@DonStevensAmerk: “He shoots, he scores! And the Amerks take the lead!” After a season of heartbreak and injuries, the Amerks playoff chances come down to one shot and this one moment.
Back in October I never would have pegged the Amerks as a playoff contender. They had an atrocious start to the season. Coupled with the management unrest in Buffalo it seemed like the 2013-2014 season was a destined for bust. Fast forward a couple of months and it seemed like the Amerks were a freight train with one scheduled stop. The playoffs. Unfortunately an inconceivable turn of events in Buffalo left the Amerks roster decimated. Countless injuries, difficult trades, and players that called it quits left the Amerks beaten and battered. One of the strongest defenses in the AHL became one of the weakest. The Amerks top scorers were recalled to the Sabres while the remaining forwards struggled to keep games within reach for the Amerks. The Amerks entered a losing streak and their playoff chances slipped away. Then, out of the blue, the remaining Amerks stepped up when it counted. A few HUGE wins and few stars aligning leave the Amerks just one point from clinching a playoff spot! With the Sabres season over all eligible players have been returned (click here for an updated roster). The incoming talent from Buffalo reinforces the Amerks defense and offense along with their chances at securing a playoff spot. Our season-starting goaltenders were injured while recalled with the Buffalo Sabres but we’ve got a strong glove in Makarov and a strong backup in Knapp. In Eric’s words: “DOABLE!!!” Not only doable, Eric. With the returned players the Amerks have a shot at making a playoff run!
Tonight’s game in Utica vs. the Comets represents the first of 3 remaining chances to secure that spot. Hope for a tie. Play for the win. Never back down. With so much on the line Eric, Charlie, and I are heading to Utica for tonight’s game. The Amerks playoff fate lies just two hours down the thruway and we’re hoping a little home-town support helps turn the tables in our favor. Hopefully we’ll see a few friendly faces!