The Instigator Podcast 6.14 – Should the Sabres Tap their Pipeline this Season?

The Sabres are seeing success in Rochester this season as the prospects Buffalo has in the Flower City have lifted the Amerks to second in the AHL’s North Division. Led by the likes of CJ Smith and Brendan Guhle, the Amerks are proving to be a development dream for the Sabres. In what’s looking like a lost season, does it make sense for Jason Botterill to pull up his growing youngsters, or should he stay the course and allow those players to develop away from the struggles of the NHL club?

We discuss this, the looming return of Zach Bogosian and George Parros’ first serious foray into suspensions on this week’s episode.

 

Scouting the Amerks – DMB, Bailey and Baptiste on the Slate

A 2017 playoff run is looking more and more like a pipe dream every day. The Amerks dropped two out of three this week, including both home games against the Wolf Pack and Penguins.  The two points they gained in Toronto were crucial, but Rochester still sits three points behind Utica for the last playoff spot.

Even though Tyler Ennis has returned to game action, organizational depth is still a huge obstacle the Amerks must navigate going forward. The amount of roster moves within the organization has massively effected the on ice product lately. Continue reading

Scouting the Amerks – Nylander Returns and Baptiste Stays Hot

This was a very difficult week for the Amerks without Justin Bailey, Taylor Fedun and Alexander Nylander. Somehow, they were able to gut out overtime wins against the Crunch and the Marlies, taking four points from the three games they played.

Unfortunately Toronto gained three points from the back-to-back home games against Rochester this weekend. Considering the luck they have had when playing three games in as many days, I would consider it a win. The Amerks are still level with the Marlies for the last playoff spot, but Toronto has played two fewer games. Continue reading

Scouting the Amerks – Bailey and Rodrigues Lighting the Lamp

This was a week of exorcising demons in Rochester. They were able to defeat The Syracuse Crunch for the first time in six games, and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on their fourth try.

Following the holiday break the new-look Amerks eared six points from four games. This brings them a point above the Marlies into fourth place in the North Division. Utica and Toronto still have a couple of games in hand, but if the Amerks can keep stringing together wins, their playoff hopes look optimistic. Continue reading

Scouting the Amerks – Rochester Inching Closer to AHL Basement

In a week full of ups and downs, the Amerks are officially in danger of becoming the last place team in the AHL. The Amerks had two impressive home wins against the Marlies and Ice Caps. Unfortunately each of them was followed by an equally frustrating 4-1 loss.

After Wednesday’s offensive explosion, the top line featuring Nick Baptiste, Cal O’Reilly, and Cole Schneider, only combined for one point in the next three games.  If not for a generous home book on what was primarily an individual effort from Just Bailey, they would have been shut out. The trio was -11 over that stretch of play.

The addition of Taylor Fedun on Saturday immediately injected life into a struggling defensive core.  However, an injury to Tyson Strachan that same night thrust Casey Nelson back into action on Monday. Nelson has played especially poor this week. If there was more defensive depth in the organization, he would probably be playing in Elmira right now. Before Fedun replaced him on the point, he was a large contributor to the struggles of the Amerks power play. Even after the change was made, Rochester has still not converted with a man advantage. Rochester hasn’t scored on the power play since November 30, an 0-23 stretch. Continue reading

Scouting the Amerks: Bailey and Ullmark Shine After Rough Weekend

Scouting the Amerks will be a weekly series in which Dennis Allen (not the Saints defensive coordinator) takes a closer look at how things are going on the farm.

To say the Amerks had a bad weekend would be a powerful understatement. Rochester didn’t even have a loser point to show for two games in Lehigh Valley and one in Hershey.

Rochester were doubled up in the shots column in the first game against the Phantoms and the weekend finale against the Bears. They were out shot 125 to 69 over the course of all three games. The Amerks are now ranked 12th in the conference and are 8 points out of the playoff race. The roster is really hurting from a defensive standpoint. So much so that Dan Lambert continues to use five forwards on the power play. That has caused some problems as Evan Rodrigues’ inability to hold the point against Hershey led to a shorthanded breakaway goal.

However the Amerks are not without talent. My two standout Amerks this week were Justin Bailey and Linus Ullmark. Continue reading

Come Cover the Amerks with Us

In our quest to provide insightful coverage of the Sabres, we’re looking to add a Rochester Station Chief to the Two in the Box team. At times, it feels as if there’s a lack of coverage for the Amerks for Sabres fans to pull upon. With Kevin Oklobzija no longer covering the team for the D&C – a true shame as his work was second to none – there’s an even larger gap when it comes to available coverage on the Amerks.

So, if you’re a hockey fan in Rochester who has the interest in offering up your hot or luke warm takes on the Americans, let us know. Interested parties can email 2intheboxbuffalo@gmail.com.