A few years ago (okay, well, more like a decade, but it seems like it was just a few years), the rock group Lit had a song entitled "My Own Worst Enemy." The song was a plea for clarity about a drunken, wild night that, thanks to the copious amounts of alcohol, could not be remembered by the narrator. Said narrator explained a few times about how he feels he is his own worst enemy, because at the end of the day, he does all these things to himself by drinking too much. As we leave the third weekend of the Yanwey Era, I'm really beginning to think the Crunch is its own worst enemy.
You watch these guys play now, and you can see sparks of potential again. The energy is there. The drive appears to be brought back (unless your name is Dan Sexton). But then Yawney lets Bryan Rodney onto the ice, and everything falls apart. When the Crunch as a whole has a few moments of lapsed concentration, the other team takes advantage of it every single time. Saturday night, the Crunch was ahead by two goals at two different moments, but yet would go on to lose in a shootout because of two major concentration lapses. With less than four minutes left in a 4-2 game, they had a defensive breakdown that led to the Sound Tigers pulling within one goal. The same thing happened with thirty seconds left, which allowed the tying goal to be scored. The Crunch would go on to miss every shootout chance, with the Sound Tigers scoring on poor Iiro Tarkki twice.
It just seems like it only takes a small puff of air for our dominoes to start falling. Unfortunately, we're running out of time to build ourselves back up again. The Crunch has yet to be in a playoff position this season. We've been hovering around 11th-12th-13th-14th place all season, and unfortunately we can't get a good run going to work on that. They did manage to score two power play goals last night, something that hasn't happened in ages, but one good night for our special teams may not be indicative of real improvement.
Honestly, it's really up to the players now. The Ducks have given them all the help that can be expected at this point. The coaching staff has been changed and the roster was pretty loaded this weekend despite several players reportedly being out with the flu. The Crunch has to learn now how to create and hold onto leads, or golfing season is going to come early again this year.
If it does come early, they'll really only have themselves to blame.
Record (W-L-OTL-SOL): 19-17-3-3
Divisional standing: 4th
Conference standing: 13th (one down from last update for the second time in a row, top 8 make playoffs)
Top producer: Patrick Maroon, 45 pts. (20-25), 6th in the league
Top goal scorer: Kyle Palmieri (25 goals)
Roster moves during the past two weeks:
- Josh Brittain (LW) was recalled to the Crunch from Elmira of the ECHL. He would later be returned back to the Jackals.
- Nate Guenin (D) was recalled to the Ducks. He was returned for the All Star break this past weekend.
- Nick Schaus (D) was returned to Elmira of the ECHL, only to be later recalled back to SYR with Matt Smaby going home this past weekend to attend to some family matters.
- Mark Bell (C) was recalled to the Ducks. He was returned for the All Star break, as well.
- Kyle Palmieri (RW) spent a whirlwind of a weekend and lived on a plane for 24 hours, as he was recalled one day and went back the next. He is playing in the AHL All Star event Sunday and Monday, representing Syracuse for the second year.
- Jean-Francois Jacques (LW) was recalled to serve a suspension game and then returned.