Gameday: Amerks Host Monsters; Playoff Panic Button?

After another disappointing loss on a Friday night the Amerks are back in action tonight at home versus the Lake Erie Monsters.  I’m not sure there’s any way to hype the Amerks in this game.  The Monsters have won five of six games between the two teams.  The only Amerks win was the second game of the season.  The Monsters have also outscored the Amerks 22-13.

Based on the comments after Fridays game the only thing I can think to say is that the team needs to work hard like they say and they’ll start winning again.  Hopefully they are on to something.

The stats do not paint a pretty picture for the game but I’ll be walking through the doors of Blue Cross Arena excited and hoping for the best like I always do.  The puck drops at 7:35pm, not the usual 7:05 start time.

With only 27 games remaining in the season and letters going out to season ticket holders about renewing and playoff tickets, is it time to hover our hands over the panic button?

Take a look at these stats that Kevin posted on Hockey O-Zone:

The Amerks have a 17-1 record against Syracuse, Binghamton and Toronto. Against everyone else on their schedule, they’re 13-20-1.

That second record is just awful. It translates to a .397 points-earned percentage, which by itself would be the worst record in the league.

The players are not concerned.  The coach is not concerned.  Management says they are not concerned.

Taking a look at the standings there is only six points separating the Amerks in second place with 62 points and the Moose, Monsters, and Heat all tied with 56 points.  The Amerks and Monsters face off tonight.  The Amerks also have games on Tuesday and Friday against the Manitoba Moose.  I hate to have my finger on that panic button but by next weekend the Amerks could be in a position where they’re going to be battling for a playoff spot instead of where they’ve been sitting comfortably for a while now.

As of this morning here’s the North Division standings:

Bulldogs – 76 points
Amerks – 62 points
Moose – 56 points
Heat – 56 points
Monsters – 56 points
Griffins – 49 points
Marlies – 48 points

In the D&C on Friday the following quote appeared by Ted Nolan:

“Curt put a lot of time and a lot of energy into this team,” Nolan said. “We’re not just going to sit and watching things slide.”

Well, from a fans viewpoint that’s exactly what they have done, sat and watched.  Yes, Daniel Steiner and John de Gray have been good additions to the team but the team has still continued to slide in the standings.

The attendance has also continued to slide and can you really blame people?  If it wasn’t for the $1 beers and hot dogs on Friday nights I’d be concerned what the numbers would be.  These articles probably don’t help but what can really be said?  I wish I could go back to writing about exciting hockey.

At one point not too long ago the Amerks had a 20 point lead over the Monsters and now after the game tonight that gap could be closed to four points.  We’ll know more later tonight.