The Weekly Primer, Issue 23

Quick Hits:

-The Devils begin the week with a 34-15-8-0 record, 76 points, and a percentage of .667.  They remain in second place in the North Division, 14 points behind first place Toronto (but just .083 behind) and 8 points/.071 ahead of 3rd place Utica.

-With New Jersey about to head on a three game California road trip, and Jacob Josefson and newcomer David Warsofsky both injured, Mike Sislo and Seth Helgeson were recalled on Tuesday under emergency conditions.

-We have our first ATO of the season…late last night New Jersey announced the signing of Brown University forward Nick Lappin to a 2 year entry level contract.  A former teammate of Matt Lorito, Lappin appeared in 31 games, leading the Bears in goals (17) and points (33), while serving as an assistant captain.

-Some good and bad news on the injury front: Paul Thompson is out indefinitely after getting injured on Friday in St. John’s.  But Scott Wedgewood returned to practice on Tuesday, and may be back in the lineup over the weekend.  Vojtech Mozik is also slated to return after missing nearly a month.

-With now seven healthy defensemen on the roster, Joe Faust was reassigned to Adirondack on Thursday.  He only made two appearances during his latest recall, last seeing action on February 24th.

-Going into the weekend’s action, Albany’s magic number to clinch a Calder Cup playoff spot stands at 22.

Friday, 3/11 @ Binghamton

Where: Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 2-1.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 23-32-3-1, 50 points, .424 pct, 7th place in North Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Phil Varone, 38 points (14 G, 24 A); Jason Akeson, 36 points (10 G, 26 A); Casey Bailey, 26 points (6 G, 20 A); Matt O’Connor, 6-17-2, 3.42 GAA; Chris Driedger, 14-12-2, 2.98 GAA

Notes: After only facing each other 3 times, the two teams will square off 5 times between now and April 13th, with three of those games in the Southern Tier; this is a very different Binghamton squad since the last meeting in late November, as the top 5 scorers are either on recall to Ottawa or traded; the Senators are ranked last in the Eastern Conference; Binghamton split a two game set with St. John’s earlier in the week before returning home.

Listen: AHL Live, US 96.9

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @BSens_Hockey

Saturday, 3/12 vs. Utica

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 4-2.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 30-19-5-3, 68 points, .596 pct, 3rd place in North Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Alexandre Grenier, 33 points (12 G, 21 A); Jordan Subban, 31 points (10 G, 21 A); 2 tied with 27 points; Richard Bachman, 12-9-4, 2.66 GAA; Joe Cannata, 17-9-3, 2.47 GAA

Notes: Since the last time the two teams saw each other on February 20th, Utica has lost their leading scorer (Hunter Shinkaruk) due to trade, and their second leading scorer is on recall to Vancouver; the Comets acquired veteran forward T.J. Hensick in a trade with Charlotte at Monday’s AHL trade deadline; Utica is in the midst of a 4 game road trip, defeating Toronto on Sunday; they are in the midst of their own 3 in 3 weekend, traveling to Rochester on Friday then heading to Providence on Sunday; busy day in downtown Albany for the Devils first home game since February 24th: the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade earlier in the day, then it’s Hockey Heritage night and a lunchbox giveaway.

Listen: AHL Live, KROCK 94.9

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @UticaComets, @CometsInGame

Sunday, 3/13 vs. Toronto

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series: Toronto leads 3-1.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 43-13-4-0, 90 points, .750 pct, 1st place in North Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Mark Arcobello, 46 points (21 G, 25 A); Colin Smith, 41 points (16 G, 25 A); Brendan Leipsic, 39 points (16 G, 23 A); Antoine Bibeau, 20-7-0, 2.90 GAA; Alex Stalock, 2-1-0, 2.32 GAA

Notes: It’s been a struggle for the Marlies since they shut the Devils out on March 1st, dropping three in a row since; Toronto is on a 3 in 3 road swing, starting in Portland on Friday before going to Providence on Saturday; leading scorer T. J. Brennan became the latest Marlie to get a call up to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday before returning on Thursday; sixteen players have played at least one game with the Maple Leafs and the Marlies this season; Toronto will be the first team to clinch a Calder Cup playoff berth at some point, with a magic number of 8; Sunday marks the last postgame team autograph session of the season, and it’s also team poster day.

Listen: AHL Live

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TorontoMarlies

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