TROY, NY – Weather isn’t usually a factor for an indoor sport like hockey, but it does affect the routine of actually getting to the arena. On Wednesday, the Devils game at Springfield Friday was reschedule to Apr. 2 due to a major snow storm which is supposed to blanket the New England area.
Early estimates show the Capital Region getting 8-14 inches, while New England, including Springfield, could get more than 48 inches.
Because of the rescheduled game, the Devils three-in-three road weekend turned into a two-in-two at Syracuse Saturday and at Binghamton Sunday. Head Coach Rick Kowalsky welcomes the adjustment.
“Scheduling-wise, I think it works out for us,” he said. “It’s in our favor; we take three-in-three nights out of the way with a lot of travel, which would have been troublesome no matter what because even if it wasn’t bad we are still going to have to deal with weather this weekend. These don’t always work out in your favor, but I think in this situation it may.”
Instead of a morning skate followed by a bus trip to Springfield Friday, the Devils will practice at Knickerbacker Ice Arena.
“Today’s practice gave us a little more time to work on some things and get a full practice,” Kowalsky said after Thursday’s skate. “We decided to go with an optional [practice] yesterday. We didn’t have a lot of guys skate; the majority of the guys did an off-ice workout. So it gives us a little extra day here, now tomorrow we can go shorter, specialize and do some power-play stuff and things like that.
“We were worried about three-in-three, now you only have two. Your concern with resting the guys isn’t as important as it was. Like I said, it gives us an extra day of work.”
The impending snowstorm isn’t the first time weather has played a part in the Devils schedule. In October, the team reworked its approach due to Super Storm Sandy.
As for this weekend, the team will depart for Syracuse early Saturday afternoon and then on to Binghamton.