Well, at least we witnessed history at Blue Cross Arena on Tuesday night.Â For the first time ever in American Hockey League history a team that had a 3-1 lead in the series go on to lose games 6 and 7 at home and blow the series.Â The Amerks were not able to get anything going in game seven and it showed on the ice in the 2-0 loss.Â It also could very well have been the first time a team has ever blown a 3-1 series lead and the opposing goalie earned a shutout in game seven.
With 9:55 left on the clock in the third period Tyler Plante approached the bench and started yelling at the team to battle hard and keep working to get it done.Â No one responded.
The loudest cheer of the night from the crowd was when the Amerks recorded only their seventh shot in goal in the second period followed by the eighth shortly after that.Â Pretty sad when the crowd is cheering for simple shots on the net.Â The Amerks only had THREE in the first period.
Amerks head coach Benoit Groulx thought it was a great idea to go for speed up front and experience on the blue line and decided to scratch Graham Mink and play Rory Fitzpatrick instead.Â Well, on his first shift Rory Fitzpatrick left the game after he separated his shoulder.Â That move sure did backfire.Â Just like the decision to start Alexander Salak in game one over Tyler Plante.
The Heat were the better team.Â This Amerks team had no chemistry.Â No play making abilities.Â The coaching staff continued to change things all the time.Â This was not a team, it was a group of players and I don’t blame the players for that.
When the captain of the team talks about the horrible communication from the coaches I think it’s easy to see where the problem was.Â He said he wasn’t told what was going on leading into the playoffs.
The third period ended with the fans chanting “Groulx Must Go.”Â What a way to end the season.
To clarify, the Amerks weren’t the first AHL team to blow a 3-1 lead, but they were the first to have a 3-1 lead and lose games 6-7 at home. Kevin O also said it was the first time the Amerks were shut out in an elimination game. Sad, but not unexpected, especially after the bizarre line-up decisions made by Groulx. To be fair, though, the team didn’t show much desire or heart. Still, the dysfunction that permeated this team for so much of the season needs to be addressed, and that starts with the coaches. Au revoir, Ben.
Thanks for the correction, I updated the first post.
It definitely starts with at least the head coach. I doubt Cipolla can be blamed entirely for some of the bad decisions. I just hope the Panthers make an announcement sooner rather than later.
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