Finally, a snowstorm on the East Coast that didn’t hit the Capital Region! I had to breathe just a little sigh of relief when I went out early this morning and not a flake was on the car. Meanwhile south and east of here got absolutely nailed, apparently some mid-Atlantic states lost power. I had a small heart attack this morning when I saw a Twitter post about Norfolk’s bus spinning out and getting stuck in the snow. After what happened to the River Rats almost 2 years ago I worry when there’s bad weather and I know teams have to travel by bus through it to get to the next stop (i.e. Charlotte earlier this month traveling from Albany to Springfield in crappy conditions…right past the accident site I might add). The one team I felt sorry for yesterday was the Springfield Falcons. Already in town to play Hershey and surprise, the game gets moved to Thursday night. Really? The only time the Rats ever canceled a game due to weather was way back in ’01, because St. John’s (really dating myself here) couldn’t get past Buffalo after a lake effect storm dumped a ton of snow and closed the Thruway down. Usually if the other team is able to travel, the game is played no matter what. The three NY NHL teams played through the post Christmas blizzard, but the Bears wouldn’t play in 4-6 inches of wet snow (at least that was the one forecast I saw I’m not sure overall how much they did get). Another reason to despise Hershey (other than the obvious).
Today I (along with the rest of the world) was introduced to the newest AHL mascot: Dax, who replaces Phlex in Adirondack. It’s a 7-foot orange/green beaver with a tail. Yeah if you say so. It looks like the Philly Phanatic ate too many carrots. But that wouldn’t explain the redneck Tow Mater-esque teeth. At first I thought why the name Dax? Kind of weird. But someone on Twitter did figure it out…Dax is in a way short for “Adirondacks” or “‘dacks”. So the theory is the rumored move to Allentown when an arena there is built isn’t happening anytime soon. Not sure when I’ll meet this monstrosity, I don’t think my next trip north is till the end of February.
Last night since the Devils were off (more on them in a minute), I bought the video feed of Checkers-Penguins, take 2. I figured why not, just incase Justin Pogge has another meltdown after the one I saw Sunday afternoon. Well…his game more than he melted down, yanked after allowing 4 goals to the Pens. I do give the Checkers a lot of credit for taking over in the 2nd and coming back to tie the game. And to Mike Murphy for keeping his team in it, he was standing on his head making some very good saves. It wasn’t meant to be, the Pens took the lead in the 3rd and held on for the win, splitting a 2 game set.
Now to the weekend ahead. 2 home games coming up for the Devils, WBS on Friday and Rochester on Saturday. Not sure what to expect tomorrow considering how the last matchup went (the 6-2 beating I saw on Saturday), but today the Devils did get some help from New Jersey with the NHL on All Star Break: 4 players sent down, Nick Palmieri, Mattias Tedenby (in what may be the last time he’ll wear an Albany uniform…just a hunch), Vladimir Zharkov, and Mark Fraser (another “conditioning” stint…he’d have to be put on waivers otherwise). The one number I cannot wait to see is attendance, not just in Albany but in Adirondack. Tomorrow night while Albany plays host to the Penguins, Charlotte will be playing the Phantoms. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lonely night for me, many people are planning to see the former Rats. Here’s the thing: I would have liked to see my former team, which is why I went to Wilkes-Barre last weekend, but there is a team here that needs support more. I’ll have the same conflict come up again in February, the next time Charlotte comes to Adirondack: the same day the Devils travel to Binghamton. I would actually rather go to Binghamton (I do have a few friends out there that I visit) for the Devils, but if my schedule and the weather out there work against me, I’ll go north. But we’ll see what happens.