While the Amerks find themselves in a better spot this year than last year, when they snuck into the eighth place spot – they find themselves in the same best of five games fight for their life against the division winning Toronto Marlies.
The first two games of this series take place this weekend, with a pair of matinee games taking place in Toronto.
The Rochester Americans will get their guaranteed home game on Wednesday evening. If the Amerks can avoid a sweep this year against the fourth game will take place at the Blue Cross Arena on Thursday. The teams can return to Toronto for a fifth game if necessary on Saturday May 4th to close out the series.
Last year’s Rochester club was swept by the Marlies in the first round, as they were torn apart by Nazem Kadri. Despite Kadri playing full time for the Toronto Maple Leafs now – the Amerks have struggled this year with the Marlies – and are most likely not going to see the light of day past the first round in the Calder Cup playoffs.
The playoffs are called the second season in hockey for a reason, and if the Rochester Americans can take the influx of Buffalo Sabres players that are eligible once the season ends for the Sabres – they may have a chance at battling the Marlies. The Buffalo Sabres final game of the season is Fan Appreciation night on April 26th in Buffalo – giving any eligible player plenty of time to get to the first game of the Calder Cup first round.