Tag Archives: Fun Stuff

Devils Season 4 in Review, Part 3: My Favorite Things

It’s that time again, the annual Year in Review.  As I have done the past three seasons, I will break down the year in 3 parts: the stats, some fun with numbers, and a few memories of the season gone by.

Welcome to the final part, My Favorite Things (formerly called What I Learned).  Considering the number of games I attended during the course of the season (about, oh, a lot), along with player events and post game interactions, there were quite a few interesting stories to remember this year by.  Here’s just a few of my memories:

Now, I’ve made it pretty obvious that Mike Sislo has grown to be my favorite Devil.  So, yeah, it was awesome to actually be on hand in Wilkes-Barre when he did this in November:

I’m still kicking myself for not going to Dunkin a month ago before the second job…then again if Dan Kelly saw me in line he’d probably make me pay up.  Just because that’s the way he is with me.

Still laughing over #JoeWhitneyFacts in honor of Joe’s NHL debut back in January.  Too bad most of them have disappeared since then.

Most awkward road trip?  The schoolday fail in Bridgeport.  Apparently half of Connecticut can’t drive in wet snow shower conditions.  And a bunch of us from upstate NY could.

Sweet golf visor, Seth. (from the Bowlathon in December)

Sweet golf visor, Seth. (from the Bowlathon in December)

-And now the best of That Awkward Moment…

...when the Joe Whitney bobblehead towers over the Tim Sestito one.

…when the Joe Whitney bobblehead towers over the Tim Sestito one.

-when you check in at the hotel in Wilkes-Barre you discover you’re on the same floor as the team.  During pregame naptime.

-when Brandon Burlon turns into Spiderman to retrieve a soccer ball in the ceiling.

41714 006 41714 007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-when watching soccer you volunteer to grab a loose ball…and end up kicking it further down Exhibition Hall.

-when half the team accidentally boards the wrong bus in Glens Falls.  Don’t think you want to go to Philly with the Phantoms, guys.

-when Alexander Urbom nearly walks in front of your car as you’re leaving the parking garage.  Pay attention, will you?

Then there was the easy way to replace the glass in the arena…and it happened twice in a month (first comes about :57 in):

Most adventurous road trip?  A tie…getting stuck in a snow squall in November coming home from Glens Falls and my 600 mile odyssey through 3 different cities in early April (Syracuse to Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes-Barre to Glens Falls).  I don’t know how these guys can play with that kind of travel…just driving it fried me.  And the fact Interstate 81 between Syracuse and Binghamton is essentially a black hole of nothing.

Favorite postgame activity: being a temporary babysitter for Tim Sestito’s two kids.  I couldn’t leave the building without at least a big hug from Sloane or having to chase Jude around to catch him.

Most used Twitter hashtag:

DSCN5141

 

When it gets to the point where Harry himself (who would jokingly roll his eyes at us if we dared forget the signs) came up with his own to get him in the lineup (Young Caged), you know it’s bad.  Other overused ones: #FreeHoeffel, #FreeScarlett, and very popular towards the end of the season, #whyisurbomstillhere.  And the usual #Blame (insert ref here…a few got that treatment this year too).

And now a few thank yous:

-To my fellow AHL bloggers/tweeters for the support and kind words, especially during tough losing streaks and down the stretch getting into the postseason.

-To my friends in New Jersey for the laughs and countless jokes about a whole variety of things…and certain photos of Swedish defensemen…and the support in the postseason as well.

-To the crew at home for helping me with tweets, keeping me laughing even on days when games were going badly, and keeping the players (and goalie coaches) in line.

-To the players, thank you for being awesome and for the most fun I’ve had in four years of having the Devils back in Albany.  Hopefully you can build on this going into next season.

And thank you for reading and following along!  Just under 5 months before Season 5 begins…

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Devils Season 4 in Review, Part 2: Fun with Numbers

It’s that time again, the annual Year in Review.  As I have done the past three seasons, I will break down the year in 3 parts: the stats, some fun with numbers, and a few memories of the season gone by.

Welcome to Part 2, where I have some fun with numbers.  All in random order (translation: as I think of them):

9: AHL cities I saw at least one game (Albany, Adirondack, Binghamton, Bridgeport, Hartford, Wilkes-Barre, Worcester, Syracuse, Springfield)

2: AHL Player of the Week awards (Keith Kinkaid in November, Scott Wedgewood in March)

35: Players who made at least one appearance this season.

10: Players who made at least one appearance in New Jersey.

4: Devils who made their NHL debut (Merrill, Boucher, Sislo, Whitney)

53: Shots in a 4-3 loss to Adirondack on April 6th.

1: Shots in the third period in a 4-3 shootout loss to Hartford on February 1st.

14: Combined goals by the Devils and Bridgeport on November 30th (Devils won 8-6).

45: Games in which Albany scored first.

14: 1 goal wins.

4: Wins against the Western Conference (all against Utica).

93: New franchise record for points in a season.

9: Players with 10+ goals.

4: Goalies used during the regular season.

2: Penalty shot attempts for Harri Pesonen on October 25th against Hartford.

2: Successful penalty shots during the season (Tim Sestito and Artem Demkov)

8,026: Attendance for Game 2 against St. John’s on April 26th (a new AHL Albany record)

0: Non-shootout overtime wins.

8: Most goals in a game, accomplished twice (11/30 vs. Bridgeport, 1/17 at Utica)

0: Wins in 4 Atlantic City “home” games.

9: Shutouts by Devils goaltending.

0: Wins against Worcester and Hershey.

7: Most goals allowed (2/16 vs. Bridgeport).

6: Longest winning streak, from December 4-21.

10: Rookies that made at least one appearance.

1: Goal scored on Michael Hutchinson in two games in St. John’s during the first round.

4: Power play goals scored in the first two games against St. John’s.

16: Years since a New Jersey AHL team won a playoff series (River Rats defeated Hamilton in the ’98 CC Playoffs).

 

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Extra! Extra!

It’s a momentous occasion!

I could break out in song…

Or start dancing…

 

 

But instead, I’ll just scream it…

I’M GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!!!!

Wait…I’m going to the playoffs?  Holy crap!

How am I going to cover this??

Stay tuned to Sunday’s recap for just how things are going to happen.

But for now, I’ll just enjoy the moment for the first time in 4 years.  It’s been too long.

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And The Awards Go To…(2014 Edition)

A nice welcome from the banquet hall.

A nice welcome from the banquet hall.

Just returned home from the annual Booster Club Awards dinner with the team.  As always, a fun night where you get to have dinner with the players and just hang out.  And celebrate the season’s accomplishments so far.  Ironically enough, the big winner of the evening wasn’t even in attendance, as he was too busy filling in for Ryane Clowe in Buffalo.  Without further delay, your awards winners:

Bowlathon Awards:

Players High Score: Mike Sislo (I believe 170?)

Players Best Effort (otherwise known as the lowest score): Seth Helgeson (he broke 90, but to be fair he was too busy roaming around visiting other kids participating)

Player Achievements:

Hat Trick (player was given a hat with the date on the back): Mike Sislo the lone winner (but an honorable mention to Chris McKelvie for getting the Gordie Howe version)

Chili Goal: To explain–when the Devils score three goals at home (Atlantic City need not apply here), everyone can take their ticket stub to Wendy’s for a free cup of chili.  It’s been a promotion going back to the Capital District Islanders days.  A total of 19 Chili Goals were scored this year:

2 each: Scott Timmins, Reid Boucher, Mike Sislo, Rod Pelley, Mattias Tedenby

1 each: Joe Whitney, Chris McKelvie, Brandon Burlon, Stefan Matteau, David Wohlberg, Dan Kelly, Kelly Zajac

Each got Chili hats, while Rod Pelley took home the huge Chili Goal trophy.

3 Stars of the Year (based on how many times a player earned a star of the game):

3. Stefan Matteau

2. Mike Sislo

1. Keith Kinkaid (he has been #1 star 9 times this season, by the way)

Booster Club-voted Awards:

Offensive Player of the Year: Joe Whitney (also my pick)

Defensive Player of the Year: Dan Kelly (my pick:  Corbin McPherson)

Most Electrifying Player: Joe Whitney (my pick: Keith Kinkaid)

Unsung Hero: Kelly Zajac (also my pick)

Fan Favorite: Scott Wedgewood (my pick: Mike Sislo)

Coach’s Awards:

Most Improved Player: David Wohlberg

John Cunniff Memorial Award: Rod Pelley

And now for a few photos:

Our guest speaker, John Gray from WTEN/WXXA (local ABC/FOX affiliate)

Our guest speaker, John Gray from WTEN/WXXA (local ABC/FOX affiliate)

Brandon Burlon sporting his new Chili Goal hat.

Brandon Burlon sporting his new Chili Goal hat.

Rod Pelley and his awesome Chili Goal trophy.

Rod Pelley and his awesome Chili Goal trophy.

Since Mike Sislo couldn't make the dinner, Darcy Zajac got to haul all his hardware.

Since Mike Sislo couldn’t make the dinner, Darcy Zajac got to haul all his hardware.

 

 

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Some Special Holiday Greetings…

Since my December events photo gallery didn’t work out (I ended up taking less photos than planned…and the photos I did take weren’t exactly publish-worthy), I thought I’d bring back a holiday tradition from last season…how other teams around the league are celebrating the Christmas season.  Since you’ll never see it here, of course.

Let’s start with the defending Calder Cup champs out in Grand Rapids.  Sorry, boys, N*Sync you’re not.  Not even close.

Taking a page from their parent club in San Jose, Worcester has a couple of good ones.  First, their rendition of Jingle Bells:

And then Rudolph.  Well, sort of.

The annual Rochester Americans 12 Days of Christmas rendition.  Sigh.  And yes, that is Patrick Roy’s son with the 5 power play goals.

But your winners this year have to be our old friends in Charlotte.  First, a warmup:

And then we have this.  Yes that would be Matt Corrente, former Devil, in the back row joining the chorus:

But at least some of these players could probably do a better job at naming Santa’s reindeer than Cam could.  For those that missed it or just want to enjoy it again here’s the link.

And on that note…“Swiss men don’t sing.”

Merry Christmas (or Happy Festivus) to all!

 

 

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A Thanksgiving Special!

And it’s my 500th post too!

As a belated birthday present, I called myself up to New Jersey last night to see the Devils take on the Hurricanes.  As most everyone knows, before the A-Devils returned to Albany in 2010 I got 4 years with Carolina while the River Rats were affiliated with them.  Since I never got to see a Carolina game during the affiliation, last night was I guess about seven years in the making.  And with 6 former Rats on the Canes, a few thought my allegiances would be tested.  And thanks to one of them, it almost was.

The view from my original seat in Section 120.

The view from my original seat in Section 120.

-My “Welcome to Newark” moment of the night?  As I was walking out of Newark Penn when I arrived from Secaucus, a mouse scurried past my feet on the sidewalk towards one of the sewer drains.

-Seth Helgeson had been recalled on an emergency basis and was practicing with the team in the morning.  By the time I arrived in Jersey, he was already sent back down.  Oh well.  But I still got to see Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill, even though they weren’t paired together.

Jon Merrill

Jon Merrill

Eric Gelinas...one of the last to leave the ice

Eric Gelinas…one of the last to leave the ice

-Thanks to a friend from back home with an extra ticket, I got to move down to Section 2.

And the upgraded view from my seat.

And the upgraded view from my seat.

As for the actual game?  Well…not what I hoped for.  Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Marty (hey, at least I got to see him play and not just warmup and get injured this time!), then Travis Zajac got Jersey on the board (and hello Seven Nation Army).  The game was going along very quickly, only 2 penalties were called all night, which is something I’m really not used to down here.  Of course the Devils get a power play and an Albany player scored…but shorthanded.  There was a moment of “oh crap” for me when Pat Dwyer got that unassisted goal, considering he spent all four of the Carolina years here (he got his first callup during the final season, and was the captain at one point too).  New Jersey did make it interesting in the third when Andy Greene and Jaromir Jagr scored to sort of rally.  And it was only fitting that Dwyer got #1 star, because of course it had to be an Albany alum.

Despite the loss, I had a fun evening.  And I got to hang out for a few minutes with some of the people I interact with on Twitter on a daily basis that I never get to see since I live hours away.  Thanks guys!  And yes I will attempt to work on that “assignment” on Sunday we talked about.

And a few other photos from last night:

Marty!

Marty!

Of course if you know me, got to have a Henrique photo.

Of course if you know me, got to have a Henrique photo.

Of course Cam's in fighting position.

Of course Cam’s in fighting position.

What the night was really all about for me.

What the night was really all about for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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Old Stuff and a New Look…

Now that we’re getting close to the start of training camp (once I get the list of participants I’ll have something up), time to start prepping for season 4!

As you can see, a slight makeover on the blog, as I have discovered WordPress’s editing tools. Okay, just changed the background color, not a big thing. But the team links at the top of the page have also been updated for this season’s opponents (to be edited as the season goes on).

I’m also working on how I’ll be covering things as the season progresses, as far as posts, Tweets, etc. Once I make the final decisions I may have something up on that before the season begins in exactly 4 weeks (!!).

Anyway, there is some old news to catch up on:

-Announced by Hartford just before Labor Day weekend, the Devils will be traveling to the XL Center on September 26th to take on the Wolfpack. There has been no formal announcement of a full preseason schedule, but it’s most likely that local fans will not be getting any home games before October.

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Devils Year 3 In Review, Part 3: What I Learned

Welcome to my 3rd annual Devils year in review. As I have done the last two seasons, I will be presenting the season in review in three parts: stats, some fun with numbers, and what I learned on and off the ice.

Here we go, the final part: What I Learned. For me, it’s more that just covering the games and recapping. There’s so much more that goes on that makes this fun and actually worthwhile. Now for a few memories of the season:

-Normally, I can handle myself no problem when I’m around any of the Devils (or even some of the opponents, for that matter). But the first night I saw Adam Henrique postgame during the third week of the season…I actually found myself literally starstruck. After all, all he did last season was score two playoff series clinching goals and almost win the Calder Trophy. But yes, I got myself together before he said hello. Sadly his hand injury in late November cut his visit short…and a week before all the fun Booster Club events too!

-Remember last season and #FreeBurlon? This year it went to a whole another level, due to the lockout and the abundance of players on the roster. I have lost count of how many players we requested to be freed on both Twitter and on a number of signs. It got to the point where Harry Young actually wanted us to put up the signs! And yes, that actually made him crack a smile (baby steps!).

-I created a new penalty just for Tim Sestito (know to my Jersey followers as the #ENERGY guy), the Sestito Penalty. Regardless of whether he was guilty or not of whatever infraction he committed, he always had to get the last word in with the referee. Next thing you know…extra 2 minutes, extra 10 minutes on the board.

-Now on to the Yes, That Actually Happened Department:

The douche otherwise known as Zac Rinaldo scored on a penalty shot? Yes, that actually happened. And I think everyone had the same reaction as Jeff Frazee.

Cam and Jay Leach providing a majority of the offense in one game? Yes, that actually happened. I’m still looking outside for those flying pigs.

-I made quite a few road trips during the course of the year. Some interesting events from a few of those stops:

If you’re bored while in Adirondack, you can always watch Marc-Andre Bourdon charm his date (or a random teammate) for the evening. This actually started last season when a friend witnessed the entire date (from introduction, to number exchange, to eventually leaving before the game was over), but with him still on the shelf from post concussion symptoms, seemed like every time I went up he was in the next section over from me charming a new girl.

The other memory from up there was a scary one…being on hand when Mattias Tedenby took the skate cut to his jaw. I don’t think I had ever seen that much blood on the ice in all the years I’ve gone to games. Luckily he recovered and was back out there (and I even got my first good look at his cut last weekend) before the season was out. And thanks to Mike Testuwide (one of the Phantom scratches that night) for giving me the initial update.

Tribute to Sandy Hook in Bridgeport.

Tribute to Sandy Hook in Bridgeport.

The main memory of my lone trip to Hartford was that it was the same day as the Sandy Hook shootings. Every radio station in the Springfield/Hartford area carried the press conferences and news updates. The drive down there was a little numbing, but once I got in the building and got into game mode, it got better.

On a lighter note, after hearing the news that the Whale are going back to being the Wolfpack, I’m kicking myself for not buying those cool Whale socks I saw at one of the souvenir stands…

Wilkes-Barre has a pretty cool scoreboard...quite similar to the TU Center.

Wilkes-Barre has a pretty cool scoreboard…quite similar to the TU Center.

Ah Wilkes-Barre. Where I always get booed by the same random tall guy and there’s a Tim Hortons booth (always a plus). While the game I saw wasn’t the greatest, there was another story that came out of this trip. On the way back up Interstate 81 towards New York, our bus was treated to the tail end of a fireworks show at PNC Field, where the Triple-A Yankees play. Then I find out the next morning more than fireworks happened. Um, oops?

But the most memorable trips of the year involved two words, one hashtag: #fullcar. Two trips to Binghamton in February and April involved a full car of 5 heading west on Interstate 88 for a pair of games in Binghamton. Whether it was helping out with the B-Sens Power to the Purple cause or hanging out at a pregame party with this guy:

Yep, this guy.  Shorts not pictured.

Yep, this guy. Shorts not pictured.

Or racing the team bus down the highway…or late night Tim Hortons runs…the list goes on and on.

With another season in the books, I just want to thank everyone for following along and reading. It’s amazing all the new friends I have found just via Twitter alone and meeting people at games, events, etc. Looking forward to an interesting summer and ahead to the fall to start Year #4!

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Devils Year 3 In Review, Part 2: Fun With Numbers

Welcome to my 3rd annual Devils year in review. As I have done the last two seasons, I will be presenting the season in review in three parts: stats, some fun with numbers, and what I learned on and off the ice.

And now, Part 2: Fun With Numbers (in random order):

12: Shootout losses, a new AHL record.

9: AHL cities I saw at least one game (Albany, Adirondack, Connecticut, Bridgeport, Springfield, Worcester, Binghamton, Syracuse, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton).

3: Teams that swept the season series (Manchester, Portland, Providence).

1: Series sweeps (Worcester).

10,218: Attendance on January 26th vs. Adirondack, a franchise record.

2,209: Lowest attendance, on March 27th vs. St. John’s.

11: Total shots in a 4-0 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 6th (season league low).

47: Most shots, on February 10th at Binghamton.

6: Most goals in a game, on December 12th vs. Wilkes-Barre Scranton and February 24th vs. Hershey.

7: Most goals allowed, on January 11th at Manchester.

55: Most penalty minutes in one game, on February 13th vs. Syracuse.

42: Number of players who made at least one appearance in an Albany uniform.

13: Albany players who played at least one game in New Jersey.

2: ECHL affiliates used (Trenton and Elmira).

4: Albany players that made their NHL debut this season.

0:39: Time lapse for a regulation win to turn into an OT loss at Norfolk on December 22nd.

7:58: Time lapse to erase a 2-0 deficit in Syracuse on February 9th with 3 goals.

9: Attempts before finally winning a shootout on February 5th in Connecticut.

9: Most shootout rounds, on December 15th vs. Providence.

0: Number of wins in overtime.

8: Most wins against 1 opponent (naturally, Adirondack).

4: Penalty shots awarded (2 to Harri Pesonen, 1 to Adam Henrique, 1 to Phil DeSimone).

6: Penalty shots faced (4 by Jeff Frazee, 2 by Keith Kinkaid).

6: Shootout losses by Keith Kinkaid (tied for first in the league).

6: Shootout goals by Mike Sislo (tied for first in the league).

146,696: Total home attendance (including 4 games in Atlantic City).

2: AHL Players of the Week (Bobby Butler in December, Matt Anderson in January).

7: Goal scoring streak at home by Joe Whitney from February 24th-March 30th (tied for first in the league).

4: Goals in one game for Bobby Butler on December 12th (tied with 1 other for season league high).

1: Shot in the first period on April 6th in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (tied for league season low).

0: Number of players to play in all 76 games.

22: Most often assigned uniform number (J.S. Berube, Stephen Gionta, Cam Janssen, J.S. Berube again).

I may add to this list as I think of more.

Stay tuned for Part 3, What I Learned…

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And The Awards Go To…(2013 Edition)

Earlier tonight I attended the annual Devils Booster Club Awards Banquet (it didn’t hurt that the venue was exactly a 3 minute car ride from my house, either). A little earlier than normal like last year (thanks to the hectic season ending schedule), but always a fun night with the team. Now let’s get on with the awards, shall we?

First, the Bowlathon awards (from way back in December):

Players High Score: Scott Parse (167; sadly Keith Kinkaid was informed that he could not rig another perfect game to get the trophy)
Players Best Effort (otherwise known as lowest score): Eric Gelinas (we’ll say below 100)

Next, the Acknowledgment of Achievements:

Goal Scoring Leader: Joe Whitney (21)
Assist Leader: Matt Anderson (25)
Game Winning Goal Leader: Joe Whitney (4)
Shorthanded Goal Leader: Jacob Josefson (2)
Power Play Goal Leader: Joe Whitney (4)
First AHL Goal: Harri Pesonen, Corbin McPherson, Raman Hrabarenka, Kelly Zajac
Wendy’s Chili Goals (to explain: if the Devils score 3 goals during a home game, everyone gets a free cup of Wendy’s Chili the next day): Matt Anderson, Chad Wiseman, Tim Sestito, Jacob Josefson, Eric Gelinas; Joe Whitney & Mike Sislo crowned co-Chili Champions for having 2 apiece

Third Star of the Year: Jeff Frazee
Second Star of the Year: Keith Kinkaid
First Star of the Year: Joe Whitney
(determined by how many times a player earned a star of the game)

Booster Club-voted Awards:

Offensive Player of the Year: Matt Anderson
Defensive Player of the Year: Dan Kelly
Most Electrifying Player: Darcy Zajac
Unsung Hero: Harri Pesonen
Fan Favorite: Keith Kinkaid

Coach’s Awards:

Most Improved Player: Corbin McPherson
John Cunniff Memorial Award: Chris McKelvie

As for a few highlights:

Our guest speaker decided to give Coach the fan experience, complete with ridiculous hat.  And a cowbell.

Our guest speaker decided to give Coach the fan experience, complete with ridiculous hat. And a cowbell.

Jay Leach with the official Captain's speech.

Jay Leach with the official Captain’s speech.

My dinner guests for the evening, the brothers Zajac (Kelly on the left, Darcy next to him)

My dinner guests for the evening, the brothers Zajac (Kelly on the left, Darcy next to him)

The Chili Goal Award...yup, just a Wendy's cup.

The Chili Goal Award…yup, just a Wendy’s cup.

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