Ever had one of those moments where it seems like no matter how much effort you put into something, it just isn’t working for you? That could easily sum up the Devils week on ice, where despite all the chances and strong play by both goaltenders, they only escaped with one goal and one point to show for it. Let’s look back on what exactly happened:
The week started off with a return visit from the Whale, who had a pretty easy time in the teams first meeting just a week earlier. Mattias Tedenby continued the trend of Devils 1-0 leads early when he scored just 5 minutes into the game. Connecticut’s Christian Thomas tied it up late in the period…then after that the Devils took over as far as scoring chances go. They continued to pepper the Whale’s Cameron Talbot, but he either stopped it, it went wide, hit a post, etc. Meanwhile the defense wasn’t allowing anyone near Jeff Frazee…the Whale registered just two shots on goal the entire second period, Albany had outshot them 30-8 by that point, but still a 1-1 tie. The same continued into the third, but still the same result. On to the first OT game of the season, where despite an early power play opportunity, Talbot came up big yet again, along with his post. I was hoping for a “Henrique, it’s over!” moment like in the playoffs, but never happened. On to the bonus round (aka the shootout), where only the Whale’s Matt Gilroy was able to get a puck in the net, in the first round. Talbot stopped all 5 Devil shooters (who incase you wondered were Tedenby, David Wohlberg, Bobby Butler, Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson) to seal an improbable Whale win. Frazee did extremely well despite the hard luck loss, stopping 14 of 15 shots in regulation and OT. Wohlberg had the lone assist.
Saturday saw the first trip north to Glens Falls of the season and Time Warner Cable Cup game #2. The Devils special teams failed them early on, as they allowed a short handed breakaway goal off an ill timed turnover by Adam Larsson to Sean Couturier 6 minutes into the first. The one highlight of the period? A decisive win by Darcy Zajac in a fight with Cullen Eddy, which I hoped would set the tone for the Devils to get back in the game. Well, not exactly. During a rather quiet second period, Ben Holmstrom scored on the power play for a 2-0 Adirondack advantage. Third period the Phantoms put the game away…and the frustration started coming out. After a pileup behind Keith Kinkaid’s net (which almost produced a goalie fight, but Scott Munroe stayed put) which put both Adam Henrique, Dan Kelly and Tye McGinn in the box for roughing, Erik Gustaffson added another power play score to make it 3-0. The Devils had a great opportunity to get at least one goal after the Phantoms took penalties within two seconds of each other (including the ever popular faceoff violation…think that’s a first for me), but Munroe and the Phantoms came up big. Shane Harper added an even strength goal with less than 4 minutes left…then the fun began. Matt Corrente got one of everything (instigating, fighting, 10 minute, game) taking on Gustaffson (just a fighting) and Marc Andre Bourdon (who got 10 minutes). Munroe took care of the rest and pitched the shutout, stopping all 26 Devil shots. Kinkaid had a rough night, stopping 29 of 33 Phantom shots and getting knocked around by the opposition on quite a few occasions.
-Harry Young and Chris McKelvie were both recalled from Trenton earlier this week…only to be scratched for both games again.
-Injury update: no changes. Eric Gelinas, Kelly Zajac and J.S. Berube remain out. Alexander Urbom is still considered day to day, but did not dress for either game this week. Chad Wiseman returned to the lineup Friday after sitting out last weekend.
The Week Ahead:
Another light schedule for the Devils this week. Friday night they travel east to Rhode Island for the first meeting of the season with the Bruins. Then a chance at redemption yet again on Saturday, as Time Warner Cable Cup game #3 with the Phantoms comes on home ice. If they can get the offense going and continue to play like they did Friday night, good things may finally come their way.