NOTE: The next 2 pregame entries after this one are going to be a little different, considering the Devils play the same opponent in the same building the next 3 games. So I don’t sound redundant I’ll do my usual pregame routine with this one, then recap for the next 2.
What you need to know before the Devils and Checkers square off at Time Warner Cable Arena tonight for the first of 3:
Season: This is the 3rd of 6 meetings between the two teams this season, so far each team has one win. Albany took the first game on October 20th, Charlotte took the second meeting on January 7th, both games in Albany. After tonight, they play the next two games on Sunday and on Tuesday, then don’t play again till April 2nd in Albany.
Standings: Charlotte begins the day tied for 3rd place in the East Division with Norfolk, with a record of 29-18-1-4 and 63 points. They sit 7 points behind Hershey for the 2nd place slot. Albany sits in 7th place with a record of 18-28-0-3 and 39 points, they remain 2 points ahead of Adirondack to avoid the basement and 3 points behind Syracuse for 6th.
Scoring: The Checkers are lead by All Star Jerome Samson with 53 points (26 G, 27 A) and Jacob Micflikier with 41 points (20 G, 21 A). Along with Chris Terry (20 G), they are the only team in the AHL to boast 3 20 goal scorers. Justin Pogge and Mike Murphy split time in goal, Pogge leading with 15 wins. The Devils scoring list has changed a little with this week’s 4 player trade, but Matt Anderson remains the leading scorer with 32 points (16 G, 16 A). He is now followed by rookie Adam Henrique with 27 points (13 G, 14 A). Any kind of offensive output is welcome at this point, considering the Devils have been shut out the last two games. With Mike McKenna still on recall to New Jersey (no word on when Martin Brodeur will return to the lineup), the Trenton contingent of Dave Caruso and Jeff Lerg will be in net, Caruso being the likely starter.
Miscellaneous: As written earlier several times in this blog, the Checkers are the former Albany River Rats. The current roster of those who played at least one game in Albany stands at 17 players. They have the best offensive output in the AHL with 183 goals (an average of about 3.5/game).
Game time 7 PM. I will be tweeting from somewhere…no not North Carolina unfortunately…