Thursday, December 18, 2008

Devils Offense Gets Back On Track ; Rangers Lose Out on Sundin

Before we start on last nights game, lets all grab a tissue and give it a Ranger fan you know. The poor Rangers couldn't find a way to shed cap space and lost out on trying to be the Yankees of the NHL by buying Sundin for their services. Sundin made it official, he has signed with the Vancouver Canucks. Hey who knows maybe they will go after Forsberg now or don't be surprised if Shanahan ends up a Ranger. They will find someone to buy off, too bad for them unlike baseball there is salary cap in the NHL.

Now to the Devils, who got back on track with their offensive game as they downed the Sabres 5-3. The Devils got goals from Zajac, Salvador, a power-play goal from Parise, Clarkson and Rolston. The new line of Rolston-Holik-Clarkson scored the two third period goals and as a unit seemed to get better as the game went on.

Early on I saw the Devils get back to the formula of soft dumps into the corners and a hard pressuring fore-check, not allowing the Sabres defense to get an easy clear. You could see the Devils get the puck and looked to push the puck up the ice and there were several long passes to lead the offensive rush out of their own end. That is what has made these Devils successful on the offensive end this year.

Rolston, who still seems not at 100%, scored his first goal since returning from his ankle injury and Clarkson netted his 6th goal of the year to seal the victory. Both goals came from Clarkson taking the puck to the net. This line seems to have better possibilities of creating offense and coming up a formula for success, rather than Rolston playing with Madden and Pandolfo. Let us not forget that Holik, though signed to be our fourth line center, was a top 2 centerman last year for the Thrashers.

I also want to give a shout out to Travis Zajac. This is someone who couldn't even score an open net early in the year and now has 8 goals, which is tied for 3rd on the team. He is beginning to make me a believer out of me that he may be a top 2 centerman after all.

Now the Devils come home for four games through Christmas, but it will not be easy an the games could be some offensive affairs as the Senators, Flyers, Bruins and Pens come to town.

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