The Rochester Americans had a rough week and they only practiced.
Since Sunday the Buffalo Sabres have called called up Kyle Criscuolo, Brendan Guhle, and Danny O’Regan. Seth Griffith had gone up the week prior. Two of them have been added to the injured list, Criscuolo (4 to 6 weeks) and Griffith (unknown upper body).
Kyle Okposo left the Sabres game early on Thursday night after a collision and didn’t return. It’s possible there’ll be another call up before the Amerks play tonight.
The replacements are Alex Kile (11G+9A in 32GP) and Vaclav Karabacek (3A in 16GP) from Cincinnati. Karabacek has missed most of the season due to a concussion.
College hockey seasons are finishing up which means we may also start to see some ATO’s (amateur tryouts) start to roll through town to get a look.
It’ll be a tough weekend ahead with three games in three days all within 47 hours. The Amerks are coming off of their first set of back to back wins in two months after a very bad stretch of games.
The Providence Bruins are in Rochester tonight and are in a similar position in the standings. Both teams are in third place with 17 games left in the season. This’ll be the first of two games between the two teams this season.
Both teams are coming off of wins against Laval. Providence beat Laval 6-3, Rochester beat Laval 4-2.
The Amerks were led last Sunday by the line of Justin Danforth, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda and Dalton Smith. That line scored two goals and was physical all night against Laval wearing them down. If the Amerks are to win some games this weekend they’ll need more big games from those three.
Saturday and Sunday are going to be the games to focus on this weekend in a home and home series with the Syracuse Crunch.
Syracuse has won four of six games this season against Rochester with the last two being no contest dominating wins. Syracuse won 4-0 on January 13 and 2-1 on February 21 in Buffalo. The Crunch are a fast team and in the last two games the Amerks have just been lost.
The two wins for the Amerks against the Crunch came on opening weekend of the season.
A key for the weekend for Rochester is going to be Linus Ullmark and Adam Wilcox making massive saves and players like Danforth and Muzito-Bagenda contributing in big ways again along with the rest of the team showing up to play as well.
Alexander Nylander has been putting up points recently with 3G+6A in the last nine games which sounds great on paper but there’s still a lot of room to improve. Two of the three goals and two of the six assists were in the blowout win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where everyone scored. He’s had four assists in the last four games, only two were primary. The two primary were assists involved Nylander taking the initial shot on net and Sean Malone finding the loose puck and scoring. Nylander is playing better but still not playing as a dominant player.
Tough weekend ahead and winning two games against Syracuse with a depleted roster would make this weekend a success.
As they’ll say in pregame interviews, keep it simple and play 60 minutes.
For the current roster you can always visit our roster page.
Eric Cornel skated with the team this week and is considered day to day.
CJ Smith has about two weeks away from a return as he still recovers from a lower body injury. He’s started skating on his own.
Garret Ross is skating on his own as well and close to a return.
Check out our injuries page for all of the updates.