The impact of injuries to the Florida Panthers are wide reaching. Roster spots vacated by injuries are filled by players from an NHL teams AHL affiliate. So when an NHL player goes down, his spot is filled by one of the best players from the AHL team. With all the recent Panther injuries, the San Antonio Rampage roster has been pillaged leaving the team without their top scorer, Jon Rheault, their top goaltender, Jacob Markstrom, their team captain, Nolan Yonkman, and their top scoring defenseman, Colby Robak.
So what is the effect of all these losses? Well its hard to say right now. The Rampage lucked out that all these call ups came during a week in which they only played one game. San Antonio played their first home game since February 1st and beat the Chicago Wolves 2-1. Goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris stopped 23 of 24 and the Rampage received goals from Greg Rallo (17) and Zach Hamill (16). The Rampage have another quiet week ahead with a road game Friday against the Texas Stars and a home game Sunday against the Oklahoma City Barons.
The Rampage record is currently 25-25-1-4 and the team sits six points out of the final playoff spot. It is going to be tough to make up ground in the playoff race with their depth taking a serious hit by the rash of Panther injuries.
The Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL had another strong weekend winning all three of their weekend games to stretch their win streak to 7 straight. Their streak was snapped last night with a 5-4 OT home loss to the Florida Everblades. The NHL injuries impact the Cyclones as well as their top goalie Brian Foster was called up to replace Jacob Markstrom in San Antonio. Foster did however get to play in Cincinnati’s 9-4 road win Sunday over the Evansville IceMen. Mike Embach recorded a hat trick to bring his goal total to 12 for the season.
The Cyclones improved their record to 38-17-5-2 and sit comfortably atop their division with a 12 point lead over the Toledo Walleye. Cincinnati will play two home games this weekend, against the Toledo Walleye Friday and against the Evansville IceMen on Saturday.