Labatts

2014-15 Labatt Blue AHL Bubble Hockey Tournament of Champions

The Albany Devils and the AHL have partnered with Labatt Blue for the 2014-15 Labatt Blue AHL Bubble Hockey Tournament of Champions. Each participating AHL city will have a local tournament and the Albany winner will represent the Devils for the league title.

The winners of each location advance to the Albany finals, which will be held at Times Union Center on Mar. 22. All winners will received two tickets for family or friends for the Albany Championship.

The winner of that tournament will represent Albany at the ultimate Tournament of Champions.

Date Location Time/Winner
Fri., Oct. 24 Swifty’s Geoff Van Epps
Sat., Oct. 25 Wolf’s 1-11 Arena Andy Larson
Sat., Nov. 15 Lynn’s Uptown Chris Van Epps
Wed., Nov. 19 Junior’s Patrick Pendergrass
Sat., Nov. 22 Center Square Pub 9:00 – 11:00 PM
Sun., Dec. 7 Washington Tavern 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Wed., Dec. 17 Junior’s 9:00 – 11:00 PM
Thu., Dec. 18 Albany Railyard 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Fri., Jan. 16 Lynn’s Uptown 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Sat., Jan. 17 Center Square Pub 9:00 – 11:00 PM
Thu., Jan. 22 Recovery Sports Grill (Albany) 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Fri., Jan. 23 Hooters 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Sun., Mar. 22 Times Union Center Championship

More dates will be added throughout the season.

Sislo

Getting It Right

ALBANY, NY – For the past few seasons the Albany Devils lacked depth at the right wing position. Take a second and look at the 2013-14 roster and you’ll see three right wingers listed: Cam Janssen, Mike Sislo and Darcy Zajac.

Three is a generous number considering Janssen and Sislo floated between the NHL and AHL and Zajac is more of a natural centerman.

With the offseason acquisition of Paul Thompson, and Steve Bernier joining Albany from New Jersey, the Devils have more options down the right side.

“You want to be as deep and as complete of a team that you can,” Sislo said. “Anytime you have strong right wingers, strong left wingers — right-handed players, left-handed players — that balances is definitely going to help the team.”

Because of the volatility of an AHL roster, Head Coach Rick Kowalsky and his staff slotted left-hand shots into the right wing last season. For example, leading scorer Joe Whitney played on the right side as did centers Rod Pelley and Tim Sestito.

During last Saturday’s 5-1 win at Adirondack, Albany’s lineup included four right-handed, right wingers: Bernier, Janssen, Sislo and Thompson.

“To go from not having that many right-hand shots to having options, it helps the power play and it certainly helps a lot on breakouts and that transition game,” Kowalsky said.

Sislo indicated that he actually prefers coming down the left side on the rush, but playing on the right side is crucial in the defensive zone.

Thompson, who had four of the team’s five goals against the Flames, agrees.

“It makes it a little easier in the D-zone coming out and having clean breakouts,” he said. “The way we want to play is with speed coming out of there and creating rushes. It’s a lot easier to catch pucks on your forehand and move it quicker than if you are on your off side and you have to try and make a backhand play.”

The team is better equipped on the right side, not only with depth, but with experience. Entering this weekend’s home-and-home series against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Devils right wingers have combined for 1,720 career professional games.

Whitney-Kelly-Practice

10/16 – Morning Skate

Welcome to the Albany Devils “Morning Skate” a daily feature each weekday morning to catch up on the latest Albany and New Jersey Devils news.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday.

In transition

“Last year a lot of our speed came through our clean breakouts. Whereas this year, I think we can utilize it more in transition.”

That’s Head Coach Rick Kowalsky talking about the Devils speed when moving from defense to offense. Four of the team’s five goals at Adirondack Saturday came off the rush.

New Jersey closes road trip

The NJ Devils wrap up their four-game road trip to start the season. They are in search of their fourth consecutive win tonight when they face the Capitals at 7 pm. The game can be seen on MSG Plus 2.

NEWJERSEYDEVILS.COM took a look at five reasons the Devils are off to a 3-0 start.

Party Rewind

Last Wednesday, the A-Devils kicked off the season with their “Puck Drop Party” at Wolf’s 1-11. Here is a closer look at that event.

Today’s schedule

The A-Devils will practice at 10:30 am at Times Union Center.

About today’s image

Joe Whitney and Dan Kelly skate sprints during Wednesday’s practice at Times Union Center.

Today’s Morning Skate was posted at 8:00 am

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Practice

Notebook: Speed An Even Bigger Asset

ALBANY, NY — While the first game of the season was against an unknown opponent, the next two for the Albany Devils are against a very familiar foe.

The team skated Wednesday at Times Union Center, preparing for a home-and-home series against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday and Saturday. The Devils and Sound Tigers met 10 times last season and will face off 10 times this season.

Albany is coming off a commanding 5-1 win at the Adirondack Flames last Saturday. The Flames relocated from Abbotsford, BC and the game was the first ever meeting between the two franchises.

“We’ll take the win I thought we did some good things,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “It’s only one game. It’s good to get that first one out of the way especially when you are planning a team you’re not really fimiliar with.

We have some time to spend in practice this week and work on some of the things we need to and we expect a little bit of a different opponent this weekend back-to-back with Bridgeport.”

Friday’s contest will be Albany’s first divisional test this season. Last year, they went 21-13-2-2 within the division, including 7-2-0-1 against the Sound Tigers.

Part of the Devils success was their speed. With some key additions, Kowalsky believes the team’s skating will be an even bigger asset.

“We know that we utilized it last year, but I think we can utilize it even more in transition,” Kowalsky said. “That’s something we will spend a lot of time on. Last year alot of our speed came through our clean breakouts. Where as this year, I think we can utilize it more in transition.”

That transition game was on display last Saturday. Four of the team’s five goals came off the rush.

Lineup Update

Kelly Zajac, who missed Saturday’s opener with a lower body injury, has resumed skating with the club. With 28 players on the roster, the Devils staff is still strategizing on their 20-man lineup.

“You don’t necessarily want to change the lineup for the sake of changing it,” Kowalsky said. “We would like to see some of these guys because they did have good camps. As the week progresses here, we’ll get closer to finalizing our lineup.”

No surprise, Kowalsky did say winning makes line up changes tough. During Wednesday’s practice the Devils iced five offensive lines and had eight defensemen and three goaltenders.

NJ-Devils

10/15 – Morning Skate

Welcome to the Albany Devils “Morning Skate” a daily feature each weekday morning to catch up on the latest Albany and New Jersey Devils news.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday.

Back to work

After an off-ice workout Monday, the Devils were back on the ice yesterday for their first skate on Times Union Center ice this season. Albany prepares for a home-and-home set against divisional rival, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Friday and Saturday.

“We have some time to spend in practice this week and work on some of the things we need to,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “We expect a little bit of a different opponent this weekend back-to-back with Bridgeport.”

Out of the gate

The NJ Devils improved to 3-0-0 with their 2-1 win at Tampa Bay last night. The Devils are off to their best start in the road portion of their schedule since winning their first nine games away from Prudential Center during in 2009-10.

Travis Zajac and Mike Cammalleri both scored and Cory Schneider made 26 saves.

Making a difference

“It’s not just about hockey. It’s not just about going out to the Times Union Center for a great time with your family, but it’s also showing up and making sure that every child in the city has a coat. It’s a great cause. It’s a great partnership and we are looking forward to the best ‘Cash for Coats’ drive ever.”

That was Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan at yesterday’s press conference, launching her “Cast for Coats” program. The campaign raises money to provide new winter clothing items to students in need in the Albany School District.

“Cash for Coats” kicks off during Saturday’s Devils Home Opener.

Magnet schedule

During Saturday’s game, the first 5,000 fans to arrive will receive an Albany Devils Magnet Schedule, courtesy of Albany Clothing and Promotion.

About today’s image

The NJ Devils celebrate their 2-1 win against the Lightning last night. Mike Cammalleri scored a power-play goal in the third period clinch the victory. (Photo Credit: Scott Audette / Getty Images)

Today’s Morning Skate was posted at 8:40 am

Follow the Devils all day long on twitter (@albanydevils)

What would you like to see here? Click here and let us know.

Sheehan-Cash-for-Coats

“Cash For Coats” This Saturday

ALBANY, NY — Saturday’s game at Times Union Center isn’t just the start of the Albany Devils home schedule, but it also marks the beginning of Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s “Cash for Coats” campaign.

The program raises money to provide new winter clothing items — coats, hats, gloves and scarves — to students in need in the Albany School District.

“Four years ago, the Albany Devils met Mr. Burke (Burke Companies) and Mark and Jack [Yonally] (Lodge’s Department Store),” said Devils CEO Christopher Ciceri. “We could not be associated with two more generous families and what they have done. We play such a little part.

There is nothing more rewarding when you actually go to the school and you see children lined up for these coats.”

Fans are encouraged to make a monetary donation at Saturday’s 5:05 pm game to support the cause. Donations are also being accepted at Lodge’s department store, and Albany Business Improvement District offices until Nov. 1

“It’s not just about hockey,” said Mayor Sheehan. “It’s not just about going out to the Times Union Center for a great time with your family, but it’s also showing up and making sure that every child in the city has a coat. It’s a great cause. It’s a great partnership and we are looking forward to the best ‘Cash for Coats’ drive ever.”

Over the past eight years, the program has distributed tens of thousands of winter items to students.

Gelinas-NJD

10/14 – Morning Skate

Welcome to the Albany Devils “Morning Skate” a daily feature each weekday morning to catch up on the latest Albany and New Jersey Devils news.

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday.

Promotional Schedule

During the past few weeks, the Devils have been release different elements of their promotional schedule. Well here is everything you can expect this season — all the giveaways, themed nights and community programs.

Devils at Tampa Bay

The NJ Devils will try and start the season 3-0-0 when they travel to face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at 7:30 pm. Fans can watch the game on MSG Plus. After a pair of wins to start the season, Michael Ryder leads the team with four points and Mike Cammalleri is first with three goals.

Of the 23 players on their roster, 11 have played for the Devils AHL affiliate. Those players include: Goaltender Scott Clemmenson; Defensemen: Eric Gelinas, Andy Greene, Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill, Damon Severson; Forwards: Patrik Elias, Stephen Gionta, Adam Henrique, Jacob Josefson, Travis Zajac.

Mayor’s “Cash for Coats”

The A-Devils Executive Staff will be on hand today at 10:00 am at Albany’s City Hall. Mayor Kathy Sheehan will officially launch her “Cash for Coats” initiative which begins Saturday at the Devils game at Times Union Center. Fans are encourage to make a cash donation that will go towards providing winter clothing to children in the Capital Region.

Today’s Schedule

After practicing for two weeks at Knickerbacker Ice Arena, the A-Devils will skate for the first time at Times Union Center.

About today’s image

Eric Gelinas celebrates during New Jersey’s 5-1 win at Florida Saturday. Gelinas is one of 11 players on the rost who developed in the Devils AHL system.

Today’s Morning Skate was posted at 8:40 am

Follow the Devils all day long on twitter (@albanydevils)

What would you like to see here? Click here and let us know.

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