Blogs | 10/20/2011 10:01:31 AM | Don Stevens
After opening night, I think a lot of people were thinking, “Oh, no… not another year of this.” But something happened after the first period of game three in Cleveland, the night of the Amerks’ first win. They trailed 1-0, but came out and David Leggio stoned the Monsters, stopping all 15 shots. Mike Ryan and T.J. Brennan each scored to put the team in the lead for the first time this season. All of a sudden they found some confidence and started to play much smarter and with more patience. They’ve been building a nice foundation since that point.
I asked coach Rolston if something happened during that intermission, but he didn’t really answer the question. Looking for a good story, I was hoping to find out that he had thrown water bottles and trash cans around the room, had really ripped into them and they responded. But, he just smiled and said, “the young guys are getting better.”
Evidently no Hollywood script there. I told him it was like he had found the “on” switch.
Of course, there’s a long way to go. It’s only five games played, and over the years, back to Boxie, most coaches have stressed to not get too high or too low. The work ethic has been tremendous and, it goes without saying, that is the necessary foundation to be able to build a strong team on.
The depth concerns me as the injury situation starts to get a little scary. Tuesday night there were five injured and one out sick which brings the team down to the minimum. And ahead is a very tough three-games-in-three-nights weekend, with some suspensions added to the list. Jonathan Parker will have to sit Friday, while Marcus Foligno will miss Friday and Saturday.
So can this young, determined team continue to roll? I still don’t know how many games this team will win this season, but I think we’re starting to see that they will give it their all. And isn’t that what we’ve been asking and pleading for the last few years – a hard-working, entertaining team?
- I really like the play of Corey Tropp and Colin Stuart. They are very solid two-way players.
- Rochester fans can be quite proud of the hometown product, as Derek Whitmore has been very impressive so far.
- Everyone knew Drew MacIntyre would be a good one, but didn’t know what to expect from David Leggio. This could be an outstanding duo.
- Brayden McNabb has improved by leaps and bounds in just five games. He’s very poised and has a long reach which really helps his game.
- Jonathan Parker is scoring some “big” goals, including the Amerks’ first goal of the season and the game-winner in the last two games, the last one being the shootout winner against Syracuse.
- Matt MacKenzie didn’t look out of place when he played his first pro game Tuesday night.
- Zack Kassian with points in the first four games. If he can become consistent, he’ll be seeing a Sabres uniform sometime this season.
- I LOVE THE SCOREBOARD !!! Now I can look at one place and see the score, shots, penalties and a screen where you can actually see what’s on it.
- Looking forward to working with Mike Catalana (Channel 13) again. It’s been many years since we last did a game together. He’s very professional and with Ric, our telecasts should be a lot of fun this season. The first one is this Friday against Hamilton.