Back to Reality…

(or, the working title: Welp.)

At the beginning of this week, things looked pretty good for the Devils, despite a loss to Portland to close out last weekend, with only two regulation losses and still tied for second in the division.  Three games, two goals, and no points later…well, it’s getting back to the all too familiar struggles.   I guess I still have to recap what happened…

10/30 vs. Syracuse: 4-1 L

To close out the month of October, the Devils played host to the defending Eastern Conference champion Crunch.  Despite the Devils outshooting Syracuse 12-10 in the first, it was the Crunch who took a 2-0 lead after Albany took back to back penalties for a 1:30 5 on 3 kill.  Nikita Kucherov took advantage…twice, scoring power play goals just 1:09 apart.  Reid Boucher would cut the Syracuse lead in half halfway through the second with his 3rd goal of the season.  But J.T. Brown would singlehandedly put the game out of the reach in the third, scoring twice in a 3:30 span.  The Devils had their chances in the third, outshooting the Crunch 8-4, but could not manage to get anything going or past goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.  Scott Wedgewood took the loss in net, stopping 15 of 19 shots…if it weren’t for two players, it could have easily been a different story.  Scott Timmins extended his season long point streak to 9 games with an assist on Boucher’s goal, with Joe Whitney getting the other point.  As for the special teams, it wasn’t very pretty: 0 for 6 on the power play, 2 for 4 penalty kill.


Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher

Harri Pesonen-Stefan Matteau-Rod Pelley

David Wohlberg-Tim Sestito-Mike Hoeffel

Kelly Zajac-Chris McKelvie-Cam Janssen

A lot of line shuffling on this night, other combinations I noticed: McKelvie-Pesonen-Zajac; Zajac-Pesonen-Matteau; Pelley-Sestito-Hoeffel; Timmins-Whitney-Matteau; Wohlberg-Hoeffel-Pesonen.

Defense Pairings:

Jon Merrill/Corbin McPherson

Brandon Burlon/Dan Kelly

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Other pairings I noticed: Merrill/Burlon (on a PP), Kelly/McPherson, Burlon/McPherson, Kelly/Scarlett.

11/1 vs. Norfolk: 3-0 L

To kick off November and finish off the 4 game homestand, the Devils played host to the Admirals, a team they split a two game series with in Virginia just two weeks earlier.  And it was going to be a challenging one, with the reigning AHL Goaltender of the Month in John Gibson between the pipes for Norfolk.  The game got off to a strange beginning just 30 seconds in, when the Admirals were called for the ever popular illegal starting lineup penalty.  The Devils seemed to be dominating play for most of the first period, but it was the Admirals getting a 2-0 lead on goals just 2:09 apart.  It didn’t improve in the second period, as the other Whitney, Joe’s younger brother Steven, made it a 3-0 lead and chased Scott Wedgewood out of the net.  Maxime Clermont would come out of the bullpen and make his season debut in relief, stopping the Norfolk offense the rest of the way.  Meanwhile, Albany just simply could not get anything past Gibson.  He was an absolute brick wall, showing all of us why he won that Goaltender of the Month award.  He even managed to do the one thing six other teams couldn’t…keep Scott Timmins off the scoresheet for the first time all season, stopping his point streak at 9.  It was a tough night for Wedgewood, as he only managed to stop 9 of 12 shots before getting the hook.  Clermont was a perfect 9 for 9, and it seemed like the defense settled down after the switch.  The power play, despite its best efforts, went 0 for 5.


Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins

Mike Hoeffel-Chris McKelvie-Cam Janssen

Harri Pesonen-Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito

With David Wohlberg missing early on, the lines were shuffled quite a bit: Sestito-Mike Sislo-Stefan Matteau; Pelley-Pesonen-Janssen; Whitney-Pelley-Pesonen; Pelley-Sestito-Matteau.

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Jon Merrill/Dan Kelly

11/2 at Adirondack: 3-1 L

To finish the week, the Devils started a brief two game road swing with a trip up Interstate 87 for the first time this season to take on the Phantoms.  Adirondack was riding a three game win streak into the contest, and it was pretty obvious in the first period.  Petr Straka gave the hosts a 1-0 lead, and they outshot Albany by a 13-6 margin.  It wasn’t getting any better for the Devils in the second, as Straka would score a second time and Chris VandeVelde added on to the Phantoms lead.  And a 14-7 shots advantage as well.  But finally, the Devils started showing signs of life in the third period.  Mike Hoeffel would finally break the offensive slump with his second of the year to cut the lead to 3-1.  But despite a 13-3 shots advantage in the third, Albany could get no more in suffering their fourth straight loss.  A hard night in net for Maxime Clermont in his first start of the season, stopping 27 of 30 shots in the loss.  Mike Sislo would get the lone assist in his second game back from injury.


Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen

Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher

Kelly Zajac-Mike Hoeffel-Mike Sislo

Cam Janssen-Chris McKelvie-Riley Boychuk

A lot of shuffling once again in an attempt to get something, anything going offensively: Boucher-Sislo-Whitney; Zajac-Sestito-Pesonen; Pelley-Sestito-Hoeffel; Timmins-Boucher-Sislo; Whitney-Timmins-Hoeffel.

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Jon Merrill

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Well…give Seth Helgeson some credit for sticking up for his teammates on this one…

My Player of the Week:

In a week where not a lot happened, I’ll split it between the only two players who managed to get into the goal column: Reid Boucher and Mike Hoeffel.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Scott Timmins/Joe Whitney (5)

Assists: Scott Timmins/Joe Whitney (6)

Points: Scott Timmins/Joe Whitney (11)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (26)

Plus/Minus: Joe Whitney (+5)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (3)

GAA: Maxime Clermont (2.00)

Save Percentage: Maxime Clermont (.923)

Elmira Update:

I have decided to add a weekly update on how the Devil prospects in Elmira are faring.  The Jackals are 2-3-0 after a 5-2 loss in Reading on Saturday night.  Camp tryout Artem Demkov has 3 goals in those 5 games, while Raman Hrabarenka scored his first of the season Saturday against the Royals.  Riley Boychuk, Alexandre Carrier, and Harry Young (yes, he has actually been playing) have yet to get on the scoresheet.

Oh, and the Jackals had their annual Halloween Costume practice on Wednesday.  Some of these costumes are just…I have no words.


-You may have noticed Riley Boychuk’s name listed in the lines from Saturday’s game.  Turns out he was a late callup from Elmira with Stefan Matteau and David Wohlberg out.  He took Harry Young’s old number 32 and skated on the fourth line.

-Eric Gelinas and Keith Kinkaid remain up in New Jersey, but I expect Kinkaid to return shortly with Cory Schneider about ready to return to action.  As for Gelinas…I’m not expecting him back anytime soon, if at all.

-Injury updates: Mike Sislo returned to the lineup on Friday evening, on the same night David Wohlberg went down.  Stefan Matteau was missing from Saturday’s game, no idea if it’s injury or what.  Darcy Zajac is a couple of weeks away from returning.  Hopefully more updates will come up this week.

-BREAKING: I was right about Kinkaid coming back down, as New Jersey just reassigned him this morning.  But another member of the defense has received the call: Jon Merrill is going up to the big club.  Whether he makes his debut Sunday night in Minnesota against Zach Parise and the Wild is yet to be determined.

This Week’s Schedule:

Two games on the docket.  On Friday the Devils travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to take on the Penguins (and my first overnight trip of the season!).  Then a quick turnaround back home on Saturday afternoon for Game 3 of the Time Warner Cable Cup series against Adirondack.



Game 11: Albany at Adirondack

Where: Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 1-0.


Albany: 5-4-0-1, 11 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Adirondack: 4-4-0-2, 10 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Need to Know:

-First visit of 6 of the season to the North Country for the Devils.

-With the shutout loss to Norfolk Friday night, Scott Timmins saw his season long point streak come to an end at 9 games.

-After a slow start, the Phantoms are showing signs of life, winning their last three in a row, including a win at home over Binghamton Friday night.

-No #freefitzy or #fitzyfreed questions…former River Rat Zack Fitzgerald is out with a broken nose suffered in a fight last week against Norfolk.

-It’s an organizational doubleheader today, as the parent Devils and Flyers are battling each other this evening at The Rock.

Phantoms Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 players tied with 6 points each

Cal Heeter, 3-2-0, 2.37 GAA; Yann Danis, 1-2-2, 3.06 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WNYQ 101.7 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @PhantomsHockey, @dianacnearhos

Game 10: Albany vs. Norfolk

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Tied at 1.


Norfolk: 5-2-0-2, 12 points, 2nd place in East Division

Albany: 5-3-0-1, 11 points, tied for 2nd in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Need to Know:

-Third matchup in the last 2 weeks between these two teams; they split a 2 game set in Virginia on October 18th and 19th.  The two teams don’t see each other again until February 22nd in the Capital District.

-The Admirals are currently on a 6 game road swing through the East/Northeast Divisions, coming off a loss in Hershey on Sunday afternoon.

-Albany is 1-2-0 since Eric Gelinas was recalled to New Jersey; the parent Devils are 2-0-1 with him in the lineup.

Admirals Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

4 players tied with 5 points each

John Gibson, 1-2-1, 1.44 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WXTG 1490 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @NorfolkAdmirals, @AdsGameUpdates