TROY, NY — Knickerbacker Ice Arena was unusually busy Tuesday. Not only did the Albany Devils practice, but the community rink was a polling place on Election Day. Regardless of the extra foot traffic in the lobby, the Devils were back to work after holding an off-ice workout Monday. They are preparing for Friday’s 7:05 pm matchup at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who are second in the Eastern Conference.
Albany’s roster has been volatile during the last two-plus weeks with recalls and reassignments. Goaltender Keith Kinkaid has been with New Jersey while Cory Schneider was on injured reserve. Kinkaid rejoined his Albany teammates for practice.
“We’ll push him this week,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “He hasn’t played up there, but he had some extra time with Chris Terreri the goaltender coach. It gives him a little more time to work on some technical things and some of his weaknesses. We’ll judge it on how he feels and looks this week and go from there.”
For the most part, Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood have shared responsibilities. Kinkaid is 2-1-1 with a 1.97 goals-againt average and a .912 save percentage and Wedgewood is 3-3-0 with a 2.71 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage.
Following the early season trend, Kinkaid, who last appeared in a game on Oct. 23 in a 4-1 win at Utica, will likely see action this weekend.
“It’s tough just practicing,” Kinkaid said. “It will be two-and-a-half weeks since I last played a game. That’s no excuse; I just have to keep battling through. I’ve had some really good practices and I just have to use that in the game.”
Albany has had success this year with strong defensive efforts. Four of the team’s five wins have come when holding opponents to two or fewer goals.
• Moments after Tuesday’s practice, New Jersey announced three more transactions that directly affect Albany. Rostislav Olesz cleared waivers and was loaned to Albany. Raman Hrabarenka was reassigned to Albany from Elmira (ECHL) and Maxime Clermont was reassigned from Albany to Elmira.
Player movement is something every AHL team deals with. In the end, the games go on.
“Just come to the rink every day and not worry about it,” said captain Rod Pelley. “If you start really reading into guys getting called up, guys getting sent down, guys getting hurt — it’s so tough. It’s a long year and a lot of things happen and they can happen really quickly too.”
The Devils return to practice at Knickerbacker Wednesday morning.
Reid Boucher, Riley Boychuk, Mike Hoeffel, Cam Janssen, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rostislav Olesz, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac