During the offseason, the Crunch changed their NHL affiliation from the Anaheim Ducks to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last year, the Norfolk Admirals were the Lightning's AHL affiliate and rattled off 28-straight wins before lifting the Calder Cup. The head coach and several of their top players will be on the ice Friday against the Amerks.
The Amerks believe their strength this season will come from their forwards. With forwards Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone, Kevin Porter and Luke Adam likely battling for first line playing-time, the biggest benefits may be seen on the scoreboard. Not to be overlooked, rookie forward and 14th overall pick, Zemgus Girgensons has also been impressive at camp and could quickly play his way into the top forwards discussion.