In this episode of Syracuse Speaks, host Alex Ackerman and guest Patrick Williams settle in to break down the Crunch’s most recent successes on and off the ice. They start by addressing the nostalgic return of Syracuse’s famed old mascot Al the Ice Gorilla and theorize why hockey fans grow so attached to certain eras or characters. They also talk through AHL identities and why the fan bases in certain cities, like Syracuse, really need their team to have their own identity, while the fans of other AHL teams, like Toronto, seem to need their NHL club’s identity to thrive.
They then move into the present day, discussing the moves made by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline to boost Syracuse’s playoff hopes. Those moves included Tampa trading the infamous “future considerations” for Riley Nash, a player who has already brought more offense to the Crunch. With a month left in the AHL’s regular season, they look at the remaining opponents on Syracuse’s schedule and pinpoint the most needed victories to keep the team in playoff contention. Although the Crunch will most likely need help from other teams to ensure a spot in the postseason, Alex and Patrick also discuss what Syracuse can do to help keep its fate in its own hands as much as possible, with a focus on the play of team captain Gabriel Dumont, forward Alex Barre-Boulet, and defenseman Sean Day.
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