Greetings on this cloudy Saturday morning!
Let’s recap last night’s events in Albany. As I expected, about 95% of my group I go to games with jumped ship and went to Adirondack to see Charlotte. There were a couple of people very surprised that I stayed home. First of all, I had a ticket for this game I wasn’t wasting it. Second, I had already seen them live in Wilkes-Barre Sunday and watched them online Wednesday. As one fan put it (not my quote), tonight the “real Albany fans” stayed.
But anyway on to game action. First period was rather uneventful to start. Then Brett Sterling boards Brad Mills hard into the corner and takes a 5 minute major. Mills left the ice with some help, but he was back later on in the game. The Devils did not fare so well with the extended power play time…the Pens held them to 2 shots and Mattias Tedenby took an elbowing penalty in between, relegating it to a 4-on-4 at one point. The Pens got on the board twice towards the end of the period on goals by Carl Sneep and newly minted All Star Eric Tangradi. Then things got a little physical…first was a scrum between Dan Kelly and Joe Vitale, give them a draw. I must say Joe got lucky, the last guy Dan fought was MA Bourdon in Adirondack…TKO. 40 seconds later came round 2…sort of. Louis chirped Keven Veilleux, not a good idea. They start to fight, Louis goes down in what can only be called a turtle position (so that’s why he’s the turtle…I’d never have known LOL) and Veilleux rained punches.
Second period…Carl Sneep scores his second of the game 2 minutes into the period. That saw Mike McKenna exit in favor of Dave Caruso, who held the Pens at bay for the rest of the period. Meanwhile the Devils finally get on the board on a Dan Kelly goal, cutting the deficit to 3-1. After that goal, All-Star John Curry turned into a brick wall. At one point on a Devil power play, he stopped 4 or 5 shots into the pads in one sequence. No matter what the Devils offense tried, he stopped it.
Third period was rather uneventful…however with Olivier Magnan in the box on a tripping call, Nick Johnson scores on the power play to complete a 4-1 victory for the Pens. Afterwards, a friend of mine was staying to give a gag gift to Michael Swift (an original Swift Heart Rabbit figurine. It’s a Care Bear Cousin from the ’80s for those who have no clue what that is), so I stayed to keep her company. I was very impressed with the Penguins staff, everyone was very nice. Coach Nasreddine actually almost gave me his Pens knit cap that I complimented him on, but “he didn’t have another one, otherwise he’d give it to me.” Eric Tangradi was very appreciative when I congratulated him on the All Star selection. Corey Potter laughed at my Harry Potter joke (our resident autograph guy was looking for a few Penguins, when he asked for last name and Corey said “Potter,” I said it’s not Harry it’s Corey), too bad Carl Sneep can’t be Snape. Then that would make for some jokes.
Now for the all important numbers: the attendance figures for last night. As I pretty much expected, Adirondack pretty much doubled Albany’s, 3866-2029. But they did get a good game, Mike Murphy out-dueled Michael Leighton and Charlotte won 2-1. I just hope the Checkers can forgive me, I wanted to go but sorry, home game here. Still haven’t decided on February 19th yet (next time the Checkers are this way, in Adirondack), it all depends on the weather and my work schedule.
One more home game for the Devils tonight against Rochester, then everyone gets a break…except Matt Anderson, who is off to Hershey as the lone All Star representative. Skills competition on Sunday, game on Monday.