Game 29: Devils Fail in Shootout..AGAIN!!

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

I think the most frustrating part about the Devils/Canadiens matchup was that the Devils were right there, ready to skate away with 2 points and somehow the Canadiens were able to answer right back after the Devils took a 3-2 lead with just over a minute to play. In OT the Devils had their chances but couldn’t fire it home. On the plus side, the Canadiens had their chances in OT but couldn’t manage to beat Schneider but you knew that if the Devils didn’t end it in OT, winning the shootout was a longshot. The one bright note from last night is that I think I might love Reid Boucher. The kid looks to have the goods, let’s hope he sticks around.

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Game 29: Devils Looking To Avoid a Repeat of Monday Night

Written by D. Wesley on .

The Matchup 

The Montreal Canadiens (16-9-3) visit the New Jersey Devils (11-12-5) in the second game of a home and home matchup. Montreal won Monday’s game by a score of 3-2 but the Devils had their chances.

Projected Lines for the Montreal Canadiens

Danny Briere - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Michael Bournival
Travis Moen - Brandon Prust - Ryan White

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Josh Gorges
Douglas Murray - Raphael Diaz

Projected Lines for the New Jersey Devils

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Reid Boucher - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Damien Brunner - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Tim Sestito - Andrei Loktionov - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill
Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlick

Injury Notes

Montreal will be without forward Rene Bourque (upper body) and defenseman Davis Drewiske(shoulder). … Defensemen Adam Larsson (lower body) and Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot) and forwards Ryan Carter (leg), Stephen Gionta (ankle) and Ryane Clowe (head) are on injured reserve for New Jersey.

Random Thoughts For This Game

So Ryan Carter hits the IR and the Devils call up Reid Boucher, a guy that I couldn’t really understand being in Albany when the Devils seem to have issues scoring and this kid had been a proven goal scorer at every level he’s played so far. Isn’t Boucher a better option to have in NJ than Cam Janssen? Thank god he finally got the call, can’t wait to see what he brings tonight. He’s going to be on a line with Elias so that has a lot of potential.

The Devils need to stay out of the box. They only took 2 penalties on Monday night but the Canadiens were able to convert on one of the chances which in a 3-2 hockey game, even if it wasn’t the GWG, it was enough to hurt.

Devils are getting somewhat of a break tonight. Peter Budaj is a decent backup but I’d rather have Cary Price in net if I am a Canadiens fan. Throw pucks at the net, crash the net for the rebounds because Budaj does give up rebounds and get some in the back of the net.

Henrique who left the game on Monday night will be in tonight’s game which is good because he has points in 3 consecutive games. He’ll be on a line with Ryder who had a great goal on Monday night and hopefully is breaking out of his slump and Brunner who certainly needs to break out of his.

NHL 14 Simulation Results

It was all Devils from the start as Jagr started the scoring and Elias and Zubrus both found the back of the net. Cory Scheider was unbeatable and Michael Ryder put home a late goal to give the Devils a 4-0 win at home.

 

 

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Game 28 - Look out Montreal, NJ Coming At Ya!!

Written by D. Wesley on .

The Matchup

New Jersey Devils (11-11-5) take a trip north to visit the Montreal Canadiens (15-9-3). This is the first of the home and home which will conclude in NJ on Wednesday night. The Canadiens are coming off a win at home against the Leafs in a game where the Canadiens jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Toronto cut it to 4-2 by the end of 2. The Devils are coming off wins against the Hurricanes in Carolina and then at home against the Sabres, which ended up being a much tougher game than one could have predicted. In the last 10 games, the Devils are 6-4-0 while Montreal is 7-1-2.

Projected Lines for the Montreal Canadiens

Danny Briere - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Rene Bourque
Travis Moen - Brandon Prust - Michael Bournival

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Josh Gorges
Douglas Murray - Raphael Diaz

Cary Price

Projected Lines for the New Jersey Devils

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Damien Brunner - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Tim Sestito - Jacob Josefson - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill
Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky

Martin Brodeur

Injury Notes

New Jersey placed defenseman Adam Larsson (lower body) on injured reserve Sunday. Forwards Ryan Carter (lacerations), Stephen Gionta (ankle) and Ryane Clowe (head) are all out, as well as defenseman Bryce Salvador (non-displaced foot fracture) … Montreal defenseman Davis Dewiske (shoulder surgery) is out until early April.

Random Thoughts For This Game

I for one will try and not get frustrated for this game. I do find the Devils play to be frustrating at times. They came out last Wednesday and stuck up the place before battling back and giving the ‘Canes a run. They came out Friday and looked great and followed that up with a 1-0 OT win against the shitty Sabres?? For me, the Devils are consistently inconsistent and that is super frustrating.

On the topic of not getting frustrated, let’s remember that the Canadiens are a fast little team. The skate fast, move the puck quickly and I am afraid the Devils are going to get caught being slow all night long so who knows how many scoring chances that will result in. Hopefully Brodeur is up to task!

Montreal is a great PP team so the Devils will have to be disciplined tonight. Montreal ranks #3 in the league on converting PP chances and even though the Devils have the #2 rank PK unit in the league, giving any team too many PP chances is something you want avoid, especially a top 3 PP unit.

Lots has been made about Brunner’s lack of scoring but let us not forget that Michael Ryder is also not putting pucks in the net. Hopefully a night against his old team will cure his issues. Devils play Detroit on Friday so maybe Brunner can snap his goal drought against his old team if he hasn’t done so against the Canadiens.

Gelinas will be playing in Montreal for the first time in his career tonight. He’s quickly becoming a favorite out there and hopefully with friends and family at the rink tonight, he has his best game yet!!

NHL 14 Simulation Results: 

Jagr scores at the end of the 1st and the Devils hang on to a 1-0 lead until midway through the third where Daniel Briere puts home the tying goal. There would be no more scoring and Montreal wins 2-1 in the skills competition.

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Game 25: Hurricanes Come To NJ

Written by D. Wesley on .

The Matchup
Carolina Hurricanes (9-10-5) visit the New Jersey Devils (9-10-5). These two teams are currently battling it out for 4th and 5th place in the Metropolitan Division with NJ sitting in 4th and Carolina sitting in 5th but both have 23 points in 24 games played. The Devils are coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss at home to Winnipeg, which was their second straight loss while the Hurricanes are coming off a 4-1 win at home against the Senators

Projected Lines for the Carolina Hurricanes
Nathan Gerbe - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Jiri Tlusty - Jordan Staal - Pat Dwyer
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Drayson Bowman - Manny Malhotra - Radek Dvorak

Justin Faulk - Andrej Sekera
Brett Bellemore - Ron Hainsey
Ryan Murphy - Jay Harrison

Projected Lines for the New Jersey Devils: 
Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Ryan Carter - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Mattias Tedenby - Jacob Josefson - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Mark Fayne
Jon Merrill - Pete Harrold

Injury Notes

Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin (concussion) and goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body) are on injured reserve. ... Forward Stephen Gionta (ankle) and defensemen Adam Larsson (lower body) and Anton Volchenkov(lower body) are questionable for the Devils. Defenseman Bryce Salvador (fractured foot), and forward Ryane Clowe(concussion) are doubtful.

Random Thoughts For This Game

Cam Janssen will get the spot in the lineup and Damien Brunner will be a healthy scratch again. He was a healthy scratch last week against the Kings but put in poor performances against the Sharks and Jets which gets him the night off. Cam was a good story when he came up and scored two quick goals in his first 3 games but that’s long over and time for Cam to get his bus ticket back to Albany.

Broduer gets the nod in goal tonight and he’s been playing well so it’s not a shock or at least shouldn’t be. According to TG, Cory Schneider is a little frustrated with his lack of playing time but to be fair, you knew what the situation was when you got traded here. No way are you going to make Marty Brodeur ride the bench for most of the season. With that said, be patient because you are the future of the NJ Devils and that future probably starts next season. On top of that, the Devils play Friday and then again Saturday night, starting this weekend and following through for the next 6 weeks so you are due to start playing more. First Friday night they don’t play is January 10th.

I’m excited to see Merrill in again tonight. I want this kid to succeed. I just have a soft spot in my heart for Wolverines, what can I say. I thought he showed some good promise the other night.

Hopefully the Devils can halt Eric Staal. It sounds like he’s coming off his best game of the season so I would imagine you will see Travis Zajac on him a lot.

NHL 14 Simulation Results:

Unfortunately for the Devils, it was a disaster of a game. The ‘Canes came out strong, struck early and kept going. Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of the simulation because if it does, Cory Schneider will be playing in this game, much like he did when he relieved Marty after a 5 goals on 17 shots got in. The ‘Canes rolled to a 5-1 victory in this matchup.

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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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Preview: West Coast Tour Stops in LA

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

Tonight’s Matchup

The New Jersey Devils (8-8-5) visit the Los Angeles Kings (15-6-1). The Devils come into this game on a 2 game winning streak and are 6-3-1 in their last 10. The Kings come into this game having won 4 straight and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 which includes a very impressive sweep of the NY teams. In other words, even though NJ has been playing well going into this game, they will still have to dig deep because LA is a very good hockey team that is playing very well lately.

Projected lines for the New Jersey Devils

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Damien Brunner - Patrik Elias - Michael Ryder
Adam Henrique - Andrei Loktionov - Steve Bernier
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Adam Larsson
Peter Harrold - Mark Fayne

Projected lines for the Los Angeles Kings

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Tyler Toffoli
Dan Carcillo - Jarret Stoll - Matt Frattin
Tanner Pearson - Linden Vey - Trevor Lewis

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov
Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez

Random thoughts going into this game

I thought the Devils showed a lot of fight last night with their win in Anaheim. They got down early but were able to battle back. Yes, the Ducks didn’t deserve the 4 minute high sticking penalty but good on NJ to cash in on an opportunity and score 2 goals in those 4 minutes. Hopefully they take the momentum of beating Pittsburgh and Anaheim, two of the NHL’s top teams (well kind of, Pitt has fallen to 11th) into their matchup with LA.

I thought Zajac played a decent game again last night. He has points in four of his last five games and his defensive play has been really good lately. The funny thing of the OT goal last night is that Zajac looked like he tried to kick it in the net. Had Hiller not blocked that shot, it goes in but gets negated for a kicking motion and the Ducks then don’t put the puck in their own net.

Jagr is Jagr and he’s currently on fire. Let’s hope it continues.

Schneider gets the nod tonight and hopefully our goal scorers are up to helping him out tonight. He was excellent on Friday against the Kings but the bad news is that Scrivens was as well who will be in the net tonight for LA.

I’m starting to get a little sour on Brunner lately. That’s sad because this is a guy I really wanted to over the summer. He’s pointless in his last 10 games and is averaging about 13:36 TOI during that stretch. This guy really needs to start putting the puck in the net.

On a side note that doesn’t have to do with today’s game, Left wing Rostislav Olesz cleared unconditional waivers at noon today and his contract with the Devils has now been officially terminated.

NHL 14 Simulation Results

LA got on the board first with a Dustin Brown PP goal but NJ came right back and found the equalizer. The score remained 1-1 until the OT period where Drew Doughty put home a bomb from the blue line that beat Schneider glove side for a 2-1 OT victory.

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It's Duck Season

Written by D. Wesley on .

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (7-8-5) visit the Anaheim Ducks (15-6-2)

Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils are coming off an impressive 4-1 victory against their Metropolitan Division opponent Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils got great goaltending from Marty Brodeur and unlike when Schneider gives them a great performance, the Devils were actually able to give him some goal support to work with. Jagr had 2, Larsson had 1 and Andy Greene got things started on Saturday night.

The Ducks wrapped up a 4 game road trip in Pittsburgh on Monday night that ended in a 3-1 loss. The Ducks walked away with 1 point out of a possible 8 points on this road trip. Meanwhile, the Devils have earned 16 points in their last 13 games, including five in their last six contests. With that said, the Ducks are undefeated at home this season and the Devils don’t exactly instill confidence when on the road.

Defensively Tonight: Once again the Devils defense is going to get tested. The Ducks, they have the players that can score. Right now they are going through a winless stretch so I would imagine the Duck snipers are going to be hungry for blood tonight. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 72 to 59 so far and have found the back of the net 29 more times than the Devils have. The one are the Duck seem to have trouble would be their PP units. Good for NJ since the Devils tend to be a little undisciplined but you watch, tonight will be the night that costs NJ big time.

Offensively Tonight: After the performance against the Penguins, just keep it going. The Devils got 4 goals against a pretty solid team, a night after they couldn’t get even 1. The one thing to remember about the Ducks is that they do a very good job at blocking shots. Let’s hope the Devils offense doesn’t get frustrated by the Ducks shot blocking abilities. The one thing any team needs to do when playing against a good shot blocking team is to throw pucks at the net on every chance you get to look at the net. Don’t delay, don’t opt for the pretty pass/highlight reel moment just shoot the damn puck. Devils will have to play smart because Bruce Boudreau is obviously benefiting from getting last change at home.

 Injury report: New Jersey is without defensemen Bryce Salvador (fractured foot), Anton Volchenkov (lower body) and forward Ryane Clowe (concussion). … Center Saku Koivu (concussion) is questionable for the Ducks, though he has resumed skating. Right wing Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand) remains on injured reserve.

NHL 14 Simulation Results: The Devils fell behind 1-0 after 1 on a Cory Perry goal but came storming back in the 2nd period with goals from Zubrus, Brunner, Ryder and Henrique. Ryder scored his second of the night in the 3rd period to help NJ cruise to a 5-1 victory in Anaheim. If the real thing were only that easy!!

 

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Recaplet: Devils Continue Dominance of Pens in NJ

Written by D. Wesley on .

The Devils continued their domination over Pittsburgh when they play the Penguins in NJ. The Devils are now 11-2 at the rock in the last 13 games when hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils got on the board first with an Andy Greene goal. Pittsburgh tied it at 1 late in the 1st on a goal from Chris Kunitz. Adam Larsson broke the tie late in the 2nd and Jaromir Jagr buried a wrister at 14:06 of the 3rd and then an empty-netter spin-o-rama with just over 2 mins to play.

Our 3 Stars

3 – Jaromir Jagr – It was a tight game until Jagr got the loose puck and high glove side on Fluery. His EN goal was just the icing on the cake that we already knew was there.

2 – Andy Greene – Another spectacular game from Andy Greene. He was phenomenal against the Rangers and put in another outstanding performance against Crosby and Malkin

1 – Martin Brodeur – Came up with a number of great saves, especially in the first period while NJ was still trying to find their game. With the Devils up 2-1, Marty made a huge save on Letang and then watched Jagr give NJ a 3-1 lead less than 2 minutes later.

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Crosby and Co. Come To Town

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

The Matchup:  The Pittsburgh Penguins (12-7-0) visit the New Jersey Devils (6-8-5)

The Last Meeting: The last time these two teams met was opening night of the 2013/2014 season. Pittsburgh skated away with a 3-0 win and opened our eyes to the many struggles that the Devils might have this season.

 Going Into Tonight’s Game: The Devils gave a good effort last night but ultimately a late 3rd period goal and an empty net goal gave the Kings a 3rd period victory for the second night in a row. The final was 2-0 but I thought the game was much better and much more intense than a 2-0 shutout would be. On the other side of the puck, the Penguins have been struggling a bit but won last night 4-1 over the Predators. The Penguins come into this game 5-5 in their last 10 while the Devils come in 5-3-2 in their last 10.

Defensively Tonight: It’s the Pittsburgh Penguins so you know the defense is going to have to work all night. While the Pens aren’t at the top of the league, they are a very good team. Leading this team are guys like Malkin, Kunitz, Jokinen, Dupuis and of course NHL points leader Sidney Crosby. The goal tonight, just try to keep them quiet. Malkin has been quiet recently but James Neal is back in the lineup so hopefully tonight isn’t the night that Malkin gets going.

 Offensively Tonight: Score some freaking goals. The Devils have been shutout 5 times this season, which is basically a quarter of the games played so far. That’s terrible and with guys like Henrique, Zajac, Jagr, Brunner and Elias, it shouldn’t be happening.  Seems like the Devils goal scorers take the night of when Schneider is in net as he’s been the goalie for 4 of the 5 shutouts against. Tonight Marty is in net so maybe the goal scorers will show up. I don’t think the Devils are winning enough of the small battles. The other night in NY, the Devils rocked in winning the faceoff, so it’s the small things that help a team gain confidence and stick the puck in the net. I also think the Devils do well when they get in front of the net, create traffic and scrums in front but I don’t remember that really happening much last night. Get shots in from the point and get guys in front of the goalie.

A complete 60 minute effort is what it will take tonight. I thought the Devils compete level tailed off in the third period last night while the Kings amped up their game and got the win. Hopefully the Devils can put something together tonight and get something positive out of this weekend. I was hoping to have a shot at being a .500 team going into this weekend.

NHL 14 Simulation Results: Have you played NHL 14? Even though it is mostly the same game as last season, I like the few changes they made. I’ve just started but I do like it a lot. Of course I am struggling in goal scoring just like the Devils are!!

In the NHL 14 Simulation I ran, the Penguins got 2 goals from Crosby early on and another from Malkin late in the second but goals by Zubrus, Brunner and Elias forced OT and ultimately a shootout where the Penguins prevailed 2 goals to none to get the extra point and a 4-3 SO victory.

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