The Baby Devils are looking to get into the playoffs for the first time since they became the Devils last season. Albany last made the playoffs when they were known as the River Rats in 2009-10 and had an affiliation with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here is a look at how the Devils are faring so far and what’s ahead as the team approaches a month of games before Christmas.
The Devils currently have a record of 9-7-2 for 20 points and fifth place in the AHL’s Northeast Division. This is their first year in the newly created Northeast Division after being in the East Division last season. Albany is also currently in 12th place in the league’s Eastern Conference and one point out of the last playoff spot.
They are scoring 2.5 goals per game (45 goals scored overall), but surrender about 3.05 goals per contest (55 surrendered overall).
Albany’s special teams are in the basement of the AHL, as their power play is ranked 25th with just a 14.3 percent success rate and their penalty kill is second-to-last at 74 percent.
Matt Anderson, Right Wing
Anderson is in his second year with Albany and was the team’s leading scorer last year with 55 points. His performance earned him a trip to the 2011 AHL All-Star Game. He is also a Calder Cup champion, having won the trophy with the Chicago Wolves in 2008.
He currently leads the Devils with 10 points on the season.
Keith Kinkaid, Goaltender
Kinkaid was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Union College and has already spent time with New Jersey this year, but did not get to suit up in a game.
So far in his rookie year, he is sixth in the AHL in wins and has a record of 5-3-0. He has a 2.45 GAA and a .915 save percentage.
Matt Taormina, Defenseman
Taormina is looking to bounce back after a difficult 2010-11 campaign. He made New Jersey’s roster last year, but played just 17 games before missing the rest of the season with a lower-body injury. However, in those 17 games, he had five points and a minus-two rating.
He is currently leading Albany defensemen with eight points and has a plus-three rating.
Joe Whitney, Right Wing
Whitney is another undrafted player who was signed out of Boston College. He is currently tied for the team scoring lead with 10 points and leads the Devils with five goals this season.
Rick Kowalsky is back for his second season as Albany’s head coach.
He was known to the Devils organization upon his hire, as he spent four years coaching the former Trenton Devils in the ECHL. His accomplishments include winning the 2009 John Brophy Award as the ECHL’s Coach of the Year and leading Trenton to the North Division Semifinals in the Kelly Cup playoffs.
Albany’s next five games are as follows:
Saturday, Nov. 26: at Adirondack Phantoms, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27: at Springfield Falcons, 3:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 2: vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3: at Bridgeport, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4: vs. Rochester Americans, 4:00 p.m.
This article also appears at The Hockey Writers.