Albany Devils February Focus

Short month, long and winding road trip. That’s what awaits the Albany Devils in February. Much like a baseball team in July, it’s a bit perplexing for a hockey team to have only a pair of home games in the dead of winter but such are the scheduling quirks of the AHL. Thus far, 2015 has been kind to the Devils. January saw the club register a ledger of 8-4-2-1, including a run of points in eight of their last nine games.

Albany (22-15-4-5, 53 points) enters February tied with the Portland Pirates for sixth place in the Eastern Conference and just eight points off the pace, behind the Thruway rival Syracuse Crunch, for first place in the Northeast Division and overall in the Conference.

  • Seein’ things that I may never see again:

Barring a bout in the Calder Cup Playoffs, the A-Devils will venture off to what will likely be their final trip to Manchester, facing the Atlantic Division leading Monarchs on February 4.

On February 6, Albany travels 90 miles east, facing off against the Northeast Division foe, Springfield Falcons. The Devils sport a record of 3-1-0-0 against the Falcons this season.

When the Devils return home on February 13, they’ll play host to the Hershey Bears. That marks the start of a three-in-three weekend, including a home and home set against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Then on February 20, Albany saunters out to the Salt City, to take on the Crunch. Sticking in Central New York, the artists formerly known as the U-Devils, make the hop to the Utica Memorial Auditorium to clash with the Utica Comets. Concluding that weekend three-in-three, Albany heads back to Springfield for the second time in February.

Finally, Albany finishes out the month on February 27 and 28 with familiar foes, at Syracuse and Hershey.

  • A-Devils details:
  • With the extra attacker, the A-Devils have posted 14 power play goals in their last 14 contests. That string has enabled the club to boast a percentage of 18.3, tied for ninth in the AHL. Leading the charge is All-Star Joe Whitney, whose 18 points with the extra man, are tied for tops in the league. When netting a power play tally, Albany is 17-5-2-3.

  • Winning breeds winning. When leading through two frames, Albany sports a perfect regulation ledger of 17-0-0-1. Leading after the first frame, the A-Devils are 8-1-1-0. On the campaign, Albany is 15-4-2-2, upon getting on the board first.
  • All-Star Paul Thompson is second in the AHL with 22 tallies.

  • Breakout Boucher. Reid Boucher now has 12 markers on the season. Most recently against the St. John’s IceCaps, Boucher netted a breakaway goal and helped the Devils to their first shootout victory of the season.

  • Max effort. In his young Devils career, Maxime Clermont has seen a lot of ECHL barns, between the Kalamazoo Wings, Elmira Jackals and Orlando Solar Bears. Though this season with Keith Kinkaid getting a promotion to New Jersey, Clermont has impressed thus far. With a small but impressive sample size, Clermont is a flawless 4-0-0-0, posting a 1.94 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Along with a secondary assist on Boucher’s goal against the IceCaps, Clermont posted 23 saves, helped the Devils ward off a four-minute four-on-three penalty kill in overtime and turned aside all three shots sent his way during the shootout.

  • Burlon is on. With and injury to Raman Hrabarenka and Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson and Damon Severson spending the season in New Jersey, defenceman Brandon Burlon has provided a boost on the blue line. Burlon has points in six of his last seven contests and 21 points in 44 games overall.

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About Michael Gwizdala

Michael Gwizdala is in his first season of writing for the Power Play Post Show. Michael will be covering the Albany Devils and chiming in on all things AHL, around the Empire State. Michael is also an NHL accredited writer, covering the New Jersey Devils for The Hockey Writers for three years. Michael has also written for the Times Union and has been published on numerous outlets on the web, such as Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is also a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

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