ALBANY -- It seemed like old times Friday night at Pepsi Arena. Robbie Ftorek was behind the bench, a big crowd was in high spirits, and the Albany River Rats were dominating an overmatched opponent on the ice. It was back to the future.
Things haven't been like this since the mid-1990s for the Rats, and while it's only one game, what a game to begin a season.
The Devils' first-round draft choice in 2003 established the tenor for an evening otherwise dominated offensively by teammate Aleksander Suglobov, who scored two goals and set up two others in a brilliant performance.
"It's not my best game," said the 22-year-old Suglobov, who had 22 points in 35 games last season. "I think we played pretty good tonight."
If it wasn't Suglobov's best game, the rest of the league may be in trouble.
ALBANY - Could opening night have been any better for the Albany River Rats? Perhaps. No one affiliated with the River Rats, however, was willing to nitpick Friday night at Pepsi Arena, certainly not after a 6-2 rout of the East Division-rival Binghamton Senators in the opener for both teams before a turnout of 6,248.
ALBANY -- It wasn't supposed to start like this. Not for the Binghamton Senators, darlings of preseason prognosticators and favorites of almost everyone from Albany to Utah to win the Calder Cup. They weren't supposed to lose the season-opener, not to the Albany River Rats, a team that has finished last and failed to make the playoffs four years running.
But the Senators not only lost. They were embarrassed, 6-2, in a game that saw all-star goalie Ray Emery allow four goals and get pulled less than four minutes into the second period and superstar center Jason Spezza fail to register a point.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- River Rats 6, Senators 2 Ray Emery didn't pull any punches last night.
The Binghamton Senators were picked to be the Calder Cup champions in a pre-season poll by The Hockey News, but they hardly looked the part in an ugly 6-2 loss to the Albany River Rats last night at the Pepsi Center.
While there's no question the Baby Sens have plenty of talent with the likes of Jason Spezza, Brian Pothier, Antoine Vermette and Anton Volchenkov on board, the Rats were the ones delivering a knockout punch.