ALBANY, NY – The Albany Devils had one final day of prep Thursday at Times Union Center before they dive into their first three-in-three weekend of the season. It all begins with a pair of home games Friday against the Binghamton Senators (7 pm) and Saturday against the Utica Comets (5 pm). The set concludes Sunday at the Providence Bruins (3:05 pm).
Head Coach Rick Kowalsky indicated that he will likely use his full roster during the nine periods of hockey.
“That’s the plan,” Kowalsky said. “You take it day-by-day. We had a good weekend last weekend, so I’m going to have a conversation with Tom [Fitzgerald] and have a look at it. We’d like to try and get – if we can – these guys some games and see them and evaluate them with our in-season experience.”
• A DIFFERENT PACE
Newcomer Karl Stollery played the majority of his professional career in the AHL and NHL’s Western Conferences. Since 2011, he’s played for Lake Erie, Colorado and both San Jose teams. His only taste of the Eastern Conference came during 14 games with Worcester two seasons ago.
“It’s definitely different traveling on the day of games,” Stollery said. “Maybe not getting that full nap, but it’s nice being in your own bed at night. I think over the course of the year it makes it easier on the body with not as many hours on the bus.”
• CONFIDENCE CARRY OVER
The Devils set franchise records for wins (46) and points (102) a year ago and it appears the team’s confidence is high after starting the season with back-to-back wins.
“A lot of the returning guys are wearing off on the younger guys and showing them what it takes to win,” said second-year pro Joe Blandisi. “We did a good job of that last year and we still have some core players left. That’s definitely helping us teach the younger guys this year.”
Of the 25 players on the team’s roster, 15 (three rookies) played at least one game with Albany last season. Of the 10 newcomers, seven signed as free agents this past offseason and three are first-year players.