logo

Written by Darren S | 27 October 2011

Tweet




TV: MSG PLUS (HD)  RADIO: WFAN 660 AM
 
Last 10 Games: Phoenix 3-3-2 / New Jersey 4-2-1
 
Know Your Enemy:  HipChecks

Our EA Sports NHL 12 Simulation Results: Doan and Whitney both scored for the Coyotes but it wasn’t enough as Elias, Parise, Kovalchuk, Green and Larsson all found the back of the net in a 5-2 stomping in the desert. (It was Larsson’s first of his NHL career..let’s hope that actually happens for the kid tonight!!)

What We Think of the Coyotes: For me, Phoenix is not a very deep team. Doan and Whitney are going to get most of their goals this season but should they lose either of those guys to injury this year, things could get ugly for Phoenix. I am basing this on looking at their roster because the Coyotes are a Western Conference team and I have to admit that I don’t watch any of their games. I do think they took a huge step back when they decided to trade away the negotiating rights for Ilya Bryzgalov after last season. I don’t want to take anything away from Mike Smith but there’s a long list of guys I would want before Mike Smith and that list includes Ilya Bryzgalov.

Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off of a game in which Peter DeBoer said was the Devils best 60 minutes of hockey yet this season. Now the trick is to not get too cocky about that performance and continue to work hard. Phoenix is not LA but that doesn’t mean the Devils can mail in the performance tonight.

I want to see continued improvement at rolling all 4 lines. I would really like to see a little something more from the Tedenby/Henrique/Clarkson line in terms of points. They’ve played well as a line but it hasn’t translated to the scoreboard, which is something that needs to happen.

I don’t believe we will see the newest Devils, Ryan Carter in action tonight but he is on his way and we should see him soon. Kovalchuk is certainly racking up the minutes spent on the ice but there is still something bothering me there. I’m not a 100% sure what that is but I watch him out there and I just feel a disconnect between him and the rest of the team. I hope that feeling goes away and I’ve said it before and will say it again, when you have a guy like Kovalchuk, I expect him to find  his way on to the score sheet, either in the G column or the A column every night. He’s come close to doing that every night but I still see a disconnect.

no comments

Written by Darren S | 26 October 2011

Tweet

no comments

Written by Darren S | 25 October 2011

Tweet





TV: MSG PLUS (HD)  RADIO: WFAN 660 AM
 
Last 10 Games: Los Angeles 5-1-1 / New Jersey 3-2-1
 
Know Your Enemy:  The Royal Half

Our EA Sports NHL 12 Simulation Results: The Devils got goals from Elias and Sykora but it wasn’t enough as Mike Richards beat Johan Hedburg three times and Simone Gagne added an insurance goal late.

The Last Time These Two Met: On October 13th, these two teams met as LA made their way back from Europe where they began the season. Martin Brodeur made his second start of the season, but left the game after the first period and has yet to return for NJ. Ilya Kovalchuk and Zack Parise were able to bury goals in the shootout while Hedberg stopped all the goals he faced as the Devils beat the Kings 2-1 in the shootout.
Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off of a loss in Pittsburgh and while I don’t think that game was horrible, there are definitely changes that we need to see. The Devils defensively kept the Penguins within reach until the refs put the wrong man in the box, watched the man that should have been in the box tie the game while shorthanded. That whole scenario obviously angered the Penguins who just let loose and quickly found themselves in complete control of the game. Things like that cannot happen tonight.

For some reason, the one constant that follows the Devils from season to season is their inability to score goals at will. Some teams I watch have no problems scoring goals but the Devils never have the opposition fearing what they can bring offensively. Yes, there are games where it happens but you have to admit that those games are rare. With guys like Elias, Kovalchuk and Parise, they should be able to score more than 1 or 2 goals a game. The important thing is to keep shooting the puck. It can’t go IN the net if it’s not thrown AT the net. Crazy things can happen when you put the puck on net and sometimes I think the Devils forget this and try and get too cute, looking for that perfect shot.

Another constant over the last couple of seasons, at least early on is that the injury bug strikes. It’s no different this season as Marty is sitting, Zajac has been out all season and now Josefson is going to be sitting for a good 3-4 months as he recovers from a fractured right clavicle. Are the devastating injuries? No, but they are three useful guys that the Devils are without and absences that need to be overcome.
The Devils will need to be careful of familiar foe Simon Gagne.  Gagne has 3 goals and 7 points in 7 games and the Devils know all too well what he can do.

The Kings decided the other night that they were going to give Quick a rest and start Bernier against the Devils. It’s also been reported that their top D man, Drew Doughty will get the night off as well as he’s recovering from an injury. Of course we understand the Doughty is probably able to play but won’t. The Devils must make them pay for these decisions because what do these decisions tell us? They are telling me that the Kings look at us as a team not worthy of a full effort, that we can be beaten while resting some of our top players. It is surprising because if the Devils win that means the Kings gave up 2 points and sometimes, 2 points is everything at the end of the season.

no comments

Written by Debra Harrington | 22 October 2011

Tweet



I am so unbelievably pissed off right now, and it has very little to do with the way the Devils played or the score of the game. I’ve had the great misfortune to watch tonight’s game through the Pittsburgh feed. This means that I’ve been listening to a bunch of the worst commentators I’ve ever heard for the past 2 1/2 hours of my life. I seriously cannot believe what I’ve heard throughout the broadcast tonight. These goons have, basically: accused the Devils of cheating (by sending Petr Sykora to serve the 4 minute high sticking penalty committed by Elias); laughed at the Devils’ perceived lack of knowledge on how to conduct a morning skate (asking what the Devils are doing during morning skate that Keith Kinkaid got his neck sliced by a skate); noted that Kovy has been disengaged the entire game (except for the play which set up Elias’s shorthand goal); noted that Kovy is a horrible teammate (by glaring at Larsson for taking the penalty he took in the 3rd period - to which one of the goons remarked, regarding Kovy, “Look in the mirror”); determined that Hedberg’s own team is overworking him and needs to give him a break (he should have been pulled when the Penguins scored their 4th goal); and, of course, that the officials failed to call the Devils for numerous penalties (as the reporter located in the stands could well attest to). Now, I didn’t hear what Steve and Chico had to say about any of the above, but I’ve never heard them during any game whine repeatedly about the officials, accuse the other team of cheating or meanly insinuate that a member of the opposing team needs to “look in the mirror”. I mean, is it me or are the Devils’ broadcasts way less biased than most other teams’? As much as I complain about Chico and others at MSG, I can honestly say that, even without Doc, Devils fans are truly lucky when it comes to game broadcasts.

I just had to get that out. Now, on to the game…

Despite the awful 4-1 score, I really don’t think the Devils played that badly tonight. They held the Penguins to 1 goal until halfway through the 3rd period when it seemed as if last night’s game caught up with them and they just fizzled out. Because, you know, it makes total sense to load a team’s schedule one week after giving them almost an entire week off. The Devils’ one goal was a beauty, though, scored shorthanded by Patrik Elias on a play set up by Ilya Kovalchuk. (Incidentally, this was scored during the double minor committed by Elias and served by Sykora). After the Devils scored, the Penguins came back and scored 3 in a row (justice for the Devils’ cheating by having Sykora serve the penalty rather than Elias, according to the Pens’ announcers). I’d be curious to know what was said about that on the Devils’ broadcast. It was clearly Elias who committed the high sticking penalty, but do any of us really believe that Lou’s Devils would intentionally cheat in that circumstance? Or intentionally cheat at all? Lou values integrity above all else…we’re talking about a guy that wouldn’t even consider having his team intentionally lose a game two seasons ago which would have ensured that they not face the Flyers (a team the Devils didn’t fare well against during the regular season) in the 1st round of the playoffs. Would the Devils really be so sneaky and cheat in a game so early on in the season? REALLY?!?

Moose played amazingly well, but like the rest of his teammates, he just seemed to tire out by the middle of the 3rd period. The Devils certainly improved their 2nd period performance tonight…outplaying, if not outscoring, the Penguins during the 2nd period. The power play, however, seems to have regressed…it looked decent and actually resulted in a goal last night, but tonight, it was back to its usual mess. In defense of the PP, though, I think the Devils only had 2 PPs all night, and they were both in the 3rd period and 1 was cut short by a Nick Palmieri penalty, so they were tired by that point. I’m not trying to make excuses for the Devils. They’re professional athletes and should be well enough conditioned to do their jobs 2 nights in a row…especially after 5 days off. But you could tell that lack of focus and energy was the issue - as was evidenced by numerous sloppy line changes as the game progressed.

Last night I introduced a new designation that I’m going to bestow upon 1 Devil at the end of every loss. I call it the Most Useless Devil (MUD) award. Tonight’s recipient is…

David Clarkson! Congratulations, David! Not only did you take an offensive zone penalty for high sticking the goaltender in the very first stages of the game…but the Penguins’ ensuing power play resulted in their first goal of the night. Better game next time.

And just to balance it out…the Most Impressive Devil tonight was…

Adam Henrique! Ok, so there were other Devils that actually made more of a difference in the game (Elias and Moose come to mind), but I was impressed with Henrique’s play practically every shift he was on the ice. Henrique is filling in for the injured Jacob Josefson and was playing in only his second game of the season. He had a number of quality scoring chances, was fast as lightning and didn’t hesitate to get in the goalie’s face. I said it after the first game, and I’ll say it again…I like this kid.

 

(UN)FUN FACT:

As mentioned above, backup goaltender Keith Kincaid suffered a cut to his neck by the blade of a teammate’s skate during today’s morning skate. Luckily, it was just a surface cut, but such an injury could be life threatening. In September 2009, Jeff Frazee, another goalie in the Devils’ system, suffered a similar injury, but his was even more serious. Hopefully today’s incident marks the end of these types of injuries to Devils goaltenders.

no comments

Written by Darren S | 22 October 2011

Tweet



Know Your Enemy: The Pens Blog

What They Are Saying About The Penguins:

"God, this team is gonna be lethal when the injury sheet is blank."
What We Think of Pittsburgh: I don't want to take anything away from our team but Pitt or Philly are the heavy favorites to win this division (even if we don't like to admit it) so anytime we play either of them, we have to know what we are up against. However, the Pens are missing some key players which makes them beatable, very beatable.

Tonight's Game: Build off the good things from last night and learn to shoot the puck. I thought the Devils did well last night but they didn't take enough shots and allowed too many shots to be taken but in the end they had a chance to win the game.

Stay out of the box because when you give the Pittsburgh PP chances, they will make it hurt. Last night the Devils looked better on their own PP and hopefully we continue that trend.

Pittsburgh isn't unbeatable. I mean Paul Martin wears the A for them so that must mean that depth is kind of a problem in Pittsburgh. Being that we are playing Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh tonight, that means (even without Crosby) we'll be getting heavy doses of.....




Enjoy the game and Let's Go Devils!!!

no comments

Written by Debra Harrington | 21 October 2011

Tweet




Where do I even begin? This game had so many ups and downs I’m sure that I’m officially bipolar after watching it. Unfortunately, it ended on a low note with the Devils losing their first shootout of three consecutive shootouts.

The bane of the Devils’ play in recent years had reared its ugly head in tonight’s game. Well, ok, maybe not the bane but a few of the many. Not only did the Devils’ offense turn out a fairly weak performance 5-on-5 mustering only 19 shots on goal (to San Jose’s 40), the Devils proved that old habits really do die hard by being happy to sit on a 2 goal lead. The Devils actually came out and played like a team that wanted to win. Patrik Elias scored an early power play goal (Yes, you read that correctly…the Devils actually scored on the PP), and Zach Parise put the Devils up by 2 when he scored on a penalty shot. Yep, the Rock was rockin’. And Johan Hedberg was on fire, too. The Sharks peppered him with shots, but he looked like a brick wall.

Then, the trusty old 2nd period slump started. The entire team seemed to revert back to that nasty habit from last season of disappearing during the 2nd period thereby turning in a truly horrendous 2nd period performance. What is up with the 2nd period and this team? I’m so frustrated because the Devils could and should have won this game if they didn’t stop playing in the middle of it! The Sharks weren’t the better team or more talented out there…they just never gave up. This seemed to be a recurring theme last season with the Devils, and we don’t need a reminder of how that turned out.

David Clarkson, of all people, scored in the 3rd to put the Devils back on top.  Clarkson was basically 1-on-1 with the goalie, and I couldn;t for the life of me figure out how Clarkson was able to get such great positioning.  Then I realized it was because he was being defended by none other than Colin White, and (surprise, surprise) White allowed Clarkson to beat him to the goal.  (There's a player I think we can all feel grateful not having on our team anymore).  So, the Devils are leading 3-2 with less than a minute to go in regulation and, of course, the Sharks score to tie it up again and then win in the shootout.  I feel for Moose who played lights out for most of the game with little help from his offense.

I also feel for Jacob Josefson who broke his right clavicle going into the boards in the 1st period. This couldn’t come at a worse time for the Devils with the team’s only other true center, Travis Zajac, out until at least December. If one thing’s clear, the Devils need to find themselves a center STAT. Of course, I was already of the mindset that the Devils needed another center, so now I propose that they acquire two centers. I know…wishful thinking, but maybe this will wake Lou up to the fact that he needs to do some center shopping and quick. It’s just a shame that Josefson had to suffer an injury in order for this wakeup call to be made.

And I still feel for Kovy. Why this guy isn’t on the most dynamic line on the team is beyond me. Which leads me to the introduction of a new accolade I’ve decided to bestow upon one lucky Devil at the end of every game: Most Useless Devil (or MUD) award. Tonight, the MUD award goes to…

Nick Palmieri! Congratulations, Nick, not only did you throw an illegal check to the head of an unsuspecting Shark player, you missed the net on nearly every shot attempt you made and missed at least one breakaway pass. Better game next time.

Hey…if we don’t hold them accountable, who will?

Do you have a player in mind that you think deserves the MUD award? If so, please share your thoughts.

And just to balance out the yin and yang of this post, I’d like to name the Most Impressive Devil of the game…Zach Parise. Not only did he score a beautiful backhand through the 5-hole on his first career penalty shot, but Zach was pumped up and remained so throughout most of the game. You could tell that he wasn’t resting on his laurels during the sleepy 2nd period, and he tried to get the rest of his team fired up, as well. He’s been impressive so far in his role of captain, in my opinion. I see a change in his demeanor this season that wasn’t there before. He’s a little more serious, a little more mature and a little more assertive away from the play. And that’s only what I can see on TV. I’m sure he’s just as impressive in the locker room and on the bench. I think he wanted the captaincy more than he ever let on, and he’s taking every facet of it and the responsibility that comes with it very seriously. I also think we all had the pleasure of watching Zach “grow up” as he turned into one of the veterans in mind and leadership (if not yet body) all of a sudden.

 

FUN FACT:

Tonight’s game was the Devils’ third straight game that was decided in a shootout. The Devils won the previous two, but even if they won tonight, they would still be one consecutive shootout win away from tying the record of 4 consecutive shootout wins set by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the end of last season. Let’s hope this is the last of shootouts for a while. Not because the Devils are playing the Penguins tomorrow night, but because getting your wins via shootouts is a risky way to play…especially against division opponents. It’s great to get the win and 2 points, of course, but why let your opponent walk away with a point? Come playoff time every point counts so the more games the Devils can win in regulation, the better.

no comments

Written by Darren S | 21 October 2011

Tweet



The New Jersey Devils (3-1-0) host the San Jose Sharks (1-3-0) tonight at the Prudential Center

TV:
MSG+; Radio: 660 AM WFAN


Know Your Enemy:
CouchTarts

What We Think of San Jose:  They play hockey in California?? You know that I’m kidding but the Sharks so far this season haven’t been playing good hockey. However, they are certainly one of the strongest teams in the league and I believe that Shark fans have seen their team get off to a slow start once or twice before. When you trade guys like Setoguchi and Heatley away, you have to expect that it will take some time for the team to find their new identity. Once the Sharks find it, watch out because they will be tough to be. Let’s hope they don’t find that identity tonight.

Tonight’s Game: 
The big question facing the first period of tonight’s game is what kind of team NJ will be. Will they be a team with jump or will the look like a team that has been off for close to a week? Give credit to DeBoer for making them skate hard in practice this week but they’ve still been away from game situations for almost a week. I don’t like the long layoffs, never have. The Devils have been working on their power play during practice which definitely needs work. To beat teams like SJ, you HAVE to capitalize on the chances they give you, which aren’t many.

 
The Sharks have outshot their past three opponents 110-65 so the Devils defense and Johan Hedberg have to be ready because you know that they are about to see a lot of pucks flying at them. Martin Havlat is expected to be in the lineup for the first time this season and Joe Thorton is playing in his 1,000 NHL game.

The Sharks have had a couple days to reflect on the last 3 games that they’ve lost. They’ve made some mistakes and weren’t able to capitalize on mistakes made in their favor. The Devils can’t take this team lightly and have to expect that they will come out, amped up and ready to get their season on track.

Colin White is now a member of the Sharks so I am sure he’s going to be ready to prove NJ was wrong to send him on his way. He’s averaging 13:56 of ice time per game so we’ll get plenty of action from him.

There are a lot of reasons to heavily favor San Jose tonight but this is a good test for NJ. One could argue that San Jose appears to be more on the level with Philadelphia than Carolina, Nashville and LA.

Projected Lines:

Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Ilya Kovalchuk - Jacob Josefson - Nick Palmieri
Mattias Tedenby - Petr Sykora - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Rod Pelley - Brad Mills
 
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne

Johan Hedberg

Tonight is “Hockey Fights Cancer” night at the Prudential Center (which is the reason for the odd text colors on our entry!!) so please get out there and support cause and support the Devils!! 



no comments

Written by Darren S | 19 October 2011

Tweet


Marty was absent again from practice but was spotted doing some shopping outside of the Prudential Center.




In all seriousness, it has been announced that Marty will miss the next 7-10 days while he rehabs his injured right shoulder. Surgery will not be needed, which is a good thing. The team is saying the injury is "just a bruise" but it seems weird one would have to rehab a bruise. Maybe rehab means rest, well then why not just say that?

Marty missed last Saturday's game in Nashville and will now miss Friday's home game against San Jose as well as Saturday's game in Pittsburgh.  It's not known if he will miss the entire 4 game road trip that begins in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

I do worry about Marty's health at this point. I didn't think the injury appeared to be too sever and it has taken him a lot longer than I expected. It appears that he has gotten fragile pretty quickly as he's been really racking up the injury time over the last few years and while I thought he had one more decent year in him, the start of the 2011/2012 season isn't going so well for him and makeing me question that.

The main question I have now is whether or not Kinkaid will get a start in the next 5 games or will Hedberg get to play them all? Kinkaid has played 3 games in the AHL so how do we stick him in in net? 

no comments

Written by Darren S | 18 October 2011

Tweet

The Devils have recalled Keith Kincaid from Albany and I would assume this would mean that Marty's shoulder is a problem. Of course when Lou was asked about Marty Brodeur after the official Kincaid annoucement, we got:




God how I hate that answer!!

no comments

Written by Darren S | 15 October 2011

Tweet



The way this game started, I really thought I was going to sit through another game like we played against the Flyers to open the season. Thankfully the Devils would end up clawing their way back into this game but we will get to that.

I thought the Devils came out with some jump and the Predators gave them an early power play but like  a typical Devils power play, they weren’t able to generate much but even with that, I thought the Devils controlled play early. That is until David Clarkson decided to try and put Sutter through the boards and got called for Boarding which cost him 5 minutes. It wasn’t the smartest hit but also didn’t deserve 5.  It was a crazy 5 minutes that followed because Elias got tripped, which was called and then Salvador hauled down a Predator on the breakaway, which got called and ended up in a Penalty Shot which Hedberg stopped and then scored 1 goal on the PP and another as time expired. 1st period ended with the Preds up 2-0

The Devils mailed in the second period and didn’t get many chances at all. Had they shown up for this period, maybe the Devils could have gotten the win in regulation. Kovalchuk had 1 shot in the 2nd and he needs to shoot more.  2nd period ended with the Preds up 2-0 and appearing to have the momentum and slowly putting NJ to sleep.

Kovalchuk came out in the first minute of the third and put one past Rinne who was screened by Parise. The Devils then caught momentum and you could feel the Devils were going to tie this game up and eventually Tedenby fed a nice pass to Clarkson who snuck it by Rinne to tie the game at 2.  Those are the type of goals I expect from Clarkson and he spent a lot of time right in front of Rinne tonight and had a lot of chances. Doesn’t change how I feel about him but he should play like that A LOT more. The way the Devils played in the 3rd, especially 5 on 5, they deserved to win this in regulation but Rinne was SPECTACULAR all night and were lucky to get 2 by him. They eventually got the 2nd point after the shootout.

I thought Hedberg had a very strong game as well. The PP goals he let in early weren’t really his fault. This was Hedbergs 3rd game of the season and Marty didn’t dress tonight which makes me worry about Marty’s health. Can his 39 year old body withstand playing hockey anymore? Just seems like he’s been getting injured and tweaking stuff a lot over the last few years.

For the second straight game, the Devils found themselves in a shootout.  Kovalchuk is 2 for 2 this season in the shootout as is Zach Parise. Both looked great again in the skills competition like they did the other night. The important stat here is the Johan Hedberg is perfect in the shootout so far.

Nice big comeback win and a huge confidence boost. Now we go into a long break as the Devils don’t play again until Friday night and hopefully that doesn’t hurt us.

I’d just like to complain for a minute about the MSG feed tonight.  I thought the lighting was terrible, a few times commercials were on during game play and the audio didn't match the video in between periods. It was hard to watch because of the mistakes MSG made.

For those that missed the game, here are the highlights presented by nhl.com

no comments