BINGHAMTON – Since their inception two seasons ago, the Binghamton Devils have produced back-to-back 63 point seasons, leaving them short of the postseason both years.
However, last season was out of the team’s hands.
With countless call ups to New Jersey due to injury, the fact that they reached 63 points was a positive.
Now, the team is turning their attention to this season.
The BDevs were back on the ice Thursday at the Floyd L. Maines Arena with their eyes set on Friday night’s preseason opener at Utica.
The team has now practiced together for three days, and head coach Mark Dennehy and right winger Joey Anderson are both liking what they’ve seen from the large group of players so far.
“There’s varying degrees. The guys that have been with us, some of these guys went to the rookie tournament and then main camp, and are now here. They’re looking to hit somebody else other than somebody in a red and black shirt. Some of the guys, this is their first camp, their opening couple of days. So, you’ve got some guys that are game-ready, and other guys that are still working through it. But, I like the effort. The execution has been there. We still have a lot to work on, but I really like the energy, Dennehy says.
“You know, as far as just starting the year off, I think a lot of our details have been great. I think guys are listening to coach. They’re trying their best to do what he’s asking of us. You know, I’d expect to see a lot of that this week in the games. We’ve had good compete and guys are working. So, it’s fun to see and you start to, kind of, find your game as we go now, and get more into the game aspect of hockey,” said Anderson.
As mentioned, last season led to a lot of turnover on the ice for Binghamton.
Many injuries in New Jersey led to constant call ups, leaving the BDevs and Adirondack to scramble to ice competitive teams.
Binghamton has hosted 31 players this week for camp to prepare some guys who will start in the ECHL for the potential call up during the season.
Coach Denney knows the challenge that comes with being a minor league coach in this aspect, and he’s prepared for whatever comes their way this season.
“The one thing that will be according to plan, is that we won’t be able to be according to plan. There will be injuries. There will be call ups. It’ll happen. We’ve got to stick with what we’re doing. I think having this camp, and having as many guys as a part of it as we can, some of these guys that will get called up will be more familiar with what we’re doing. So, it should take them less time to get acclimated,” he said.
Depth and preparation will be key for Bingo this season, and that gets underway this Friday.
The BDevs play three preseason games this weekend, with two at home Saturday and Sunday.
They open up the regular season a week from Saturday at home against Utica at 7:05 pm.