pace they’ll win eight more through the rest of the season.

So, anyone have anything positive to look back on?

While the Amerks have only won two games and are in the basement, some other teams are in similar positions.  The Albany River Rats, Manchester Monarchs have each won three games, and the San Antonio Rampage have only won two as well.

Unless you haven’t been following the team, they’re basically last in every stats category.  If you want more stats, check out theahl.com and amerks.com, talking about them in detail is pointless.

The one thing that has been positive is that the players on the team are working hard.  Even though the team is in the basement statistically, they haven’t quit the season (yet).

They have lost confidence at times during some games, but they’ve continued to put forth an effort.

They’re a young team put into a bad situation.  During the 07/08 season the Amerks team was one that seemed to stop caring completely and rarely put in a solid effort.

Typically in sports when a team is doing poorly the coach is the first person to get fired (Barry Melrose in Tampa), that is not the case here with the Amerks.  Benoit Groulx has done what he can with the team.

As expected with a poor record, attendance has been bad.  The team is averaging 3,810 people through nine home games.  Halloween night was the worst with around 800 people.  Some other games have had around 1,000.  This coming Wednesday against the Toronto Marlies will be interesting.

The only roster changes that have been made since the season began was swapping Tyler Plante for David Shantz, sending Doug O’Brien to the Florida Everblades, and bringing Jacob Micflickier back from the Everblades.  Certainly not changes that would turn the season around.

Which leads us to this recent comment in an R News story:

“In terms of the Rochester Americans being here for another 50 years, it’s really up to the fans of Rochester. It’s plain and simple,” Staats said.

Well Lewis Staats, you are right in that it is up to the fans to support the team, but it’s also up to ownership to provide a quality product that people will want to see.  Kevin O wrote a great blog entry about the topic.

Last season was the worst in team history, this year the team could be on the pace to be one of the worst in AHL history.  This early in a new season with new ownership and the questions about the team surviving in Rochester have already started.  None of this seems real.

With 31 home games left on the schedule, it’s now up to ownership and management to improve the product on the ice or the remaining 800 regulars will continue to drop.

During the initial press conference back in June of the Panthers and Amerks being official, Jack Birch had said that the goal was winning and they (Panthers) were going to be active in free agency.  Neither of which has happened.

Let’s hope Curt Styres, Lewis Staats, and Jody Gage are able to get something accomplished to salvage this season, it’s our only hope.

Jacques Martin and Jack Birch are useless.

If this is only 1/5 of the way into the season, I can’t even imagine half way through.