Tonight the Admirals are looking for a bounce back performance with a road game against the Rochester Americans. If there is any other team in the AHL who could sympathize with recent struggles it’d be the Amerks who have gone 3-7-0-0 (6 points) in their last 10 games. They are currently seated last in the North Division and are second to last in the Western Conference. Something should give for someone tonight, right?
~Battle Between the Pipes~
When looking at the Amerks issues this season you end up looking at the amount of goals they have allowed. They have scored 81 goals, not too shabby, but allowed 91 goals… only the St. John’s IceCaps (101 goals) and Norfolk Admirals (95 goals) have allowed more this season.
In net, they have had a tandem of just two goaltenders all season: Andrey Makarov and Nathan Lieuwen. The split between the two for games played is a difference of just one game with the rookie Makarov leading the way. The Russian has a record of 7-8-1-0 from 17 appearances this season with a 2.81 goals against average and a 0.912 save percentage. Meanwhile, Lieuwen appears to be having a regression style season (at least by the numbers): 4-9-0-0 record, 3.29 goals against average, 0.883 save percentage.
~The ‘Merican Offense~
There are four players really pacing the Amerks on offense: Phil Varone, Johan Larsson, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Tim Schaller. All have had good offensive seasons to date and, with the trade that was made sending their go-to offensive guy Luke Adam in a deal to the Columbus Blue Jackets, it’s nice to see for a Rochester perspective.
Varone was great last season. He is doing great again: 24 points (7 goals, 17 assists). That’s the player I wouldn’t want to see single-handedly taking it to the Admirals tonight.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? How important is it that the Admirals win these next two games against, on paper, lesser opponents? Will Marek Mazanec make his fourth consecutive start in net for the Admirals tonight? Scoreline prediction?