The Syracuse Crunch have been excellent through the first quarter of the AHL season, amassing a 15-6-1-2 record and sitting first in the Eastern Conference. Though most teams find different ways to win each night, the Crunch have proved that your best defense is a good offense.
This past week the Crunch became the first team in the AHL to have four players reach the 20-point plateau as Tyler Johnson (25), Cory Conacher (22), Brett Connolly (22) and Richard Panik (20) lead the Crunch in scoring.
Consistent Connolly: Brett Connolly has been on fire lately. After missing his first game of the season on December 2, Connolly came back with a vengeance and scored the winning goal in Friday’s game against Hamilton and Wednesday nights matchup against Binghamton. Connolly has now registered 15 points in his last 12 games.
On the plus side: Syracuse has three of the top 4 plus-minus performers in the AHL this season as Ondrej Palat (+17), Dmitry Korobov (+16) and Tyler Johnson (+13) lead the charge. Palat has also displayed good playmaking ability this season, registering 16 assists in 24 games and collecting helpers on 20 percent of all of the Crunch’s goals.
It’s a team effort: The Crunch haven’t had any trouble finding the back of the net this season as they lead the AHL in goals per game at 3.66, with 88 goals in 24 contests. Crunch forward Tyler Johnson has been a big contributor to his team’s offensive outbursts as he leads the league in goals with 15.
Bucking the Trend: While most teams find they play their best hockey at home, the Crunch have found a way to string together their best hockey while on the road. Out of the Crunch’s 15 wins, 10 of them have come in visiting buildings as they sport a 10-3-0 record despite dropping back-to-back away games this past weekend.
Next on the Schedule:
The Crunch will play back-to-back contests this weekend, starting Friday night in Adirondack against the Phantoms, followed by a Saturday night match-up at home against the Wilkes/Barre-Scranton Penguins.
Syracuse leads the season series against the Phantoms, 2-0-1-1, while they trail the season series against the Penguins, 1-2-0-0.