Monday, November 17, 2008

Devils Finally Go On the Offensive

Well for any Devils fan who watched Saturday's game against the Capitals saw a Devils team that finally found the back of the net and had numerous great scoring chances. Even with that it took a shoot-out for the Devils to break their winless streak, but than again no one said it would come easy.

The most impressive part of the Devils offense was where there opportunities were coming. Most of the Devils goals came with clear shots from the high slot and not from the along the boards or the from the point. Clarkson, Langenbrunner and Gionta all scored from the high slot and their were other chances from their that did not result in goals.

With all the injuries, spotty offense and two ugly losses to the Rangers, their have been some positives. Zack Parise has 20pts. in 17 games, Zajac can find the back of the net but he has 11 assists to lead the team and has been getting better each game, Elias now has 7 goals and could you imagine if he had a real center to play with, Clarkson is 3rd on the team with 4 goals despite being with a new line every night and on defense Oduya, Greene and Salmella have been great. Escpecially Oduya who leads the Devils defenseman in points with eight and Greene had 6pts. in 6 games before getting hurt, and Salmella is about ready to break-out.

On the negative side, the Devils best defensive players (Madden, Pandolfo, Salvador and Martin) are a combines minus-14. Only one other regular, David Clarkson at minus-2, is playing at a negative rating.

The Devils have an opportunity to get healthy and get some wins as they play the worst of the conference over the next four games, Florida (twice), Tampa Bay Lightining and the rival Islanders. After that they have a tough six-game stretch that could determine their season as they play the Penguins (twice), Flyers, Rangers, Sabres and the Canadians.

- Rolston is not skating yet, so his return is questionable. Holik should be looking to return around Thanksgiving or just before. Greene will still be out to just before Christmas.
- Lowell is feeling the effects of the Devils injuries as they are winless in their last seven. With Halischuk out (knee surgery), Bergfors (still with Devils), Salmella (back with Devils) and Clemmensen (up with Devils) they are feeling a bit shortrhanded.
- Barry Tallackson is back with the Devils after a heart surgery and then a five game rehab stint with the Lowell Devils. He is still aways off from getting on the ice with the Devils at the NHL level. Hopefully we will see him in the line-up as he can be a positive 4th liner for the Devils.
- Lamiriello is showing interest in Khabibulin (CHI), Roloson (EDM) and Kolzig (TAMPA) to take over in goal. This may put a damper on the Devils looking to add a center or defenseman.

No comments: