Albany Devils: (13-19-0-2, 28 points, 7th place East Division)
January 5, 2011: Adirondack Phantoms (Top AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers). The most recent tilt between these I-87 rivals in the Time Warner Cable Cup series resulted in a 2-1 Phantoms victory over the Devils on New Year’s Day in Glens Falls. Michael Swift scored for Albany while Michael Ryan and Greg Moore registered the two Phantoms markers. Prior to that, in what qualified for their last “home win” the Albany Devils downed the Michael Leighton backstopped Adirondack Phantoms 4-2 in Atlantic City. Trevor Kell’s shorthanded marker was the difference maker for the Devils triumph. Both clubs also sparred and split their first two bouts this season back in October. The Phantoms won opening night in Albany 5-3, with the Devils taking the next contest up in Glens Falls 5-4. The Phantoms come in playing better but still with an AHL worst 10-25-2-0 (22 points), eighth in the East Division. Former River Rat Michael Ryan should be suiting up for the Phantoms this Wednesday. The Devils are amazingly only six points ahead of the Phantoms in the East Division standings and one point ahead of the Phantoms when it comes to the Empire State Cup Standings.
January 7, 2011: Charlotte Checkers (Top AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes). This marks only the second meeting of the season between the two artists formerly known as the Albany River Rats. Chris Terry got the scoring going in the first for the Checkers. Later in the frame Adam Henrique squared things away at 1-1. Late in the third Michael Swift put the game away netting the 2-1 winner. Much has certainly changed since that initial meeting. No surprise to River Rats fans who followed the team the year before, the Checkers come in at 20-11-1-3 (44 points) and are in second place in the East Division with the third best record in the Eastern Conference overall. Despite recent call-ups of Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Brett Carson, the Checkers still boast 16 former River Rats on their roster. That list includes Jerome Samson who is fourth in the AHL in scoring (18-18-36).
January 8, 2011: Syracuse Crunch (Top AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks). This game marks the fifth meeting between the Devils and Crunch this season. Their most recent meeting saw the Crunch spurred by four Trevor Smith goals defeat the Devils 5-3 at the Times Union Center in Albany this past Sunday afternoon. That game also saw Michael Swift extend his point streak to eight games. In their first meeting the Crunch captured a win at home Devils 3-2. Their first meeting in Albany resulted in a 3-0 blanking by the Crunch. The Devils lone victory in the series saw them prevail in a 4-3 shootout at Syracuse. Former Adirondack River Rat Stefan Chaput (pictured above) now skates for the Crunch. Syracuse comes in at 14-18-1-3 (32 points) sixth in the East Division, four points ahead of Albany. However the Devils are five points ahead of the Crunch when it comes to the Empire State Cup Standings.