So much has been said about Syracuse Crunch forward Cory Conacher in the past few years that the Raw Charge archives go back 75 pages if one searches for his name. This makes sense, considering he’s been a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization on and off since 2011, but it’s easy to see that Conacher and his abilities have been heavily emphasized here over the past few seasons. He’s is a pretty special player to both the Crunch and to the organization as a whole.
Excitingly, his current accomplishments have won him the AHL Player of the Month award for November 2018.
Conacher has been invaluable to the Crunch since he arrived in Syracuse this season. Often one of the alternates for the team on the ice, he has been a large part of the team’s rise from the basement of the North Division to second place. He earned himself a contract extension from the Lightning right as he went on waivers last month, which is a good sign that he’ll be kept in the fold for the foreseeable future.
Over the course of his career, Conacher has played in 188 NHL games, earning 74 points. He’s also suited up for 255 regular season AHL games and 70 AHL playoff games, totaling 283 points. This season, he’s played in 15 games with the Crunch so far, earning 27 points (10G, 17A). That total has him leading his team in points and in assists. He’s also second in the league in points, with only Phil Varone of Lehigh Valley ahead of him (thanks to their Sunday game which they played while the Crunch were idle).
Of note is that Varone took 21 games to reach his total of 28 points (compared to Conacher’s 15). In fact, all of the players around Conacher in the league’s top scoring list as of Sunday night have taken more games than him to reach their totals.
During November, the Crunch went 9-0-2-0, a period of games that has totally turned their season around. During that span, Conacher played in all 11 games, scored 8 goals, netted 15 assists, and had eight multi-point games. Two of those goals he scored were power play goals. He also scored two game winning goals, one on the 11th and another on the 16th. Clearly, much of the Crunch’s current success can be directly traced to Conacher, and his performance during the month of November was certainly award-worthy.
Conacher won a Calder Cup with AHL Norfolk in 2012, and was the AHL MVP that season. He went to the finals in 2015 with Utica and in 2017 with Syracuse. He was the AHL Player of the Week in October 2012, during his first week in a Syracuse uniform, and was one of the Syracuse representatives at the AHL All-Star game in 2017. He’s obviously long been a dominant player in this league, but it’s still nice to see such effort and drive coming from him. Conacher is clearly taking nothing for granted, and is still enjoying playing the sport he loves. Crunch fans are certainly infinitely glad he’s doing that in Syracuse.