At the start of the season no one would of expected to see Scott Clemmensen start a game for the New Jersey Devils this year, and especially play as many games as he has to this point in the season.
It has been a miracle season for the veteran goalie, but fairy tales must end sometime and everyone must come back to reality. That includes Scott Clemmensen, whose play has seemed to drop off over the Devils recent struggles.
Clemmensen started his run by stealing away the #1 job from Kevin Weekes, by posting a 12-5-1 record with a .924 save-percentage and a 2.18 GAA through his first 18 starts. Well things have turned around quickly, as in Clemmensen's past 8 starts he has a 4-4-0 record and .903 save-percentage and a 2.88 GAA. In those 8 games he has given up 3 or more goals seven times, compared to only allowing 3 or more goals five times in his first 18 starts.
Last night was evident of Clemmensen's declining play. With the Devils up 3-0 on the heels of three first period goals in first eleven minutes of play, the Canucks fought back to turn a route into a nail biter. After Zajac made the score 4-1 early in the third, a goal by Demitra off a weak rebound and a short angle goal through the legs of Clemmensen by Bernier made the score 4-3 with 2:41 remaining. Both Canucks goals, were shots that appeared as if they should of been stopped. The Devils eventually got an empty net goal by Zubrus to hold on for a 5-3 victory.
The Devils have rode Clemmensen thus far and with Marty Brodeur still about 6 to 8 weeks away Coach Sutter may need to switch patterns and play Kevin Weekes more in coming weeks. Weekes played his best game of the year against the Kings to open the road trip. Against the Kings he was aggressive in coming out and challenging the shooters and controlling many of the rebounds, which he had not been doing in earlier starts.
With games this weekend at Columbus on Friday and at the Islanders on Saturday, Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen will pobably split the two games. Anything to hold the fort until Marty can get back
- Shanahan officially signed a one-year $800,000 contract, which he will receive half of signing half-way through the season. He will begin practicing with the team in the coming days, but no news on when he will make his first apperance in a game.
- Parise, Zajac and Langenbrunner have used this road trip to get going again. In the 3 games so far on the road trip the trio has combined for 6G-8A-14pts.
- You can now check me and all the NHL rumors out at RumorMeThis.com, as I have been named the official blogger for the Devils. Great site, so check it out!