After Monday off, the Albany Devils returned to the Times Union Center ice for a 10:30 am practice Tuesday. The team is in the middle of one of the busiest parts on its entire schedule this season. The Devils went 1-2-0-0 during a three-in-three last weekend and now prepare for three games in four days, starting Wednesday at 7 pm against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
The schedule, along with injuries and call ups have forced the Devils to approach this week at a different pace.
“Today we gave some guys a day off,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “We had a little shorter practice, with not a lot of battling. It’s just a matter of getting back on and getting a sweat in. We don’t have a lot of time to rest here and we’ll spend more time working on stuff through video. It’s more about getting ready for the next game and dealing with adjustments through video and just talking to guys. We spent a little time on some stuff today, but right now guys have to save their energy with the amount of guys we have banged up.”
A positive sign for Albany was Scott Timmins’ presence during Tuesday’s skate. The Devils center missed Sunday’s 5-2 win the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Timmins is tied for second on the team with 14 points (5g-9a).
“He should be [available], depending on how he feels tomorrow,” Kowalsky said. “He felt good today and if it stays along those same lines, he should be available tomorrow.”
There is still some uncertainty when it comes to players on the backend. The team dressed five defensemen during its last game. Mark Fraser is set to return from a three-game suspension. Dan Kelly is day-to-day and Reece Scarlett is unavailable. Corbin McPherson sat out practice for what Kowalsky referred to as a “maintenance day”.
Entering last Sunday’s outing, the Devils were coming off back-to-back losses to start the weekend. They salvaged the weekend, erupting for five goals, including four in the second period.
“It’s just good for the team moral,” Kowalsky said. “We did it as a group and we have to continue to focus on that. Playing for the guy next to you, making the guy next to you better and playing as a group. When you do that and you work and play simple hockey, use your speed, we are a lot better off more than not.”
Devils Sign Carrier
The Devils have signed Alexandre Carrier to an AHL deal. The right winger has been loaned to Orlando (ECHL).
The Devils will hold a 10 am morning skate Wednesday before their 7 pm game against the Wolf Pack at Times Union Center. Fans can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. The game can also be followed on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.
Heading off the ice Saturday night, Eric Baier’s mind was on the Orlando Solar Bears 6-5 shootout win against the South Carolina Stingrays. Within minutes, his focus shifted to getting to upstate New York for the Albany Devils 3 pm game Sunday at Times Union Center.
Enter Baier into the picture.
“We were playing in Charleston, SC and I got word right after we got off the ice that it was a possibility and I would find out shortly and sure enough,” Baier said after Sunday’s game. “I took a shower, put my suit on, went back to the hotel, got a bite to eat and I was gone the next morning.”
Baier’s plane left Charleston before 8 am and after a stopover in Washington, DC, he arrived at Albany International Airport just after noon. He was inside the Times Union Center by 1 pm.
Luckily, the Devils and Baier have a history. The Rhode Island native played 13 games with Albany during the 2011-12 season.
“Coming into a new environment is a tough thing to do,” he said. “You’re kind of all hyped up, but I think subconsciously I was familiar with the system. We play a very similar system down in Orlando. I have played here before with Coach Kowalsky and some of the guys on the team and I think that has definitely helped out.”
The Devils only dressed five defensemen in their 5-2 win against the Sound Tigers. Four of the blueliners had points and three registered goals. Baier put home a rebound in the second period to make it a 4-1 advantage. The tally was the second of his AHL career.
Since the 2010-11 season, the 26-year-old has appeared in 33 career AHL games, producing three points (2g-1a). He has played 185 career ECHL games and has 60 points (20g-40a).
|Coming off a 5-2 win Sunday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Albany Devils are preparing for three home games this week. The team welcomes the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday (7 pm) and the Utica Comets Saturday (5 pm) at Times Union Center. The Devils also host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday (7 pm) at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.|
|Albany and Hartford enter the week tied for fourth in the Northeast Division and tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are 8-6-1-3 (20 pts.), while the Wolf Pack are 9-7-2-0 (20 pts.). Lehigh Valley is third in the East Division and 12th in the conference at 8-6-2-0 (18 pts.) and Utica is first in the North Division and second in the Western Conference at 12-4-2-0 (26 pts.).|
|All five teams in the Northeast Division have winning records and the Devils will try and pull ahead of the Wolf Pack during Wednesday’ game. Albany is 2-1-0-0 after three games of the 10-game season series between the clubs. During the last five years, the Devils own a 14-6-0-3 record against their divisional rival.|
|Wednesday’s game is “SEFCU College Night” with $10 student tickets. “Happy Hour,” featuring $2 domestic drafts for all adults 21 years or older. Additionally, all fans can take advantage of “Dollar Dawg Night” with $1 hot dogs and sodas.|
|All three of this week’s contests can be seen online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Free audio is available on the site and fans can also listen to Wednesday’s outing on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio. Josh Heller will have the call with 10 minute pre- and post-game shows.|