This is it. The Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch face off at 7:35pm and in the final weekend of the season both teams are desperate for wins to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Amerks need the win a lot more than the Syracuse Crunch do if they’re to make the playoffs. It’s pretty simple for the Amerks, win tonight and tomorrow and with a little help they’ll make the playoffs. They’ll still have a chance with a three point weekend but can’t settle for anything less than four.
It doesn’t matter anymore what was not done last summer or during the season or the talk of the status of some players. The only thing that matters is that the team that’s on the ice tonight and tomorrow wearing the Amerks crest goes out and wins two hockey games. David Leggio needs to bring his A game. The defense needs to be at the top of their game. The offense needs to complete passes and put pucks on the net. The power play needs to score and the penalty kill needs to kill penalties. Hockey 101.
The coaching staff knows what is on the line. The players all know what is on the line. They’ve all been watching the standings for the past two months as the season has started to wind down. This is it.
It’s fan appreciation night and the team will be giving out a lot of prizes throughout the game including team photo’s when you enter. If you still need tickets you can USE THIS LINK to buy them for only $10 from the Amerks directly. A word of caution: you’ll be picking them up at will call so get there early to avoid any potential lines!
As for the game itself, Rochester leads the season series with a 5-3-0-1 record over the Crunch. Two of those wins for the Amerks were in overtime and two others in a shootout. Here’s the previous nine games this season:
Rochester 4 @ Syracuse 3 (Mar 24 2012) Final SO
Syracuse 4 @ Rochester 3 (Mar 21 2012) Final SO
Rochester 3 @ Syracuse 4 (Mar 16 2012) Final
Rochester 5 @ Syracuse 4 (Feb 4 2012) Final OT
Rochester 0 @ Syracuse 4 (Jan 27 2012) Final
Syracuse 2 @ Rochester 3 (Nov 16 2011) Final
Syracuse 5 @ Rochester 6 (Nov 6 2011) Final OT
Rochester 2 @ Syracuse 5 (Nov 5 2011) Final
Syracuse 2 @ Rochester 3 (Oct 18 2011) Final SO
What do all of those results mean? It’ll likely be a close game and potentially high scoring game right until the end.
Syracuse clinches a playoff berth on Friday with: (a) a win at Rochester AND two of: (1) an Adirondack loss (reg/OT/SO) at Springfield; (2) a Manchester regulation loss at Connecticut; (3) a Portland regulation loss vs. Hershey
Rochester can’t clinch a playoff birth with a win and any combination on Friday. The scenario is a lot more complicated and the team may not even know until the regular season ends on Sunday. Here’s what Eric came up with to the best of his ability:
Assuming we win our two games, Cleveland is done and we end up with 86.
We then need 2 out of these 5 teams vying for a playoff spot to NOT get more than the max points below:
San Antonio = 2/6
Milwaukee = 3/6
Houston = 3/6 (maybe 4 with 3rd tie breaker?)
Charlotte = 4/6
Peoria = 3/6
Charlotte plays Peoria and Milwaukee.
If Charlotte wins all 3 of their road games, then Peoria is out and Charlotte is in. We’d need Milwaukee and/or Houston to get only 3/6, and that would be reasonable because Milwaukee would have lost to Charlotte (although even a loser point would help their cause).
If Peoria wins out they would be in, and we’d need 2 of these 3: Charlotte/Milwaukee/Houston to all only get 3/6.
If Milwaukee wins out they are in, and we’d need 2 of these 3: Charlotte to get only 4/6, Peoria/Houston to only get 3/6.
It could also come down to tie breakers and the Amerks have the 3rd tie breaker over Houston. Kevin O shared this:
Got all of that? Good luck. Bottom line is the Amerks need four points and two of the teams above to not win all of their final games.
See you at the game tonight!