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.

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