When Maxime Clermont made his season debut on Jan. 3, it marked the beginning of a three-goalie rotation for the Albany Devils. During Tuesday’s practice at Knickerbacker Ice Arena, Clermont shared the net with Scott Clemmensen and Scott Wedgewood.
Having three healthy goaltenders on a roster is uncommon, but the Devils have made it work. Since that Jan. 3 game, the Devils have gone 8-4-2-0 and are tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 22-15-4-5 record.
“So far the schedule has permitted it,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “Max has played great. He’s given himself an opportunity to get another start based on what he’s done. Both Scott Clemmensen and Wedgewood have continued to do a good job for us. So far it’s working, but at some point we’ll have to do something here. We’ll continue to utilize them and it’s good for the organization to see these goalies play.”
A drawback to employing three netminders has presented itself this week. With only two games on the schedule, one goaltender will likely not see action until next weekend.
That doesn’t necessarily mean less shots faced, however. Kowalsky said the team will travel with two goaltenders to Manchester. The third netminder will remain in Albany and practice with the injured players.
“We’ll leave one home that will get the start on Friday,” Kowalsky said. “Because of the amount of injuries we have, it’s actually good to have an extra goaltender. We can leave guys home and get a good skate in. Like I said, at some point these guys are going to have to play. We’ve been lucky enough to have utilized it so far.”
In four games this season, Clermont is 4-0-0-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. Clemmensen is 4-5-1 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage. Wedgewood is 7-8-5 with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.
Living on the Road
The Devils have points in four consecutive road games, going 3-0-1-0 during that span. With eight of 10 games on the road this month, the team hopes to continue with that success.
“I don’t really think it’s the road,” Kowalsky said. “I think it’s just the way we’ve played overall. The guys have done a pretty good job of moving on to the next game. Even the games we lost, we weren’t really out of. We’ve had some games where we haven’t played as well, but this team is really starting to come together.
“We’ve done it with three goalies. Guys in, guys out; it’s constant lineup changes. Guys have really bought in. It’s been a really good team effort. Defensively, we’ve tightened things up. I don’t necessarily think it’s the road, but our overall play and how it has improved.”
Three is Key
Quick note of the day: the Devils are 18-1-1-3 when scoring three-or-more goals this season. Additionally, the team is 18-7-3-2 when allowing three-or-fewer goals.