With no positive news coming out of negotiations to end the NHL owners' lockout, let's take a few moments to look at the New Jersey Devils' top farm club in the American Hockey League, the Albany Devils.
Alas, there isn't much good news there either for Devils fans, as Albany has struggled out of the gate and sit in the cellar of the Northeast Division with a 2-5-0-2. For clarity's sake, that's two wins, five losses, zero overtime losses and two shootout losses.
But, it's early.
Looking at the player stats, Jacob Josefson has four goals and two assists and is plus-5 in nine games. Defenseman Adam Larsson has four assists and is minus-1 in eight games.
Adam Henrique has scored three goals in nine games and is minus-1, while Mattias Tedenby has two goals and one assist in eight games and is even on the plus-minus scale.
In goal, Keith Kinkaid is 1-4-1-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average in six games and Jeff Frazee has a 1-1-1-0 record with a 1.63 GAA in three games.
Larsson, of course, is one of New Jersey's cornerstone players for the future and Albany coach Rick Kowalsky told The Troy (N.Y.) Record that the young defenseman continues to learn the ropes of being a pro player.
“It has been an adjustment,” Kowalsky said. “He's had games at both end of the spectrum, where he's looked really good. Obviously, he makes some outlet passes that not a lot of guys at this level can make.
“He's also had some games where he's had trouble moving the puck and, instead of simplifying it, has made things a little harder on himself, still trying to make that tougher play. He's starting to realize that.”
“It's gone pretty good, I think,” Larsson told the paper. “Down here, it's a little bit more 100 percent hockey, and from an adjustment standpoint it's been pretty good, so far. Most of the guys have played [in the NHL], and that helped me a lot in the beginning.
“The beginning of last year, I had a lot of ups and downs in my game,” he said. “I think you have that as a rookie, not being used to the league or anything. It's something I really don't want to have this year. I think, so far, I've just had a couple periods where I've had ups and downs. Last season, it was a tough league and it was hard to really get it going at the start. Once the league got going, I felt pretty good.”
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