This Is Not A Recap: Syracuse Crunch @ Amerks, 02.26.2013
“‘Cause I raised you better – gotta keep it together, even when you fall apart.” (Miranda Lambert, Mama’s Broken Heart)
The Amerks faced off against the Syracuse Crunch on Tuesday night. The same Syracuse Crunch who won a Calder Cup as the Norfolk Admirals last season. The same Syracuse Crunch who were coming into this game on back-to-back shutouts. I could sit here and tell you all about another boring game that the Amerks lost; where they looked lost on the ice, slow, and tired. But, as I’ve been mulling this game over for two-ish days, I had other thoughts that came to mind.
I don’t make excuses for the Sabres or the Amerks anymore. I just don’t. It’s not worth my time, energy, or imagination. The Amerks are 1-4-0-0 in their last five, including four straight losses. They are winless under Chadd Cassidy, who has been coaching the team since Ron Rolston got the “promotion” to Buffalo in the wake of Lindy Ruff’s firing. Alright, technically, Chadd wasn’t named head coach until February 25, but he’s been doing the job since February 20. The Amerks have five wins in 12 games in the month of February. Five. That’s it. FIVE. They last won at home on February 1, against the Marlies. FEBRUARY FIRST. Their last win was at Hamilton, on February 18. They’ve scored only nine goals in their last seven games, and four goals in their last four home games, while their opponents have scored 16 in those four visits to the BCA. They’ve been outshot 382-336. I just don’t even know anymore.
We all knew things would change when the lockout ended. But the team still did well. Not as well, but it’s far enough removed that I don’t feel that’s it. The Amerks have lost a few guys to Buffalo, including Captain Kevin Porter and blue-liner Adam Pardy, and have gained Cody McCormick and Matt Ellis. Watching McCormick and Ellis in this game against Syracuse, I was less than impressed. But that’s why they’re here, I guess. After spending eight days in the hospital and missing three home games, I was excited to get back to games; to watch my team (MY TEAM!) play hockey! After the first period, I was ready to go home, and I was trying to blame it on being tired and not feeling well instead of the crummy hockey I was watching.
I’m not that blogger this time, guys. I don’t have suggestions on how to make this tire fire go out. It seems simple, from where I sit. Score more goals, let in less. I know it’s not that simple. I know that, as the fan, I’m tired of a(nother) losing team. I’m tired of just coming up short. I cannot imagine how tired the players must be. They looked it, during that Syracuse game. They look like a team that doesn’t know what to do with themselves. I’ve been with this team for a LOT – I’ve been going to games since I was in the womb, for crying out loud – and I’ve never seen it THIS BAD. I’m still here, guys, but something’s gotta give. All of my teams are losing. I’m still here, and I’ll still be here, but it’s getting harder to stomach.
The Amerks will take to the road for their next two, visiting the Crunch on March 2 and the Lake Erie Monsters on March 3. They return home on March 8 to face the Abbotsford Heat, and to kick off a seldom-seen three-in-three weekend. As always, I’ll see you at the game!