Troy, NY – In hockey, as in many aspects of life, success and failure comes down to attitude. With that in mind, for Albany Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas, staying positive during his second AHL stint this season is an important part of his development.
“I don’t think it would be the right thing to do to come here and feel sorry for myself and just moan every day that I came here,” Gelinas said after Thursday’s practice at Knickerbacker Ice Arena.
Prior to being returned on loan, Gelinas played 44 games with the New Jersey Devils, amassing 22 points on six goals and 16 assists. He netted his first career goal on October 24 against Vancouver.
“I’ve had some success putting up some offensive points and I think they really want me to work on the defensive side,” Gelinas said. “I think this is really my focus here and I don’t think I need to score every game. It’s really if I have some good defensive play, I’ll be really happy about my game.”
Though he has only played two games since returning to Albany, his commitment and focus has been noticed by the coaching staff and his teammates.
“He’s moving his feet a little more, he seems to react more after a play is made or he’s involved in the play and stays in his shift better than he maybe did in the past,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “I think the biggest thing with him is he doesn’t have to think offensive every shift. He’s obviously had some success up there, but I’ve liked his physical play, his gap, and all that stuff.”
“He’s definitely playing with a lot more confidence,” said defenseman Dan Kelly. “He feels totally comfortable down here and he can jump right into any situation, which is nice.”
Gelinas, in his third professional season, has played in 139 games with Albany putting up 62 points on 23 goals and 39 assists.
“He looks like an NHL defenseman out there now,” Kowalsky said. “I think he’s matured that way, and that’s certainly a good sign.”
Forwards: Reid Boucher, Mike Hoeffel, Cam Janssen, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac