While the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs began last night, the Albany Devils don't begin their series against the St. John's IceCaps until tomorrow night in Albany. This weeks post includes an in depth look at the Devils' first round opponent along with keys to winning. We'll also take a look at the two junior prospects still battling in the WHL and OHL Playoffs.
|Artem Demkov (X)||1989||Albany||AHL||C||22||6||5||11||0.50||6||6||1||0||45||13.3%|
|Eric Gelinas (X)||1990||Albany||AHL||C||13||1||4||5||0.38||6||10||1||0||41||2.4%|
|Riley Boychuk (X)||1984||Albany||AHL||RW||18||1||1||2||0.11||2||14||0||0||6||16.7%|
|Harry Young (X)||1991||Albany||AHL||D||10||0||0||0||0.00||-1||15||0||0||3||0.0%|
|Anthony Brodeur||1995||Gatineau Olympiques||QMJHL||G||30||1467:39:00||13||10||1||2||71||2.9||560||0.887|
|(X - not on active roster)|
|Artur Gavrus||1994||Dinamo Minsk||KHL||C||30||1||3||4||0.13||-11||8||1||0||36||2.78%|
|Vladimir Zharkov||1988||CSKA Moskva||KHL||RW||49||2||5||7||0.14||0||6||0||0||75||2.67%|
|CSKA Moskva - Playoffs||KHL||RW||4||0||0||0||0.00||-2||2||0||0||4||0.00%|
|Graham Black||1993||Swift Current Broncos||WHL||C||69||34||63||97||1.41||18||43||9||2||-||-|
|Swift Current - Playoffs||WHL||C||6||2||2||4||0.67||1||4||2||0||-||-|
|Myles Bell||1993||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||LW||69||42||35||77||1.12||21||51||10||2||-||-|
|Kelowna - Playoffs||WHL||LW||4||3||1||4||1.00||0||2||2||0||-||-|
|Damon Severson||1994||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||D||64||15||46||61||0.95||47||63||5||1||-||-|
|Kelowna - Playoffs||WHL||D||12||4||11||15||1.25||4||14||2||0||-||-|
|Ben Johnson||1994||Windsor Spitfires||OHL||C||59||28||25||53||0.90||18||30||5||2||-||-|
|Windsor - Playoffs||OHL||C||4||4||2||6||1.50||-4||2||2||1||-||-|
|Ben Thomson (total)||1993||North Bay Battalion||OHL||LW||55||27||18||45||0.82||15||90||6||2||-||-|
|North Bay - Playoffs||OHL||LW||17||4||7||11||0.65||8||49||1||1||-||-|
|Ryan Kujawinski||1995||Kingston Frontenacs||OHL||C||45||23||18||41||0.91||3||39||8||0||-||-|
|Kingston - Playoffs||OHL||C||7||1||1||2||0.29||-5||2||0||0||-||-|
|Blake Coleman||1991||Miami Ohio||NCAA||C||23||18||6||24||1.04||8||63||6||0||96||18.75%|
|Miami Ohio - Playoffs||NCAA||C||4||1||3||4||1.00||0||2||0||0||14||7.14%|
|Alexander Kerfoot||1994||Harvard University||NCAA||C||25||8||6||14||0.56||0||8||3||0||40||20.00%|
|Blake Pietila||1993||Michigan Tech||NCAA||LW||37||8||19||27||0.73||-3||82||7||0||112||7.14%|
|Michigan Tech - Playoffs||NCAA||LW||2||0||1||1||0.50||-1||2||0||0||2||0.00%|
|Derek Rodwell||1990||University of North Dakota||NCAA||LW||25||5||2||7||0.28||5||20||0||0||53||9.43%|
|UND - Playoffs||NCAA||LW||8||0||3||4||0.50||0||8||0||0||3||0.00%|
|Miles Wood||1995||Boston College||NCAA||LW||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Joe Faust||1991||University of Wisconsin||NCAA||D||34||2||12||14||0.41||11||6||0||0||29||6.90%|
|University of Wisconsin - Playoffs||NCAA||D||2||0||0||0||0.00||-2||2||0||0||3||0.00%|
|Curtis Gedig||1991||Ohio State University||NCAA||D||30||2||7||9||0.30||2||8||2||0||47||4.26%|
|Ohio State - Playoffs||NCAA||D||3||0||1||1||0.33||2||0||0||0||12||0.00%|
|Steve Santini||1995||Boston College||NCAA||D||29||2||8||10||0.34||27||44||0||0||33||6.06%|
|Boston College - Playoffs||NCAA||D||7||1||0||1||0.14||-5||14||0||0||5||0.00%|
Players in italics have been eliminated from the playoffs. Their season is done.
Albany Notes - Regular Season Wrap-up:
- The Devils finished the season strong and head into the Playoffs on a five-game winning streak.
- Here are some stats from the regular season:
- The Devils lost just five games in regulation when leading after the first period (22-5-0-2) and three when leading after the second (32-3-0-5).
- They came back to win just two games in regulation when trailing after the first period (2-14-3-2) but came back to win four when trailing after the second (4-16-3-1).
- They were 16-8-0-0 in three-goal games, 6-4-0-0 in two-goal games, and 14-8-5-8 in one-goal games.
- After finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 31-32-1-12 record in 2012-2013, the Devils improved greatly finishing the 2013-2014 regular season with a 40-23-5-8 record - good for fifth in the East.
- 2013-2014 was the first 40-win season for the Albany Devils. The team averaged 2.89 goals-per-game with 220 goals for.
- Joe Whitney lead the team in points with 53 (22g 31a) in 73 games while Mike Sislo lead the team in goals scored with 23.
- Three players reached the 20-goal mark - Mike Sislo (23 in 73 games), Joe Whitney (22 in 59 games), and Reid Boucher (22 in 56 games). Six other players reached double digits - Kelly Zajac (12), Scott Timmins (13), Harri Pesonen (15), Tim Sestito (13), Stefan Matteau (13), and Rod Pelley (13).
- No player finished the season playing in every game. Seth Helgeson and Harri Pesonen came the closest with 75 games (missed one game each).
- Graham Black signed an entry-level contract with the Devils. He definitely had to earn it while dealing with major health issues, but after a 97-point season and a solid two games with Albany after his season with the Swift Current Broncos ended, that's exactly what he did.
The Albany Devils face the St. John's IceCaps in the first round of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. It is a best-of five series with the Devils playing their first two games at home and the final three (if all are needed) in Newfoundland. Thanks to a great post by the IceCaps, here are some must-knows to get you ready for the action tomorrow night:
- Neither team has the strongest special teams. Albany has the 21st power play in the league with a 16.2% success rate while the IceCaps are 13th with 18.1% success. On the penalty Kill, the Devils are 14th with 82.7% success while St. John's are ninth with 83.5% success.
- These teams are very unfamiliar with each other. They haven't played at all this season and have only faced each other four times in three seasons. St. John's won three of the four games played.
- While the Devils are coming into the series on a five-game winning streak, the IceCaps have also been successful and are on their own three-game streak.
- The IceCaps have much more experience in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Only Tim Sestito and Scott Timmins have experience in the playoffs (Sestito as a Lowell Devil in 2010 and Timmins with San Antonio in 2012). On the other side, Andrew Gordon has won the Cup twice with Hershey in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 and captain Jason Jaffray made the postseason eight straight seasons.
- One point of strength on both sides is goaltending. We are familiar with the consistent play of Keith Kinkaid. He is third in the AHL with a 2.29 GAA. Scott Wedgewood is 11th in the league with 2.39 GAA. St. John's will be looking to Michael Hutchinson who played just 24 games this season, winning 17 of them with a 2.30 GAA. He also played three games with the Winnipeg Jets in which he won two of them. Hutchinson has also had success against Albany going 2-0-0 with a 0.96 GAA and a .960 S% from his time with the Providence Bruins.
- Both teams relied on scoring by committee this season. Jason Jaffray was the IceCaps with 59 points and had five 20-goal scorers.
- Heading into the series, the Devils have Reid Boucher and Harri Pesonen going in on point streaks (3g, 4a in last three for Boucher and 2g, 4a for Pesonen in his last four). Keith Kinkaid has won his last three games and hasn't allowed more than two goals in any of those wins. Jerome Samson is on a five-games point streak for the IceCaps (3g, 7a) with seven points in his last two games (he was named the AHL Player of the Week for the last week of the season). Along with Samson is Carl Klingberg who is riding a five-game point streak and was just sent down from a stint in the NHL.
Here is a full bracket of the Calder Cup Playoffs:
- Before we get to those still playing, Blake Coleman was named the Bill Davidge Outstanding Offensive Player for the Miami RedHawks. He also made the decision to return to play his senior year with the RedHawks.
- While we are getting ready for the Albany Devils to start their playoff run, there are two other Devil prospects playing in juniors.
- The Kelowna Rockets have fallen behind in the Western Conference Finals in the WHL 2-1 (as of Tuesday night) to the Portland Winterhawks. They are missing their top scorer, Myles Bell, but Damon Severson has been playing well. He has 15 points in 12 games (4g, 11a).
- Here is a small update on Myles Bell - he's exercising. He is considered "week-to-week" and is being evaluated daily, but I wouldn't expect to see him play this week.
- In the OHL we find Ben Thomson finding extreme success with the North Bay Battalion. North Bay swept the Oshawa Generals in the Eastern Conference Finals. They have some time off before facing the winner of the Guelph Storm/Erie Otters series. The Storm lead the Otters three games to one.
Will you be traveling to see the Albany Devils in the playoffs? What are your predictions for the first round? Who do you think was the Albany Devils MVP for the 2013-2014 regular season? Please leave any thoughts and comments below. Thanks for reading!