Friday, December 5, 2008

Elias and Parise Lead Devils to Victory

After I saw the Devils just dominating the Flyers early in the 3rd period and out shooting 10-1 but still tied at 1-1, I was just waiting for the wheels to fall off. Well they did as yet again the Devils gave up a power-play goal, but Elias fixed the Devils flat tire and scored a late goal and the eventual game winner in overtime to help the Devils to victory. As much as I am excited about the two points a few things I am still very concerned about:

1) Though the Devils hold a 4-5-1 record in the division, two wins have come against the weak Islanders and the other two victories (Pens and Flyers) were both in overtime, which still gave up at least a point to these teams. Even worse against the Flyers, Pens and Rangers they have been outscored 14-24 and are only 2-25 on the Power Play (8%) and they have given up 10 goals in 32 chances on their Penalty Kill (68.75%). There is the difference between the Devils and these three teams and that leads me to my next point.

2) The Devils rank 27th on the Power play and 27th on Penalty kill, they have scored 11 power play goals and given up 22, for a minus-11 differential. Only Atlanta at minus-11 and Columbus at minus-14 are worse. The Penguins are plus-3, Flyers plus-7 and the Rangers are plus-10. This is where the fate of the Devils season lies, they need to change this number and fast. Changes need to be made, they are so desperate they are playing five forwards on the top power-play unit. Guess what, 0-for-3 last night and Chico went as far as stating the Devils first power play was their best penalty kill of the season. Remember I said it, Salmela could be the difference maker. OH wait he is helping Lowell with their power-play.

Down on the Farm:
- The Lowell Devils are 7-1-1 in their past 9 games.
- Goalie Jeff Frazee has now won six straight games and is 6-1-1 on the season with and ranks fourth in the AHL with a 2.12 GAA.
- In his two games since being sent down, Anssi Salmela has 1G-1A and is plus-1 with six shots on goal.
- Former Ranger farmhand Chad Wiseman has scored in six straight games and has 15 pts. in 13 games (7G-8A). Wiseman played 5 games with the Rangers over three season in the organization, scoring 1G-1A in those games.
- Alexander Vasyunov now leads the team with eight goals.
- Matt Halischuk is rehabbing his knee from surgery and is expected to return this year to play, as the knee was not as bad as originally diagnosed.

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