Thursday, January 26, 2017

Retro night/Devils Notes

It's retro night in New Jersey and I've been more than a bit lazy in keeping on the Devils.
When I work a lot (and I have been),sleep is sometimes hard to come by and the Devils have been the team/part of the blog that have paid the price.

I'll add a few game notes from the retro night game vs Washington and the all time worst announcing pairing in the game,but there are two news notes that I wanted to write about first..

The note that will affect the team right away is the claim of right winger Stefan Noesen off waivers from Anaheim.
The 2011 first round pick of Ottawa was a main piece of the trade with Anaheim that sent Bobby Ryan to the Senators,but has never been able to break through on the main roster there.
Noesen scored his first two career goals for the Ducks this season in 12 games before being waived.
Noesen is still young as he turns just 24 in a few weeks,so this is a low risk acquisition for a very low cost and a player with talent that might just need a change of scenery.
New Jersey placed winger Beau Bennett on injured reserve to make space for Noesen on the roster...

The other note isn't as important in the short term,but perhaps more important in the long as the Devils are expected to announce over the weekend after approval from the AHL at their all-star game that they will be moving their AHL team south in New York from Albany to Binghamton.

Albany ranks 30 (last) in attendance in the AHL with just 2,888 fans in a 15,000 seat arena with Binghamton being 29th of 30 in their final season with the Senators as the Senators were bought and will be moved to Belleville Ontario for the 2017-18 season.
However,Binghamton still averages 3,436 in an arena that holds under 5,000 at Floyd Maines arena and Binghamton is paying the Devils two million to make the move as well as providing the staff to run the team.
The Devils will now enter their third city in the top minor league since 2010 having left Lowell,Massachusetts to move to Albany.
I have mixed feelings on the move.
I feel for Albany because it always is bad to lose a team,but in an era that sees the AHL move to bigger cities,attendance is becoming an even larger issue for the league and under 3,000 fans a night in a large arena looks really bad.
Binghamton had their team pulled out from under them and from the day the move to Belleville was announced,the word spread that Binghamton was not going to lose hockey as the league was going to make sure the city was taken care of.
For me,it's easier-Binghamton is still four hours from here,but it's an easy drive (unlike Albany) and I can see me doing that for an early or late season trip some year...

It was retro night as the Devils returned to the loved red and green for an evening.
Sadly,of all teams to play,it was the Washington Capitals as the opponent and between the Capitals being very good,their announcers being very bad and forced to watch their network (so we missed all the old school video clips),this was the worst team for me to have as the opposition on retro night..
It all proved to be true as Washington chased Keith Kinkaid and defeated the Devils 5-2.
Devils goals to Adam Henrique ( 12 Power Play) and newcomer Stefan Noesen (3) in the defeat,
New Jersey now gets some time off as they will not play until next Tuesday against the Red Wings in Detroit.

Hell Raisers

1) Keith Kinkaid had been the goalie that had been playing with Cory Schneider dealing with ineffectiveness and illness.
Tonight,it was Kinkaid that was ineffective and was lifted after four goals in a period and change...

2) It wasn't all on Kinkaid as two of those goals were created by poor defense.
The Alex Ovechkin goal came off a strip and go from Kyle Quincey that was very soft on the part of Quincey.
I know Ovechkin is a star and the officials call things very tight on star players these days,but you cannot completely refuse to touch the guy like Quincey did..

3) And then there's Jon Merrill,who handed the Capitals a goal by doing exactly what you are trained not to do when pressured near your own net-move the puck toward the net.
Sure enough,Merrill's puck move deflected off Adam Henrique and into the net.
Dumb hockey...

4) I hope the period and a half of strong play by Cory Schneider and then resulting break for the All-Star game can get him back into gear a bit.
Schneider made two spectacular saves and looked very sharp in relief.
You want this team to turn around after the break?
Cory Schneider needs to be the person that steps up..

5) I did like what I saw from Stefan Noesen,who scored the first goal for the Devils.
Noesen was quoted as saying he could bring a player that likes to crash the net and bang away to a team that needed it.
If Noesen can bring that,he'll stick for a while...

6) I still love the red and green and if the owners (post-Lou) want to make a change and yet be respectful of Devils tradition then a return to the red and green makes a lot of sense to me...

7) Wrapping up,the Devils are tied with three other teams (Carolina,Buffalo and Detroit) for last place with 49 points.
It'll be interesting to see if the Devils attempt to improve to make a playoff run (seven points out of the final spot),try to add a player from a cap strapped team or rollover for a higher pick in the draft.
None of those would surprise me,but I suspect the Devils will be sellers rather than buyers as trade deadline time nears....

8) Editors note:After the game the Devils sent Seth Helgeson,Steve Santini and Karl Stollery to Albany....

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