With more NHL games canceled it was time to make my way to another AHL game. Last month I went to the Times Union Center in Albany to watch the Devils at home, so this time I decided to head into enemy territory – Hartford, Connecticut. Here are a few things I learned from the XL Center and the Connecticut Whale.
1. Corner seats are pretty amazing.
Since AHL tickets are more affordable then tickets to any NHL game, I’ve been taking advantage and sitting right on the glass. I know, I know, you can’t see a thing that close but I rarely have a chance to sit in these seats at the Prudential Center so I’m going for it while I can. For this game I tried corner seats and they were awesome! You get to be right up there for all the corner battles and big hits. You can hear the puck sliding along the boards at your feet and come face to face with pucks that are shot wide. I may or may not have jumped up a couple times thanks to high flying pucks.
The Albany Devils hosted the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins down in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Sunday the 25th. It was a great night for hockey in AC. Sunday’s game was the first of four Albany Devils games at Boardwalk Hall this season. I was very excited to see our favorite players on the ice and playing hockey again.
As some of you who follow us on Twitter know, I had the privilege of attending the Albany Devils home game on Friday, October 19th. We watched as our AHL Devils took on the Syracuse Crunch (the Tampa Bay Lightning farm team). It was an exciting road trip for me, having never been to the Times Union Center in Albany AND having never attended an AHL game before.
What was interesting about being in Albany is that it is very much like being at an NHL Devils game. Much of the arena culture is just like being home, but on a smaller scale. For instance, the team used many of the same warm up songs that we do at home and when a goal is scored by the A-Devils, the song is also Rock and Roll Part II (or the “Hey Song” as some would call it). For those curious, yes, some of the home fans use the same chant following the song that the crowd does in Newark.
His name has become quite popular in the last week amongst Devils fans, and with good reason. Adam Henrique didn’t make this team coming out of training camp, but went to Albany and continued to work on his game. Then, after playing just 3 games with the Albany Devils and notching one assist, the 21-year-old center from Brantford, Ontario, Canada received the call every minor league player dreams of. The New Jersey Devils needed him, and although it was due to an injury to another talented center in Jacob Josefson, that was all Henrique needed to hear.
He has made an immediate impact in the early season thus far, scoring 4 goals, and 3 assists in just 10 games. And after scoring back to back game winning goals against the Jets in overtime and the Hurricanes on November 8th, he has quickly become a fan favorite. Chants of “Hen-Rique!” Hen-Rique!” rang out from the crowd after each goal and during his post-game interviews.
Selected 82nd overall in the third round of the 2008 entry draft, Henrique has put up impressive numbers throughout his entire career in both the OHL and AHL. During the 09-10 playoffs while playing for the Windsor Spitfires, Henrique scored a stunning 20 goals in 19 playoff games, and was awarded the “Wayne Gretzky 99 Award” for OHL Playoff MVP as his team won its 2nd of back to back Memorial Cup Championships. Henrique also helped Team Canada win the silver medal at the World Junior Championships back in 2010. Clearly, he is no stranger to success in his young career, and that can only mean good things for the New Jersey Devils.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the talented Henrique as the season progresses. With the return of Josefson and Travis Zajac on the horizon, he’ll certainly need to keep up this pace if he hopes to stay with the parent club. So far, he’s making it pretty difficult for the Devils to send him back down to Albany.
What does the Devils Army think of Adam Henrique? Feel free to comment and Let’s Go Devils!
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
With over 50 percent of the vote, the Devils Army voted for Tommy Albelin to be the best player to ever wear the number six for the New Jersey Devils.
Albelin was originally drafted by the Quebec Nordiques, 152nd overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Nordiques for a year and a half before he was traded to the New Jersey Devils during the 1988-89 season.
Albelin proved to be a key part of the 1995 Stanley Cup winning team with the Devils, but he was traded to Calgary during the 1996 season.
After spending five and a half seasons with the Flames organization, Albelin re-joined the Devils and led them to another Stanley Cup win in 2003.
Albelin officially retired in 2007.
Besides his two Stanley Cup rings, Albelin has also served his home country proud playing in several tournaments: 1998 Olympic Winter Games, 1996 World Cup, five World championships, two World Junior championships and two Canada Cup tournaments. Albelin was also selected to serve as an Assistant Coach for Sweden at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Currently, Albelin can be found as an Assistant Coach for the Albany Devils of the AHL.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
Zach Parise was picked up by the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft as the 17th overall pick. Before Zach Parise became our pro, he played two seasons for the University of North Dakota. He signed a contract in 2004, spent a year playing for the Albany River Rats in the American Hockey League before joining the Devils in 2005. Parise made his first NHL appearance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 5th, 2005. That night he scored his first NHL goal and got his first assist, becoming the 12th Devil to score a goal in his first game. In his first season he scored 18 goals and had 40 assists. The next season, he set a franchise record for scoring the quickest season-opening goal, scoring 26 seconds into the game.
Parise’s points kept growing. In 2007-08 he lead the Devils with 65 points. It was that same season that he got his first NHL hat trick. Zach played in the 2008-09 NHL All Star Game, was chosen as one of three nominees for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and was named the Devils MVP. In 2009 he was named an alternate captain, along with finishing 5th in the league for goal scoring.
Some of Parise’s international appearances include a 2002 IIHF World U18 Championship where he played for the USA and received a gold medal. In 2003 and 2004, he played in the World Junior Championships, finishing 4th in 2003 but winning gold in 2004 along with being named MVP. He also played in the 2010 Olympics, picking up a silver medal.
In November of 2010, Parise tore the meniscus in his right knee, leaving him out for the majority of the season.
I want to wish Zach a happy 27th birthday and many more with him as a Devil. I recently picked up a really cool picture with Zach Parise that I plan on getting autographed soon.
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
The Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North Sports and Entertainment. True North’s purchase of the team has been announced and the team will be moved to Winnipeg, Canada. The announcement was made at the MTS Centre in Winnepeg where the team will play after the sale is approved by the NHL Board of Governors in mid-June.
The Jets played in Winnipeg until 1996, when the team was relocated to Phoenix. After the Coyotes announced plans to stay in Phoenix for at least one more season, True North successfully acquired the NHL’s other misplaced southern US franchise.
The Jets moved out of Canada when the Canadian dollar was worth roughly 73 cents American. With player salaries paid in American dollars, but all ticket, merchandise, and other purchases made in Canadian dollars, relocation to the US made sense despite the loyal fan base. Hockey teams with small arenas were not profitable in the 1990s. Now that the two countries’ dollar values are nearly equal, Canada appears to be slated to get another team back. They also have a new arena that currently hosts an AHL team, Manitoba Moose.
The franchise’s leading scorer is our very own Ilya Kovalchuk. He had 328 goals and 287 assists for the Thrashers from 2001 to 2010, where he averaged better than a point per game.