ELMIRA, N.Y. - As the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils, and the AHL's Binghamton Senators and Albany Devils, the Jackals are tasked with developing prospects throughout the organizations. The Road To The Show presented by Liberty Travel provides details on how those prospects are progressing.
Ottawa Senators (NHL) – Even though the Senators have been playing better hockey in 2014 they haven’t been able to gain any ground in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa is still in sixth place with a 25-21-11 record – five points behind Montreal for the last automatic playoff spot in the division. The Senators have earned points in seven of their last ten games, but only have four wins during that stretch. For Ottawa to make the playoffs earning the extra point will be the difference maker. Craig Anderson was superb in his last start Monday night despite falling in overtime to Pittsburgh. He stopped 46 of 48 shots and deserved a better fate than the overtime loss. He has an 18-11-8 record with a 3.04 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage. Robin Lehner started on Tuesday night for the first time since January 25. Lehner provided the Senators with a gutsy 46-save effort en route to his seventh victory of the season. He has a 7-10-3 record with a 2.76 goals-against-average and a .921 save percentage. Stephane Da Costa scored on Monday for the third time in as many games. The Merrimack College product has plugged in well in the Senators’ lineup. The man he replaced, Mark Stone, is still listed on the injured reserve list and was assigned to Binghamton today. Chris Phillips is out indefinitely with a lower body injury, so 23-year-old Patrick Wiercioch will fill his role on the blueline. Erik Karlsson continues to produce at a forward’s rate. The Swedish Olympic member has 14 goals and 53 points in 57 games. His 53 points lead all NHL defensemen and rank tops on his team.
Binghamton Senators (AHL) – Binghamton is an offensive juggernaut and it doesn’t matter who is doing the scoring. Danny Hobbs scored the game-winning goal, added an assist and had a plus-3 rating in his first AHL game on February 1. Hobbs was recalled from Elmira on January 27. Hobbs was one of 12 Senators to add at least one point in their 7-1 pummeling against Portland. Danny New added a power-play assist, a fight and had a plus-2 rating in the game. New has one goal and eight points in 22 games with Binghamton since he was recalled from Elmira on December 16. Second-year pro Shane Prince earned his first career four-point game on Saturday. The former Ottawa 67 standout has 13 goals and 30 points in 41 games this season. Prince had 18 goals and 35 points in 65 games last season as a rookie. Mike Hoffman has already surpassed his career-highs with 23 goals and 55 points in just 45 games. Hoffman is tied for second in the AHL with 20 power-play assists and 30 power-play points. Chris Wideman is tied for fourth in the league with 17 power-play assists. Derek Grant and Cole Schneider are tied for first in the league with three short-handed goals apiece. Jim O’Brien, Corey Cowick and Fredrik Claesson are tied for first in the AHL with three short-handed assists each. Binghamton holds a five-point lead over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the East Division with a 29-15-3 record.
New Jersey Devils (NHL) – New Jersey has been logging extra minutes lately, with three consecutive overtime games in the last week. The Devils have been letting regulation wins slip away from them, which may ultimately cost them a shot at the playoffs. Last Thursday and Friday New Jersey allowed goals in the final minute to Dallas and Nashville. The Devils were able to pull out Thursday’s win in overtime but lost an important point in Nashville. On Monday New Jersey returned home to host the Colorado Avalanche and allowed a goal with 1:47 remaining, which sent the game to overtime. The Devils eventually fell to Colorado 2-1. None of the blame can fall onto the shoulders of goaltender Cory Schneider. Schneider ranks second in the NHL with a 1.91 goals-against-average and is tied for seventh with a .925 save percentage despite holding a pedestrian 10-10-9 record. He has made four straight starts and six out of the last seven games. Jaromir Jagr continues to show why he isn’t human. The 41-year-old (soon to be 42) has ten points in the last eight games. Jagr leads the Devils in scoring with 17 goals and 48 points in 57 games. Patrik Elias, who is a youthful 37-years-old, ranks second on the team with 33 points in 42 games. Depth scoring from younger forwards continues to be absent from the Devils’ lineup. After suffering a plethora of injuries early in the season the Devils have been very healthy of late. Anton Volchenkov is questionable with a lower body injury but is the only Devil left on the injury report. Eric Gelinas and Mike Sislo were assigned back to Albany this past week. The Gelinas move comes as a bit of a surprise considering he ranks ninth on the team with 22 points in 44 games.
Albany Devils (AHL) – Albany is struggling to stay in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Devils have won just once in their last seven games and have seen their record drop to 24-15-7. Albany was shutout 4-0 on Tuesday against division rival Springfield. In their previous game the Devils squandered a 3-1 third period lead and fell to Hartford 4-3 in the shootout. Mike Sislo notched his 13th goal in his first game back from New Jersey and Joe Whitney scored his team-leading 17th of the year. Eric Gelinas played his first two games since October 19 when he was recalled by New Jersey. Gelinas has a plus-2 rating and nine shots on goal in the two losses. Keith Kinkaid stopped 33 of 36 shots on Saturday but failed to make a save in the shootout. He still sports an impressive 17-8-2 record with a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .912 save percentage. Rookie Scott Wedgewood started on Tuesday and stopped 27 of 31 shots. Wedgewood has a 7-9-2 record with a 2.75 goals-against-average and a .891 save percentage. Despite still being tied for first among team defensemen with 15 points, Raman Hrabarenka has been scratched the last three games. Rookie Reid Boucher has one goal and four points in six games since being reassigned by New Jersey. Boucher leads Albany’s rookies with 11 goals in 27 games. Kelly Zajac, brother of Travis and Darcy, leads the Devils’ rookies with 25 points in 38 games.