Over the previous week or so the Syracuse Crunch have gotten a major increase to the participant choices of their lineup after the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers acquired depth choices on the NHL Trade Deadline. These acquisitions have taken time to indicate up in Syracuse because of COVID quarantines, roster shenanigans and such, however now wanting on the roster, the Crunch are bolstered for the ultimate 11 video games of the AHL season.
Hopefully the additions, together with some gamers getting back from damage, assist the crew put collectively extra constant performances. The Crunch have three video games this week, however earlier than we go over them, right here’s an up to date checklist of the roster:
LW: Boris Katchouk, Gabriel Fortier (R), Henry Bowlby (R), Peter Abbandonato, Jimmy Huntington (inj), Cole Koepke (R)
C: Otto Somppi, Aleksi Heponiemi, Antoine Morand, Ryan Lohin, Boo Nieves (inj)
RW: Taylor Raddysh, Grigori Denisenko, Declan McDonnell (R), Serron Noel (R), Odeen Tufto (R)
LD: Devante Stephens, Lucas Carlsson, Andreas Borgman, Sean Day, John Ludvig, Vladislav Kolyachonok (R), Alec Rauhauser (R)
RD: Luke Witkowski (inj), Ben Thomas, Chase Priskie, Brady Keeper, Alex Inexperienced, Dmitri Semykin, Jack Thompson (R)
G: Spencer Martin, Samuel Montembeault, Tyler Johnson (not that one)
The Panthers have additionally reassigned ahead Aleksi Heponiemi and defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Brady Keeper to the Crunch.https://t.co/RaVmggGs7L
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 17, 2021
I actually like this ahead group. For those who’ve heard me speak concerning the Crunch (for instance on Alex Ackerman’s podcast!) you’ll know I’m a giant fan of Somppi and Heponiemi. Each are superb distributing facilities that may play up the center in each zones. Neither are good, however they’re a superb one-two punch up the center within the AHL. By way of wingers, Raddysh and Katchouk are each having breakout seasons each in factors and in consistency on a nightly foundation. Coach Groulx instructed them they wanted to be leaders this season and so they’ve delivered.
Happening the lineup, Antoine Morand has immediately created an offensive depth line. The teaching workers has achieved a superb job of maximizing Morand’s scoring by placing him on the ice within the offensive zone at even power or on the ability play. Rookie ahead Fortier has actually proven his relentlessness on the penalty kill, making me optimistic for his growth within the league within the coming years.
There’s a superb steadiness of scoring, playmaking, dimension, and velocity. One downside that has continued is penalties. It was one thing star forwards like Alex Barre-Boulet and Ross Colton had been in a position to mitigate by basically making the lives of their teammates simpler by taking up extra accountability themselves. Raddysh and Katchouk have been doing that to some extent, however hopefully a extra reliable second line (one thing that was lacking final week till the weekend) will take it the remainder of the best way.
On protection, the additions of Lucas Carlsson and Andreas Borgman have been big. With Luke Witkowski out, they’ve introduced a bona-fide high pair to the crew. Each are huge, cell, and good at transitioning play out of their zone to the offense whereas below strain. There’s a logjam on protection proper now with them, the unique high line with Stephens and Thomas, the offensive pair with Day and Keeper, in addition to discovering ice time for the handful of rookies the crew now has. The crew is about six pairs deep now that just about everyone seems to be wholesome.
Martin and Montembeault haven’t been good, however it’s laborious to complain a few pair with a .910 and .905 save proportion, good for top-20 within the AHL amongst certified goalies.
Video games this Week
Sport #22: Syracuse Crunch at Rochester Individuals (Wed, Apr 21, 7pm)
Sport #23: Rochester Individuals at Syracuse Crunch (Sat, Apr 24, 7pm)
The Amerks are coming off a tricky couple weeks. They misplaced three straight to the Cleveland Monsters by a mixed rating of 20-8. Yeah, 20 targets in three video games, not nice. The Amerks are coping with a variety of call-ups, together with their goalie Ukko Pekka-Luukkonen. The Amerks must play three video games in 4 nights this week, together with on the second half of a back-to-back in Syracuse.
Sport #24: Utica Comets at Syracuse Crunch (Solar, Apr 25, 3pm)
It’ll be one other assembly between the Crunch and Comets this month, with heaps extra on the best way. The Crunch will probably be on the second half of their back-to-back, whereas the Comets play on Wednesday and Friday earlier than the Sunday afternoon matinee.
Across the AHL
Musical chairs is again for one more offseason. The New Jersey Devils have ended their affiliation with the Binghamton Devils, placing the AHL crew’s future very excessive within the air. In the meantime, there are talks the Vancouver Canucks wish to transfer their affiliate nearer to dwelling. An previous AHL metropolis in Abbotsford, BC (the identical province because the Canucks play in) might or might not be within the playing cards for a brand new settlement. That is all very early days.