Midweek Observations

Okay first of all…yes I changed the theme again. This is what happens when you get bored and want your page to look a certain way. So I switched it back with a few modifications…the photo is one I took in Newark in Championship Plaza across from The Rock. Anyway on to the business at hand…

-Sunday saw the biggest Devils crowd of the year, about 5900. Thank you Time Warner Cable for cheap tickets. And it was televised on local TV through Time Warner Cable Sports, normally the only games you get are Rochester and Syracuse. Those watching in person and at home got a pretty good game, as the Devils made another comeback after being down 2-0 and won it 4-3 in a shootout against the Adirondack Phantoms. Dave Caruso was outstanding again in net, only allowing Danny Syvret to get two pucks past him. This will put the team in a pickle when it’s time for Jeff Frazee to return to the lineup, Caruso has been on a roll lately. Pierre-Luc Leblond got two-thirds of the Gordie Howe hat trick, getting one past Michael Leighton and winning a bout against Adirondack’s heavyweight Matt Clackson. Tim Sestito scored his first since being returned from New Jersey the day before and Trenton callup Jeff Prough added his first AHL tally. Adam Henrique nabbed the only goal in the shootout round.

-Meanwhile the parent Devils are continuing their tear of late, riding an 8 game winning streak after shutting out Dallas (and former captain Jamie Langenbrunner) last night. Very cool to see the Albany callups contributing to the cause; for example, Nick Palmieri got the only goal Johan Hedberg would need last night. Mark Fayne, Vladimir Zharkov and Mattias Tedenby are getting regular shifts, Palmieri was put on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac, and it looks like Jacob Josefson is getting a second chance (although scratched last night) to get back in the lineup. I do find it a little amusing that the recent hot streak (I believe it’s 16-1-2?) started being measured on January 9th, the day I was at the Rock to see the Devils beat the Lightning. Not that I’m taking credit for it or anything, but…

-Looking ahead for the Devils this weekend…another 3 in 3 weekend, and 4 in 5 day stretch, all road games (technically one is home but it’s not really at home). Friday night at Springfield, Saturday night at Hershey, Sunday afternoon vs. Norfolk in Atlantic City, and Tuesday night at Binghamton. This will be a very good test to see how for real this recent run has been. The team has somewhat pulled away from the basement (just 3 points ahead of Adirondack who fell back to 8th after a Syracuse shootout victory last night), this is a good chance to create some breathing room and look somewhat decent. Weather permitting (stupid snow in the forecast again…how many days till spring?), I will be at the game in Springfield on Friday. It’s the second closest road trip (about 90 minutes) after Adirondack for me, and it’s one of my favorite stops. After the last matchup in January with multiple penalties, fights, etc. this should be interesting. And it’s also a battle for family supremacy…Tim Sestito going up against little brother Tom who is a Falcon. Very much looking forward to that one. The game at Hershey could be a good one too after what happened the last time the Devils were in the building, but Louis Robitaille is still nursing an upper body ailment, not sure if he’ll be in the lineup for that one. Sunday afternoon marks the Devils’ last appearance of the season at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, against a team struggling as of late in Norfolk. The Admirals have gone from a second place team to tied for 4th with the resurgent Senators, Tuesday’s opponent. The Devils will be making their second trip to Broome County in about a week and a half, hoping the 2nd time around goes better than the last, a literal last second loss in overtime.

Speaking of Binghamton, I have a decision to make for tonight’s entertainment…listen in to Pens-BSens in Binghamton or do some prescouting and listen in to Falcons-Sharks…may have to jump back and forth on this one…

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