Devils Season 5 In Review, Part 1: The Stats

Welcome once again to the annual Season in Review.  As I have done the past four years, the review will be broken down into three parts: statistics, fun with numbers, and my favorite things from the season gone by.

Here are the final numbers for the Devils for the 2014-15 season:

Record: 37-28-5-6, 85 points.  Home: 20-12-2-4.  Road: 17-16-3-2.

Leading Point Scorers (Top 5): Joe Whitney (60), Paul Thompson (55), Mike Sislo (40), Brandon Burlon (36), Reid Boucher (30)

Goals: Paul Thompson (33)

Assists: Joe Whitney (37)

Plus/Minus: Stefan Matteau/Graham Black (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (130)

Power Play Goals: Paul Thompson (13)

Short Handed Goals: 6 tied with 1

Game Winning Goals: Joe Whitney/Paul Thompson (5)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (13)

Shutouts: Scott Wedgewood/Scott Clemmensen (2)–both share a shutout

Minutes: Scott Wedgewood (2014:15)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.923)

Goals Against Average: Keith Kinkaid (2.19)

Full listings of individual stats: Skaters. Goalies.

League Rankings:

Record: 37-28-5-6, 4th in Northeast Division, 10th in Eastern Conference, 18th overall.

Attendance: 3,323 average, 27th.

Penalty Minutes: 1,368 for an average of 18.00 per game. 8th.

Power Play: 19.2%, 5th.

Penalty Kill: 82.3%, 20th.

Shorthanded Goals: 6, tied for 8th.

Goals For/Game: 2.62, 24th.

Goals Against/Game: 2.64, 11th.

Shots For/Game: 28.93, 24th.

Shots Against/Game: 28.25, 5th.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3, coming up later this week!

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Devils Season 4 in Review, Part 3: My Favorite Things

It’s that time again, the annual Year in Review.  As I have done the past three seasons, I will break down the year in 3 parts: the stats, some fun with numbers, and a few memories of the season gone by.

Welcome to the final part, My Favorite Things (formerly called What I Learned).  Considering the number of games I attended during the course of the season (about, oh, a lot), along with player events and post game interactions, there were quite a few interesting stories to remember this year by.  Here’s just a few of my memories:

Now, I’ve made it pretty obvious that Mike Sislo has grown to be my favorite Devil.  So, yeah, it was awesome to actually be on hand in Wilkes-Barre when he did this in November:

I’m still kicking myself for not going to Dunkin a month ago before the second job…then again if Dan Kelly saw me in line he’d probably make me pay up.  Just because that’s the way he is with me.

Still laughing over #JoeWhitneyFacts in honor of Joe’s NHL debut back in January.  Too bad most of them have disappeared since then.

Most awkward road trip?  The schoolday fail in Bridgeport.  Apparently half of Connecticut can’t drive in wet snow shower conditions.  And a bunch of us from upstate NY could.

Sweet golf visor, Seth. (from the Bowlathon in December)
Sweet golf visor, Seth. (from the Bowlathon in December)

-And now the best of That Awkward Moment…

...when the Joe Whitney bobblehead towers over the Tim Sestito one.
…when the Joe Whitney bobblehead towers over the Tim Sestito one.

-when you check in at the hotel in Wilkes-Barre you discover you’re on the same floor as the team.  During pregame naptime.

-when Brandon Burlon turns into Spiderman to retrieve a soccer ball in the ceiling.

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-when watching soccer you volunteer to grab a loose ball…and end up kicking it further down Exhibition Hall.

-when half the team accidentally boards the wrong bus in Glens Falls.  Don’t think you want to go to Philly with the Phantoms, guys.

-when Alexander Urbom nearly walks in front of your car as you’re leaving the parking garage.  Pay attention, will you?

Then there was the easy way to replace the glass in the arena…and it happened twice in a month (first comes about :57 in):

Most adventurous road trip?  A tie…getting stuck in a snow squall in November coming home from Glens Falls and my 600 mile odyssey through 3 different cities in early April (Syracuse to Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes-Barre to Glens Falls).  I don’t know how these guys can play with that kind of travel…just driving it fried me.  And the fact Interstate 81 between Syracuse and Binghamton is essentially a black hole of nothing.

Favorite postgame activity: being a temporary babysitter for Tim Sestito’s two kids.  I couldn’t leave the building without at least a big hug from Sloane or having to chase Jude around to catch him.

Most used Twitter hashtag:

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When it gets to the point where Harry himself (who would jokingly roll his eyes at us if we dared forget the signs) came up with his own to get him in the lineup (Young Caged), you know it’s bad.  Other overused ones: #FreeHoeffel, #FreeScarlett, and very popular towards the end of the season, #whyisurbomstillhere.  And the usual #Blame (insert ref here…a few got that treatment this year too).

And now a few thank yous:

-To my fellow AHL bloggers/tweeters for the support and kind words, especially during tough losing streaks and down the stretch getting into the postseason.

-To my friends in New Jersey for the laughs and countless jokes about a whole variety of things…and certain photos of Swedish defensemen…and the support in the postseason as well.

-To the crew at home for helping me with tweets, keeping me laughing even on days when games were going badly, and keeping the players (and goalie coaches) in line.

-To the players, thank you for being awesome and for the most fun I’ve had in four years of having the Devils back in Albany.  Hopefully you can build on this going into next season.

And thank you for reading and following along!  Just under 5 months before Season 5 begins…

Devils Season 4 in Review, Part 2: Fun with Numbers

It’s that time again, the annual Year in Review.  As I have done the past three seasons, I will break down the year in 3 parts: the stats, some fun with numbers, and a few memories of the season gone by.

Welcome to Part 2, where I have some fun with numbers.  All in random order (translation: as I think of them):

9: AHL cities I saw at least one game (Albany, Adirondack, Binghamton, Bridgeport, Hartford, Wilkes-Barre, Worcester, Syracuse, Springfield)

2: AHL Player of the Week awards (Keith Kinkaid in November, Scott Wedgewood in March)

35: Players who made at least one appearance this season.

10: Players who made at least one appearance in New Jersey.

4: Devils who made their NHL debut (Merrill, Boucher, Sislo, Whitney)

53: Shots in a 4-3 loss to Adirondack on April 6th.

1: Shots in the third period in a 4-3 shootout loss to Hartford on February 1st.

14: Combined goals by the Devils and Bridgeport on November 30th (Devils won 8-6).

45: Games in which Albany scored first.

14: 1 goal wins.

4: Wins against the Western Conference (all against Utica).

93: New franchise record for points in a season.

9: Players with 10+ goals.

4: Goalies used during the regular season.

2: Penalty shot attempts for Harri Pesonen on October 25th against Hartford.

2: Successful penalty shots during the season (Tim Sestito and Artem Demkov)

8,026: Attendance for Game 2 against St. John’s on April 26th (a new AHL Albany record)

0: Non-shootout overtime wins.

8: Most goals in a game, accomplished twice (11/30 vs. Bridgeport, 1/17 at Utica)

0: Wins in 4 Atlantic City “home” games.

9: Shutouts by Devils goaltending.

0: Wins against Worcester and Hershey.

7: Most goals allowed (2/16 vs. Bridgeport).

6: Longest winning streak, from December 4-21.

10: Rookies that made at least one appearance.

1: Goal scored on Michael Hutchinson in two games in St. John’s during the first round.

4: Power play goals scored in the first two games against St. John’s.

16: Years since a New Jersey AHL team won a playoff series (River Rats defeated Hamilton in the ’98 CC Playoffs).

 

Devils Season 4 in Review, Part 1: The Stats

It’s that time again, the annual Year in Review.  As I have done the past three seasons, I will break down the year in 3 parts: the stats, some fun with numbers, and a few memories of the season gone by.

Welcome to Part 1, Final Regular Season Stats for the 2013-14 season.  A playoff version (part 1A, if you will) will follow upon conclusion of the playoff run, whenever that is (hopefully not anytime soon).

Record: 40-23-5-8, 93 points.  Home: 24-9-3-2.  Road: 16-14-2-6.

Leading Point Scorers (Top 5): Joe Whitney (53), Kelly Zajac (44), Mike Sislo (41), Scott Timmins (39), Reid Boucher (38)

Goals: Mike Sislo (23)

Assists: Kelly Zajac (32)

Plus/Minus: Corbin McPherson (+16)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (100)

Power Play Goals: Mike Sislo/Reid Boucher (7)

Short-Handed Goals: Rod Pelley/Mike Sislo (2)

Game Winning Goals: Stefan Matteau (4)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (24)

Shutouts: Keith Kinkaid/Scott Wedgewood (4)

Minutes: Keith Kinkaid (2518:58)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.912)

Goals Against Average: Keith Kinkaid (2.29)

Full listing of individual stats: Skaters. Goalies.

LEAGUE RANKINGS:

Record: 40-23-5-8, 2nd in Northeast Division, 5th in Eastern Conference, 10th overall.

Attendance: 3,360 average, 27th.

Penalty Minutes: 1,045 minutes for an average of 13.75 per game.  25th.

Power Play: 16.2%, 21st.

Penalty Kill: 82.7%, 14th.

Shorthanded Goals: 7, tied for 8th.

Goals For/Game: 2.89, 16th.

Goals Against/Game: 2.54, 6th.

Shots For/Game: 28.13, 25th.

Shots Against/Game: 25.42, 2nd.

As always, I used the same categories as the last three seasons.  Looking back over those three seasons to now, I’ve noticed that every year the points total has improved, from the low-mid 70s the last three years to a new high of 93 this season.  They added 9 wins over last season’s record and reduced losses by 9 (not including 4 shootout losses).  Goaltending and defense have steadily improved, dropping a full goal per game since 2010-11 (from 3.54 to 2.54 this season), while the offense has gone from 2.5 goals per game to almost 3 goals this season.

Special teams also have seen more success as well.  The penalty kill has gone from dead last in 2010-11, at 77.1%, to 82.7% percent this season.  After a horrid power play last season at an 11.3 percent success rate, they improved by 5 percent this year to 16.2.

Another category of improvement would be in the penalty department.  The first season saw an average of 24 minutes per game (well, when you have Louis Robitaille and PL3 on the same team, what do you expect?), now nearly 11 minutes less per game at 13.75.  It seems every year the team is becoming more disciplined on the ice, and although there are some stupid penalties that still come up here and there, it’s not hurting the team in the long run.

Parts 2 and 3 are coming soon, I may hold off on those until after the playoff run ends.

 

 

Devils Year 3 In Review, Part 3: What I Learned

Welcome to my 3rd annual Devils year in review. As I have done the last two seasons, I will be presenting the season in review in three parts: stats, some fun with numbers, and what I learned on and off the ice.

Here we go, the final part: What I Learned. For me, it’s more that just covering the games and recapping. There’s so much more that goes on that makes this fun and actually worthwhile. Now for a few memories of the season:

-Normally, I can handle myself no problem when I’m around any of the Devils (or even some of the opponents, for that matter). But the first night I saw Adam Henrique postgame during the third week of the season…I actually found myself literally starstruck. After all, all he did last season was score two playoff series clinching goals and almost win the Calder Trophy. But yes, I got myself together before he said hello. Sadly his hand injury in late November cut his visit short…and a week before all the fun Booster Club events too!

-Remember last season and #FreeBurlon? This year it went to a whole another level, due to the lockout and the abundance of players on the roster. I have lost count of how many players we requested to be freed on both Twitter and on a number of signs. It got to the point where Harry Young actually wanted us to put up the signs! And yes, that actually made him crack a smile (baby steps!).

-I created a new penalty just for Tim Sestito (know to my Jersey followers as the #ENERGY guy), the Sestito Penalty. Regardless of whether he was guilty or not of whatever infraction he committed, he always had to get the last word in with the referee. Next thing you know…extra 2 minutes, extra 10 minutes on the board.

-Now on to the Yes, That Actually Happened Department:

The douche otherwise known as Zac Rinaldo scored on a penalty shot? Yes, that actually happened. And I think everyone had the same reaction as Jeff Frazee.

Cam and Jay Leach providing a majority of the offense in one game? Yes, that actually happened. I’m still looking outside for those flying pigs.

-I made quite a few road trips during the course of the year. Some interesting events from a few of those stops:

If you’re bored while in Adirondack, you can always watch Marc-Andre Bourdon charm his date (or a random teammate) for the evening. This actually started last season when a friend witnessed the entire date (from introduction, to number exchange, to eventually leaving before the game was over), but with him still on the shelf from post concussion symptoms, seemed like every time I went up he was in the next section over from me charming a new girl.

The other memory from up there was a scary one…being on hand when Mattias Tedenby took the skate cut to his jaw. I don’t think I had ever seen that much blood on the ice in all the years I’ve gone to games. Luckily he recovered and was back out there (and I even got my first good look at his cut last weekend) before the season was out. And thanks to Mike Testuwide (one of the Phantom scratches that night) for giving me the initial update.

Tribute to Sandy Hook in Bridgeport.
Tribute to Sandy Hook in Bridgeport.

The main memory of my lone trip to Hartford was that it was the same day as the Sandy Hook shootings. Every radio station in the Springfield/Hartford area carried the press conferences and news updates. The drive down there was a little numbing, but once I got in the building and got into game mode, it got better.

On a lighter note, after hearing the news that the Whale are going back to being the Wolfpack, I’m kicking myself for not buying those cool Whale socks I saw at one of the souvenir stands…

Wilkes-Barre has a pretty cool scoreboard...quite similar to the TU Center.
Wilkes-Barre has a pretty cool scoreboard…quite similar to the TU Center.

Ah Wilkes-Barre. Where I always get booed by the same random tall guy and there’s a Tim Hortons booth (always a plus). While the game I saw wasn’t the greatest, there was another story that came out of this trip. On the way back up Interstate 81 towards New York, our bus was treated to the tail end of a fireworks show at PNC Field, where the Triple-A Yankees play. Then I find out the next morning more than fireworks happened. Um, oops?

But the most memorable trips of the year involved two words, one hashtag: #fullcar. Two trips to Binghamton in February and April involved a full car of 5 heading west on Interstate 88 for a pair of games in Binghamton. Whether it was helping out with the B-Sens Power to the Purple cause or hanging out at a pregame party with this guy:

Yep, this guy.  Shorts not pictured.
Yep, this guy. Shorts not pictured.

Or racing the team bus down the highway…or late night Tim Hortons runs…the list goes on and on.

With another season in the books, I just want to thank everyone for following along and reading. It’s amazing all the new friends I have found just via Twitter alone and meeting people at games, events, etc. Looking forward to an interesting summer and ahead to the fall to start Year #4!

Devils Year 3 In Review, Part 2: Fun With Numbers

Welcome to my 3rd annual Devils year in review. As I have done the last two seasons, I will be presenting the season in review in three parts: stats, some fun with numbers, and what I learned on and off the ice.

And now, Part 2: Fun With Numbers (in random order):

12: Shootout losses, a new AHL record.

9: AHL cities I saw at least one game (Albany, Adirondack, Connecticut, Bridgeport, Springfield, Worcester, Binghamton, Syracuse, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton).

3: Teams that swept the season series (Manchester, Portland, Providence).

1: Series sweeps (Worcester).

10,218: Attendance on January 26th vs. Adirondack, a franchise record.

2,209: Lowest attendance, on March 27th vs. St. John’s.

11: Total shots in a 4-0 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 6th (season league low).

47: Most shots, on February 10th at Binghamton.

6: Most goals in a game, on December 12th vs. Wilkes-Barre Scranton and February 24th vs. Hershey.

7: Most goals allowed, on January 11th at Manchester.

55: Most penalty minutes in one game, on February 13th vs. Syracuse.

42: Number of players who made at least one appearance in an Albany uniform.

13: Albany players who played at least one game in New Jersey.

2: ECHL affiliates used (Trenton and Elmira).

4: Albany players that made their NHL debut this season.

0:39: Time lapse for a regulation win to turn into an OT loss at Norfolk on December 22nd.

7:58: Time lapse to erase a 2-0 deficit in Syracuse on February 9th with 3 goals.

9: Attempts before finally winning a shootout on February 5th in Connecticut.

9: Most shootout rounds, on December 15th vs. Providence.

0: Number of wins in overtime.

8: Most wins against 1 opponent (naturally, Adirondack).

4: Penalty shots awarded (2 to Harri Pesonen, 1 to Adam Henrique, 1 to Phil DeSimone).

6: Penalty shots faced (4 by Jeff Frazee, 2 by Keith Kinkaid).

6: Shootout losses by Keith Kinkaid (tied for first in the league).

6: Shootout goals by Mike Sislo (tied for first in the league).

146,696: Total home attendance (including 4 games in Atlantic City).

2: AHL Players of the Week (Bobby Butler in December, Matt Anderson in January).

7: Goal scoring streak at home by Joe Whitney from February 24th-March 30th (tied for first in the league).

4: Goals in one game for Bobby Butler on December 12th (tied with 1 other for season league high).

1: Shot in the first period on April 6th in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (tied for league season low).

0: Number of players to play in all 76 games.

22: Most often assigned uniform number (J.S. Berube, Stephen Gionta, Cam Janssen, J.S. Berube again).

I may add to this list as I think of more.

Stay tuned for Part 3, What I Learned…

Devils Year 3 In Review, Part 1: The Stats

Welcome to my 3rd annual Devils year in review. As I have done the last two seasons, I will be presenting the season in review in three parts: stats, some fun with numbers, and what I learned on and off the ice.

Right now we’ll start things off with Part 1: Final Stats for the 2012-2013 season.

TEAM STATS:

Record: 31-32-1-12, 75 points. Home: 14-16-0-8. Road: 17-16-1-4.

Leading Point Scorers (top 5): Joe Whitney (51), Matt Anderson (43), Steve Zalewski (41), Harri Pesonen (31) Bobby Butler (27)

Goals Leader: Joe Whitney (26)

Assists Leader: Matt Anderson & Steve Zalewski (30)

Plus/Minus Leader: Joe Whitney (+13)

Penalty Minutes Leader: Tim Sestito (106)

Power Play Goals: Joe Whitney (6)

Short Handed Goals: 4 players tied with 2

Game Winning Goals: Joe Whitney (5)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (21)

Shutouts: Keith Kinkaid (2)

Minutes: Keith Kinkaid (2644:19)

Save Percentage: Jeff Frazee (.916)

Goals Against Average: Jeff Frazee (2.58)

Full listing of individual stats can be found here: Skaters. Goalies.

LEAGUE RANKINGS:

Record: 31-32-1-12, 4th place in division, 12th in conference, 24th overall.

Attendance: 3,860 average, 27th.

Penalty Minutes: 1,163 minutes for an average of 15.30 per game. Tied for 18th.

Power Play: 11.3%, 29th.

Penalty Kill: 81.1%, 25th.

Short Handed Goals: 10, 7th.

Goals For/Game: 2.54, 23rd.

Goals Against/Game: 2.96, tied for 22nd.

I used the same categories as the last two seasons and once again, there have been some slight improvements from the season before. Standings-wise, not much change, just two extra standings points due to more losses after regulation. And for the first time, not last place in the division! Attendance saw a jump of about 400, thanks to some corporate season ticket initiatives. You could say the lockout had something to do with it, but actually some of the biggest crowds of the season came after the NHL resumed. A slight dropoff in penalty minutes, and that was even with the addition of Cam Janssen after the All Star Break (he actually came to play, not mix it up), so there was a little more disciplined play (well, other than the occasional Sestito Penalty…I’ll explain that later this week). Power play definitely had its issues, with a dropoff of 3 percent (not having Eric Gelinas early in the season hurt, among other factors), while there was a slight improvement in the penalty kill (which really saw a drop off as the second half of the season rolled on…at one point the kill ranked #3 in the league). Goals for and against did not change much from last year…offense was definitely still an issue, with only Joe Whitney as a real goal scorer (one can only wonder if Bobby Butler did stick around all season instead of being lost on the waiver wire…or even if Adam Henrique had stayed healthy during the last two months of the lockout). Again, it’s an issue that I hope will be addressed during the offseason. Goaltending, no matter who was in net, was really not an issue. It will be interesting to see who comes back between the pipes next season.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Fun With Numbers…