Devils Notebook: Albany's offense missing in action
by Bill Martin/Correspondent
The first month of the Albany Devils’ season has not exactly gone according to plan.
The Devils set off on their journey on the wrong foot as they wrapped up October with a 2-4 record. Albany suffered two one-goal losses early on, which came at the hands of the now 6-2-0-1 Monarchs and 6-1-1-1 Crunch, who now both lead their respective divisions through nine regular season games. They responded by defeating the Worcester Sharks thanks to a Keith Kinkaid shutout and Jacob Josefson’s two-goal night.
After a season that saw them finish under .500, things began to look back up. However, the Devils finished off October with one 5-to-1 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms sandwiched between two losses to the 1-3-1 Connecticut Whale and the 2-3-1 Hershey Bears.
November has not exactly gone the right way so far either.
The Devils met the Connecticut Whale for the second time in a little over a week to begin November and put the disappointment of October behind them. However, the Devils’ offensive inconsistencies continued as they dropped the game 2-1 in a shootout. The salt in the wound of this particular loss was the shot count. The Devils outshot the Whale 44-16 through three periods and five minutes of overtime. However, after a first period beauty from Mattias Tedenby, Connecticut Whale goalie Cameron Talbot shut the door the rest of the way, making 43 saves on the Devils’ 44 shots.
Devil offseason acquisition Bobby Butler has especially been feeling the frustration of the early weeks of Albany’s season. Through seven games, Butler has recorded only one assist and has a minus-4 rating. This loss to Connecticut was especially disheartening for the 26-year-old native of Marlborough, Mass. Not only did Butler ring a laser shot off the post with less than a minute left in overtime, he also hit the iron in the third round of the shootout during his shot at redemption.
The sting of this loss must have really stuck as the Devils proceeded to drop their next game to the Adirondack Phantoms, 4-0. Offensively, the Devils recorded a decent amount of shots, but Scott Munroe turned away all 26. The Devils’ best chances to ignite a comeback came in the third period. Unfortunately, they squandered a four-minute power play before coming up empty on over a minute of 5-on-3 power play time. Not only was the offense nowhere to be seen, but also the Devils truly failed on the defensive side of the puck as the Phantoms scored a man down, with a man advantage, with a two-man advantage and at even strength.
On Friday night, Albany got a superb, 37-save performance from Keith Kinkaid, but that wasn’t enough as the Devils fell by a score of 2-1 in the shootout against Providence.
The offense has remained missing nearly all season long for Albany, as the team has scored a league-worst 1.77 goals per game. They’ll look to finally start finding the back of the net with some semblance of consistency when they host the Adirondack Phantoms – a team that’s given up 3.10 goals per game through ten contests – on Saturday night at 7 o’clock.