ALBANY, NY – With Adam Larsson and Mike Sislo recently recalled by the New Jersey Devils, the Albany Devils are forced move some pieces around for their weekend three-in-three starting Friday at Syracuse. Larsson, who sat out Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win against Binghamton, was summoned to Newark Monday and Sislo followed Tuesday.
“We are going to tinker with a few things,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky, “Obviously, with Sislo and Larsson gone we are going to have to make some adjustments.”
Albany had been tinkering before the players’ departures. On Sunday, Sislo was moved to the right wing along side Scott Timmins and Joe Whitney. Reid Boucher was moved to the left side with Rod Pelley and Harri Pesonen.
Part of the plan was to get the left-shooting Whitney on the left wing.
“Whitney, [Mike] Hoeffel some of these guys, even [Mattias] Tedenby, they are all left-hand shots playing the right side. They’ve done a fine job there, but sometimes in tight games when teams are pressuring you get on the wall and it’s tough to get that puck out.
“I thought just to change things up for Whitney, I’d move him to the left side and then throw Sislo in there because of his speed. It seemed to work, but we are obviously going to have to change things up again.”
Because Sislo and Larsson play in all situations, it’s not so easy just to fill their void. Kowalsky is hoping to split the responsibilities and the minutes among players like David Wohlberg, Hoeffel and Tedenby.
“We are going to ask some guys to do a little more maybe than they have,” Kowalsky said. “I think guys are ready and I don’t think think you are going to eat those minutes up with just one guy. I think it’s going to have to be by committee.”
Hershey’s 3-2 win at Portland Wednesday moved them into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, jumping ninth-place Norfolk. With eight games remaining, the Devils are sixth in the standings with 82 points. They are two points behind fifth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, one point ahead of seventh-place Providence, four points ahead of Hershey and five ahead of Norfolk.
“It’s really fun,” said Scott Timmins when asked about the playoff race. “It’s pretty loose in the room, but we know when we come to the rink it’s time to work and bear down. We’ve been playing some pretty good hockey lately. We just have a good thing going right now, so hopefully we can keep this going into the playoffs.”
Reid Boucher, Mike Hoeffel, Cam Janssen, Ben Johnson, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Mattias Tedenby, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac