2007-08 RECORD: 19-21-1-1, 40 points, (9-8-0-0 home, 10-13-1-1 road), third place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, January 16 vs. Philadelphia (27-12-1-0, 55 points), first place, East Division
Friday, January 18 @ Binghamton (18-16-4-3, 43 points), fifth place, East Division
Saturday, January 19 vs. Lake Erie (12-21-1-5, 30 points), sixth place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Friday, January 11 - HAMILTON 5, Crunch 2
Sunday, January 13 - CRUNCH 2, Albany 1
*HOME TEAM IN CAPS
MUNRO MAKES STRONG RETURN:
It has been a frustrating season for Crunch goaltender Adam Munro. Not because of his performance on the ice, but due to the fact that injuries have limited him to just 15 games.
After missing the first few games of the season with an injury, Munro finally made his first appearance on October 24, coming in to relieve Tomas Popperle. Munro made his first start October 26 in Rochester and alternated games with Popperle until Popperle was recalled by Columbus on November 28.
Munro got the chance to prove himself as he started six games in a row from November 30 to December 7, even after Popperle returned from his stint with Columbus on December 3. Munro suffered yet another setback when he injured his groin in a game on December 7 in Grand Rapids. He was forced to miss the next 14 games.
Munro finally made his return Friday night in Hamilton. He replaced starter Karl Goehring in the third period and turned aside all eight shots he faced. Munro got a no-decision in the 5-2 loss. He made his first start since December 7 on Sunday against Albany, stopping 32 of 33 shots while being named the game's second star.
In his 15 games this season for the Crunch, Munro has compiled a record of 6-6-0-1, with a 2.36 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. A native of St. George, Ontario, Munro was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He was signed by the Crunch as a free agent on July 23, 2007.
GOOD VS. EVIL:
The Syracuse Crunch have played well against some teams and not so well against others this season.
Two teams that the Crunch have beaten up on this year have been Albany and Hamilton. Syracuse is a combined 7-2-0-0 against these two teams. The Crunch have outscored the River Rats and Bulldogs 29-16 in the nine combined games against them.
Zenon Konopka and Aaron Rome have excelled in games against these two foes. Konopka has 11 points (5g, 6a), and Rome has 9 points (2g, 7a).
As good as Syracuse has been against Albany and Hamilton, they have not had much success against Toronto and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, going a combined 0-8-1-0. In the nine combined games against these two teams, the Crunch have been outscored 38-20.
CRUNCH CONTRIBUTING IN COLUMBUS:
Several Crunch players have been called up to Columbus this season and many of them are making an impact.
Two Crunch players that have made the most of their time in the NHL have been Joakim Lindstrom and Andrew Murray. Lindstrom has received two call-ups, his first lasting from December 3–11. He was called up again on December 27, and has not been back since. In 11 games with the Blue Jackets this season, Lindstrom has contributed six points (2g, 4a).
In 29 games with the Crunch this season, Lindstrom has tallied 15 goals, 23 assists and 50 penalty minutes. He currently leads the Crunch in scoring. A native of Skelleftea, Sweden, Lindstrom was drafted by Columbus in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Andrew Murray was recalled on December 27. He made his NHL debut that night in a 4-3 loss to Nashville. He recorded his first NHL goal in Anaheim on January 2 against Jean-Sebastian Giguere in a 2-1 win over the Ducks. Since being called up, Murray has appeared in 6 games and chipped in 2 goals. He has also received praise for his defensive work.
In 34 games with the Crunch this season, Murray has notched 13 goals, 2 assists and 15 penalty minutes. A native of Selkirk, Manitoba, Murray was drafted by Columbus in the eighth round, 242nd overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
PHILADELPHIA PHANTOMS (PHILADELPHIA FLYERS): The Philadelphia Phantoms make their first and only trip to Syracuse on Wednesday night. This is the first of two meetings between these two clubs this season. They will play again at the Wachovia Spectrum on February 12. Last season the Crunch were 2-0-0-0 against the Phantoms. Center Jared Ross currently leads Philadelphia in scoring with 35 points (12g, 23a), in 38 games.
BINGHAMTON SENATORS (OTTAWA SENATORS): The Crunch travel to Binghamton Friday for the fourth of eight meetings with the B-Sens this season. The Crunch are 1-2-0-0 against Binghamton this year. All three meetings have been at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The Crunch were defeated 4-3 by the Senators when these two teams last met on December 14. Binghamton's Niko Dimitrakos and Josh Hennessy lead all players in the season series in scoring with 4 points (1g, 3a) each in three games.
LAKE ERIE MONSTERS (COLORADO AVALANCHE): Syracuse plays host to the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday for the fourth of eight meetings between these two clubs. After losing to Lake Erie 3-2 at home back on October 20, the Crunch have won two straight against the Monsters, including the last meeting, a 4-1 victory at Quicken Loans Arena on December 12. Crunch center Derek MacKenzie leads all players in the season series in scoring with 6 points (4g, 2a) in the 3 contests.
Alexandre Picard's goal on Sunday broke a six-game goal-less drought…He last scored on December 27 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton…With a win over Albany on Sunday, the Crunch stretched their win streak against the Rats to four games since dropping the first game of the series back on October 24…After Sunday’s win over Albany, the Crunch are now 13-10-0-0 following a loss…David Cullen notched his first point of the season and first point as a member of the Crunch with an assist on Derek MacKenzies’s goal Friday night in Hamilton.