Time to prepare for tonight’s Devils-Checkers matchup on this snowy Friday:
-This is the second matchup between the Devils and their predecessors in the Times Union Center. First meeting was way back on October 20th in Albany, a 2-1 Devils win. The two teams face each other 4 more times, a 3 game series in North Carolina on February 12th, 13th, and 15th, and one more meeting in Albany on April 2nd.
-Since the first meeting, it’s a tale of two teams going in very different directions. Charlotte struggled out of the gate, but have since settled into 2nd place in the East Division with a 20-12-1-4 record, good for 45 points. After Wednesday’s shootout loss to Adirondack, Albany now checks in at 13-19-0-3, good for 29 points and holding on to 7th place.
-The Checkers are lead in scoring by former Rats (you’ll hear that a lot today) Jerome Samson with 37 points (19 G, 18 A) and Jacob Micflikier with 32 points (16 G, 16 A). Justin Pogge and Mike Murphy (also former Rats) have been splitting the goaltending duties. There are a total of 17 ex-Rats on the current Checker roster.
-Michael Swift has jumped to the top of the Devils’ scoring leaderboard, he is currently tied with Matt Anderson with 22 points. Swift has one more goal (12-11), Anderson has one more assist (11-10). Rookie Adam Henrique takes over the second position among the active roster with 17 points (8 G, 9 A). I am expecting Mike McKenna in goal with the every other game rotation.
-Injury news: One Charlotte injury of note is defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti (not a former Rat, rather a former Wolfpack), who is out for the season with a hip injury. The main Devil injury of note (one that I did not mention on Wednesday) is Nathan Perkovich, out for an extended period with a foot injury. No updates on the other walking wounded (Mills, Leblond et al).
-Game time 7 PM. It’s Devil Dawg’s birthday (whoohoo…hahaha), apparently NJ Devil and Scorch (the New Jersey and Trenton mascots) will be in attendance, along with “other mascot friends.” Wonder if Rowdy got an invitation…anyway, apparently they think 2000 kids are showing up for the Silly Bands giveaway.
I will be there with tweets, pictures, etc. Tomorrow I’ll recap and preview Saturday’s game (that’s the plan anyway).