Friday, October 17, 2008

The Devils Went Down to Georgia (Shutout Thrashers 1-0)

Coming back to ice after their first loss of the season on Monday against the Rangers, the Devils went down to Georgia and defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 1-0. The win and shutout brought Brodeur closer to two records he should eventually surpass this season. Brodeur is now 10 wins shy from tying Patrick Roy's career win total of 551 and 6 shutouts away from Bernie Parent's career mark of 103 shutouts.

Brodeur was the show stopper again making great saves early to keep the game knotted at zero. The Devils defense has proven early not to be a problem at all as they have been able to clear all the rebounds in front of Brodeur and limit the scoring chances against. So far this season the Devils have only allowed one even-strength goal, a Brandon Dubinsky's knuckle ball shot that Brodeur fanned on with his glove.

On the other side of the ice, the offense has seemed to get worse with every game with limited chances and it seemed that clearly the power play and Brian Rolston at center have not worked so far this season. Coach Sutter desperate for offense split up the lines midway through the second period, which seemed to turn the game in the Devils favor as they were able to pressure the Thrashers down low and around the net.

The big move came by moving Zubrus to center Elias and Rolston. Zubrus seemed comfortable and more energized than last season, as he created some great opportunities for his wingers. He was able to work the puck down low and set-up Brian Rolston in the corner for the lone Devils goal of the night. Zubrus fed Rolston down in the right corner on the power-play and Rolston did the rest of the work. Taking it the net and scoring on a second rebound chance. The goal would be Rolston's first since returning to the Devils. Later in the third period, Rolston would go down sliding into the boards and seemed to hurt his knee or ankle as he was helped off the ice and limped to the locker room. It is still unsure of the severity of the injury, but Devil fans I would not expect to see him out on the ice for a few games or more.

The Devils improve to 3-1-0 on the season despite the pathetic offense they have shown. They now have scored 6 goals on the year in four games and have not scored more than 2 goals in a game. Will we see some changes up-front? Will we see the Devils trade for a true play-making center? We will see in time, but it is coming quite clear that the Devils will need to find scoring if they want to have a chance to win the cup.

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