Gameday: Amerks at Bulldogs; Mike Ryan Injury

The Amerks start a four game road trip (with stops back home in between) tonight in Hamilton to play the Bulldogs for the third time in three weeks.  The Bulldogs have won both games, the first game was 5-2 and second game was a 3-2 win in the shootout.  The Amerks need to find a way to split Hamilton’s defense and when they do that they’ll be able to find ways to score.

The Bulldogs will have a different lineup than last Friday when they were here.  Their top scorer Brock Trotter was traded and Aaron Palushaj and Mike Blunden are called up to the Canadiens.

Rochester is 15th in the league on the power play, Hamilton is 4th.  On the penalty kill Rochester is 7th, Hamilton is 6th.  Special teams will play a role in the game tonight as they did last week with each team scoring a power play goal.

The game is at 7:30pm Eastern Time and can be heard on 1280 WHTK or watch online for $6.99 at

A few other things:

** It’s David Leggio’s turn in net.  Is this good competition for the goalies or are they both being hurt not getting consecutive starts in net?  A question I’ll raise Friday morning with Amerks coach Ron Rolston at practice.

** Drew Schiestel was back on the ice practicing yesterday.  He’s been out of the lineup since the season opener on October 8th with a knee injury.  He won’t be playing tonight but sounds like he is day to day going forward.

** Zack Kassian is 3rd amongst rookies this season with 25 shots on net in only eight games played.  Not too bad, he’s getting shots through, now more need to get into the net.

** Thanks to all of the fans and alumni from Clarkson Athletics and ECAC Hockey for reading my David Leggio article.  One of the most read articles I’ve ever written here, many readers from those two places outside of the area.

** Michael Ryan is the odds on favorite for his seasons “disappearance from the lineup.”  He was on the ice for warmups on October 16th but didn’t play because of a “headache.”  He was on the ice in full practice mode the rest of that week with the Amerks but still did not play.  I’m not sure any other AHL team has things like this happen to them.  There’s obviously something going on with Ryan where he can’t play, just odd that it’s so secretive.

Kevin Oklobjiza wrote this yesterday:

Still no real update on LW Michael Ryan from Rolston, and I didn’t see him either. Day to day is all the coach would say about whatever his undisclosed injury may be.

The secrecy around this is quite bizarre. But fans who bought their season tickets on the promise of watching some veteran players guide the young Buffalo Sabres’ prospects … don’t you be concerned or wondering. He’s injured. That’s your update. Feel free to buy more tickets, though.

This is the third year in a row that something “odd” has gone on with the lineup.  At the start of the 2010/2011 season we saw Andrew Peters and Nathan Paetsch taken out of the lineup after an “incident” on the road trip to Abbotsford.  Due to what happened the Florida Panthers decided they did not want them around their prospects so the two players were sent them packing.  Paetsch ended up playing most of the season with the Syracuse Crunch.  Peter’s retired.

Mike York left the lineup with a “knee injury” from December 2nd through February 19th during the 2009/2010 season  Well, we were told it was a knee injury but we were also told he was given a personal leave from the team.  The circumstances were odd, very few talked about it and he was completely missing from being seen around the rink.

When York returned to the lineup he was an immediate improvement, have to wonder what this offense would be like if it had Ryan in there.