Game Recap: Grand Rapids Griffins @ Amerks, 10.04.2013
“’Cause I know theres got to be another level, somewhere closer to the other side. And I’m feeling like its now or never – Can I break the spell of the typical?” MuteMath, Typical
For the record, I live in a house with three small (wiener) dogs. Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly generous, those dogs get to go for a car ride. Friday afternoon, rife with excitement and anticipation about the Amerks home opener, $2 beers during an extended happy hour, and the first night of the Amerks traditional “Mystery Puck” promotion, I was feeling generous. I loaded dogs in the car, and off we went to run an errand. Sometime in the course of that errand, a dog had an upset tummy and pooped on my backseat. Said dog (or another, I don’t really know) stepped in it, and then there was crap all over the backseat. I got home, unloaded dogs, and spent an hour scrubbing my backseat and swearing at those dogs. That hour of my life (and my now super clean backseat) was far, FAR more enjoyable than what the Amerks called hockey during the home opener.
The Amerks welcomed the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins to the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial Friday night. There was much fanfare, with player meet-and-greets, an extended $2 happy hour, a live band (who was awful, by the way) and, of course, extended player introductions prior to the game. I was pumped. My family and friends were pumped. We were ready for some hockey. Although my brother-in-law and I had joked that we were looking forward to mystery pucks, $2 beer, and mediocre hockey (in that order), we all knew what was up: It was hockey season. The day we’ve waited for since spring. The day that couldn’t be equalled in our summer sports. We joked about mediocre hockey, but we all knew we were secretly hopeful that it would be ok. Most of us are Red Sox fans – we spent all last winter being told how our team would be terrible. They’re too young! Management isn’t great! Those things applied to the Amerks, and look where the Red Sox are!! OH MY GOD, WE’LL BE THE RED SOX OF THE AHL. Yeah … nope.
I keep trying to tell myself that it was only one game. It’s only the first game! I look at our parent organization, however, and it looks bad, guys. You know. You read this because you’re Sabres fans looking for an Amerks fix. The highlight of the 8-1 loss was seeing all of the holes in our defense. I’m not kidding. Now that we know where the holes are, we can fix them. Right!? I mentioned to my arch-nemisis Local Sports Writer, during training camp, that our defense looked bad. Really, really bad. He had to concede Friday that I was correct. And remember, kids, we don’t have rockstar David Leggio backing up that hot mess anymore. Matt Hackett played 36:35 and allowed 6 goals on 30 shots. Nathan Lieuwen allowed two more on 7 shots in 23:23. Luke Adam scored Rochester’s lone goal at 13:01 of the second, with help from Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and Phil Varone. The important thing to remember is that this really was only the first game, folks. There’s a bunch of new kids out there, a few new vets, a new coach … They’re still learning what it’s like to play together. I’ll try to not cry until it’s really bad (like, “fire the coach” bad). But, hey … speaking of those Boston Red Sox? At least one of my teams won Friday night!
Game Notes: The Amerks were severely lacking in SOG, 19 to Grand Radpids 37 … Freddie Roy (son of Colorado Avalanche HC and notorious hot head Patrick) lead the night with 16PIM – 10 of which came after he punched the penalty box door following a fight and was handed an extra timeout for unsportsmanlike conduct. Like father, like son … No Amerk had a positive +/-. Drew Bagnall was worst, sporting a -4 … No Griffin had a negative +/-. Adam Almquist and Ryan Sproul were tied at +3 … Gustav Nyquist, who has no business being in a Griff’s sweater, lead their night, going 1+2=3. Former Amerk Tristan Grant was 1+1=2 for the Griffs, as well.
The Amerks have all week off to think about what they’ve done. Or what they haven’t done, as the case may be. They welcome the brand-shiny-new Utica Comets to the BCA/RWM on Friday, October 11. Hopefully, that game will go slightly better than the home opener. Sadly, barring any unforseen circumstances, I won’t be in attendance at an Amerks game for a while, as I tend to work Friday and Saturday evenings right now. However, I will still be brining you those hot Amerks takes on Twitter and I will do my very best to keep you updated right here. Let’s go Amerks!