The Crunch have dropped 15 of 22 to start the season; that’s not what we had hoped for.
But despite the 7-11-4 record (7-11-1-3, if you must), this is a team that goes into every game with a legitimate shot at coming away with two points, regardless of the opponent’s place in the standings. Thirteen games have been decided by a single marker and another three have gone to the shootout. Sure, it stinks that Syracuse has been on the wrong end of those one-goal decisions on 11 occasions. But it also serves as an indication that this club isn’t far from putting it all together and climbing the Eastern Conference standings.
Another encouraging sign is the emergence of the power play. At the beginning of the season, that unit was a huge weakness, converting on just one of their first 21 chances. But since then, they’ve gone 16-for-75, inching towards the league’s top ten in that category. Mark Holick is not the most experienced coach in the world, but he was still able to fix a large problem in a relatively short period of time. Now we’ll see what he does to compensate for the loss of Matt Beleskey, who was recalled by Anaheim after tallying four power play goals in nine games.
I know that some who read this will be quick to point out that this isn’t horseshoes, or that 11 one-goal losses and 75 cents will get you a copy of the Post-Standard. Understood. Twenty-ninth place is never a good spot to be in. I’m simply stating that there are more reasons to remain optimistic for the next 58 games than there are to sour on this team.
Syracuse is a young bunch. They’re knocking on the door. A time will come this season when youthful tentativeness is replaced by confident aggression. When that happens, the wins will come.