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.

no comments

What Went Wrong?

Written by Joey Pona on .

With the recent struggle of play over this six game stretch, many Devils fans including our staff at Running with the Devils are wondering what happened?

One of the obvious reasons is the team without Ilya Kovalchuk. As we all know, Ilya Kovalchuk is currently recovering from a shoulder injury which has been projected to sideline the All-Star for 2-4 weeks. When he went down against Florida on March 23rd, apparently so did the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk has 10 goals and 17 assists in 32 games this year. His stats however don't speak enough volume for how much of an importance he is to the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils (0-3-3) have lost 6 games in a row and have gone from being a solid playoff team to not even participating in the postseason for only the second time in 16 seasons. To put things into a great perspective, the Devils went from first in the Eastern Conference all the way down to 10th. This is also the second time that the Devils have had a losing streak of 6 games or more.

Without Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils are severely lacking in leadership, most importantly with the "Captain" Bryce Salvador. Since receiving the 'C' from Peter DeBoer, the fans have been upset with him believing the Ilya Kovalchuk should have received it. Along with the fans, I agree 100%. Kovalchuk is by far the leader in the locker room and it shows day in and day out when New Jersey is out on the ice. He leads by example and encourages all of his teammates around him to give 110%. He brings a toughness and hard work that nobody else on the team can muster up to. Since he has not been out there with his team, it's quite apparent how much of a leader that Bryce Salvador isn't. Bryce Salvador isn't the type of player that can motivate or lead a team just by his presence on the rink. I may not be in the locker room after games and I certainly don't know what goes on in their, but as a fan seeing this team perform without Ilya Kovalchuk makes it seem, to me, who the real captain is of the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils have also had a huge decline in goal contribution which has become more and more evident during this 6 game skid. The Devils have scored only 10 goals in the 6 games including being shutout at the hand of the Boston Bruins. The lack of contributions from players over this stretch like David Clarkson (1 goal), Travis Zajac (0 goals), and Adam Henrique (0 goals) who are big scores for New Jersey, is very concerning.

Finally, the horrible special teams. The Devils have absolutely been terrible on both powerplay and penalty kill. Nobody would have guessed that the Devils who had the best penalty kill from last year well over 90%, would be 19th this year with a PK hovering around 80%

The powerplay is 22nd with a 16% success. This speaks volume because the Devils get so many chances on the powerplay and are unable to produce, whether they miss the net or they're unable to complete crisp and solid tape-to-tape passes.

There is certainly feelings of unrest in New Jersey as the Devils look for someone or something to end this losing streak and help get them some points. The remaining schedule for the Devils is going to be hard but we will see what this team is made of as they hope to try and capture a playoff spot.

 

 

For the latest news, reactions, and analysis for everything New Jersey Devils hockey, follow us on Twitter and 'like' us on Facebook.

Also, follow the members of RWTD on twitter: Raj, Scott, Joey, & Mike.

no comments

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.

no comments

Devils, Maple Leafs Preview: April 6, 2013

Written by Scott Robb on .

With only eleven games remaining in the regular season, the New Jersey Devils are on the outside looking in. Jersey's Team dropped out of the top eight on Thursday night after their fifth consecutive loss, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins. With a win tonight, combined with a Rangers and/or Islanders loss, the Devils could be back in the playoff picture.

The Devils will match-up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center at 7:00. New Jersey played a dominant game in Boston on Thursday night, but couldn't escape with two points. Jersey fired a whopping 40 shots on goal in the 1-0 loss, but Bruins' goalie Tuukka Rask got them all. Jaromir Jagr scored a garbage goal in his debut with the Bruins; the puck took a bounce of Jagr's skate (as he interfered with Bryce Salvador) and past Marty Brodeur. If the Devils can play the way they did in Boston two nights ago, they will be in good shape.

The Maple Leafs are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers--who are all of a sudden in the hunt for a playoff spot. Toronto currently holds the fifth seed in the east (20-13-4) and would drop to sixth with a loss tonight. In the only previous meeting between these two teams this year, the Maple Leafs pulled out a 4-2 victory. That game came during the Devils' six-game losing streak in which Johan Hedberg played in place of the injured Martin Brodeur.

Ilya Kovalchuk has been making "great strides" in the rehab of his injured shoulder, but will not be back in the line-up just yet. Devils' coach Pete DeBoer said that he expects Kovalchuk to be back for more than "the last couple of games." This is extremely good news for Devils fans; the push for a playoff spot will become just a little easier when Jersey's best player is on the ice.


Photo by Frank Gunn/Canadien Press.

Joffrey Lupul will not play tonight for the Toronto Maple Leafs after taking a shot to the head on Thursday night against the Flyers. Lupul, who broke his arm in January and missed an extended period of time, did not make the trip to New Jersey with the team.

Steve Sullivan will make his return to the New Jersey Devils tonight; Sullivan, who was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday, will be paired with Patrik Elias and Andrei Loktionov on the Devils' first line. With Sullivan in the line-up, the Devils appear to have four lines that are occupied by NHL-caliber players.

The lines for tonight are as follows:

Forwards: Elias-Loktionov-Sullivan; Zubrus-Zajac-Clarkson; Ponikarovsky-Henrique-D'Agostini; Carter-Gionta-Bernier
Defensemen: Salvador-Zidlicky; Greene-Fayne; Tallinder-Harrold
Goaltender: Brodeur
Scratches: Volchenkov, Larsson, Kostopoulos, Josefson, Barch

Make sure to check back for your post-game recap, brought to you by Raj Vaidya. Follow us on twitter and "like" us on facebook for the latest news, reaction, and analysis to everything New Jersey Devils! The rest of our writing staff (Scott, Joey, and Mike) can be found on twitter, as well.
 

no comments

Beantown Burden: Devils Shutout By Bruins

Written by Raj Vaidya on .

NJBOS 4-4-13

 

How can you describe this game in one adjective? Frustrating? Abominable? Bleak? Either way, as a Devils fan, this game was an opportunity for the Devils to fight back in an attempt to move up higher in the Eastern Conference. Before the game, they were in 8th place. Because of the Islanders taking a point in Washington and the Devils coming up empty in Boston, the New Jersey is now 9th. If the playoffs started today, the Devils would not qualify for a chance to defend their Eastern Conference title.

 

I know this sounds like something a sore loser would say but honestly, the Devils deserved to win this game, not the Bruins. Almost all the chances in tonight’s game went to New Jersey, and they showed that with a strong first period. Adam Henrique, Andrei Loktionov, and David Clarkson both had brilliant chances that could have put New Jersey up 3-0 in the first period itself. Thanks to stellar goaltending from Tuuka Rask, the game was kept scoreless and the Bruins survived the Devils’ onslaught of chances.

The second period was almost identical to the first period, except one blemish ruined the entire game. Very early into the period, newly acquired Jaromir Jagr scored his 15th goal of the season (1st with Boston). That goal though was nothing but luck. Brad Marchand played a key role, feeding a driving Jagr from the left side (he was skating to the net pretty hard) who put his stick to tip the puck. Instead the puck hit his skate and beat Marty Brodeur. That goal just deflated my mood for the entire night. It didn’t stop the Devils though, as they kept on getting more chances and nearly scored on a few of those chances. Nonetheless, Rask was on his head the entire game and kept the Devils off the score sheet.

I was confident that New Jersey would do something to tie the game. Like the second, they kept on getting more shots on goal. There were a plethora of rebounds as well but I really cannot fathom why the Devils couldn’t find a way to beat Rask. All I can really say is that he was having a great game and the more saves he made, the more energy dropped within the Devils’ morale. Ultimately, even pulling Marty at the end couldn’t help the Devils. I drank my green tea in disgust as the Bruins shut the Devils out 1-0 took the 2 points. I would like to point out that the officiating was a bit weak but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that the Devils should have won this game by a score of 6-1 or some score of that sort.

Is it panic time yet? I would say no. This game definitely does affect the Devils’ mindset for the remaining 11 games. However, there is no more room for games like the one we watched tonight. Steve Sullivan will be coming back to New Jersey and will play on Saturday against the Maple Leafs. Though he is 38, I believe he is going to be a big impact if the Devils turn their losing ways around. I have faith in this team and I know they can get the job done. But it all starts with a strong win at home against Toronto on Saturday. Let’s go Devils!

Puck drop is set for 7:00. Be sure to follow me (Raj – I’m glad to be back on the RWTD crew), Scott, Joey, and Mike on twitter for their latest reaction and analysis to everything New Jersey Devils.

no comments

Devils Battle Boston as RWTD Returns

Written by Scott Robb on .

Running With The Devils will return from its brief hiatus this evening as Jersey's Team battles the Boston Bruins. Previews and recaps were not available for the last two games due to personal issues with the writing staff, but things are back to normal tonight.

Content Writer Raj Vaidya is back on board after a brief absence from the blog. Raj will cover tonight's full game recap; Raj provides a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the blog and it is exciting to have him back.

Our facebook and twitter accounts will be more active than ever now, so be sure to follow and "like" us.


The New Jersey Devils have a tough game ahead of them tonight against the Boston Bruins. With only 12 games to go, every point is bigger than ever; Jersey is going to have to start winning on a consistent basis if they want to make the playoffs.

The Devils currently occupy the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Their record of 15-12-9 is not exactly what fans had in mind at this point in the season, but it is good enough--for now. New Jersey is in control of their own fate: continue to win, and they're in. One or two more losses might throw them off that track, so tonight's game is a great place to start winning.

The Bruins occupy the fourth seed in the east with a 23-8-4 record. They are just one point behind the division-leading Montreal Canadiens, who play Winnipeg tonight. A lot is at stake here for the Bruins, so they will be playing hard. Boston has not lost to New Jersey in the last five meetings between the two teams.

Both teams made acquisitions before the trade deadline yesterday. New Jersey acquired winger Steve Sullivan from the Phoenix Coyotes for a future seventh-round pick. Sullivan is on his way to New Jersey for a physical and will not play against Boston tonight. The Bruins added Jaromir Jagr (Dallas), Wade Redden (St. Louis), and Kaspars Daugavins (Ottawa). With new offensive threats, the Bruins will be a dangerous team as we head into the home stretch.


Photo by Charles Krupa/AP

Over their last ten games, the Devils are 3-3-4. The Bruins are 5-4-1. Tonight will be a good match-up. If all goes well, Raj will be recapping a win in his return to Running With The Devils.

Puck drop is set for 7:00. Be sure to follow Scott, Joey, Mike, and Raj on twitter for their latest reaction and analysis to everything New Jersey Devils.

no comments

Devils Fall Apart Late, Lose In SO

Written by Joey Pona on .

The New Jersey Devils coming into tonights game have won 8 of the last 9 games against the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road and were looking for a big win to help gain ground in the playoff seeding.

Jon Cooper was also making his NHL coaching debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning in tonights game.

Bryce Salvador and Alexei Ponikarovsky both returned from injuries.

The Devils looked rather flat in the first, coming out slow and were unable to put anything in the net in the period.

Their powerplay which came into this game struggling, continued to struggled in the first. On  their only powerplay attempt of the period, they looked rather confused and were unable to generate much of an attack against Tampa Bay.

The penalty kill stepped up and was able to kill of the Mark Fayne tripping call mid-way through the first period.

During the commercial timeout following the penalty, Tom Kostopoulos dropped the gloves with Radko Gudas and both received five for fighting.

Patrik Elias came close to scoring, but his slapshot rang of the post and was redirected out of play.

Martin Brodeur had to make a couple of huge saves which included stoning Victor Hedman at the corner post on a rebound off the glass.

Heading into the first intermission, the Devils lead in shots 7-5.

The Devils came out with a surge early in the second as they scored two goals in the span of :51 seconds.

Andrei Loktionov got the scoring started as he sniped a shot past the goaltender Garon giving the Devils the early 1-0 lead. 

That was Andrei Loktionov's 7th goal of the season.

Tom Kostopoulos was awarded a penalty shot on a Victor Hedman hooking call. He was able to wrist the shot past the goalie's blocker and gave New Jersey the 2-0 lead.

That was Tom Kostopoulos's first goal and first point as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

The lead wouldn't last as Tampa Bay responded quickly and furiously.

Steve Stamkos was able to find the opening of the net and wrist his 25th goal of the season cutting the deficit in half.

On a New Jersey Devils defenseman breakdown, Nate Thompson was able to beat out the two Devils defenseman and slip the puck up and over Martin Brodeur to tie the game at two.

The Devils scored on the POWERPLAY?!

You read that correctly, the New Jersey Devils scored on the powerplay. Andy Greene from the point wristed and laser which scorched the back of the net giving New Jersey back the lead 3-2.

With the Andy Greene goal, Matt D'Agostini collected another assist, giving him two on the game.

Moments after the goal, Steve Bernier had a breakaway attempt but was hooked multiple times and drew another Tampa Bay Lightning penalty.

The play definitely picked up and the third period was surely not going to disappoint.

But, I spoke too soon.

Ryan Carter on the penalty kill was able to wrist a shot passed Garon giving the Devils a 4-2 lead which seemed to be enough to earn the two points.

The Devils now have nine shorthanded goals on the year which is tops in the league.

Steven Stamkos would score again just minutes later, pulling Tampa Bay back to within one goal. With his two goals tonight, Stamkos now has 26 goals on the year which leads all NHL scorers.

The Devils seemed to have this game wrapped up but with 15 seconds to go in the game, Alex Killorn was able to tie the game for Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay had some nifty passing which set up Killorn to a wide open net and he buried it.

The game would head to OT.

In the overtime, the Devils were just dominated and were lucky to escape the overtime without giving up the  game winning goal. 

The Devils PK stepped up and was able to kill off a HUGE penalty to preserve the tie and send the game into the shootout.

In the shootout, the Devils continued to struggle. Purcell and Headman would score for Tampa Bay and that's all they would need. New Jersey came up blank as Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias were stopped and Tampa Bay received the full two points.

This game is going to be a tough one to swallow considering the Devils played well enough to win, but were unable to hold leads and ultimately led to their downfall. Hopefully New Jersey has a short memory and get ready for Florida tomorrow night.

 

For the latest news, analysis, and reactions to everything New Jersey Devils, follow us on Twitter and 'like' us on Facebook.

Follow us on our personal accounts: @joeypona @RealScottRobb @NJDPrime

no comments

Devils Battle Hard but Fall in Shootout

Written by Scott Robb on .

The New Jersey Devils dropped a hard-fought game in a shootout to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. Jersey's Team showed a lot of character in this game, however, which should be encouraging to Devils fans. Already without Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils lost Bryce Salvador and Stephen Gionta after the first period to injury. With only sixteen skaters for the second and third period, the Devils battled back from two deficits and did not give up.

The Devils looked sloppy early on and allowed the Senators a lot of pressure time. Chris Phillips got things going early on for the Sens as he knocked in his fifth goal of the season. Phillips' goal came on assists from Mike Lundin and Mika Zibanejad just 2:12 into the game. Coach Peter DeBoer took his timeout shortly thereafter and turned things around; the Devils went on a 7-1 run in shots on goal after the timeout and led in that category, 8-6, after the opening twenty minutes.

New Jersey continued their aggressive play in the second period. Andrei Loktionov had a beautiful chance in front off a rebounded shot but hit the crossbar with the shot. Later in the period, though, Lokti converted on a net-mouth scramble for his sixth goal of the year. Finally, the Devils had been rewarded for all of their hard work.

However, the Senators reclaimed the lead with 16 seconds to play in the middle frame on a goal by Colin Greening. Greening snuck in between Adam Larsson and Andy Greene and scooped up a juicy rebound off a shot by Kyle Turris. Martin Brodeur was angry with himself for leaving such a fat rebound, but this goal was all on the defense.

Yet again, New Jersey showed its resilience in the third period. Marek Zidlicky tallied his fourth goal of the season 6:05 into the final frame and tied the game at two. The Devils held the Sens to just three shots on goal in the third period and picked up a point in the standings on their way to overtime.

Both teams had good opportunities to score in the overtime period. The Senators were unable to cash in on defensive-zone turnovers by Zidlicky and Peter Harrold. Perhaps the best chance of overtime came with just four seconds remaining. Steve Bernier collected a loose puck and moved in 2-on-1 with Adam Henrique. Bernier's shot rebounded off of Bishop's pads and right to Henrique. The puck bounced just a little bit and Adam was unable to get a stick on it; had he been able to shoot the puck, Henrique would have had a wide open net... and the game-winning goal.


Photo by Blair Gables/REUTERS.

In the shootout, Jakob Silfverberg and Patrik Elias were denied on their first attempts. Daniel Alfredsson converted on his chance before Adam Henrique sailed one over the net. Brodeur stopped Kyle Turris; Travis Zajac tied things up for New Jersey. Mika Zibanejad faked out Brodeur and scored on a backhand. Loktionov was stopped by Ben Bishop to seal the deal.

Final Thoughts

  • The Devils played an outstanding game given the circumstances. No Kovy. No Gionta/Salvador (after the first period). And they did it in one of the toughest stadiums in the National Hockey League. You have to give a lot of credit to these guys for trying so hard in such a tough situation.
  • Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac, and Patrik Elias were out on the ice for a long time in the third period and they got the job done. Props to them. David Clarkson missed a couple of chances in the third period--ones that could have won the game for the Devils--but he was also tired. Give these guys some credit.
  • Brodeur did not have his best game since returning from injury, but still only gave up two goals (one on a defensive breakdown). Marty knows what needs to be done in order for this team to win and I have confidence that he will step it up.
  • Bryce Salvador and Stephen Gionta have not yet seen a doctor regarding their injuries; they will, however, accompany the team to Florida as they prepare for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday night. I'm not really sure what's going on with the amount of injuries the Devils are facing. A part of me wants to say, "Suck it up and go play," but I know that cannot always be done. Hopefully, Ponikarovsky and Zubrus will return soon. It would also be nice if Salvador and Gionta's injuries are light enough that they can play on Friday night. Only time will tell.

As Pete DeBoer said tonight, "I was real proud of our effort." I was, too. The Devils will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM. It's time to get over this game and focus on the next. Lace up the skates and get out there and fight.

For all of your latest Devils news, reaction, and analysis, be sure to follow us on twitter. You can also "like" us on facebook. Be sure to follow our staff writers (Scott, Joey, and Mike) on twitter, as well.

 

no comments

Devils vs. Senators, March 25, 2013: Preview

Written by Scott Robb on .

The New Jersey Devils will face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Monday evening at Scotiabank Place. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM. The Devils (15-11-6) are hoping to jump ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the east; a Jersey win and Toronto regulation loss would make that possible. The Senators (17-9-6) sit at fifth in the east and will remain there regardless of tonight's outcome.

The Devils are coming off their second straight victory, a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Jersey's Team lost its best player to injury during that win. Ilya Kovalchuk has been sidelined for a couple of weeks after crashing hard into the boards in the third period on Saturday. Kovy suffered a shoulder injury, which will not require surgery, and left the game without returning. Harri Pesonen has been recalled from the Albany Devils to fill Kovalchuk's roster spot.

The Senators are riding the momentum from an impressive win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Ottawa opened up a four-goal lead before the first twenty minutes expired and did not look back. Tampa forward Tyler Johnson led the comeback in the third period, tallying two goals, but the Sens held on for the win.


Photo by William Perlman/The Star-Ledger.

Over their last ten games, the Devils are 5-4-1. The Senators are 5-2-3.

The last meeting between these two teams came on February 18. Stephen Gionta put the Devils ahead early in the first period, but Ottawa tied the game in the third and later won in a shootout.

Both teams are looking to improve upon their record and create separation between themselves and lower-seeded teams heading into the home stretch. With only sixteen games remaining for both clubs, each point is big. Expect a hard-fought, physical battle between the Sens and Devils tonight.

The Devils and Senators are both battling some tough injuries. Jersey will be without Alexei Ponikarovsky tonight after he was placed on the injured-reserve list, retroactive to March 19. Ottawa will be without Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson Craig Anderson, and Milan Michalek (who was also placed on IR).

My projected outcome has the Devils winning this one, 3-1. Martin Brodeur will have another superb night; Henrique, Clarkson, and D'Agostini will chip in with goals.

For all of your latest Devils news, reaction, and analysis, be sure to follow us on twitter. You can also like us on facebook. Be sure to follow our staff writers (Scott, Joey, and Mike) on twitter, as well.

Go Devils!

no comments

The Impact of Ilya Kovalchuk's Injury

Written by Scott Robb on .

New Jersey Devils fans were hit with some tough news on Sunday afternoon: Ilya Kovalchuk will be out two-to-four weeks with a shoulder injruy.


Photo by Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger.

The superstar winger was injured in the Devils' 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday evening. Kovy lost his footing as he swooped around the net and crashed hard into the boards. He left the game, in obvious pain, and did not return. Devils President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello, on Sunday, said, "It’s not an operative situation. It’s a shoulder injury and, as I said, it could be two, it could be four, it could be less, but certainly not more."

Lamiorello added that an X-ray of Kovalchuk's shoulder "was fine" and affirmed that no surgery was needed.

Kovalchuk has 17 goals and 10 assists on the season. Kovy has not exactly been lighting the lamp over the last few games, but his locker room presence will be missed, without a doubt. Still, with the absence of Jersey's best player over the next few weeks, I want to put a sense of confidence back into the minds of Devils fans.

The schedule over the next two-to-four weeks is not that tough. Through the next two weeks, New Jersey will face Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida, New York (Islanders), Boston, Toronto, and Buffalo. At least four of those seven games are winnable without Kovalchuk. If Jersey can make it out of that two week span at 4-3 (with projected wins against Tampa Bay, Florida, New York, and Buffalo), everything will be just fine.

Let's assume that Kovalchuk's injury takes longer than two weeks to heal. Still, no need to panic. The Devils play Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, Philadelphia, Florida, and New York (Rangers). Certainly, some of those games are still winnable. If the Devils can't beat Philadelphia and Florida even without Kovalchuk, we have bigger issues to worry about.

This team has a good sampling of leadership, too. Players like Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, and Travis Zajac have what it takes to step up when they are needed. This is a great way to see what the Devils are really made of--who's going to step up and fill Kovy's shoes (skates) while he is injured? Only time will tell; rest assured, someone will.

Great moments are defined by the amount of adversity present. Kovalchuk's injury obviously presents a large amount of adversity. I have 100% confidence that the Devils will be able to rebound from this bump in the road.

Joey Pona of Running With The Devils agrees. Joey says, "There's no doubt that the injury to Kovalchuk is going to hurt the Devils. They need to have players step up in his place and contribute to help them win. A good start would be with Clarkson to get going again and have the rest of them follow. I wouldn't be surprised to see Patrik Elias step up or even Martin Brodeur. They know what it's like playing through adversity, especially being together as teammates for so long. Look for Matt D'Agostini to have a good couple of weeks."

Ilya Kovalchuk is a tough dude. He played through the entire post-season last year with a herniated disc in his back. That just sounds painful. I expect Kovalchuk to be back out on the ice before we know it.

Keep in mind that the Devils are still in the playoff picture. They currently sit at seventh in the east with 36 points. The eighth-place Rangers have 33 and the ninth-place Hurricanes have 32. That's plenty of breathing room for now.

For all of your latest Devils news, analysis, and reaction, be sure to follow us on twitter. You can also "like" us on facebook. Follow our staff writers (Scott, Joey, and Mike) for up-to-the-minute reaction to all things Jersey's Team!

no comments
8 Myths Surrounding Manning Leaving The Colts
This Given Sunday
9 Powerful Moments From PBS NFL Concussion Documentary
Awful Announcing
How One More Super Bowl QB Win Changes A Legacy
This Given Sunday
Do Fans Care About Brewing OSU Scandal?
Crystal Ball Run
Behind The Scenes Of ESPN And Their Soccer Coverage
Awful Announcing