Albany-Hershey Pregame Notes

What you need to know before the Devils and Bears square off at Giant Center tonight:

-Season: This is the 3rd of 6 meetings between the two teams this season, with Hershey up 2-0 so far. They last met back in December, playing twice in 5 days at the Times Union Center, with the Bears taking 3-2 wins on both December 3rd and 8th. After tonight, the teams meet three more times, February 4th in Atlantic City (a Albany “home” game) and February 26th and March 26th in Chocolatetown.

-Standings: Hershey currently stands in 4th place in the East Division, with a record of 23-14-1-2, good for 49 points. After last night’s loss to the Senators that stopped a 4 game winning streak, the Devils are now 17-21-0-3, good for 37 points and a 6th place standing, 2 points ahead of Syracuse.

-Leaders: The Bears are currently lead in scoring by winger and All Star starter Andrew Gordon with 36 points (18 G, 18 A), Kyle Greentree with 35 points (15 G, 20 A) and Brian Willsie with 34 points (13 G, 21 A). Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin split time in the nets, with 10 wins for each. With Holtby recently recalled to Washington, look for Sabourin to take over till the Caps goalie health situation is resolved. On the Albany side, obviously no scoring changes since the last pregame notes…Matt Anderson is still the team leader with 27 points (15 G, 12 A), followed by Michael Swift with 26 (16 G, 10 A) and Adam Henrique with 24 (11 G, 13 A). With Jeff Frazee out with an injured knee, I don’t expect any goaltending changes. I will assume Mike McKenna will be the starter through the weekend.

-Miscellaneous: The Bears roster sports 3 former River Rats, one from the first NJ regime Sheldon Souray, and two from the Carolina regime, former captain Keith Aucoin and Joel Rechlicz. There is one former Bear however…Louis Robitaille returns to where he won a Calder Cup back in the 05-06 season. We’ll see if he’s up to any antics in his old building. And may I add the Bears are the 2 time defending Calder Cup champs (sorry for the reminder…I didn’t like mentioning it either), who are struggling with injuries and callups to Washington in the quest for a threepeat (sorry not happening this year).

Game time 7:00. I will be tweeting from my living room, following along with Josh Heller’s call on the Devils radio feed, or I may check out John Walton’s call. Or a combination of both.

Some Thursday Notes

Just a few random notes on this Thursday afternoon:

-after tonight’s shift, no job 2 for at least 11 days. Got to love having vacation time to burn off. No returns, no stupid people…finally some peace.

-Last night’s game? Yeah I knew we would be in for some fun when I read the game roster and see the names Chris Brown and Jamie Koharski under referees. As my friend Jennifer put it, 2 referees=stupid squared. And that’s what we got, along with the fact the Devils probably forgot there was a game to show up for last night. Binghamton took it 3-0. The only time the light came on over the Devils’ net was when it came on accidentally during the 2nd period by itself, and wouldn’t shut off. Sadly it still didn’t count. Attendance was 1492 (but you probably could have counted on your own the real attendance, I doubt 1000 even showed up), nobody was in the box office pregame (except for the pizza guy delivering to one of the box office workers, but he doesn’t count…and of course Devil Dawg). Hopefully the guys got the stinker performance out of them, because it won’t get any easier this weekend…tomorrow night in Hershey and Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.

-Speaking of Wilkes-Barre…2 days till I go there! Tomorrow night will be spent packing and resting up for the drive on Saturday morning. Good news is it’s actually not going to snow, but it’s going to be cold. REALLY cold. As in single digits need extra layers cold. Of course I pick the hotel within walking distance to everything, I don’t know if I’ll be walking outside all that much now. I may do an entry or two from down there time permitting.

-As for this weather…yes I live in the Northeast and should suck it up, but…does every storm have to be back to back to back weeks though? There’s still snow left over from my snow day when the all day freezing rain shows up. I actually drove through that without sliding or anything. Now another 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow before the deep freeze. Only 2 more months till spring, maybe our groundhog friend will have some good news for us first week of February.

Okay done with my rants for now…

Albany-Binghamton Pregame Notes

A few things to know before the Devils and Senators take to the Times Union Center ice (didn’t they do that last week?):

-This is the fifth meeting between the two teams, the last coming just last Friday night in Albany, a 3-2 Devils victory. Albany now leads the season series 3-1. The teams will meet three more times this season, February 19th and March 1st in Binghamton and April 3rd in Albany (I had omitted the February 19th game from the previous matchup, sorry about that)

-Standings: Binghamton currently holds down 5th place in the East Division, checking in with a record of 21-18-2-2, good for 46 points. Right behind them in 6th is the Devils, with a record of 17-20-0-3, good for 37 points.

-Team Leaders: The Senators just recently received their leading scorer back from Ottawa, center Corey Locke. He currently leads all skaters with 55 points (15 G, 40 A). Behind him is winger Erik Condra with 38 points (15 G, 23 A). It’s a 3 goalie rotation with the return of rookie Robin Lehner from the World Junior Championships, but with Mike Brodeur recalled to Ottawa as a backup to Brian Elliott I would expect Barry Brust to get the start again. On the home side, Matt Anderson continues to lead the team in scoring with 27 points (15 G, 12 A), still followed by Michael Swift with 26 (16 G, 10 A). No new updates on Jeff Frazee’s condition (he did not bowl on Sunday), so expect to see the Mike McKenna-Dave Caruso combo for the time being.
(UPDATE 12:30 PM: Per the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, Barry Brust will indeed get the start tonight. With still no new updates on Frazee’s condition I assume McKenna will oppose him.)

Game time 7:00. I’ll be there doing the usual…

Bowling With The Devil(s)

Today was one of those afternoons that you wished could happen more than just once a year. The bowlathon with the Devils was a lot of fun…just wished the lane I was on cooperated a little more (the ball return kidnapped my ball quite a few times). I was paired with Dan Kelly and Nathan Perkovich (who claimed he bowled in a league during his junior days…I could believe it), Adam Henrique was on my set of lanes as well. Everyone bowled 3 games on one lane (normally you use one pair but I guess to have room for everyone we used only one). My ball just wasn’t working today, got robbed of a few strikes and kept getting splits. Nathan was on his game and did beat me, Dan and Adam did ok. The guys started really getting into it during the second game (just as the beers started kicking in), Jeff Frazee sat near us and became the chief trash talk instigator (with his injury he didn’t bowl). Even Harry Young cracked a smile at one point, right before he threatened three teammates for messing up his concentration. Louis’s son Kayden tagged along and tried to bowl (with Daddy’s help of course), a few of the players’ significant others joined in as well. Devil Dawg showed up to cheer everyone on. There were some door and raffle prizes available that I didn’t win, but a couple of players cashed in. Jacob Josefson won a Recovery Sports Grill gift card (of course just being sent down from New Jersey he never heard of it) while Jeff and Jenna (his wife) got ski passes and a Mary Kay gift basket. All in all a great time was had by everyone in attendance.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

A New Rivalry Is Born?

Good Sunday morning!

Let’s recap a very crazy night at the TU Center first.  Most importantly, the Devils took their 4th straight, a 6-3 victory over the Springfield Falcons.  Rookie Adam Henrique lead the way with 2 goals, Michael Swift and Brad Mills both tallied shorthanders in the first period, Matt Anderson added one in the 3rd period and to top it off Alexander Urbom scored his first North American goal into the empty net.  Mike McKenna was solid again in net, stopping 24 shots.

But the main story was the penalty filled second period that at one point saw some very crowded penalty boxes on both sides.  Things started early on in the period, Ben Guite scored and knocked Michael Swift to the ice in the process.  Guite goes to the box…but Swift gets sent there too.  Why?  Mark Lemelin, the referee last night, just didn’t have a clue.  To add to it, the Devils bench gets an additional unsportsmanlike for arguing the call.   Less than 2 minutes later, Dane Byers nearly takes out Stephen Gionta along the boards.  Rob Davison takes care of things and tackles Byers, they go to the box.  The teams go to line up for a faceoff when Jonathan Sigalet starts bumping Harry Young out of his way.  Not a good idea buddy.  They start shoving and next thing you know it’s on between them.  I give Young the unanimous decision, Sigalet didn’t have a chance.  Things calmed down…for about 3 minutes.  Then came the main event, the heavyweight battle of the night: Pierre Luc Leblond vs. Tom Sestito at center ice.  Well it started there, the two dragged each other into my corner of the building during the bout, it was a good few minutes before the linesmen separated the two.  We’ll call it a draw on this one.  Right after Byers leaves the box, he strikes again and slams an unidentified Devil (didn’t see who went down) into the boards, Lemelin NEVER saw it (and he was right near the play…IDIOT).  Louis comes to the rescue and tackles Byers from behind and a flurry of punches begins.  And by the way the helmet was off the entire time this was happening.  So of course when the penalties are announced Byers only gets a high sticking and fighting call, and Louis gets roughing, fighting and the 10 minute misconduct.  I swear this ref is making Chris Brown look good right now.  After that, finally peace was restored and the remainder of the game went off without incident.  The two teams don’t play again until February 25th in Springfield (a game I will be attending), but this could be an interesting but short 4 game series if last night was any indication.

After the game was the postgame autograph session with the team.  I do like how the Devils have it set up.  Every 5 sections in the arena concourse there is a table set up with 4 players each.  The lines are small enough that you can get to see every player.  When the Rats did their sessions on the ice, everyone was individually seated and had their own line.  It was pretty easy to tell who the popular ones were (any goalie we had was always popular, plus the enforcers)  and who just wasn’t getting the love.  Plus being on the ice had its risks, especially after the one year I wiped out in front of Cam Janssen trying to take a picture on my phone.  Ryan Murphy wouldn’t let me live it down the rest of the night.  Anyway I digress…probably the most fun table of the bunch was the last one I went to, Louis’s table.  He was seated with Harry Young, who I don’t think has a clue how to smile, he always looks serious.  Louis was trying to make him crack at least a grin but to no avail, even recruiting kids visiting him to try it.  Harry’s response?  “I’m never sitting next to him again.”  Even Alexander Urbom, the other serious looking one of the team, actually did smile for a photo at one point.  And by the way, yes he does speak English.  A couple of fans thought he couldn’t which is why he was so serious and quiet all the time (no that’s Harry Young).

Now to today.  This afternoon I will be participating in the annual Booster Club charity Bowlathon with the team.  I get to bowl three games with 2 players selected at random pre-event and hang out for the afternoon (and probably watch football, the Rats/Checkers LOVED their football).  A little known fact about me is that I’m somewhat of a bowling expert (if you want to call it that), I grew up in junior bowling, from age 7-18.  It was to the point in high school that I was doing 3 leagues at once: Saturday junior league, Sunday girls’ traveling league, and two high school matches a week.  After I got into college and started working, the interest kind of died off, especially after my mom died (she was the one that got me into it since she too was a bowler…along with my grandparents, both my uncles, a few cousins…it’s a family thing I guess).  Now I basically only do it once a year, at these bowlathons (and the occasional Bowl for Kids Sake if Job 2 participates, which they haven’t as of lately).  But for me it’s like riding a bike, once I get used to the arm angle again and being on the approach, it’s like I never left the alleys.  So we’ll see if any of the guys bring their A-game to the alleys this afternoon.

I’ll be doing some photos this afternoon but will try not to tweet too much, hopefully I’ll recap tonight or tomorrow…

Albany-Springfield Pregame Notes

Things you may need to know before the Devils and Falcons take to the ice at Times Union Center tonight:

-This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.  Considering the Falcons are the second closest team (about 80 miles) behind Adirondack, I’m a little surprised the schedule makers took this long.  Anyway…they will face off three more times this season, on February 25th and April 8th in Springfield and March 12th in Albany.

-Standings: Springfield starts the day in 6th place in the Atlantic Division, with a record of 18-17-1-3, good for 40 points.  They stand one point behind Bridgeport for the 5th place spot.  After last night’s win over the Senators (and their 3rd in a row), Albany checks in at 16-20-0-3, good for 35 points.  Don’t look now Binghamton, but they are 9 points behind you for 5th.

-Team Leaders: The Falcons are lead in scoring by recent acquisition Trevor Smith (who when last we saw him was dropping 4 goals on the Devils as a member of the Crunch) with 29 points (14 G, 15 A) and Dane Byers with 23 points (8 G, 15 A).  David LeNeveu and rookie Gustaf Wesslau split time in net, with LeNeveu leading the way with 10 wins.  On the home side…Matt Anderson has retaken the team scoring lead with 26 points (14 G, 12 A) over Michael Swift with 25 (15 G, 10 A).  Jeff Frazee remains out with the ever popular “lower body” injury, so expect Mike McKenna to continue to see time (and if he continues to play the way he has I will not complain).

-Miscellaneous Facts: Falcons captain Ben Guite is a former River Rat (06-07), along with Steven Goertzen (09-10) and the recently demoted Mike Commodore (listed on the roster but has yet to make an appearance).  Winger Tom Sestito is the younger brother of Tim, currently still on recall in New Jersey (I was so hoping for a family reunion on the ice, but not to be this time).

Game time at 7:00.  It’s post game autograph session night, I will have my NJ media guide for autographs…along with the usual tweets and photos…

Turtle Power

Before I turn in for the night (7 hours of service desk fun await me in the morning), may as well recap the Devils 3rd straight win, a 3-2 triumph over the Binghamton Senators. 3 different Devils had goals: Jacob Josefson, Matt Anderson, and Louis Robitaille. Louis had a very interesting night: 2 fights with a 4 minute penalty thrown in, then the game winning goal in the 3rd, earning him first star honors. Mike McKenna was solid yet again in net, making 27 saves and getting the second star.

Early on things got chippy in a hurry. After Louis sort of tussled with Francis Lessard, 13 seconds after the penalties expired Lessard got his fight…but with Pierre-Luc Leblond. Later a scrum in the Binghamton net kicked off Louis vs. Colin Greening. Later on for good measure Louis took on Cody Bass, after they were separated Louis did his new signature move: nonchalantly tossing his helmet to the ice as he skates to the box.

Attendance was 3528. It’s amazing what free vouchers can do isn’t it?

Ok time to get some sleep. Pregamer for tomorrow night out at the usual time…

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.