Devils Get Dominated All Night But Still Win

Written by D. Wesley on .

You knew going into this game that we would be reminded over and over again that the last time the Devils were in this building, they lost the cup. At least it appears that we’ve gotten past the point of blaming Steve Bernier for it because I don’t recall being reminded of his boarding penalty too much. It did come up but it was glossed over, which it should have been. Yes, the last time we were there we lost the cup. The last time we were there this team looked completely different, although NJ did have a #9 and #17 dressed for this game.

Oh LA, we tolerate you but can we get a new gag? I mean seriously, the Jersey Shore has been off the air for a while now but I suppose when the Leafs come to town in 2021, you’ll still be making Rob Ford jokes.

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Game 22 Recaplet: Devils Win

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

First it was Pittsburgh, who if you watched the Pens/Caps game the other night is a pretty darn good hockey team, and then it was the unbeaten at home Anaheim Ducks and now, it’s the mighty Los Angeles Kings. That’s right, 3 in a row!! I was worried about this road trip because the Devils were going to be playing some pretty decent opponents but I think it is safe to say that despite the outcome in San Jose on Saturday night, this road trip, the one where the Devils beat Anaheim and then Los Angeles on back to back nights is a success!!

Recap later but I think it’s safe to say….

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Devils Conquer Rangerstown

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

A game like the one played last night in the Garden is one that builds confidence. While it is frustrating to see the opposition climb out of the hole twice, the fact the Devils were able to prevail in regulation does nothing but build confidence for the team.

The Rangers look to be a very good team, I have to admit that. They skate fast, open up the ice and seem to get a lot of chances. They outshot NJ 35-28 and held a possession advantage all game. An injury early on to Anton Volchenkov didn’t help the Devils deal with the Rangers speed since they had to play with 5 D-men most of the night. Once the Rangers knotted the game at 2, it seemed like it would be a matter of time before they either put one in the net or took care of NJ in a shootout but thanks to a lucky bounce, the puck ended up on Zubrus’s stick and then in the back of the net.

The performance we got out of the Devils last night was a team performance and the win came because multiple guys stepped up when the Devils needed it most. Brodeur knew going into this game that he would need to be on his A game and he was. He did let in 2 goals but he came away with some great stops as well. Kreider in the 2nd period and Callahan from Richards on a 4 on 4 are two that stand out in my mind but there were plenty more.

I thought Jagr played an excellent game as well. He had a decent chance on a breakaway after coming out of the box but beyond that, I thought he saw the ice well, saw his teammates well and was able to get them the puck. He did help get the Zubrus goal going with a nice little hesitation and pass up to the streaking Zajac.

Ryan Carter also played well but he did score two goals so that kind of goes without saying. They weren’t great goals but they did the trick. He had a tremendous shot on Lundqvist in the 3rd that had Hat-Trick written all over but Lundqvist stopped it and seemed to pay a price for stopping it. Carter made a smart move towards the end of the game not to go for the empty-net hat-trick but rather to try and safely play the puck. Unfortunately it ended up in the bench.

Andy Greene had one heck of a night. It seemed like whenever a Devils defenseman was doing something spectacular, it was Andy Greene. He made a great move on Carter’s first goal to keep the puck in the zone and then made another great move with the puck to setup Carter. He was everywhere last night.

It was a great battle all night and a great team win. The Rangers threw everything they had at them and that was a lot. They responded quickly to the Devils first goal, made Brodeur work for the win and made the Devils penalty-kill unit work. It’s a win to feel good about this morning because the Devils were able withstand a team that kept coming at them. Plus, it was a win in Rangerstown!!

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Devils Blank Preds 5-0

Written by D. Wesley on .

It certainly is a welcomed feeling to watch the Devils dismantle a team from beginning to end. Something clicked for NJ in their 5-0 beatdown to the Nashville Predators. They got on the board early and kept putting pucks in the net. The Devils put 5 pucks past the Preds and did so with 5 different goal scorers (Jagr, Arnott, Zidlicky, Zajac and Tedenby). Zubrus had another beautiful chance on a one timer in the 2nd but Carter Hutton came up huge.

The Devils defense left little to criticize last night. They limited the Predators shots to 15 and kept Nashville from getting good opportunities all night. If Nashville did get a chance, an early powerplay in the 1st comes to mind, the Devils did a very good job at regrouping and getting the puck out of danger.

If you had to sit down and come up with something negative about the Devils performance against Nashville, it would have to be the lack of discipline. The Devils took 6 penalties and some of them were lazy penalties (the Brunner hooking comes to mind). Thankfully the PK unit was up to the task but you cannot take 6 penalties and expect that will have a favorable outcome for your team.

A few other thoughts from last night:

Congrats to Marty for shutout #123. Many people are sick of constantly talking about the “record setting” shutouts from Marty since they are all record setting at this point but it’s important to note that he is just making the number harder and harder to break.

Congrats to Jagr. I was kind of surprised it was a bigger deal in the papers (even though nobody reads the paper anymore). He’s the first European player to hit 1700 career points and only the 8th player to do so. (Quick name them!!)

I thought DeBoer’s decision to move Zajac with Jagr and Zubrus worked very well. Loktionov was working well with them but I think DeBoer recognized he needed to do something in order to get Zajac some confidence. I think it worked well as those three made Weber and Jones work hard all night. It will be interesting to see if DeBoer sticks with it on Tuesday.

Cam Janssen – What can be said? I’m not really a huge fan of this guy but he now 2 goals in his last 3 games. When has that EVER happened to Cam Janssen? He now has a career high in goals scored in a single season!! Just a side note, Cam Janssen has more goals this season that Claude Giroux and currently has the same amount of goals as Nail Yakupov. Even if you take away his goal from last night, because it was Carter that did most of the work, Janssen was buzzing around the net all night and looked to have a better sense of what to do. My argument against him for a long time has been that Janssen looks lost out there if he isn’t actively punching in someone’s skull. Looks like Albany has done well for Cam Janssen.

The Devils worked hard last night and it paid off. Hopefully they remember that and continue to work on generating more shots. The ability to score goals is there, something many of us were questioning last week. I thought they did a decent job on Friday in Toronto (despite the shootout loss) and I am hoping their confidence level is rising. The Rangers are up next and they’ve been playing decent hockey as of late so that should be an exciting game.

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Devils Throw Away Win in Edmonton

Written by D. Wesley on .

New Jersey rolled into Edmonton and for the first 40 minutes of the game, looked the best I’ve seen them look in a long time and I am including games from the end of last season in that statement. The, for some reason, the Devils decided not to show up for the 3rd period and in an 8 minute time period, they watched (they literally stood around watching it happen) a 3-0 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit. If it was for a lucky bounce of the puck played from the stick of Elias off an Oilers skate, the Devils would have squandered away both points in last night’s game.  This was a game where I was feeling great about what the future could hold for this team that turned into complete disgust.

Some more thoughts from last night:

* Jagr got his first as a Devil. It was a typical Jagr like goal, carry the puck into the zone, cross to the middle, shoot and score. It has to be a relief to Jagr to finally get the monkey off his back. I know it’s only the Devils third game but as a goal scorer, you don’t want to let your “first one as a….” take too long.

* Damien Brunner is everything I was hoping he’d be early on. Yes things can change but the kid is always around the puck and works hard. That’s all you can ask.

* Marty’s rob on Hemsky in the beginning of the 2nd was just outstanding. Hemsky made an awesome toe drag and tied to beat Marty glove-side but Marty snagged it out of the air.

* When a team/player makes a mistake, you want your guys to be able to capitalize on it. That’s exactly what Ryder did on his goal. NJ found themselves on a 2 on 1 and the Oilers D-man backed off Ryder, leaving him with a 1 on 1 that he put high in the corner. Beautiful shot and straight out of the “How To Capitalize on Player Mistakes” textbook. (Don’t worry, the Oilers read the same book!!)

* Once again it’s time for me to bitch about the puck over glass penalty. I hate it, I’ve always hated it and last night was a prime example how a bs penalty like the puck over glass one can give momentum to the other team. I’ve said it a million times, it should be treated like icing. Sometimes, the puck just gets away from you as you flip it up the glass. If you want to make it 2 minutes, at least give the refs the option of deciding if it was intentional or not.

* I’m not a Peter Harrold fan, never have been. He lost his stick trying to defend the puck and eventually the puck would make it to the point and Andrew Ference put it home. Hang on to your stick, you need it…

* The David Perron goal was disgusting. I can try and blame the defense, or more specifically Salvador since that was his man but the referee coming off the face-off did set a pick on Salvador that allowed enough separation between Salvador and Perron to give Perron time to snap it over Marty’s shoulder. U-G-L-Y!!!

* As Ugly as the Perron goal was, the Hall goal was worse. Volchenkov, Harrold and Laktionov all went to the side to play the puck and not one of them paid attention to Taylor Hall in the middle of the ice. It wasn’t a great pass to get the puck to Hall but it was enough and Hall isn’t going to miss that kind of opportunity. ( I told you the Oilers had the same “How To Capitalize on Player Mistakes” textbook.) All of the sudden the Devils are trailing and reminding me that many picked them to finish out of the playoff race for a reason, a good reason.

* A lucky bounce get the Devils to OT and secures a point but the Devils should have easily had 2 points out of this.

* Eberle and Perron make Marty look ridiculous in the skills competition and Edmonton skates away with the come from behind victory.

Things don’t get easier for NJ tonight as they make the trip to Vancouver where Schneider gets the start against Luongo and we are pretty much guaranteed a media circus going into this game. Plus it’s Torts and we HATE Torts. This one should be fun…

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Devils Shutout To Begin 2013 Season

Written by D. Wesley on .

If you didn’t pay attention to any hockey between the Devils final game of the 2013 season and the first game of this season, you’d swear nothing has really changed. Sure, some of the names and faces are different but it’s the same result, a BIG FAT ZERO!!

The Devils were sloppy in the first and must have gotten a stern lecture in-between the first and second periods because they looked like a completely different team in the second and third periods, outshooting the Penguins 21-9. The problem was again, like many times over the final month of last season, they couldn’t finish. New names, new faces, same old problem. Devils forward Damien Brunner was credited with eight shots; Henrique had three, and no other Devils player had more than two.

More thoughts from last night:

* The Chuck Kobasew goal was kind of ugly. I don’t recall seeing Schneider give up a big fat rebound like he did on this goal throughout the entire preseason.

* On the Crosby goal, I understand Harrold was playing the pass and letting Scheider take the shooter (simple hockey concept) but you really can’t give Sidney Crosby that kind of room.

* Good for Clowe for sticking up for Salvador on a ugly hit by Tanner Glass. Clowe is a tough guy and love what he brings

* Salvador made an ugly pass at one point in the second period. Off his backhand, right into the middle of the ice and is lucky it didn’t end up in the back of the net. I have a feeling if it were November 3rd, that would have been costly.

* The Devils did have some chances but were unable to capitalize on them, something that will certainly have to work on.

* Schneider seemed to leave a lot of juicy rebounds tonight. I don’t know if that is his thing but Marty seems to take the pressure off his D by playing pucks to the corners. If Schneider is a rebound guy, that will take some getting used to.

* Adams goal should have been one Schneider had. He had a look at it and just flat out missed it.

* Speaking of chances, when the refs give you a penalty shot (which I didn’t think Henrique was clearly on a breakaway), you have to put those in. Lame attempt to sneak it by the pad, which Fluery shot out to get the save.

* I wasn’t all that impressed with Jagr. Sure, he’s 41 and to be playing NHL hockey at 41 is impressive but he didn’t do all that much in my opinion. He had a nice move by the boards in the 1st which ended with him ripping a shot on net but beyond that, there wasn’t much.

* Deboer said after the game that “We’re playing in Pittsburgh against everybody’s pick to win the Eastern Conference, so it’s a little early to start looking at the glass half full.” He’s right but the chances were there and the Devils just couldn’t capitalize on them.

* The last time the Devils were shutout in the season opener was just 2 years ago during the 2011-2012 season, the year they made the trip to the Stanley Cup Final after the year they missed the playoffs…just saying!!

Things don’t get easier tonight as the Devils head home for their home opener against the Islanders.

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Devils Shutout To Begin Season

Written by D. Wesley on .

If you didn’t pay attention to any hockey between the Devils final game of the 2013 season and the first game of this season, you’d swear nothing has really changed. Sure, some of the names and faces are different but it’s the same result, a BIG FAT ZERO!!

The Devils were sloppy in the first and must have gotten a stern lecture in-between the first and second periods because they looked like a completely different team in the second and third periods, outshooting the Penguins 21-9. The problem was again, like many times over the final month of last season, they couldn’t finish. New names, new faces, same old problem. Devils forward Damien Brunner was credited with eight shots; Henrique had three, and no other Devils player had more than two.

More thoughts from last night:

* The Chuck Kobasew goal was kind of ugly. I don’t recall seeing Schneider give up a big fat rebound like he did on this goal throughout the entire preseason.

* On the Crosby goal, I understand Harrold was playing the pass and letting Scheider take the shooter (simple hockey concept) but you really can’t give Sidney Crosby that kind of room.

* Good for Clowe for sticking up for Salvador on a ugly hit by Tanner Glass. Clowe is a tough guy and love what he brings

* Salvador made an ugly pass at one point in the second period. Off his backhand, right into the middle of the ice and is lucky it didn’t end up in the back of the net. I have a feeling if it were November 3rd, that would have been costly.

* The Devils did have some chances but were unable to capitalize on them, something that will certainly have to work on.

* Schneider seemed to leave a lot of juicy rebounds tonight. I don’t know if that is his thing but Marty seems to take the pressure off his D by playing pucks to the corners. If Schneider is a rebound guy, that will take some getting used to.

* Adams goal should have been one Schneider had. He had a look at it and just flat out missed it.

* Speaking of chances, when the refs give you a penalty shot (which I didn’t think Henrique was clearly on a breakaway), you have to put those in. Lame attempt to sneak it by the pad, which Fluery shot out to get the save.

* I wasn’t all that impressed with Jagr. Sure, he’s 41 and to be playing NHL hockey at 41 is impressive but he didn’t do all that much in my opinion. He had a nice move by the boards in the 1st which ended with him ripping a shot on net but beyond that, there wasn’t much.

* Deboer said after the game that “We’re playing in Pittsburgh against everybody’s pick to win the Eastern Conference, so it’s a little early to start looking at the glass half full.” He’s right but the chances were there and the Devils just couldn’t capitalize on them.

* The last time the Devils were shutout in the season opener was just 2 years ago during the 2011-2012 season, the year they made the trip to the Stanley Cup Final after the year they missed the playoffs…just saying!!

Things don’t get easier tonight as the Devils head home for their home opener against the Islanders.

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Scheider Looks Solid in Debut

Written by D. Wesley on .

The Devils played their first preseason game of the 2013/2014 season and there were certainly some positives to take away from that game. 

  • Cory Schneider looked great in goal. His positioning seemed very good for September. I know that teams are going to get better chances against him as they learn their timing but Scheider looked a lot better than I thought he would since it's only the beginning of training camp. I'm still excited with what he and Brodeur can bring as the #1 & #2 this season. 
     
  • Eric Gelinas has one heavy shot and it was mentioned that his goal for this season was to make the NHL (kind of a "yeah like duh" comment because I think every AHL player's goal in September is to make the NHL) but there might be a chance for Gelinas to make it. I still think that if any more of the Devils D-men go, it will be Fayne which would open the door for Gelinas. However, I can defend Fayne just a bit on his hooking call that prevented a short-handed breakaway.
     
  • Tedenby got off to a decent start. The comment wasn't made about Tedenby but much like Gelinas, he wants to make the team and establish himself as an NHL regular. I thought he played well but he's going to have to continue to play well because the Devils are bringing in Damien Brunner for the rest of camp on a "Tryout Contract." Brunner is a speedy guy that could bring a great element to the Devils offense but there isn't a lot of room for more guys in this lineup so if Brunner is here to stay, someone has to go.
     
  • We heard a lot about Reid Boucher last year but I was left feeling very unimpressed in his first NHL action. I said it last year and I will say again (even if that means I get a visit by Janssen at my front door!!) He's a terrible hockey player and doesn't really belong on the Devils roster and I'm fairly certain he will find his ticket back to Albany pretty soon. WHen he first came into the NHL, he used to create energy by laying out people and picking fights. That's not the NHL anymore and he doesn't have the skill to be out there. He did get to use his fists last night but sadly the one thing he used to do well, he didn't do well last night. 

I know it was only preseason and you don't always face the best that the opponents have to offer but I thought the Devils showed some great things, worked hard  and got the win. Even though it's only preseason, it's always great to beat those Rangers!!

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Ineffective Devils Lose Seventh Straight Game

Written by Scott Robb on .

The New Jersey Devils dropped their seventh consecutive contest on Sunday evening by a score of 3-2. The Devils, though, came away with a point after forcing a shoot-out. The Buffalo Sabres narrowly defeated Jersey's Team after a hard-fought, physical battle.

Early on, turnovers cost the Devils--big time. Patrick Kaleta netted an early goal for Buffalo to give his team a 1-0 lead. Andy Greene turned the puck over in the defensive zone on a blind outlet pass; Jochen Hecht threw a lazy shot on goal that was deflected home by Kaleta. Greene appeared to be frustrated after the play, but I guarantee you that he was not nearly as frustrated as any Devils fan in the country (myself included).

New Jersey kicked it into full gear after allowing the first goal. At one point, the Devils were successful in pinning the Sabres deep in their own zone for a solid two-plus minutes. As a result of the sustained pressure, the Devils were able to draw a cross-checking penalty out of Kevin Porter at 18:15 of the first period. Steve Sullivan tied the game for Jersey in a matter of seconds with his first goal as a Devil since 1997. Sullivan's goal was assisted by Steve Bernier and sent the Devils into the locker room with a boost of confidence and momentum.


Photo by Gary Wiepert.

The Devils surrendered some of that momentum in the second period when Steve Ott netted the go-ahead goal for the Sabres. Ott's eighth tally of the season came 13:44 into the middle frame; the goal, as fans have become accustomed to, was a result of a complete defensive breakdown. Ott stood wide open in front of Martin Brodeur and fired it home. Anton Volchenkov can be seen on the replay "puck watching" from the top of the face-off circle. I would honestly like to know what is going through the heads of the defensemen as these plays are happening...

The one defenseman who had something to contribute tonight was Mark Fayne. Fayne scored his first goal of the season--and first in over a year--to tie the game at two just 5:46 into the final frame. Fayne's goal came while the Devils were on a penalty kill and marked the 10th short-handed goal for New Jersey on the season. Dainius Zubrus made a nifty play to send the puck to a streaking Fayne in front of the net. Fayne's wrister beat Ryan Miller on his blocker side and restored the momentum back to the Jersey side.

After a quiet remainder of the period, the Devils and Sabres headed into overtime tied at two. New Jersey out-shot Buffalo by a count of 37-22 in regulation but could not come away with anything to show for it. Both squads failed to score in the overtime period.

Tyler Ennis shot first for the Sabres in the shoot-out and lost control of the puck. Steve Sullivan was stopped by Miller on the Devils' first attempt. Nathan Gerbe rifled one past Martin Brodeur to start the second round; Patrik Elias was stopped (and by stopped, I mean TRIPPED) by Ryan Miller in his attempt. Steve Ott and Travis Zajac were unable to connect on their attempts, which sealed the deal for Buffalo.

Final Thoughts

  • I have none. My brain has completely fried over the last seven games. What more do I need to say?
  • Missed opportunities. Turn-overs. Horrible officiating. I am not sure what else I can come up with.
  • And for those of you who didn't see the shoot-out, I suggest you find a replay of the shoot-out. When someone has an explanation as to why it was legal for Miller to trip Elias, I would This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Devils are back in action ("action") on Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM. It's not over until the fat lady sings, but she is definitely warming up those vocal chords.

For all of your latest Devils news, analysis, and reaction, follow us on twitter and "like" us on facebook. Be sure to follow our staff writers (Scott, Raj, Joey, and Mike) on twitter, as well. Until next time, Devils Army, sleep tight and keep the faith.

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Devils Left Bitter With 2-1 Home Loss to Leafs

Written by Raj Vaidya on .

 

 

The New Jersey Devils needed this game. They knew that if they could beat the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, then there would be a boost in morale to do even better in the remaining regular season games. Unfortunately, they did not show up for the majority of the match and that cost them another game.

Right from the start of the game, the physical tone was set. I’ll give props to Devils for playing their hearts out. Regardless of the amount of effort the Devils showed in the first period, they found no puck luck and actually conceded a goal to Toronto (just 4 minutes into the game). A shot by ex-Devil Mark Fraser was redirected in by Leafs forward Leo Komarov. Despite the goal, the Devils never gave up and kept getting great chances. The problem? Not a single one beat James Reimer. The best chance for New Jersey came during a 5-on-3 power play, but they failed to set up any great chances. That mediocre power play really told me that (at least through one period of play) the Devils did not come to play when they knew they should have.

The second period wasn’t very different from the first. The Devils’ chances weren’t as high as they were in the first but those second period chances, in my opinion, were much stronger. At times, play got really chippy, especially between David Clarkson and Dion Phaneuf. With the exception of more power play failures, nothing really changed for the Devils. The score was still 1-0 as the teams skated off. Devils fans knew that the final 20 minutes could set the tone for the entire season. So I really hoped that they would try something different.

I was actually really impressed by what the Devils did in the third period. They had a plethora of opportunities that could have all been goals. Reimer was playing incredible and was carrying his team to another shutout. With around 12 minutes left, Leafs centerman Tyler Bozak got a breakaway and took full advantage of it. His shot went off of Marty Brodeur’s blocker but Marty never saw it in time to save it. Peter Harrold did but his hand-eye coordination failed to save the puck from going in. Down 2-0 even after all that hard work, I expected the Devils to give up. I know in sports, giving up is never an option but based on everything that New Jersey did, I wouldn’t be surprised they did. Instead, they kept on trying. Finally, the Devils’ endeavors paid off. Clarkson finally put the Devils on the board by beating Reimer 5-hole. Leafs forward Nazem Kadri threw his stick in front of Clarkson while diving but nonetheless, Clarkson stayed with the play and cut the lead in half. Sadly, that would be it. The Devils got a power play with under 2 minutes left (with Marty pulled, it’s a 6-on-4), but Reimer and Toronto’s defense held their ground. New Jersey fell 2-1 in front of the sellout home crowd at Prudential Center, leaving a majority of those fans and Devils fans everywhere else in sheer depression.

So what does this all mean? Well, the New Jersey Devils have now lost six straight games. With the New York Rangers and New York Islanders both winning in their games, they both have 42 points. So the Devils’ 39 points still keep them in 9th. But wait, the Washington Capitals won too? Indeed, so with their win, the Caps have 40 points and now, the Devils sit in 10th place in complete disarray. This isn’t going anywhere if they keep this up. I honestly feel that they needed to win tonight to have a shot at great a great seed before the playoffs started. With this loss, I think they will have to fight for 8th. That will require them going at least 6-2-2 in their final 10 games. It starts tomorrow in Buffalo. That game worries me because the Sabres have been getting really hot lately. I’m panicking slightly but I will literally lose my mind if the Devils do not win tomorrow. They absolutely have NO CHOICE but to win. May the best of luck be with coach DeBoer and the New Jersey Devils.

Puck drop is set for 7:30. Be sure to follow me, Scott, Joey, and Mike on twitter for their latest reaction and analysis to everything New Jersey Devils.

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