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.
I’ve been planning a trip to Albany since what would be the start of the NHL season and I wasn’t letting Sandy get in the way. After waiting in a long line for one of the few open gas stations, I filled up my tank and used that precious fuel to drive up to Albany and watch the Albany Devils take on the Connecticut Whale at the Times Union Center. This was my first trip to Albany, here’s what I learned.
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.
As the saying goes, the cream always rises to the top and as a Devils General newbie I was thrilled to take part in an event, that included the crème de la crème of the NJ Devils top brass. Last week, I had the privilege of joining Prudential Center’s PR extraordinaire, Kerry Graue and esteemed Devils General, @SpeakoftheDevs, Carlos Figueiredo for a press conference announcing the Albany Devils returning to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
My alarm clock was set to the unspeakable hour of 5:30 a.m. which gave me enough time to get ready to meet the group at the Prudential Center at 7:15 am. Yes, that was AM. Armed with containers of caffeine we made the trip down to Atlantic City to Boardwalk Hall. Once inside the building I was struck by the 137 foot-high barrel vault ceiling. Built in 1929 it was touted as an architectural marvel at the time. Today, it is simply just an awesome place to watch hockey. Read the rest of this entry
A few Devils Army Generals took a trip up to Albany on Saturday, March 3rd to watch the Albany Devils take on the Adirondack Phantoms. We got a chance to meet with the PR and Marketing department of the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center to get a glance at life as an Albany Devils employee and how they use social media. At five o’clock it was game time! We made sure to pick up the giveaway that night, a Devil Dawg piggy bank (Seth already has coins in it), and bought a couple mystery pucks that were signed by current Albany and New Jersey Devils players. Seth got lucky with a Zach Parise autographed puck and Kevin got a Travis Zajac autograph. Albany unfortunately lost to the Phantoms but Kevin won a pretty nice prize pack from playing Devils Trivia – and that’s all that matters, right?
New Jersey Devils (14-13-1, 29 points) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (12-15-2, 26 points)
7:00 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight will be the second of four matchups between the Lightning and the Devils this season, it will also be the second of two matchups played at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. The two teams last met on November 19 in Tampa with the Devils coming away with a 4-2 victory.
Taormina Looking to Make Most of Second Chance:
Matt Taormina made the Devils out of training camp last year and had three goals and two assists in the Devils’ first 17 games last season. He had appeared to be adapting to NHL play quickly. Then on November 14, 2010, teammate Mattias Tedenby fell on Taormina’s ankle during a practice session which eventually sidelined Taormina for the rest of the season.
Taormina rehabbed throughout the spring and summer and came into training camp, looking for a fresh start. However, a back injury caused Taormina to be sidelined for a week during training camp, which hurt his chances at making the roster. He started the season in Albany.
Now with Andy Greene sidelined for four weeks, and Anton Volchenkov listed as day-to-day, Taormina has gotten a second chance to prove that he belongs in the NHL. He had over 16 minutes of ice time in Saturday’s loss to Montreal, and even had some powerplay time.
Taormina practiced on Sunday with the second powerplay unit, and is expected to play on the unit tonight.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora - Elias (A) – Clarkson
Zubrus - Carter – Palmieri
Boulton – Sestito – Tedenby
Talinder – Fayne
Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Urbom
The Latest on the Tampa Bay Lightning:
In five games so far in the month of December, the Tampa Bay Lightning have come away with only two points out of a possible 10. In those five games, the Lightning have scored first four out of five. However, squandering an early lead has become a Bolt trademark. This was last seen on Saturday when Ryan Shannon gave the Lightning an early 1-0 lead over the Flyers, but the Broad Street Bullies scored three unanswered and never relinquished the lead.
The team is clearly hurting from the absence of all-star Martin St. Louis, who is out indefinitely with facial and nasal fractures after teammate Dominic Moore hit him with a puck during a pre-game skate two games ago.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher says the difference between last year’s Lightning team and this year’s is the fact that the Lightning are struggling on the man-advantage this season. The Bolts have a 14.7% powerplay success, which is still higher than the Devils; however, with the Devils 93.4% PK, the chances of the Lightning improving their PP tonight is slim to none.
Projected Lightning Lineup:
Malone – Stamkos (A) – Downie
Pyatt – Lecavalier (C) – Purcell
Thompson – Moore – Shannon
Jones – Hall – Tyrell
Hedman – Brewer (A)
Bergeron – Gilroy
Clark – Gervais
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|