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Bill Cain's The Devils' Details
by Bill Cain

The Devils' Details

A Daily Gazette sports blog
Bill Cain covers the Albany Devils
 

Gelinas close to return

By Bill Cain
Monday, November 12, 2012

This might help.

Last season's top-goal-scoring defenseman (in the AHL, not just among rookies), Eric Gelinas, is back in Albany. Last season, he had 16 goals and 21 assists in 75 games.

The Albany Devils, meanwhile, are having trouble scoring this fall. They have 21 goals in 11 games and are 3-5-0-3 thanks to a solid defense and great play from their goalies.

Gelinas was in camp in Newark, but in a preseason game took a puck to the chin, below the gumline but still requiring some work and rehab. Now he's ready to rejoin the team.

Once he gets back into a groove in practice, expect to see him in games.

"As soon as we think he's ready to go, basically," Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said. "He hasn't practiced with a team or done anything with video or our system since training camp, so I think it's going to be a little bit of a re-education. We'll see how he does in practice. Unfortunately, we have a bit of a quick turnaround [before] taking off to St. John's. We'll see. As soon as we feel he's ready to go, and he feels comfortable, he's able to come back in the lineup."

The Devils play at St. John's on Friday and Saturday, and those morning skates will be for light conditioning, not for instruction, which means it may not pay off to bring Gelinas on the road this weekend. But if Kowalsky sees an upside to bringing him along, a way to expedite his return to game condition, he could be packing for the trip.

"It's kind of tough. We have to sit down and talk about it," Kowalsky said. "We've got tomorrow off, then we practice Wednesday and fly out Thursday. We're there for two quick games and come back. We haven't decided whether he will be a guy who comes with us or not, because on those two days, it's all game. There's not a lot of time. We're not working on anything in practice. We need to spend some good time with him to see how he reacts to the changes we've made from last year. With that said, he was in camp, and he's been watching the game and will be in on video. It's a day-by-day thing."

The injury report still includes Kelly Zajac (abdominal), Jean-Sebastien Berube (upper body) and Mattias Tedenby (illness).

 
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