Each Friday afternoon I am going to put together a Devil's Report card for the week. I was going to do this once a month only but I thought doing it once a week would track the growth of players better than month to month. This week is kind of harsh but I don't think anyone of the Devils played all that well.
|2 Assists in 3 games. I do expect more from the big man especially being out there almost 17 mins a game|
|1 goal and an assist including a PP goal against TB. He also had a sick SO goal which of course doesn’t count|
|Nothing yet, averages 7 minuts a game and has 4 shots|
|He had that 1 goal in the blowout by Philly and has since looked a little lost.|
|Like Rolston he had the one goal in the Philly game and nothing really since although he had the SO winner in TB.|
|2 games, 1 shot, nothing to show…I know, he's a rookie|
|2 games, no shots part of the horrific 4th line.|
|He has 1 assist but hasn't really impressed but did look a little better vs TB|
|2 goals, 1 assist, only guy shooting regularly and save their asses against TB|
|He tries, he really does and he had a heads up goal Thursday night|
|Not a bad start, 1G and 1A and logs decent ice time|
|3A's and not many shots. I was hoping for more of him in front.|
|This guy is awful in my opinion.|
|D hasn't been wonderful|
|Got the assit on the Zajac last minute goal with a nice play to keep the puck alive|
|One assist, the one constitant guy on D I think I can rely on|
|D hasn't been wonderful|
|D hasn't been wonderful|
|D hasn't been wonderful|
|D hasn't been wonderful|
|Awful game to start and slowly getting better as the games go along. 11 GA 3.63 average is kind of sucky.|
Overall I'd give the team a D because I didn't feel much from them this week. They got blown out at home, lost to a rival and barely escaped from TB with 2 points when they almost had 0.
That game last night was literally a roller coaster ride. The Devils started off and looked very good, then started to head down hill, got an extremely lucky goal in the end to force OT. They looked OK in the extra period and then were lights out in the shootout, although Marty got a little lucky on the Stamkos shot and a little luckier on the Malone miss.
The Lightning fans must feel pretty awful this morning about the loss. It's never easy to give up a last second goal and have points snatched away from you. I certainly think it showed in the OT as the Lightning came out completely flat for the first couple minutes.
Parise got his first point while on the power play early in the game which was an important issue for this team. The Devils need to get confidence on their PP and I think Parise putting one home will certainly help that and going 1 for 2 on PP oppurtunities is nothing to be ashamed of. Allowing TB to go 1 for 4 on PP oppurtunities is also a step in the right direction.
I thought Marty played an OK game, stopping 41 shots is respectable but I can't help feeling like he's lost a step this season. Those Stamkos goals were a little hard to stomach but I don't know who I blame more, Marty for letting them go by for the Devils D for letting Stamkos set up shop in the slot like that not once but twice.
Parise in the shootout was just sick, no other word to describe it. We saw that move against the Rangers in pre-season but I guess TB didn't have film on that one. I know he used his backhand A LOT last year and it looked like that's what Smith was expecting. On a seperate note, Smith took a pretty hard hit in the second but I was glad to see him stay in the game.
So as I pointed out yesterday, Lemaire got his first win as a Devils coach against TB in 1993 and repeats that again in 2009. The Devils were able to string together 6 more wins after beating TB in 1993, lets hope that can repeat that performace, starting with Florida tomorrow night.
My Three Stars:
1. Stamkos 2. Parise 3. Zajac
The Devils have lost the first two games of the season and are off to their worst start since 2001/2002. They were blown out by the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 in their season opener and then played a better game against the New York Rangers but made some mistakes that resulted in a 3-2 loss. Both games were at home and now the Devils head out on a 3 game road trip.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (0-2-0) vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning (0-1-1) and the first meeting of the season.
The Last Game: The Devils played better against the Rangers but they still made a few mistakes, left guys on the ice a little too long and the Rangers were able to take advantage of that. In the end, the Rangers scored the game winner with 22:10 left to play in the game and the Devils just couldn't put one past Henrik Lundqvist.
Game Thoughts: The Devils top line hasn't been able to really put anything together. Sure, that line was able to put together a nice goal the other night against the Rangers but for the most part, they've been a little disappointing. The Devils are 2 for 11 so far on the powerplay including some really horrible looking 5 on 3 oppurtunities through 2 games. The Devils need to capitalize on those types of chances should the Lightning hand those to them tonight. The Penalty kill has allowed 2 goals in the 9 times they've been shorthanded, something that ended up really hurting the Devils the other night against the Rangers. The 4th line that played on Monday night was absolutely horrific. They need to find their game because the Devils need to roll 4 lines effectively. The Devils need to get to goalie Mike Smith early.
As for Marty, he had a bad game against Philly and a better game against the Ranges but ultimately let in a soft goal that eventually stood as the game winner. His confidence is shaken and he needs to get on top of that right away. Sometimes, being on the road, away from home and family can be just the prescription needed to adjust any type of confidence problem.
Whenever the Devils play the Lightning, I always worry about Lecavalier killing us but it's not just him now. Tanguay, who's off to a slow start, will eventually wake up, St. Louis is always dangerous and Stamkos is certainly someone to worry about.
If you are looking for the Tampa Bay Lightning point of view for this game, head over to read our friend over at The Hockey Bay.
Just a little side note, the first win for Jaques Lemaire as the new Devils coach in 1993 came in the form of a 2-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I'm just saying...
Updates via twitter tonight as they play.no comments
I was visiting my favorite New Jersey Devils forum on the internet yesterday and I noticed two things. One, people really seem to freak out when you lose the first two games of the season. I think I said it in my recap yesterday but I will say it again. Just because you lose a few games to start off the season doesnt mean that your season is done and you should mail in the next 80 games. Someone brought up the point that no team that has started 0-3 has ever gone on to win the cup. To that I have to ask, how many people gave the Devils a chance in 2000 when the Flyers took a 3-1 series lead? I only bring that up because these crazy little stats that people dig up are only meant to be broken. Sure, with the Olympics happening this season and a number of Devils likely to be playing in Vancouver this February, I would like to stockpile as many wins in the beginning of the season as possible so as not to burn out our Olympians later in the season but if that doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world.
The second big discussion on the forums was about Marty Brodeur. Some people claim he's still the best while other claim he's done. I'm sort of in the middle and I am sure this won't make me extremely popular among Devils fans. Marty Brodeur was once the best goalie in the league, I mean he backstopped the Devils to 3 cups in 4 appearences but the truth of the matter is that he is 37 years old. Evetually he isn't going to be as quick and polished as he was 10+ years ago. Now I've said it for the last 2 years and I will say it again, if someone came to me and said I will trade you a decent package for Marty Brodeur, I would more than likely do it at this point. Marty is still one of the better goalies in the league but certainly not the best anymore. Sure, I like superstars to stay with one team and retire that way but if you can help your team fill some needs, then why not? I mean I am sure Marty would have a decent value on the market. I wouldn't actively shop him but if the oppurtunity arose, I wouldn't just turn it down, that's all I am saying.
In the first two games of the season, I have certainly noticed that Marty seems to have some kind of confidence problem. I mean the Flyers game was down right awful for him and the winning goal by the Rangers the other night was pretty soft as well but he's always let hin soft goals from 20 to 30 feet out. I was more concerned with the goal that tied the game at 2. The Rangers got him moving from side to side and beat him low stick side. I thought Marty didn't get side to side quick enough, something I always felt he was good at in the past. So is that his age catching up to him? I predicted that he would win 40+ games this season but after the first two, I don't like what I see in him.
With that said, he did give up the GW with 2:10 left to play in the second meaning that the Devils had 22:10 to put the equalizer past Henrik but that proved to be something they couldn't do. That problem is something that isn't on Marty and something that needs to be addressed soon.no comments
Lets start out with the positives, the Devils played much better than they did on Saturday night. They played with much more emotion, the offense didn't look completely lost and Marty, at times, looked better. They seemed to figure out how to pass to one another and the Power Play looked...ok. The Devils defense was able to contain Gaborik and Dubinsky and kept them fairly quiet all evening.
During the game last night, I thought that Rob Niedermayer has really come in and found a spot to fit in on this team. His line seems to do the most forechecking of any and while some might say they lack a finish, he had a nice goal last night.
Now, on to the bad stuff from the game. They still made some pretty big mistakes and still took a dumb penalty or two, although I will say the refs screwed up the Bergfors diving call and the completely missed the 6 Rangers on the ice right before the Oduya penalty. Skating the puck out in front of the net is just an stupid mistake to make, even if it doesn't end in the other team scoring and in the end Marty let in a soft goal that eventually became the game winner but to be fair, the Devils did have the whole third period to try and tie the game.
With Sutter in the mix last season, I thought the Devils did a great job of rolling 4 lines but the 2009/2010 version of this team really lacks a 4th line. I thought the Rangers 4th line did a tremendous job last night and the Devils 4th just took up space whenever they were out there. So far I am not impressed with Andrew Peters and feel that maybe we should rethink his place on this team.
So far this season, scoring does seem to be an issue but it's only game 2. Yes, losing to the Rangers hurts, no matter what time of the season it is. It's just amazing to me that Lundqvist seems to have some hold on these Devils. His record vs Marty is, in my opinion, so much better than he actually is. I'm not worried about this team because afterall, its only two games. Look around the rest of the league, Carolina, Detroit and Vancouver are also winless so far and Colorado, who was supposed to be so bad, is 2-0. It's early and the Devils just need to find their game.
Devils get a couple of days to work on things and head to Tampa Bay on Thursday night
Saturday was a terrible outing but the great thing about hockey is that there is always another game to be played either the next night or a few days later which means its a chance to erase the bad taste in your mouth from the last game, and boy is there a bad taste in our mouths!!
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (0-1-0) vs. the New York Rangers (1-1-0) and the first meeting of the season.
The Last Game: The Devils had a horrible start to the season getting routed by the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. The Rangers are coming off a very good showing agasint the Ottawa Senators where they won by the score of 5-2.
Game Thoughts: The power play HAS to show up tonight. After reading the guys who cover the Devils practices in person, it sounds like the Devils worked on the power play a lot in practice yesterday. I'm not sure the reason why Parise was point man on the power play on Saturday night but he belongs on the side of the net. Parise is money when it comes to being at the side of the net on power plays. Lemaire had talked about a loss of confidence with his team after failing to get shots on net during a two minute 5 on 3. A few big hits can easily change any teams confidence in a hurry at any point in a game, so throwing some big hits at the Rangers is a must tonight. The Rangers have started the season much better than I thought they would so you can expect their confidence to be pretty high.
As for Marty, I said it in my Game one rant recap,he usually bounces back from poor games with a nice strong game and a game against the rival New York Rangers is certainly a game to do it. Sean Avery won't be in the game tonight due to injury so Marty won't have that distraction to face. It's early in the season but this is a game the Devils need to win. It's a game against our hated rival, a game after a terrible loss and the last home game beofre a 3-game road trip.
If you are looking for the Rangers point of view for this game, head over to Bloguin's Ranger site, The Manic Ranger I will hopefully be twittering during the game tonight, something I hope to do for the majority of the games this season.
For those who haven't seen it yet this season, here is the new "Hells Bells" intro being played at The Rock at the beginning of all the home games.
I had to wait some time to pass to post about the game because I found that game absolutely frustrating. The Devils offense was never really in it and I can't tell you how many times I saw a defenseman give up on a puck and get beaten to it by a Flyer. Two and half minutes of 5 on 3 action and nothing to show for it. They looked like a Power Play unit that met in the parking lot 5 minutes before the game. I don't want to take anything away from Emery, he played extremely well but I just thought the Devils offense was very flat until the 3rd when Rolston and Langenbrunner obviously had enough of the suckage.
Speaking of suckage, Marty looked REALLY bad. Three goals that the Flyers scored were on him in my opinion. They were very stoppable goals and I am just not sure what was going on with him the other night. The good news is that he rarely has back to back games like that so heading into the Rangers game Monday night should I am hoping for a Marty that is more focused on stopping the puck. OK, I am done with my Game 1 rant..no comments
Finally it's time to talk about some real, meaningful hockey. I do love putting things together like league and team predictions but lets get to what this blog is really about, Devils Hockey!!
Recap of 2008/2009 Meetings: The Devils and Flyers split the series at 3 games a piece with the Flyers winning the final meeting last season.
Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner
Brain Rolston-Danius Zubrus-Nic Bergfors
Jay Pandolfo-Rob Niedermayer-David Clarkson
Andrew Peters-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Letourneau-LeBlond
Johnny Oduya-Paul Martin
Colin White-Mike Mottau
Bryce Salvador-Cory Murphy
Players to Watch: I thought Bergfors did enough in the pre-season to earn his spot on the roster for opening night. I am axious to see what he and Pelley bring to the table in this game. We've heard talk for the last two days about the reason Shanahan not being a Devil this season was because of the youth that NJ is going with instead, and now we get to see them in a meaningful game. Pandolfo who was on the fence about playing tonight appears to be playing and it appeared this morning that Matt Halischuk and Ilkka Pikkarainen were the extra forwards.
What To Expect: Pre-season meetings were a bit of a disappointment but this is the regular season where everything gets kicked up a notch. I do see a fight or two in this game and having Pronger on the other side of the ice worries me a little bit. I've never been a fan of his and I am always waiting for him to do something filthy and now he's in Philadelphia (the perfect fit!!). The Flyers do have some offensive power as well as defense too shutting out Carolina 2-0 last night, so the Devils can not sit back on any kind of lead that they may get. The Flyers Penalty Kill got a significant upgrade with the Blair Betts signing (who by the way is the one guy I wanted Lou to sign this past summer). Should be an entertaining game.
I thought I would take a lead from Puck Daddy and post my 10 bold predictions for the upcoming season for the New Jersey Devils, which by the way, kicks off tomorrow night against Philadelphia. So here we go!!
1. Zack Parise - Having been close last season with 94 points, Parise will be the first Devil to score 100 points in a season. He will end up with 47 goals (1 shy of Gionta's record) and 54 assists for 101 total points.
2. Marty Broduer will play 72 games this season and will win at least 40 of those starts.
3. David Clarkson will end up in the 20/20 club with 21 goals and 24 assists. He will also lead the team in fighting majors with 21, so I guess he's in the 20/20/20 club..
4. Rob Niedermayer will do a good job replacing the 2008/2009 version of John Madden, who was a disappointment in most eyes but the pre-Sutter John Madden we all fell in love with is long gone.
5. Niclas Bergfors won't be a big disappointment this season but he's not going have anyone putting his name in the Calder Trophy talk either.
6. Brian Rolston's leadership on the ice WILL prove to the fans why Lou brought him back to NJ last summer.
7. Travis Zajac, Jamie Langenbrunner & Patrick Elias will all end up with 30+ goals this season.
8. By November 1st, the media will stop talking about Jaques Lemaire being a defense first, a trap hungrykind of coach who has his teams play boring hockey... ehh who I am I kidding, they won't but they should be!!
9. The Devils will end with a 46-29-7 record and finish 3rd in the Atlantic and 5th overall and will face the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round.
10. With the addition of Rob Niedermayer to the Devils organization, talk about Scott joining his brother and his ex-coach in NJ will be a common theme in the media, especially come the trade deadline.no comments
Hockey starts TONIGHT!! and while this blog of course focuses on the New Jersey Devils, I figured I would stray away from that for a minute and post my predicitions for the upcoming season.
The Eastern Conference
The Western Conference
Stanley Cup Finals
Move over Red Sox, move over Patriots, move over Celtics, there's a new champion in town!!no comments