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Your weekly Crunch wrapper for 1/25/16-1/31/16

Here's your weekly Crunch wrapper (get it? It's a pun!) for the week ending on January 31st, 2016.

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Scott Thomas

Latest Stats for the Syracuse Crunch:

  • Regular season record (wins-losses-OT losses-SO losses): 19-17-8-1

  • This past week's results: A 6-5 overtime loss at Rochester (1/27); a 5-3 regulation loss versus Hershey (1/29); a 5-1 loss at Hershey (1/30)

  • Place in Eastern Conference: 10th

  • Place in North Division: 4th

  • Top scorer: Jeff Tambellini (16-12-28)
  • Top scoring defenseman: Matt Taormina (9-18-27)

  • Top defenseman, +/-Matt Taormina (+4)

  • Top scoring rookie: Anthony DeAngelo (4-21-25)

A rundown of the AHL's new standings system can be found over at Syracuse.com.

That's a wrap!

This week's observation:

Hockey is often full of a lot of talk. Players talk. Coaches talk. Fans talk. Ownership groups talk. Mangers talk. Lots and lots of talk goes on.

Well, it's time for this team to stop talking and start doing.

All last week, head coach Rob Zettler was running through the media circles in anticipation of the AHL All-Star Classic, which is in Syracuse today and Monday. Zettler talked a lot about how, at the time, the Crunch was in a playoff spot and that their goal was to be firmly in that spot going into the break. Crunch captain Mike Angelidis, an honorary All-Star captain this year, stressed throughout his various interviews and media spots that the dressing room in Syracuse is strong, is talented, and has a camaraderie that can overcome their rather sloppy start to this season and push through to the playoffs.

The Crunch is now in the second half of the regular season. The All-Star "break" (it really isn't much of one) has started. Instead of going into the break looking strong and confident, they limped across the finish line with one point earned in three games, and were the cause of observations like this:

The time for idle talk is over. If the coaching staff can't get everyone on the same page and if the entire team doesn't buy in, it's going to be too late before they - and their fans - know it.

This week's compliment(s):

After a holiday season that saw Syracuse dressing defensemen as forwards due to a rash of injuries and call ups, Syracuse signed three players to separate professional tryout agreements this past week after yet another crop of injuries. Two of them - Kevin Lynch and Ryan Martindale - saw time with the Crunch last season, while the third player - Andrew Yogan - is new to the organization.

To their credit, all three players jumped at this new opportunity to play with Syracuse and made themselves very visible this past weekend. Martindale earned an assist Friday, Yogan scored a goal Saturday, and Lynch played with the same physical jump that marked the 53 games he played with the Crunch last season.

There's been times this season where Syracuse has looked like a group of guys putting in the absolute minimal effort they could until their time in Tampa came. Fans have said it often, while others observing from the outside have also realized it:

Watching three new players take advantage of the opportunity given to them while showing that they clearly wanted to just play hockey was very refreshing.

Other transactions, player, and organizational news:

-The All-Star Classic is here! The AHL has brought their annual event to Syracuse, and the Salt City is ready. The Skills Competition is tonight while the actual game is tomorrow. The Crunch has three All-Stars this year: Kristers Gudlevskis, Matt Taormina, and Angelidis, who is the "playing captain" of the Eastern Conference. Head on over to the AHL's official website for ticket information, broadcasting schedules, and more.

-The Crunch are again participating in a Change for Change initiative this season, and are hoping to raise even more than last season with an extended campaign. Change for Change is an initiative created by Crunch Captain Mike Angelidis and his teammates that aims to raise money for pediatric cancer research at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and help improve the odds for children with cancer. All TampaCuse fans can help out by donating through their Go Fund Me page.

Syracuse Crunch media highlights:

  • The Crunch's SoundCloud has been updated with broadcasts and player interviews from the past week.
  • Be sure to use the hashtags #SyrCrunch, #BelieveInBlue, and #TampaCuse when tweeting about the team.
  • Video highlights from the Crunch's loss versus Hershey this past Friday: