PLAYER OF THE WEEK….. Finally Alexei Kovalev may be reaching his
full potential. Despite enormous talent, Kovalev has never had a 40 goal
season. This year he appears to be on the verge of doing that with 10 goals
in 18 games. The difference from previous seasons is that the pass happy
Kovalev is finally shooting the puck. He ranks third in the NHL with 74
shots on goal and is tied for third in power-play points with 12.
BANGED UP….. The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to good start this year
but the injury bug has bit them and bit them hard. Defenseman Bob Boughner
broke his wrist and is out 6 to 8 weeks. Janne Laukkanen sprained his left
knee and may be out a month. Ian Moran had surgery to repair a broken
knuckle and will be out 3 weeks. The Pen’s D will get some help from
journeyman defenseman Jeff Norton who was signed this week.
CARELESS WITH THE STICK….. The 20 game suspensio Read more»
Buffalo sports fans can attest to the agony of having one of their teams’ make it to the championship round in consecutive years, only to end up the loser, as the Buffalo Bills did in the early 90’s. Rochester has experienced this feeling the last two years, as they watched their Rochester Americans lose twice in the Calder Cup finals. The hope was that the 2000-01 edition of the Amerks could at last finish the job, but early returns suggest that this team may not be up to the task.
It is probably no surprise that the Amerks have struggled this season, as they are missing the likes of J.P. Dumont, Maxim Afinogenov, Dimitri Kalinin and Denis Hamel, all players currently with the Buffalo Sabres who were involved in last year’s run to the AHL finals. In addition, offensive star Domenic Pittis has moved on to the Edmonton organization, which has further depleted Rochester’s firepower. In addition to the loss of some highly skilled players, the Amerks 99-00 MVP, goaltender Mika Noronen, has been just average so far this year.
The talent drain shows in Rochester’s current team statistics, as they are currently 3rd in the AHL’s Mid-Atlantic division, and 12th overall. The Amerks power play is ranked 13th (out of 20 teams), while their penalty killing unit is 14th in the AHL. Offensively, Rochester is tied for 12th overall in goals scored, which is a further indication of the erosion of talent.
The main focus of this article will be to update the play of some of Buffalo’s leg Read more»