Training Camp Wrap-up — Pre-Season Game Day!
As training camp drew to a close, Coach Taylor called everyone to center ice. He declared that it was time to get into game mode. Don’t think of tonight’s game as preseason, get the win. Get two points. It’s a definite change of tone from the past few seasons where winning was a secondary concern.
While I had my doubts about bringing Chris Taylor on as head coach, he’s beginning to win me over. He’s authoritative and involved during practices and has the ear of his players and assistants at all times. It’s a visible change from the last couple of seasons where head coaches almost took a backseat to the dominant personality of an assistant coach. Since this is Taylor’s first stint as a head coach, I expect there will be some growing pains but I like that he looks (and acts) confident. Tonight we’ll get our first look at how he manages his bench.
Training camp ended without any real surprises. If I had to sum camp up in one sentence I’d say that the level of intensity was higher and the importance of winning was stressed more frequently. The only real surprise was that Kevin Porter only made one appearance. There is no information available as to whether he’s injured or had off-ice issues such as a family emergency. I’ve been pushing the Amerks front office for media credentials, which if awarded will help with obtaining information like this.
What will happen tonight is anyone’s guess. In reality tonight’s preseason game has little impact on the season. Points aren’t actually up for grabs and the rosters are not finalized. We’ll see some pairings that will probably make it to regular season and we’ll get a look at some players that will play with our new ECHL affiliate – the Cincinnati Cyclones. Even so, it would be nice to start with a win. The goalies who saw the most ice-time today were Johansson and Wilcox, so I expect to see them suit up tonight.
The Amerks first preseason game is tonight at 7:05pm at the Gene Polisseni Center at RIT.