Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm back! Sorry but having a new baby around the house has been too much! But now I can't take it anymore. These past five games have got all Devils fans as hot as the fires in hell. Yes you heard me right.

So what is going on, well here is my little take on the whole shit storm that has happened the past five games.
1) The Devils are getting run like a deer caught in the headlights of an 18-wheeler. Parise has gotten laid out the past few games, Marty is getting run and our defenseman are being pressured into turnovers and taken out by forwards who are told to run us through a brick wall. And what do our players do back, we hit like PUSSIES. YES, you heard me right fans, we hit like little bitches and that doesn't win come playoffs.
2) The Penalty Kill just blows. We are letting teams just set up and their are no pressure on the point men and we are allowing passes right through the center of our passive box. Again we are not going after the puck, they are so worried about positioning. Go force their players along the boards and at the points. Make them feel some fear from our penalty kill.
3) Take out Parise and there is no offense. Are Zubrus and Gionta dead? Cause they have done shit in February and March, Gionta has 7G-9A in 26 games (he had 41 points in first 49 games) and Zubrus has (wait listen to these pathetic 2nd line center numbers, here it comes) 3G-6A in 26 games. Hell Rolston and Shanahan are nowhere to be found either. Rolston has 6G-8A in 26 games and Shanahan, who has 3G in first 5 games, has 2G-6A in last 23 games.
4) Shots, Shots Shots! And I don't mean of Tequila. All teams are doing now are shooting from anywhere and watch side angle shots are low at Marty's pads where he can't control teh rebounds and the puck just lies there for people to clear. Get some fucking blocked shots.
5) 552. The chase took alot out of them and they were playing playoff hockey to get Marty to 552, so they hit a wall after it has happened. While at the same time other teams are just now playing playoff hockey cause they are desperate.

So what to do:
1) Put Shanahan with someone who can score and get him the puck.
2) Change the lines, except for the ZZ Pop line. Elias-Zubrus-Shanahan, Rolston-Madden-Gionta, Pandolfo-Holik-Clarkson.
3) Bring a forward up from Lowell. Halischuk, just some new blood. Scare some players and see what they can do for a game or two.
4) Hit everyone in sight. This next game run over Crosby and Malkin like they they road kill. Which defenseman will step up and be the Scott Stevens type, saying don't you come this way or you will leave on a stretcher.
5) Take less penalties and be more aggressive on the penalty kill.
6) Maybe have the refs give us some early power-plays. Oh, ya thats right we don't dive like that fags who play at MSG.
7) The next time anyone sees Avery on the ice, if he doesn't drop the gloves start pounding his face with their fists, we will see if he starts swinging then.
8) Control the puck and get back the aggressive forecheck. We are playing without the puck and sitting back. We need the puck more.
9) Get the breakout going.
10) lastly, get hunry and hurt the other team. Make them bleed and feel pain.

Sorry for all the mispellings, but I am too pissed off right now!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Devils Need To Bounce Back After Disaster On Long Island

After their worst defeat of the year, a 7-3 trouncing to the young Islanders, the Devils know that they need to bounce back and right the ship in the final 17 games of the regular season.

Sutter spoke this week to many of the veteran players, all of whom need to step up their game as they head towards the playoffs. Players like Zubrus, Elias, Gionta, Shahahan, Madden and Rolston are all players that Sutter expects to see them games rise to the level of play he expects come playoff time.

The line of Zubrus-Elias-Gionta are the key to how far the Devils can go in their Stanley Cup run. The line was a key producer offensivelly during the Devils long winning streak in the middle of the season. Even though Elias has kept up his scoring pace, Gionta has (4G-8A) in his last 21 game while he had (11G-27A) in the first 43 games, while Zubrus has been a big dissapointment with (2G-4A) in his last 22 games, while he had (11G-17A) in his first 43 games.

If the Devils are able to win against Calgary and Phoenix, it will set up the opportunity for Brodeur to tie Patrick Roy's record in Montreal and then have a chance to break it at home against the Blackhawks at home on St. Patrick's Day.

Devil Notes:
- Havelid played 19:28 in his debut with the Devils and was a minus-2.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Devils Getting Help While Not Playing

As of Thursday, the New Jersey Devils were 6 points behind the Boston Bruins for first in the Eastern Conference with 18 games remaining. They also had the Flyers and Capitals nipping at their heels. Well Thursday they got some help as the Bruins, Flyers and Capitals all lost.

With Bostons 2-1 loss to Phoenix, the Devils remain 6 points behind Boston with a game at hand. The Devils and Bruins play one more time, Sunday, March 22nd. The Bruins are 3-6-3 after a fast start to the season. Maybe, just maybe the NHL will make this the game of the week, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference, instead of the Rangers or Penguins.

Coming from behind are the Capitals and Flyers. With last nights 5-1 loss to Calgary, the Flyers remain 9 points behind the Devils but still have a game at hand. The way the Devils are playing it is all but seemingly their division to win and possibly by the end of March.

The Capitals 2-1 loss last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, keeps the Devils 2 points ahead of the Capitals with 2 games at hand. The Capitals have struggled of late as well, losing 3 straight and five of their last eight games.

Anyway it plays out, the Devils seem to be on a collision course with the Rangers or Penguins in a first round match-up. If it was me I would be hoping to avoid those guys and prey we land the Panthers or Canadians. But one thing for sure, the Devils do have a real shot at being the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beyond Havelid, Devils Remain Silent at Trade Deadline

The 2009 NHL trade deadline came and went and the New Jersey Devils remained intact, except for the addition of Nicholas Havelid. As of 3:57pm on Wednesday, a total of 20 traded were made on deadline day.

The big winners were the Calgary Flames who added Oli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold. The big additions in Calgary prompted the San Jose Sharks to act as they later added Travis Moen and Kent Huskins from Anaheim, while at the same time sent defenseman Kyle McLaren to Philadelphia.

The other team out west that made a big splash were the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes sent Jokinen, Morris and Caracillo out of the desert. In return they got a load of NHL ready players in Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Dmitiri Kalinin, Scottie Upshall, Matthew Lombardi and Brandon Prust.

But as all Devils fans care about is what happened in the Eastern Conference. All Atlantic Division rivals were active at the deadline.

The Rangers added Nik ANtropov and Derek Morris, but gave up draft picks and player Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes and Dmitiri Kalinin. Along with those players Aaron Voros and Erik Reitz were put on waivers, which Reitz was picked off waivers by Toronto. And lets not forget they added Avery. In the end the Rangers have changed a dramatic portion of their roster, but their core still remains the same and that wont change the team they are.

The Flyers were all talk and less action. They talked about adding Pronger and Bouwmeester and so on, well in the end the shipped out Scottie Upshall and a draft pick and added Daniel Caracillo and Kyle McLaren. Small trades for the Flyers and still leave them with questions at goal and on defense.

The Penguins may have made the most imposing moves. Adding Chris Kunitz has seemed to already pay off with 3 goals since coming to Pittsburgh, but today they added Bill Guerin for nothing more than a 3rd to 5th round draft pick. If Crosby is healthy, the Pens have three solid lines but may have question at defense and will need Fluery to play out his ass to get past the Caps, Flyers, Bruins and Devils.

The Boston Bruins did as the Devils did, they fine tuned their roster. With a roster who does not have many players who have been past the 1st round of the playoffs, the Bruins added veteran Mark Recchi and defenseman Steve Montador, while giving up nothing from their teams core. This is essentially the same thing the Devils did in adding Havelid and Shanahan. I think we got the better end of that.

A big suprise was that the Capitals did nothing at the deadline. They have issues on the blueline and in goal, so this may be the biggest suprise.

Below are all the trades that happened today:

OTT- G Pascal LeClaire, 2009 2nd RD Pick
COL - F Antoinne Vermette

STL- D Danny Richmond
PIT-D Andy Wozniewski

CAL- D Jordan Leopold
COL - D Lawrence Nycholat, D Ryan Wilson, 2009 2nd Rd. Pick

DAL - Claims C Brendan Morrison off waivers
TOR - Claims D Eric Reitz off waivers
TOR - Claims G Martin Gerber off waivers
PIT - Claims F Craig Adams off waivers

BUF - G Mikael Tellqvist
PHO - 4th Rd Pick

CAL - C Oli Jokinen
PHO - 1st rd pick, C Matt Lombardi, F Brandon Prust

BOS- D Steve Montador
ANA - F Petteri Nokelainen

BOS- F Mark Recchi, 2010 2nd rd pick
TB - D Matt Lashoff, F Martisn Karsums

PIT- F Bill Guerin
NYI- Conditional Draft pick

PHI- F Danny Carcillo
PHO- F Scottie Upshall, 2nd Rd pick

NYR- C Nik Antropov
TOR- 2nd Rd Pick and a Conditional Pick

NYR- D Derek Morris
PHO- F Petr Prucha, F Nigel Dawes, D Dmitiri Kalinin

BUF- C Dominic Moore
TOR - 2nd Rd Pick

ANA - F Erik Christensen
ATL - D Eric O'Dell

FLA- D Steve Eminger
TB- D Noah Welch, 3rd Rd. Pick

CLB- G Kevin LaLande
CAL - 4th Round Pick

PHI- D Kyle McLaren
SJ- 6th round Pick

CHI - F Samuel Pahlsson
ANA- James Wisneiwski

SJ- F Travis Moen, D Kent Huskins
ANA- Nick Bonnino, G Tim Pielmeirer, Conditional Pick

CAR- F Patrick O'Sullivan
LA- F Justin Williams

EDM- F Patrick O'Sullivan
CAR- F Erik Cole

EDM- F Ales Kotalik
BUF- 2nd Round Pick

TOR- G Olaf Kolzig, D Jamie Heward, D Andy Rogers and 4th Round Pick
TB- D Richard Petoit

Deadline Day Is Here!

Well the trade deadline is here and I will be glued to the NHL network starting at Noon, to see what is going to happen and where the Devils will land after all the dust settles.

Some things that are for sure, well at least that is what we are hearing, are that Neidermeyer and Pronger are going nowhere. On the other hand Derek Morris, Bill Guerin, Nik Antropov, Dominic Moore, Mark Recchi are all heading to new teams.

Players still up in the air are Ryan Smyth, Michael Nylander, Jay Bouwmeester, Oli Jokinen, Tomas Kaberle, Doug Weight and Martin St. Louis.

Then their are all the players who were put on waivers yesterday, Brendan Morrison, Miroslav Satan, Gary Roberts and Jon Sim, just to name a few. What will happen with them?

As for the Devils, what is their next move after picking up Nicolas Havelid the other day from Atlanta?

Will Clemmensen be traded or is their no interest from teams? Would Lou trade him to an eastern contender? Or will Weekes be the on who gets traded?

Will the Devils land another forward, hopefully a second line center?

Will Madden still be a New Jersey Devil after 3pm?

Will Greene, Gionta, Mottau, Zubrus and or Pandolfo be traded?

Well all we can do is sit back and let the deals unfold and trust that Lou will put us over the top as the top cup contender in the east!

- With their 3-2 overtime win last night aginst the Leafs and losses by Boston and San Jose, the Devils are now only six points behind the league leading Sharks and Bruins. Four teams are tied for the league lead with42 victories (Boston, San Jose, Detroit and the DEVILS!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Brodeur, Havelid and the Trade Deadline

Marty Brodeur was named the NHL's weeks 1st star.Since his return, Marty Brodeur has posted two shutouts in three games including a dominant 3-0 victory over the Flyers on Sunday.

If there were any doubters, they are seemingly all convinced that Brodeur is 100% and that he is the greatest goalie of all time. Sunday's shutout was the 100th of Brodeur's career, which now puts him three away from tying Terry Sawchuk (103). Brodeur is also inching closer to the all-time win record held by Patrick Roy (551). If all goes as planned, Brodeur could tie or break the record at Montreal on Saturday, March 14th or the St. Patrick's Day game on Tuesday, March 17th against the Chicago Blackhawks.

On Sunday, Jamie Langenbrunner netted the 200th goal of his career and is on pace to break his career best of 23 goals in a season. Also in Sunday's game, Brian Gionta got his 300th career point with his second period goal.

In the three games since Brodeur's return, the Devils have outscored their opponents 14 to 2, outshooting their opponents 120-68 and have not allowed a power-play against in eight opportunities.

On Monday, the Devils acquired defenseman Nicholas Havelid from Atlanta Anssi Salmella. Havelid, 35, has played nine years in the NHL with Atlanta and the Anaheim Ducks. In 63 games this season he has 2 goals and 13 assists and is only one of five Thrasher regulars to have a plus rating (+4). In his career, Havelid has only had a negative plus/minus rating twice in an entire season.

Havelid gives the Devils another solid veteran puck moving defenesman. The trade opens up options for Lamoriello to either put Andy Greene as the seventh defenseman or trade a defenseman for the forward they have been looking to add. Havelid's salary is for 2.9M and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Many people were hoping for the Devils to land a big name defenseman, but lately Neidermeyer came off the trade block and Pronger, Jovanovski and Kaberle came with too high of a price tag and salaries to add to a team with such great chemistry.

So where do the Devils go from here? The trade deadline is Wednesday at 3pm and the Devils may not be done. The Devils are still looking to add a center or veteran winger, but with the addition of Havelid, in order to do so they will need to give up a player. Players still on the trade block are Pandolfo, Madden, Gionta, Clarkson and Zubrus all could be moved.

Havelid will not join the team in Toronto, which also puts speculation that he may be one of the players traded to add another player. One rumor floating around is that Florida would move Bouwmeester for a veteran defenseman and a forward that could help them this season in their playoff run. Some options could be Salvador or Havelid and Madden or Pandolfo for Bouwmeester. Long shot trade and only a rumor at this point.

We will find out shortly.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Devils Blast Panthers; Guerin To Decide On Trade On Sunday

The New Jersey Devils had something to prove after getting thumped 4-0 by the Panthers last week in Miami. Well I think the Panthers got the answer who the better team is as the Devils dominated and tore apart the Panthers 7-2.

Zach Parise led the Devils with 2 goals and an assist, giving Parise 38 goals and 76 points on the season. Of late Parise is not just scoring goals, his goals like his 38th goal are becoming highlight reel goals that are being shown on every network that shows hockey causing fans to scream MVP chants at the game yesterday. Parise is now back on pace for exactly 50 goals and 100 points, which would both be firsts in Devils history.

The Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner line got some help from the newly formed line of Rolston centering Shanahan and Clarkson. The new line accounted for 3 goals and six points. All three players had a goals and assist apiece on the afternoon. Sutter's changes on the third and fourth lines and may have struck gold as Rolston's was able to use his speed at center, making him much more involved throughout the game and in the offense. The fourth line had Madden at center with Pandolfo and Holik on the wings.

Brodeur got his second straight win stopping 15 shots and is expected to play Sunday against the Flyers.

The real story is coming out Long Island, where the Islanders are said to have a deal in place with a playoff contender for winger Bill Guerin.

Guerin, who has a no-trade clause, was sent home after the pre-game skate on Saturday to mull over the potential trade with his family. Guerin is expected to make his decision known to Islanders management early this morning.

The Boston Bruins were speculated a few weeks ago, but are said not to be the team Guerin could be traded to. The three teams being speculated are the Canadians, Capitals and the Devils. The deal has been a very hush-hush affair, bringing on the though by many hockey media outlets and websites that the only GM who could pull off such a hush-hush trade is Lou Lamoriello.

Guerin leads all Islanders forward with 16 goals and 36 points on the season. A former 1st round choice of the Devils in 1989, Guerin has 403 career goals. The 38 year old is making 4.5M this season and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

We should know the answer about Guerin sometime around game time for the Devils-Flyers game at 1pm today.

Friday, February 27, 2009


After missing 50 games, Martin Brodeur stepped out onto the ice at the Prudential Center and made it seem as if he was never gone.

In his first game back since recovering from surgery to repair a torn bicep, Brodeur stopped all 24 shots on way to the shutout and a 4-0 Devils win. The shutout and win put Brodeur closer to breaking two records that seemed to be a foregone conclusion for him to reach at the beginning of the season. Brodeur is now six wins shy of tying Patrick Roy's record of 551 wins and four shutouts shy of tying Terry Sawchuk's record of 103 careeer shutouts.

After a three game stretch that saw them get shutout twice, the Devils came out flying and were aggressive on the puck. Spending most of the first period in the offensive zone, Brodeur was allowed to settle into the game as he only faced five 1st period shots. After the first period, Brodeur seemed to get stronger as the game went on. Early in the 3rd period, with the Devils clinging to a 2-0 lead, Brodeur made some key saves to keep the score at 2-0.

Several times throughout the game a loud and large Thursday night crowd chanted "Marty, Marty, Marty...." and really gave the feel of excitement that could come this spring come playoff time. Now the questions that will surround Brodeur and the Devils will be how does Brodeur feel the day after his first game and with back-to-back games this weekend, will Brodeur play one or both?

- The Devils got all four of their goals with the Zajac-Parise-Langebrunner line on the ice. It was very noticeable that Sutter has become frustrated with the lack of offense from the other lines as he mixed up the lines all night to try and find a good combination. With players struggling offensively like: Zubrus (4pts. in 18 games), Gionta (4 pts. in 11 games), Rolston (7pts. in 15 games), Shanahan (1pt. in 9 games) and Madden (4pts, in 14 games) the Devils may be pressed to get a scoring centerman instead of the defensemen that have been rumored. Some names out their are Jokinen (PHO), Morrison (ANA), Connolly (BUF), Nylander (WAS), Spezza (OTT) and Antropov (TOR).

I am sure Lou would like to be able add both if possible and Jay Pandolfo played last night and me be being showcased for a potential trade. Pandolfo does have a no-trade clause, which would make it harder to trade him.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weekes Is Stronger Link

With the Marty Brodeur's probable return on Thursday and the trade deadline nearing on March 4th, the Devils will have to make a decision on who will be the back-up for the remainder of the season.

At first glance everyone might say it will be Clemmensen for all that he has done this year, but of late Weekes has made his stand that he wants to be here for the remainder of the season. In his last 5 starts Weekes in 5-0-0 allowing only 7 goals for a 1.37 GAA. The veteran goalie has stopped 153 of 160 shots for an out of this world .956 save percentage. Weekes has stood on his head and won some games by himself, like this past Thursday where his marvelous saves kept the Devils in the game against the Lightning and eventually came back to defeat them in the shootout 3-2.

On the other side, we have Scott Clemmensen who had two straight shutouts, but take those games away and he has struggled. In his last eight starts Clemmensen is 5-3-0 with a 2.75 GAA and a .899 save percentage. If you take away the two shutouts, Clemmensen's numbers dive into the piss poor range. Without the shutouts his GAA is 3.67 and a pathetic .863 save percentage. In each of those games he has given up at least 3 goals.

The most probable option will be that one of the goalies will end up on waivers, as both lack the trade value,are UFA at year's end and Clemmensen, who has a two-way contract, will probably reject a return to Lowell. If it was right now if you were Lamiriello and Sutter you would have to stay with Weekes at this point., He has been the better goalie of late and more experience and professionalism as being a back-up goalie.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Devils Reel In Sharks 6-5

In a back and forth affair the New Jersey Devils prevailed on Sunday afternoon over the Western Conference leading San Jose Sharks 6-5.

The Devils got off to another quick start as Brian Gionta scored 30 seconds into the game. After Gionta's goal, the Devils and Sharks would swap goals in a wild first period. The Sharks struck first as Rob Blake scored, then Brian Rolston, then Patrick Marleau and finally David Clarkson finished the first period scoring.

Leading 3-2 after one period the game would settle down until late in the 2nd period when Jonathan Cheechoo blasted a shot through Clemmensen blocker side to tie the game at 3-3. Then the refs stepped in with some awful calls leading to a Sharks a five-on-three goal with 13 seconds remaining. Joe Thorton would make quick work on the five-on-three centering a pass to Setoguchi to give the Sharks a 4-3 lead after two periods.

In the third period the Devils power-play erupted for three goals. Patrick Elias scored first at 4:47 into the third, then Langenbrunner would give the Devils a 5-4 lead just under three minutes later. Then halfway through the period Zubrus turned the puck over in center ice and the Sharks Pavelski walked in and through a short-angle backhander over the short-side shoulder of Clemmensen to tie the game.

David Clarkson, who was replacing a scratched Brendan Shanahan on the power-play, would score his second goal of the game with 3:32 left in the game. Gionta controlled the puck along the boards and made a little soft backhand pass to Rolston who one-timed a shot that deflected off Clarkson, who was screening Nabakov, to give the Devils the eventual game winner.

Paul Martin and Brendan Shanahan both sat out today's game with injuries. Neither injury seems to be serious at this time. Shanahan's injury was a foot from blocking a shot in Friday's game against Boston and Martin's upper body injury was a last minute game time decision.

The Devils finished the week 4-0-0, in which saw them play the rival Rangers and Islanders and then the conference leading Bruins and Sharks. In the week the Devils doubled up their opponents outscoring them 14 to 7, including their first two shutouts since the injury to Brodeur. With the wins the Devils have opened up an eight point lead on the Flyers and an eleven point lead on the Rangers.

Winner of 13 of their last 15, the Devils head south for games in Florida and Tampa before returning north to play the Islanders on the February 21st. Then the Devils will have four full days for Brodeur to get in some good hard practices before a possible return for their February 26th home game against the Avalanche.

Devils Notes:
- Today marked the return of a Devils icon, Claude Lemieux. The 43 year old Lemieux was the 1995 Con Smythe winner in the Devils first Stanley Cup run. Today he saw six minutes of ice-time without registering a shot or a point and was a minus-1. Since returning to the NHL he has played 10 games for the Sharks and has zero points and 10 shots in that span.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Three Down and One To Go as Devils Blank Bruins 1-0

The New Jersey Devils entered this week knowing they had a challenge on their hands and a chance to see where their teams stacks up against the rest of the league. Well all they have done is shut-out the hated Rangers, defeat their other New York rival the Islanders and shutout the best team in the NHL, the Boston Bruins. Now all that stands from a perfect week is a win on Sunday over the Western Conference leading San Jose Sharks.

Maybe feeling a little bit of pressure knowing Marty Brodeur's return is getting closer and closer by the day, goalie Scott Clemmensen has decided not to give up the #1 goalie title he has earned in Brodeur's absence. After going his first 35 games without a shutout, Clemmensen has posted two straight shutout this week stopping 58 shots in the process. Clemmensen now owns a 2.23 GAA and a .922 save percentage this season. With Marty Brodeur' return on the horizon, Clemmensen is making what just a few months ago look to be an easy decision for Coach Sutter now a very hard one.

The Devils and Bruins played an extremely tight defensive game and showed why they are two of the top defensive teams in the NHL. The Devils defenseman have made their statement, trying to dispel all trade rumors with their play of late, that they like this group just the way it is and Lou should leave it alone.

Tim Thomas was excellent in yesterdays game again and would be my leading candidate for the Vezina trophy this season, but one mistake cost him the game. John Madden won a face off clean back to Bryce Salvador at the point, who threw a seemingly harmless wrist shot past that slipped through the legs of Thomas for the only goal of the game.

The Devils now look to finish off the week by closing out the Sharks Sunday afternoon. The Sharks, who have only lost four times all year in regulation, have struggled of late as they are 1-1-4 in their last six games.

Devils Notes:
- Travis Zajac now ranks fifth in league in plus/minus at plus 28. He was minus-11 last season.
- Brodeur should participate in his first full team practice today, speculation has him returning on February 26th.
- Devils have only given up 6 goals in their last 5 games, in that same time they have scored 14. Of the 4 goals Langenbrunner and Parise have scored 7 of them.
- It took nine rounds of the shootout for the Philadelphia Phantoms to defeat the Lowell Devils 2-1 last night. After the loss Lowell is 24-21-5 this season.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who Is On Fire and Who Is On Ice Since Shanahan's Return

It has been 10 games since Brendan Shanahan has made his debut with the New Jersey Devils in which time the Devils have gone 8-2-0 and taken control of first place in the Eastern Conference. Now with the trade deadline looming and the Devils facing their biggest challenge of the season with conference leaders the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks coming in to "THE ROCK" this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to look at what and who are hot and who are ice cold over the past ten games.

1. Jamie Langebrunner and Zach Parise. Langenbrunner had 8 goals in his first 44 games, he has 9 over the past 10 games. Parise has continued his great season as he has 8 goals and 7 assists over the past 10 games. He is now exactly on pace to be the first Devil to score 50 goals in a season and 100 points. Zajac has been no slouch either, he has 2 goals and 10 assists in the last 10 games as this line is becoming one of the best in the league.
2. Paul Martin. Martin has taken his game to a new level over the past 10 games. Since being paired with Oduya he has broken out and still maybe the most underrated defenseman in the league. His offense has come to the surface as he had 3 assists in the last game versus the Islanders and 7 points in the last 10 games. Martin only had 12 points in his first 40 games of the season.
3. The penalty kill. If you take away the Washington game where the Devils gave up 3 power-play goals, the Devils are killing off penalties at a 90% clip. To top it all off they are 2nd in the league in short-handed goals with 10, in which half have come in the last 11 games.
4. Patrick Elias. Despite the drastic drop off in scoring from his linemates, Patrick Elias has endured. Over the past 10 games he has 3 goals and 8 assists and remains in the NHL's Top 10 point leaders. He remains on pace to break the 90 point barrier, which would be only the second time in his career he has done that. The other time was when he set the Devils franchise record with 96 points in the 2000-2001 season.
5. The defense going on the offensive. Over the past 10 games the Devils defenseman are averaging 1.8 points per game, over the first 45 games they averaged 1.46 points per game. Colin White has 13 points so far, the most he ever had in a season was 20 in his rookie year. We already spoke of Oduya and Martin, only Andy Greene has struggled since returning from his injury. The team defense has been superb as well as they are averaging 2.10 goals against in the last 10 games.

1. Gionta and Zubrus. At one point this season I thought this line could do what the Elias-Arnott-Sykora line had accomplished. Lately this line seems to have faded, well two thirds of it at least. Zubrus who had 28 points in the first 45 games but has only managed 2 points in the past 10 games. Gionta had 38 points in the first 44 games and was on pace for a 70 point season, his most since 2005-2006. Over the last 10 games he has 4 points and is facing the possibility of being traded.
2. Bad Penalties. The Devils have taken some bad penalties early in games and have forced them to lose momentum and play from behind. Some players have been more responsible for taking bad penalties than others. The third and fourth liners (Holik, Shanahan, Clarkson, Madden, Rolston and Rupp) have taken 26 of the teams 51 minor penalties. Also in there have been 11 penalties by defenseman and 3 team bench minor penalties.
3. Andy Greene. Not as if he could of kept up the pace of a point a game all year (6pts in his first 6 games), but after coming back from his injury he has accumilated 2 points in 26 games and Sutter still has him playing on the power-play. He is even playing at a minus-1 over those 26 games and he may be the one Devils defenseman who could be moved at the trade deadline.
4. Brian Rolston. Rolston was picked up to score goals but has netted 1 goal in the last 10 games. Despite his 5 power-play goals Sutter needs to find a combination to get more offense out of Rolston, it does not seem as if him paired with Madden and Clarkson is going to cut it if the Devils want to win the Cup. A move back to center may be a possibility.
5. Jay Pandolfo. He played his first game last night since Shanahan entered the line-up, could it be to showcase him for a trade or will we see more of him in a Devils uniform. Pandolfo either needs to find a role or be shipped out for a player who will be of more use to the team.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Clemmensen, Devils Blank Rangers

Scott Clemmensen came up with his best game of the year at the right time as he and the Devils shutout the Rangers 3-0, tonight at the Prudential Center.

The Devils, losers of two of their last three games, knew they had a rough week ahead with the rival Rangers and Islanders coming in, along with conference leaders Boston and San Jose. But this team has been resilient all year and knew tonight would be no different, as Scott Clemmensen stopped 27 shot in route to his first shutout of the season.

Penalties have been a problem for the Devils of late and have been the main cause for their last two losses. The Devils nearly fell into the same trap again as the Rangers, despite being out-shot 13-6 in the first period, had four power-play opportunities and seemed to control the play but the Devils escaped the first period tied at 0-0.

After the first period the Devils settled in, only allowing one more power-play opportunity to the Rangers the rest of the game. Knowing the Rangers struggles 5-on-5, as Zherdev is the only Ranger playing at a plus-rating this season, the Devils then continually rolled four lines at the Rangers.

The Devils broke threw at the 8-minute mark of the second period, as Shanahan centered a pass to Bobby Holik who jammed the puck threw Lundquvist to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. The Devils would add a power-play goal from Zach Parise 1:27 later to make it 2-0. The Devils would not need anymore goals, but Parise added an empty-netter for good measure.

The Devils play in the second and third period was simply amazing, as the Devils were relentless on the puck and seemingly demoralizing the Rangers into frustration. The Rangers, losers of their last 5 games, never seemed to have any passion and you can imagine the stir going on in Rangers camp. The Rangers are looking to do anything inlcuding firing Coach Tom Renney, bring back SeanAvery, make a trade for whoever. In the end the team from across the Hudson is lacking leadership and experience (which they thought Gomez would bring - what a joke) and the Devils too advantage of that.

There were many players who excelled tonight, but the play of Paul Martin, Colin White, Johnny Oduya and Zubrus stood out to me. They might not be on the score sheet, but their play set the tempo of the game and seemed to shut down any chance the Rangers had of scoring. Zubrus especially has been a physical force of late, trying to find his way on the score sheet, but his defense and aggressiveness is just what the Devils have needed from him.

The Devils now have beaten the Rangers three straight, but lets remember these wins mean nothing only the wins come playoff time matter.

-Jay Pandolfo has sat out nine straight games, but it may be time for him to get back in. Mike Rupp has struggled and taken some bad penalties of late. It may be time to play Pando or trade him away for a 4th or 5th round draft pick and free up salary to bring on another player via trade.
- Clemmensen in the first Devils goalie, besides Brodeur, to shut-out the Rangers since Sean Burke.
- Brodeur took shots from coaches and some players after the morning skate today and will begin practice with the team in a few day.
- With Parise's two goals tonight he needs 18 goals in 28 games to become the first Devils player ever to score 50 goals in a season, his current pace puts him at 48 goals for the season.
-The Lowell Devils defeated the the Rangers AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolfpack 5-3 over the weekend. Lowell is 4-0-0 against Hartford this season.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Devils Need To Find Answers After Wekend Split

This weekends games were a case of split personalities in the Devils play, first winning 5-1 Friday night at Atlanta then losing to the Kings 3-1 on Saturday.

The Devils have shown signs of struggling lately, especially on home ice. The Devils have lost their last two home games, being outscored 8-3 and outplayed in the process. They have proved to be a much more confident team on the road, as they have the second best road record in the league, with a 18-7-2 record.

One problem has been the play of Scott Clemmensen, who has been a savior for the Devils this season, but of late has shown signs of struggling. In his past four games he has given up 13 goals and has been prone to giving up soft goals that have cost the Devils. With Brodeur still a few weeks away, Coach Sutter may need to lean on Kevin Weekes more in the upcoming games. Weekes has won his last three games and has given up one goal in each of those games. I would not be surprised if Sutter goes to Weekes on Monday against the Rangers.

Another problem has been the play of the second line of Zubrus-Gionta-Elias, who were hot earlier in the season but have died down of late. Besides Elias, Zubrus and Gionta have struggled which has caused speculation that Gionta may be traded. In the past 10 games Gionta has four points (1G-3A) and Zubrus has two points (1G-1A). Sutter may look to move Rolston to the line and the possibility of Shanahan moving up to play on the second or third lines as well.

The biggest problem has been the penalties. First off the refs must be blind when it come to the Devils. The Devils have only had 188 power-play opportunities this season, which ranks last and is 13 less then the next closest team (FLA-201). The Devils have had to kill off 211 penalties this season .

Some penalties have been outrageous, including a penalty at Atlanta for two Devils getting kicked out of the face-off circle. The penalty-kill, which had stepped up its' play for 25 games, has regressed the last 3 games giving up 5 goals on 15 chances.

This week proves to be an obstacle with games against the Rangers, Islanders, Bruins and Sharks. Ultimately this week will decide if the Devils will make a trade or not and with the return of Colin White up in the air, we could see some new faces in the Devils uniform soon.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Avery and Rangers On Path To Renuniting

It looks as if the greatest embarrassment of a player in hockey could be on the verge of reuniting with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers have expressed interest in bringing that P.O.S. Sean Avery back to Madison Square Garden. Ranger GM Glen Sather will meet with Dallas management in next few days to see if they can work out the details to reacquiring a player who belongs nowhere near an NHL rink, but jail or an insane asylum.

The Rangers management feel as if their play this season has been lack luster and the addition of Avery would bring a spark back to their line-up. Rangers ownership, management, coaches and player have been discussing the option of bring back Avery to New York and their seems to be a resounding consensus to reacquire Avery (proves what kind of character they have across the Hudson). Their hope would be to have Avery back playing in the NHL by the March 4th trade deadline.

The process is not as easy as it seems. Dallas first must place Avery on waivers, then if no other team picks Avery up off waivers (and their is only one scumbag organization in the NHL that would pick him up), then he would be sent to Hartford of the AHL. After playing at Hartford, Avery would then need to go through re-entry waivers, upon which the Rangers would claim him and then have to only pay half of his $3.8 million salary ($1.93 M to be exact) and Dallas would be responsible for the other half.

Avery, who was snubbed by the Rangers this off-season in free agency, signed with the Dallas Stars for 4 years at $15.5 million.

Devils fans, I would love to hear your comments on what you think of the Rangers possibly reacquiring Sean Avery. To comment click on the article headline and then you will see the comment button and form at the bottom of the article. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you all you Devils fans.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Devils Trade Defensman For Center

The Devils made a trade last night, trading Sheldon Brookbank to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for the rights to center David McIntyre.

The 6-0 185-lb. McIntyre, has 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 26 games with Colgate (ECAC) this season. In three years at Colgate he has 37 goals and 42 assists in 105 career games. The native of Ontario, Canada was Dallas' fourth choice in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Brookbank, who was originally claimed off waiver from the Columbus Blue Jackets last October, saw action in 15 games this season. In 59 career games with the Devils the 6-2 215-lb. defenseman collected 8 assists.

The trade of Brookbank and his $525,000 salary begins to clear up some salary cap space for the Devils as they look to add a veteran defenseman before the trade deadline.

Caps Punish Devils 5-2

All good things must come to an end and so did the Devils eight game winning streak as the Devils fell to the Washington Capitals last night 5-2.

Early it seemed as if the Devils had controlled the play and were on the verge of taking the lead, then the Devils got called for a too many men on the ice penalty and everything changed. Seeming as if the Devils would kill off the penalty, Alexander Semin sent a pass across ice and Mike Green roofed a shot to give the Capitals a 1-0. After the goal the Capitals took control of the game as they seemed to beat the Devils on every board battle and fore-checked two players down low forcing the Devils defensemen into turnovers and bad passes.

Four minutes later the Capitals scored again on the power-play, this time taking only four seconds to get a goal from Brad Laich off a set play off the face-off. An offensively talented Capitals would finish the night 3-for-4 on the power-play, which is the first time the Devils gave up more than one power-play against in the past twelve games.

The Devils tried to cut into a 3-0 Capitals lead, when Brian Rolston scored on a 5-on-3 power-play and then to start the third period Jamie Langebrunner scored shorthanded 41-seconds in to make the score 3-2.

The Capitals scored the back breaking goal, as Nylander's wrist shot from the right circle beat Clemmensen which gave the Caps a 4-2 lead and their third power-play goal of the night. The Caps got the power-play off a controversial call when Mike Rupp took the puck hard to the net and slid into the Caps goalie and received a goalie-interference penalty. All game the Caps seemed to get away with clear penalties and the Devils undisciplined play made a huge difference in the outcome of the game.

The Devils now need to put this game behind them as the Devils will head to Atlanta on Friday before coming home for a five game home-stand which starts on Saturday against the Kings. The Devils will also see the Rangers on Monday and Islanders on Wednesday before the weekend when the leaders in the Eastern and Western Conferences come into town (Bruins - Friday / Sharks -Sunday).

The Capitals played exceptional hockey last night and is one of the most talented teams in the game, with players like Ovechkin, Green, Semin, Federov, Backstrom, Laich and Nylander. A second round match-up could be inevitable for the Devils and Washington. Washington has a clear lead in their division, the Bruins have basically solidified the 1st in the conference and if the Devils win the Atlantic, the Devils and Caps should be favored to win their first round series. The Caps are a team we should be scared of with their offensive talent and if they add a defenseman they could be a hard out.

- Brodeur will start practicing in a week to ten days and should be ready for game action in another ten to fourteen days after that. Sutter has made it clear the Devils will not lean on Brodeur to play every game down the stretch once he comes back, but will work him in slowly and him and Clemmensen both ready for playoff hockey.
-The Devils need to get more out of Zubrus and Gionta. Gionta only has 10 points (2G-8A) in the last 15 games and Zubrus has 8 points (3G-5A) in his last 15 games. In that same time linemate Patrick Elias has 17 points (5G-12A). The second line has not been as productive as early in the season and it may be time to make a change on that line.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gionta On Trade Block As Devils Search For Defenseman

The New Jersey Devils may have won eight games in-a-row, but that does not mean that they are content with their current roster.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is rumored to be shopping Brian Gionta to shed some salary to add a veteran top four defenseman. Gionta, who is making $4 Million, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season end and could be the most valued trade commodity for the Devils.

The veteran forwards productivity has continued to decline since his 48 goal season in 2005-2006. This season, while playing on a line with Patrick Elias and Dainius Zubrus he has netted 11 goals and 30 assists but only has 2 goals in the last 14 games.

The addition of Brendan Shanahan has given the Devils some scoring depth upfront and the freedom to move a forward via a trade. The Devils have also been shopping forwards Jay Pandolfo and John Madden, both who earn just under $3 million this season, though Pandolfo has been a healthy scratch the past five games and Madden's lack of offensive ability make them much less valuable than Gionta.

With several top line defenseman available like Scott Neidermeyer, Chris Pronger, Jay Bouwmeester, Tomas Kaberle, just to name a few, the Devils will need to shed some salary. Currently just sitting under the cap, the Devils will be forced to package a forward, defenseman and draft picks if they are to land one of the high priced veteran defenseman.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Captain Answers The Call, Twice!

Thanks to Jamie Langebrunner, the Devils have now won 8-in-a-row after back to back 4-3 overtime wins over the Bruins and Penguins. Langenbrunner has scored 2 goals in each of the past the three games, including back-to-back overtime winners and the tying goal with 15 seconds left in the third against the Penguins.

Despite the Devils hot streak, the past two games were bench mark games for them. Beating the Bruins and for most of the game outplaying them, showed many people around the league that the Devils are one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference. The win against the Penguins, but the team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals a year ago further back out of the playoff picture.

It has not just been winning for the Devils it is how they have been winning. The team itself has taken on a new identity, without losing their defensive responsibility, and a mentality that they can win no matter what the score, no matter who the team. The Devils are scoring as they rank 8th in the league in scoring and have only lost three games when they have scored three or more goals in a game (26-2-1). The addition of Shanahan has proven positive as he has given more than anyone may have expected in his first five games. In the first five game Shanahan has 3 goals and an assist, is killing penalties, has two power-play goals and playing at a plus-2.

Langenbrunner has been one player who has stepped up their game as the games have gotten more important. In 14 games this month, Langebrunner has 9 goals and 9 assists, before January he only had 5 goals and 18 assists. Langenbrunnr now has 41 points, tied with Brian Gionta for fourth on the team. Langebrunner and Zajac have stepped up their games this month, and Zubrus and Gionta have been playing better of late after a few poor games. Now if the Devils get the Zubrus line going as they were earlier in the year, Rolston and Clarkson scoring again and a healthy Marty Brodeur they may be unstoppable.

- I had to watch these past two games on DVR, because my wife was giving birth to our daughter, but the past two games had such an edge and intensity that made me feel excited. And any fans at the Penguins game, I give you credit cause it looked like "The ROCK" was going crazy in that big overtime win. For me, it is the Devils puck movement, their play is faster and more up tempo and as a fan you are feeling a confidence that they have the game won even before the puck has been dropped.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Devils Down Ottawa 4-1, Head To Boston For Big Showdown

The Devils came back from the All-Star break, just the way they went into it. As the hottest team in the NHL. Last nights 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators gave the Devils six straight wins and wins in eleven of their last fifteen games.

The Devils won the game by holding the Ottawa Senators to 22 shots and got goals from Elias, Shanahan and two goals from Langenbrunner. Patrick Elias got the scoring started by scoring on a centering pass from Brian Gionta that went off Elias's skate and into the net to give the Devils a 1-0 1st period lead.

Just past the midway point, the Senators tied the game on a power-play goal by Picard. After the Senators goal, the Devils took over control of the game. Langebrunner scored after he bounced a puck off the chest of the Senators goalie from the side of the net. Then 19 seconds into the 3rd period, Langenbrunner added his second goal of the game, when Parise fed a pass from behind the net while airborne to give the Devils a commanding 3-1 lead.

The goal was Langenbrunner's 10th of the season, making him the seventh Devil to have 10 or more goals on the season.

The Senators had an opportunity to comeback when Brendan Shanahan went off for a double-minor high sticking penalty. The Devils shut the door and any hope of a Senators comeback, when they did not allow a single shot on the double-minor penalty-kill. Shanahan would make up for taking the penalty as he scored his second goal in three games with the Devils to finish off the scoring and giving the Devils a 4-1 victory.

Now the Devils look forward to a big time match-up on Thursday at Boston. Boston, who leads the Eastern Conference with 75 points (35-8-5), will have Bergeron and Lucic back in the line-up for Thursday's game. The Bruins rank 1st in the league in goals-against, 2nd in goals scored and have the 3rd best power-play. If that was not enough, they have Claude Julian who has a vendetta against Lou Lamiriello and the New Jersey Devils, after he was fired with only a few game to go in the season just two years ago.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Even before the season began, many so-called hockey experts said the New Jersey Devils would not even make the playoffs. When star goalie Martin Brodeur went down with a torn bi-cep tendon that would keep him out until March, everyone rode the Devils off and had them start looking to next year. Everyone that is except for the New Jersey Devils and their die hard fans.

Over the past 13 seasons, the New Jersey Devils have won three Stanley Cups, only the Detriot Red Wings have won more in that time. The Devils have made the playoffs 11 consecutive seasons and had 11 consecutive 40-plus win seasons, never finishing with less than 95 points and breaking the 100 point barrier in nine of those eleven seasons. So why would everyone doubt one of the most successful franchises in sports over the past 15 years? You gt me!

The Devils will return from the All-Star break sitting atop the Atlantic Division with 61 points (29-15-3), one point ahead of the New York Rangers and two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils have been able to achieved this, despite being without Martin Brodeur for 37 games and free agent signings Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik for 18 games a piece. So here is a look back at the first half and how the Devils have gotten to where they are?

MVP: Zach Parise / Patrick Elias
Zach Parise has become a bona fide NHL star and Patrick Elias has once again become one of the NHL elite players. For the first time, maybe ever, their could be two Devils who finish the year in the top 10 in scoring in the league.

Parise, whose 28 goals ranks him 3rd behind Ovechkin and Carter, is currently 7th in the league with 55 points, while Elias ranks 9th with 54 points. The best part is they play on different lines, giving the other teams fits and the Devils two scoring lines.

Zajac's 15 goals and 21 assists already surpass his numbers from last season and with 35 games remaining he should easily break his career high of 42 points. Of late, Zajac has been the hot stick for the Devils as he has 5 goals and 3 assists in the past 7 games. Best of all has been his improvement on defense playing at a plus-19 compared to last seasons minus-11 rating.

BIGGEST SUPRISE: Scott Clemmensen
When the season started Scott Clemmensen was barely on the Devils radar. He would be headed to Lowell and spend time there all season and be an insurance policy. Well the Devils cashed in that insurance policy and more than they expected.

Not only has Clemmensen come in and held down the fort, he has asserted his presence. The Devils goal, who may have been snubbed for a trip to the All-Star game, has put up Brodeurian numbers in the absence of the star goaltender. Clemmensen is 7th in the league in wins (19), 6th in Goal-Against-Average (2.29) and 8th in save percentage (.922).

Now the big questions are, can he keep it up and what will the Devils do once Marty comes back at the end of February? Who will go and who will stay? One thing is for certain, Clemmensen will see a nice pay day from some team next season.

The long time Devil signed a three year 7.5M dollar contract over the summer and now with the signing of Brendan Shanahan, Pandolfo is watching the games from the press box.

He and long time linemate, John Madden, have been separated for most of the season and when he has played of late he has only seen time of late on the fourth line. There has been speculation of trading Pandolfo, but he will be difficult to move in the salary cap era.

TRADE DEADLINE: To Trade or not to trade, that is the question?
The Devils added Brendan Shanahan and may be happy with the depth they now have at the forward position. The defense has been underrated all year, but their solid play has the Devils ranked 5th in the league on defense. But GM Lou Lamiriello has been known to always add a veteran to the mix at the trade deadline. Looking back Lamiriello has brought in defenseman like Bryce Salvador, Jason Weimer, Phil Housley, Shawn Chambers and Vladmir Malakhov at the dealine and I would expect him to do the same. Except for Malakhov, there is one thing that ties all these players together. Lou got them for cheap and without breaking up the current roster.

THE FUTURE: Five things to look out for in the second half
Here are a few things to look out for after the all-star break:
1) Can John Madden keep it going? The Devils center has struggled all year and has been rumored in trades for a few weeks. Since Shanahan has joined the team, Madden has 1 goal,6 assists and a plus-6 rating in the past five games. Now can he keep playing the way he has of late, or will the Devils look to move him at the trade deadline?
2) Will Parise be the first Devil to score 50 goals in a season and will he or Elias break the 100 point plateau? Parise is on pace for 95 points and 48 goals, just short of the two marks.
3) How much of a difference will Shanahan make? He scored in his first game, but his presence may be felt far more than just on the score sheet.
4) Will Lou stand still or make a move? As we already stated, will Lou add a veteran blueliner or will he look for a 3rd line centerman to play with his wingers Rolston, Shanahan and Clarkson.
5) How will Brodeur play when he returns? He has never been out of the line-up for this long in his career. Will the rest help him and have him fresh for the playoffs or will he come back not in top form and send the Devils into a funk.

WHAT IS UP NEXT: The homestretch begins.
The Devils will come back from the all-star break with two road games at Ottawa and Boston and then play seven of eight on home ice. Scott Clemmensen and the Devils will need to try and put some distance between them and the Rangers and Flyers, while they await the return of Brodeur between February 26th and March 7th.

With 35 games remaining the Devils have nine divisional games left, including three against the Islanders and two against the Flyers, Rangers and Penguins. The Devils will not be doing much traveling the remainder of the season, as their furthest trip is a game at Chicago on March 27th. Besides that game every game will be played in the eastern time zone.