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FRIDAY AMERKS NOTEBOOK

Friday, 04.20.2012 / 2:51 PM / News
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com (@kwsnow)
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FRIDAY AMERKS NOTEBOOK

TORONTO –
Rochester scored one goal on just six shots in the first period last night, and two on 10 in the third. While those numbers are going to make your shooting percentage look impressive, Amerks forward Derek Whitmore knows they need to jack up their shot totals in a hurry heading into Saturday’s Game Two against the Toronto Marlies.

“We’ve just gotta shoot. You can’t score goals if you don’t shoot the puck. I think what happens is sometimes our forwards overthink a little bit. In the playoffs, any shot is a good shot,” Whitmore said following today’s practice at Ricoh Coliseum. “Not everything is going to be tic-tac-toe, backdoor on the goalie. Us as a forward group, we just need to simplify a little bit and get more pucks to the net. We didn’t really test (Marlies goaltender Ben Scrivens) a whole lot until the third period, and we ended up scoring two. We need to make that initiative to get more pucks from everywhere.”

Getting pucks deep on the Marlies is the obvious way to get more shots, but head coach Ron Rolston said Toronto made it difficult to maintain any sustained pressure throughout the game.

“We’ve got to spend more time in their zone. They spent a lot of time in our zone. We knew that was going to happen because they have a lot of good hockey players, to be quite honest with you. We’ve gotta do a better job with our guys getting over pucks and winning some of those battles down low.

“Toronto was very good in their defensive transition; they always had three guys back so they made it very difficult for us to even get pucks down there. We’ve gotta do a better job on the rush and in the offensive zone to get pucks to the net. I think every team probably says the same thing, and you hope in Game Two that that’s the case.”

Rolston agrees with Whitmore’s assessment that any shot is a good shot, but realizes it’s not breaking news for coaches at any level of professional hockey.

“Every coach has that same issue. You hear NHL teams saying the same things, game in and game out. It’s just passing up opportunities to shoot pucks, look for one more pass to maybe get a better opportunity. That’s definitely something we have to a better job at.”



Travis Turnbull was limping noticeably while leaving the arena last night after blocking a shot with his foot in the first period, however Rolston said he’ll be good to go on Saturday. Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn is still out of the lineup, and Rolston said it’s possible he could return at some point this series. Morrisonn didn’t travel to Toronto with the team, after being forced out of last Friday’s game with what is suspected to be an arm injury. He had missed the previous two games, and didn’t play in the regular season finale in Cleveland.



Rookie blueliner Ryan Grimshaw has stepped in during Morrisonn’s absence, and Rolston has liked what’s he’s seen out of the 22-year-old hometown kid who was signed to an ATO just two weeks ago after a four-year collegiate career at Harvard.

“Grimshaw has done a good job for us. It’s hard to step in for a guy with the experience of Morrisonn, and how well he’s played for us all year in a shutdown role. It certainly hurts our lineup to have him out,” said Rolston. “But Grimshaw has done a great job of coming in and just being steady back there; moving pucks and just being difficult to play against. We’ve really liked the way he’s played and that’s why he’s in there.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82