Welcome to Syracuse Speaks, a podcast for Field Pass Hockey!
Now in its fourth season, Syracuse Speaks aims to cover the Syracuse Crunch, its organization, and the AHL from the stands. Host Alexandra Ackerman has been covering Syracuse on the internet since 2008, and desires to share her passion for the team and the league with her listeners.
In this episode, recorded November 28th, 2021, Alex welcomes back TheAHL.com contributor Patrick Williams. Patrick has been covering the AHL for many years, and took an in-depth look into Syracuse’s slow start last week. Since that article was written, Syracuse went 1-2-0-0, bringing their record for the 2021-22 season to a frustrating 6-8-2-1. Patrick and Alex begin their discussion with Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx and how he is currently feeling about the team’s start. They then discuss the North Division and how much it seems to have changed from previous seasons, especially when it comes to the Rochester Americans and the newly-revamped Utica Comets, two teams Syracuse plays the most out of the entire league. “They have to figure them out,” Patrick emphasizes. “If you can’t get those teams figured out, it’s going to be a tough year. They’ll have to pretty much run the table against everyone else.”
The two then discuss Syracuse’s veterans and how much the team is currently leaning on them for production, especially the captain, Gabriel Dumont. Of course, even those strong performances don’t seem to be helping, and Patrick expresses how much of a puzzle this season has been. “They just haven’t had any cohesion….The strange thing is, they’re doing the things right you want them to do. Special teams…have been strong. That tends to be an area that can pull really good teams down, and that hasn’t been the case for them.”
Patrick and Alex then discuss the unfortunate injury to goalie Max Lagace, and how that has affected the team’s game plan for the season. They also discuss the recent successes of Gabriel Fortier and Jimmy Huntington, and how the talent they were drafted for is starting to shine through. In a way-too-early prediction (blame Alex completely for this), Patrick selects Huntington as his All-Star for the Crunch for this February’s AHL All-Star weekend.
As far as some perspective goes, Patrick has some good news for Crunch fans who are worried about the season. “I’d say the bright side for the Crunch is having Ben behind the bench. He’s always got something cooking, always got something up his sleeve…there are some real bright spots beyond the vets that are figuring it out, too”
Syracuse Speaks is hosted on Anchor, but is distributed to many of the major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, and Stitcher. The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
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