Hello there Devils fans. Today, we have our newest installment of Second Look: Week of January 15th-21st. This week of hockey consisted of 3 games. The Devils opened up the week with a return back to The Rock for six straight games. New Jersey in their current six game homestand will play host to (in order with dates) Winnipeg 1/17, Boston 1/19, Philadelphia 1/21, Buffalo 1/24, New York R. 1/31, and will close out at home against Montreal 2/2. Our first summary will begin with the second half of a home-and-home against Winnipeg.
FINAL 1 - 5
The offense was in FULL swing against the Jets. Along with the stellar offensive support, the defense was phenominal! Devils defenseman Kurtis Foster concluded the night with a +3 rating with the highest +/- rating amongst all Devils D-Men. The Devils EXPLODED for 5 goals, 3 in the second period, recording on 20 shots on net, chasing Winnipeg netminder Chris Mason after giving up 4 goals on 15 New Jersey shots. Martin Brodeur stopped 20 of 21 shots faced. Despite not recording a shut-out on the year, Brodeur played solid, strong hockey. The game had a total of 5 different goal scorers, Ilya Kovalchuk being the lone man who happened to net two goals in the game. Patrick Elias scored one goal and had two assists in the game, which gave him the RWTD Player of the Game award. The Devils would walk into Thursday night against Boston riding a three game win streak.
FINAL 4 - 1
Something we all are aware of, "All good things must come to an end.". New Jersey's dominant three game win streak, was snapped, late in the third period against the ever so pesky Bruins. After beating Tim Thomas to put the Dev's up 1-0 in the closing minutes of the first, second line winger Petr Sykora and the Devils continued to hold the B's scoreless through the first 40minutes of play. Three minutes into the 3rd, Bruin Andrew Ference knotted the game, one goal a piece. A meer four minutes later, after an absolutly HORRIFIC call on David Clarkson for holding, the Bruins would quickly capitalize on the slumping, league leading penalty-killing unit when Nathan Horton scored (the eventual game winner) 7:10 minutes through the 3rd period. With the teams back at even strength, Boston showed quick work as they ultimately man handeled and practically toyed around the Devils, hitting the back of the net for the third time in a 5 minute span, SECOND TIME in 35 seconds. New Jersey was in a hole that they could not climb out of... Boston would record an empty netter to add insult to injury, making the final score in Newark, 4-1 in favor of the red-hot Bruins. Despite the loss, our Player of the Game for New Jersey was, yet again, Patrick Elias. Sykora scored the teams 1 goal of the night, his 12th of the year, but Elias managed to continue his sheer dominance as a team leader with the secondary assist, his 28th helper of the year.
FINAL 4 - 1
Well, could the name of my last blog have been anymore self explanitory? DEJA VU! Again, bad calls highlighted the game against the Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia Flyers... as for the score? EXACT same as the Bruins game. 4-1 the final. Do I dare get into detail about yet another horiffic game? Well, I guess i have to. For those of you who did yourselves a favor and missed the game, intentionally or unintentionally, you're better off... unless, your a "Philthy Philly" fan. The Flyers, showed no mercey as they took it straight to the Devils. After a scoreless first, a first period, that was filled with hits and highlight saves as was the game in its entirety at the expence of future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. The guy was EVERYWHERE! Saves with his glove above his head while sprawled out flat on his back. Brodeur (without bringing into conversation the four goals) was vintage Marty in regards to his playing style and youthfulness. While on a positive, newly acquired forward Alexi Ponikarovsky who was dealt to New Jersey the night before in a trade from Carolina as the Devils shipped Joeseph Sova and a 4th-round Draft pick in this years upcoming NHL Entry Draft, scored in his first game wearing the Devils logo upon his chest. The Player of the Game for a disappointing loss to Philadelphia was Ponikarovsky. 1 goal, no assists, other than that, and him, no one else showed up.
New Jersey resumes play tomorrow night against a dreadful Buffalo club that has been in a tremendous downward spiral. Buffalo has a miserable 2-7-1 record in their last 10, dropping 5 in a row as they seat in the next closest spot to the Conference's basement. The Sabres and franchise goaltender, Olympic Silver Medalist Ryan Miller currently are one of the topics of conversation and are stirring up a fair share of buzz league wide as the All-Star Vezina Trophy winner sits in the middle of trade talks as the February 27th trade deadline slowly creeps up on teams around the NHL.
As I close up here, like i'll be doing weekly, i give the RWTD Player of the Week award to Alternate Captain, Patrik Elias. The Czech recorded 4pts in 3 games, scoring only 1 goal, but helping to set up 3 more. Elias wrapped up the week a +1 with 4 total shots on net in the 3 games. Currently ranking 16th in the league with 45pts, Elias continues night in and night out, weather the team pulls out the win or falls short, Patrik has been a driven player all season long, and has been putting his sheer talent up on display in the weeks of late.
Again, New Jersey is ROBBED by the referee's. The Devils were called for 6 penalties giving up 2 power-play goals, both by Scott Hartnell, the first time any team has scorred two goals on the man-advantage in Prudential Center. Along with the seven calls, there was a fighting major for Eric Boulton and Jody Shelley five minutes into the first, and a 10 minute game misconduct call on David Clarkson in the closing minutes of the second. This game was predominantly an out-numbered game for the Devils as it seemed as though it was a game against TWO teams; the Flyers of Philadelphia, and the referee's. Throught the game, numerous calls were blatently missed and a handful of calls were made against New Jersey that ultimatly left many of the Devils scratching their heads, as well as many fans who throughout the course of the game, expressed their thoughts through tweets (follow us here).
A good start, again... The Devils out shot Philadelphia 9-4 and kept them off the board, as did the Flyers and "Mr. Universe" Ilya Bryzgalov. In regards to the OTHER Ilya on the ice, Ilya Kovalchuk, he was basically obsolete only getting one shot on net in the first 20 minutes of play. Martin Brodeur was in between the pipes for his 5th start in the last 6 games for the Devils getting 16 of 19 shots faced, allowing three total goals in 59:27 minutes of play with a game save percentage of .842% for the afternoon. The remainder of the period was relativly un-eventful with the exception of Boulton's fight against Flyers winger Jody Shelley.
The second period by far the most exciting period of play out of the three which displayed a total of 3 goals (2-Philadelphia, 1-New Jersey), 24 total penalty minutes (10 by David Clarkson), and one BIG crushing hit on Max Talbot by the rookie Adam Henrique. Philadelphia forward Matt Read broke the scoring silence 9:30 minutes into the second period for his 15th goal of the year, set up by Wayne Simmonds. The second period saw its first penaltyroughly 1 minute after the goal when Flyer Brayden Coburn got sent to the box for a two minute minor after being called for the Hi Stick on Eric Boulton. The Devils managed to get a few shots on net, but couldnt get any past with the man advantage which allowed Philadelphia to maintain a one goal lead. No sooner does one penalty end, another is assesed. This time, its rookie Adam Larsson taking two for interference on Flyers leading scorer Claude Giroux who has 52pts in 42 games. Giroux finished up the day with 2 assists. With Larsson in the box, Philadelphia scored 13:04 minutes in the second period on the powerplay. The goal was initially awarded to Kimmo Timonen, but after further review, the goal was credited to Scott Hartnell. The powerplay goal was Hartnell's 21st of the 82 game campaign. Assists were by Timonen and Giroux(1).
Newest New Jersey Devil, Alexi Ponikarovsky, ranked first in the league with 50 games played, was traded late last night in a deal which sent Devils minor league defenseman Joseph Sova and a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, scored in his first career game as a New Jersey Devil after being set up nicely by Matt Taormina, and David Clarkson. That goal would, once again, for the second game in a row, would be the ONLY mark the Devils would get up on the scoreboard. Rookie Adam Henrique had the highlight of the period as he leveled Philadelphia forward Maxim Talbot into the Devils net, sending him toppling down hard onto the ice, possibly igniting a small fire to hopefully put some drive back into this Devils rather sluggish offense which, despite recording 31 shots through 60minutes of play, looked messy, and kind of all over the place as the game progressed.
Again, for the second game in a row, the Devils coud not manage to get ANYTHING going one either the offensive, or defensive side of play, allowing 7 shots on net, 2 of them being goals, one of them an empty netter, the other, a powerplay goal. YES, another powerplay goal, the second time this season the Devils league-leading penalty killing unit has allowed 2 powerplay goals in a game, the first at home this season. Scott Hartnell scored his second powerplay goal of the game, his 22nd of the season, 8 minutes into the third period, virtually putting New Jersey out of reach. Philadelphia went on the powerplay after Ilya Kovalchuk was called for the Delay of Game penalty when he dumped the puck up & over the side boards and into the stands from the Devils' defensive zone. Hartnell's second was assisted by Claude Giroux(2) and Wayne Simmonds(2). Other than a the empty net goal scored for Wayne Simmonds at the 17:38 mark of the third, the period was bland. The Devils dropped their second straight game, allowing 8 goals and scoring 2 in their last two.
Philadelphia was outshot 20-31 scoring 3 times on Brodeur and adding insult to injury with a late game empty net goal. The Devils recorded 47 penalty minutes, allowing Philly to score 2 times on 5 powerplay opportunities while managing to go 0-6 when given the man advantage. In this matchup of two physical Atlantic Division rivals, the two teams totaled 43 hits, 76 total minutes of penalties, 1 fight, and one very well defensive performance by the Flyers as the upstaged New Jersey 4-1. The next game will be Tuesday evening against Buffalo at home in the Prudential Center at 7p.m. Buffalo enters tonights game against St. Louis tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Canadiens at 43pts and has a 2-6-2 record in their last 10 while looking to recover tonight from a 4 game loosing streak.
This week the Devils played 3 games in the Friday to Thursday stretch. We watched them finish up a 4 game road trip in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon where they won 2-1 and then returned home to face the same Jets on Tuesday night where they won 5-1. That was followed up by a 4-1 loss to the Bruins at home last night but Devin will have a more in depth coverage of these games in his Second Look column coming up on Monday.
Ilya Kovalchuk – I have to start with him because he’s starting to turn heads around the NHL. Offensively he is finally starting to resemble the guy that played in Atlanta. He leads the Devils with 19 goals and is second on the list in points with 40. He has 7 goals in his last seven games, and five two-point games over the same span but it is his sudden defensive element that is allowing Peter Deboer to trust throwing Kovalchuk out on the ice in all types of situations. I’ve been hard on Kovalchuk so far, I’ll admit that but if this continues, then I can completely get on board with his existence in our locker room.
Martin Brodeur – Played all 3 games this week for the Devils and did a decent job in all but 1 period (the 3rd period against Boston last night). He stopped 22 of 23 in Winnipeg, 20 of 21 at home against Winnipeg and 21 of 24 (but he faced 13 of those 24 in the 3rd) against the Bruins. There was talk of him wanting to play one more season before retiring and while I am still not in favor of that, I will take this version of Marty that seems to know how to win close games again.
Henrik Tallinder – Yes, it’s a little unfair for him to land on this list because he is suffering from an injury but it’s a pretty big injury to a pretty significant part of our defense that will cause him to miss some significant time. The Veteran defenseman will be lost for six to eight weeks with acute thrombophlebitis of the lower left leg, a potentially serious condition caused by a blood clot. We certainly hope he gets better soon but with that type of injury, how can you not put him on this list?
Jacob Josefson – It’s good to see him back out on the ice. He returned this week when the Devils returned home from their road trip. While he didn’t have any points, he did average 13:19.5 of ice time and did a decent job in face-offs against the Jets (54.55%). We know it will take him a little time to start contributing but we know he can.
Patrik Elias – This guy is the closest thing to clutch that we have on the Devils. He leads the Devils in points with 44 and is second in goals behind Kovalchuk with 17. He had the game winner in Winnipeg and then followed that up with a goal and 2 assists at home against Winnipeg. With an assist last night against Boston, that makes 7 consecutive games where Elias has had at least 1 point, which puts him 3rd behind Alex Pietrangelo (8) and John Tavares (11) for the longest current point streak.
This one hurts! After scoring near the end of the first, the Devils managed to hold off a struggling Bruins hockey club all the way up until the ever so fatal third period, where Boston came out of the woodworks and punched in three un-answered goals and an empty netter to stun New Jersey and walk away with two points with the help of a couple of missed calls and a bad call (in the eyes of Devils fans) on David Clarkson which, in turn, led to a Bruins powerplay goal allowing them to pull within 1 point of Conference leader New York Rangers.
Two total penalties in the game and a fight between Brad Mills and Gregory Campbell were all that were accounted for in regards to minors and majors. In the third period, it was the one penalty called on Devils winger David Clarkson at the 5:37 mark of the third is what wound up being the finisher ultimately in this evening's contest. Clarkson was called for hooking in the neutral zone.
With 90 ticks left on the clock in the first period, Petr Sykora lit the lamp above Bruins goalie Tim Thomas with his twelth goal of the season which was set up by current linemates Zubrus and Elias getting the secondary assist. Aside from Sykora's goal, dominant play by Jersey's 3rd and 4th lines were key in tonights game, despite the loss. Highlight player of the bottom two lines was by far Cam Janssen. Cam absolutly LEVELED Andrew Ference in the corner in the Boston zone. Janssen recorded 2 shots on net with 7:25 minutes worth of ice time and concluded the evening -1.
In a scoreless, and penalty-free second period, New Jersey continued to hold off Boston with all around fair and solid play. With a handful of opportunities for BOTH teams and a couple of shots ringing off of iron on both nets, the teams each recieved their fair share of luck for the evening. New Jersey out shot Boston 12-6.
The third period was all but sealed up. Boston applied pressure though early on in the period, scoring and tying the game one goal a piece 181 seconds in as a shot fired by Andrew Ference for his 3rd tally of the season. Ference's goal was assisted by Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell. Before the 10 minute mark, Boston would strike for two more goals to ultimatly put the game out of reach for the utterly silent New Jersey team who hadnt struck for a point of their own since the 1st period. A powerplay goal (yes, a powerplay goal scored on the Devils, the number one PK unit in the NHL) scored by the offensive powerhouse Nathan Horton assisted by David Krejci seven minutes and ten seconds in the third... 35 seconds later, Gregory Campbell gets his 5th of the year, and second point of the night (first on an assist on the Ference goal). Campbell now has 4 points in 3 games played against New Jersey this season. Shawn Thornton set up yet another goal this evening finishing the game with no goals, 2 assists, 2 points, +2 rating, and had 1 shot on net in ten and a half minutes of ice time.
The Devils seemed out of it. Tired, deflated, and out played through this point, despite the hot start out of the gate for the first 45 minutes of play. As we've learned before, to win the game, you need to dominate for the whole 60 minutes, as Winnipeg learned on Saturday night (read more here). New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer pulled Brodeur for the extra attacker with just under two minutes left in the third period as it left the Devils defenders scrambled. A block shot out in front helped keep the score 3-1, allowing New Jersey to set up a play down ice, which, inevitably, resulted in a Devils turnover which allowed Bruin Chris Kelly to get his 14th of the year on the empty net to make the game a three goal defecit. The score would remain the same. The Devils were dropped, late in the third, once again by the Bruins, at home, in the month of January.
The Player of the Game this evening comes from the opposition, tonight, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is awarded as the Player of the Game this evening shutting 30 of 31 shots faced in 60 minutes of play this evening with a save percentage of .968% improving his overall season save percentage to .936, ranking 3rd in the league amongst goaltenders. Thomas' victory tonight was his 19th of the year and 180th of his career (459 behind Martin Brodeur, who was credited with the loss). Thomas' record improved to 19-9-0.
Saturday afternoon the Devils will play host to Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia in their third game at home and third against Philly this year. New Jersey is 1-1-0 in two matchups versus the Flyers being outscored 6-4 in those two meetings. The game will take place at 1:00p.m. Saturday, January 21st at Prudential Center. This will be the second to last game played before the NHL All-Star break in which Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larsson and Devils rookie forward Adam Henrique will participate in representing Jersey's Team.
Watch It: MSG-Plus Listen To It: 660 AM
The Last 10 Games: New Jersey is 7-2-1 and Boston is 6-4-0
Season Series: This will be the 3rd of 4 meetings this season. Boston has won both previous meetings.
Know Your Enemy: Days of Yorr
What We Think of the Bruins: While they aren’t #1 overall or even #1 in the conference, to me, they are the best team in the league.
The Big Story: We saw Boston just 2 weeks ago and the Devils went into that game playing decent hockey. By the end of that night the Bruins had put some serious doubt in our minds about the Devils. They took it to us for the better part of 60 minutes and really showed there was a serious gap between the two teams. So the question is, what’s changed? The Devils are once again playing decent hockey going into a matchup against the Bruins. Can we compete? Can we score goals? More importantly, can we stop Boston from scoring goals? It’s great to beat teams like Winnipeg and Edmonton but Boston starts a string of games against upper tier teams (Philly and the Rangers within the next week). We will certainly get an idea of exactly how good we are over the next week.
What I expect Tonight: I hope NJ is expecting the same team that they played 2 weeks ago. The one bad thing about the Bruins seems to be consistency. I said it in my preview last time that Boston has the ability to pump in 6 or 7 goals a night. They seem to be a team that at times can score at will one night and have the well dry up the other night. The Bruins are coming off a bad loss where Claude Julien sort of called out the Bruins play.
“Our guys are not competing as hard as they should, and because of that we're just an ordinary hockey club right now."”
So I would hope the Devils are expecting a team out to prove to that they are more than just an ordinary hockey team, the one that can pump in 6 or 7 goals in a 60 minute span.
The Devils appear to be getting Adam Henrique back tonight which is good news but the Bruins appear to be getting Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley back tonight, which isn’t good news for us.
If the Devils are going to find success tonight, it’s going to need to come from Elias and Kovalchuk. Elias leads NJ with 44 points while Kovalchuk is right behind him with 40 points. However, Kovalchuk hasn’t made much noise against Boston in a long time (one goal on 21 shots and a minus-7 rating in his last eight games versus Boston) and Elias hasn’t done any better (one goal, one assist and a minus-9 rating in his last 11 matchups with the Bruins). Both have been huge reasons why the Devils are surging at the moment and MUST show up tonight.
The one thing I don't want to see tonight are turnovers. We've been a little careless with the puck recently and while it hasn't really hurt us, constantly turning the puck over to a team like the Bruins will end up hurting.
Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Steven Zalewski - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Brad Mills - Cam Janssen
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov - Kurtis Foster
The return of Jacob Josefson, about a month and a half early, a (temporary) plus while the injured Henrique recovers from a hamstring injury. After breaking his right collar bone back in a 4-3 shootout loss to San Jose in late October, Josefson makes an early return to the Devils squad and is immediatly placed onto the 3rd line along with Carter and the relativly un-productive Mattias Tedenby. In 5 games played this season before tonight, Jacob recorded only 1 assist, for one point, a +/- ratio of +1 and played a vital role in the absence of then-injured Travis Zajac. Tonight is the closer of the Devils-Jets home&home series; the Devils are 2-2-0 in home&home's this season. In the Devils' return home, they open up what is going to be the season's longest home stand, a six game home series which begins tonight against Winnipeg, and will include teams such as the Bruins, Sabres, Canadiens, and Atlantic Division rival New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers.
While the Devils have had off since Saturday's victory in Manitoba, the Jets have had next to no rest as they played Monday night, in a very well played game against a very strong Ottawa club that has been streaking. Backup goaltender Chris Mason made 25 saves on 25 shots as Tobias Enstrom and Jim Slater both scored a goal and got an assist each in the Jets' 2-0 victory over the Sens. Mason got awarded the start again tonight against New Jersey.
After a dominant game Saturday afternoon, Martin Brodeur recieved the green-flag and was named the starter for tonights game against the Jets. Since December 6th, Brodeur is 8-3-1 and has shown exceptional skill and drive in games of late (with an exception of the Calgary game).
The first period looked exceptionally similar to the second period of Saturday's game, ALSO, against Winnipeg. Decent amount of shots on net, New Jersey out shooting the Jets 9-6 and had 5 more scoring chances then Winnipeg had recorded in the first period. Pretty much, the first period was relativly even, in the viewers eyes, well, at least mine that is. One penalty was assesed in the first period of play as Winnipeg's Jim Slater recieved the call for interference at 5:48, New Jersey couldn't cash in on the man advantage, an issue that has haunted the team for the majority of the season, despite their excellence on the penalty kill. Exactly one second shy of the 1 minute mark, Ilya Kovalchuk broke the ice after recieving a great lead pass from line-mate Zach Parise who finished with 1 assist, +1, and managed to record 3 shots on net.
After a nearly stale-mate at the end of one, New Jersey came out of the locker room full cylinders. Managing 7 shots on net, the Devils made 3 of them count. With goals scored by Sykora, Clarkson, and Kovalchuk again, the offense had finally clicked, in ways it hasnt in games prior. Petr Sykora recorded his 11th goal of the year as it was assisted by Henrik Tallinder and Patrick Elias 92 seconds into the middle stage of the game. On what I believe to be the play of the game, David Clarkson showed effort and determination as he wroked his way into the Winnipeg zone, banged some bodies, used his physical strength and resembled a shot that appeared to be "Kovalchuk-esk" as he fired a bullet in between Chris Mason and the left post for his 16th tally of the year; Clarkson is on his way to a career best season in the goals category.
Five and a half minutes in, Evander Kane gets the whistle for High Sticking on the Devils' latest goal scorer when his stick got nestled inbetween Clarky's chin strap and chin. With Kane in the sin-bin, the Devils were handed their second power play opportunity of the evening. Nearly at the conclusion of Evander Kane's penalty, Nik Antropov is caught in the neutral zone for elbowing which presents the Devils with the 5 on 3 man advantage. The Devils coud not punch another tally on the board with the two man advantage, but no sooner does Kane step back onto the ice, Ilya Kovalchuk blasts a shot past Chris Mason for his 19th of the year, 2nd of the night and it would be the last shot that Mr. Mason would face as he was immediatly yanked and replaced by Ondrej Pavelec. At the conclusion of the 2nd period, the teams were knotted up in shots on goal, with 7 a piece in the second period, but, the ice is tilted, predominantly in favor of New Jersey.
New Jersey had a lead, a very impressive lead at that, 4-0 through 2 periods of play. Brodeur looked nearly flawless, Kovalchuk looked like he could get the Hat-Trick, the defense looked sharp (ill get back to defense in the conclusion), all around the team shined bright, and most importantly, they played as a team.
Despite Brodeur loosing the shut-out bid after Tobias Enstrom rang one LOUD off the post with Marty being screened in front by two men, he still played spectacular even with all the buzz going on in regards to retirement (read more here). 3 minutes after the Enstrom goal, Patrick Elias catches a rebound off of the skate of a Winnipeg defensemen and burries the puck to get his 17th of the year which was assisted by Devils blue liner Anton Volchenkov and winger Petr Sykora. A little while later, Dainius Zubrus gets a short date with the time's keeper as he heads to the penalty box for the Tripping penalty at 13:08; the Devils, didnt not score short handed.
New Jersey held their ground, didnt go into a shell, kept on the pressure, dominated in the offensive category of the game, and showed that they have what it takes to be a TRUE playoff contender. 5-1 the final score against the Jets. The Devils were out shot 21-20 in the game, recording 5 goals and allowing 1. One of the five goals was scored on the powerplay; New Jersey finished 1-4 on power play opportunities. Unlike Saturday, the Devils won more faceoffs than the opposition, out dueling Winnipeg winning 29 while dropping 27 in the faceoff dot.
The defense tonight shined through brightly. Defenders tonight amassed 3 total assists, no goals, recording 4 total shots on net with Kurtis Foster leading the parade with a +3 rating as top defender of the night. The player of the game award goes to Patrick Elias. Elias had 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 total points while finishing +3 with 2 shots on goal in roughly 15:45 minutes worth of ice time. Elias recorded his 17th goal of the year 11:31 minutes into the 3rd period on a pass from Anton Volchenkov.
The New Jersey Devils resume play Thursday evening against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The Devils are 0-2-0 this year against Boston being out scored 10-4. New Jersey looks to extend their current win streak to four games.
Well, it sure seems positive, lets hope the numbers improve! According to an article found on TSN.ca , the backbone of the New Jersey Devils, may in fact, be pushing "rumored" retirement plans back a year. I quote "rumored" because before the season kicked off, Brodeur had made remarks and hinted towards a possible retirement after seasons end. After reading the relativly short article on Marty, I scrolled down to the comment section which is refered to as "Its YOUR Call!" I happend to come across some comments that caught my eye, some positive, some negative, so listed below are just a few for your entertainment, enjoy!
"People said he was riding Stevens' coattails until Stevens retired and he still dominated, then they said he was the product of Niedermayer's genius... then he left. What did he do next? Set an all-time single season record for wins with 48 to go along with his Vezina the very next year. He was the ONLY member that was still with the team from their first to their last Cup. How can anyone deny his legacy?" -nohero79
"Broduers age is the perfect reason that the Wild need to trade Harding for Parise. The trade benefits both parties. Brodeur has been a shell of his old self the last 3 years. The team is failing and he is gettingolder." -MNWILD_1980
"With all due respect to one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, returning for yet another season is not a good idea. He might still be having fun, but he is not playing well. Somebody has to be honest with him. Please." -jammershorts
"Too many people view this man's career backwards. Some think his numbers were mostly the product of the system his team played when in fact the system they played was a product of Brodeur's once-in-a-lifetime skills. People who think the system made his career do not understand the position and certainly have never played it. He is far and away the greatest puck handling goalie in history which allowed the Devils to play a proper trap because they had essentially a 3rd defenseman back there to handle any dump-ins" -nohero79
"It would be pretty cool to play out his final year backing up Carey Price in Montreal. Marty would come cheap on a one year, Price would benefit from it. Seems loke a win win for all parties." -knuklehead
"Hope he doesn't become the Brett Favre of the NHL!" -Dah-Nold
Lets hear what you all have to say! Comment in the comments section attached to this link, speak your mind Devils fans, what do YOU think will be the outcome of the Martin Brodeur dilemma?
Watch It: MSG Listen To It: 660 AM
The Last 10 Games: Winnipeg 5-5-0, New Jersey 6-3-1.
Season Series: This will final meeting between these two teams in the regular season. So far, NJ leads the season series 2-1. These two just met on Saturday night with the Devils winning 2-1 in Winnipeg.
What We Think of the Jets: These are the types of teams I don’t like playing. Right now, the Jets need to make some noise because they are currently on the outside looking in. Why not start now? Especially against the Devils team that seems to be dealing with injuries.
What I Am Looking For Tonight: Keep rolling!! Besides that Calgary game which really was only the first period, the Devils had a good road trip. I thought the defense did a fantastic job on Saturday night in Winnipeg and hope to see a repeat performance tonight. In fact, they’ve been playing well the last few games. Can you believe that the Devils, who completed a 3-1 road trip, gave up only 3 goals in those 3 victories? With a nice long home stand coming up, the Devils could make some noise in the Eastern Conference standings, where they currently sit in 6th place, 4 points behind Ottawa.
The Devils are dealing with injuries so I have to look to the veteran guys to pick up the slack for the injured.
The Devils have recalled Jacob Josefson and Brad Mills from Albany because Adam Henrique will miss his second game in a row with a pulled groin and Travis Zajac is still having Achilles issues and can’t skate. Sykora, who missed practice on Monday is expected to play.
And Finally…. Really Isaiah? REALLY??? I thought the meaning was pretty self-explanatory, I mean, just look at the picture next to the title….no comments
Hello Devils fans! I'd like to thank RWTD blogger Darren S. for giving me the opportunity to become a member of the RWTD family. I look forward to my future here as a blogger and I greatly appreciate the privilage to do something I love. Now back to business... I will be starting a weekly summary every Monday called "Second Look". These weekly reviews will summarize the Devils weekly record, score, top performer, and a breif summary of each game.
The Devils began the week of Sunday the 8th with a road game in Calgary on the following Tuesday, the 10th as New Jersey took on Calgary. This game, unlike the next two, results in an embarrassing loss to the Flames. In one of the most horrific displays of defense and net minding the team has displayed, the one against Calgary is one of the seasons worst. With only 14 shots on net, the Flames managed to hit the back of the net on 6 of them, 8 total saves by TWO, New Jersey goaltenders. Brodeur got yanked after making 3 saves on 5 total shots faced in the first, followed by "The Moose" stopping 5 of 9. The Devils answered 4 goals too late with a tally by Kovalchuk, his 16th of the season, but it wasnt enough of a spark to get the team going, Calgary recorded 2 more to finally put the nail in the coffin. Six to Three is your final. Despite a rather, dissapointing loss to a team that has turned it on in games of late, the Player of the Game award goes to Captain Zach Parise. Along with line-mate Ilya Kovalchuk, the two recorded two points each, Kovy, a goal and an assist, Parise, 2 assists, but managed to finish with a +/- ratio of 0, oddly enough despite the final score.
FINAL 3 - 6
The New Jersey Devils played 3 road games in the past week, the middle game against Edmonton up north in Oil-Country January 11th. The Devils & Oilers remaind scoreless up until the 2nd period when the Dev's broke the silence and recorded yet ANOTHER short-handed goal which was credited to Ilya Kovalchuk. New Jersey looked as though the game was theirs until the mid-way point when Ales Hemskey beat Hedberg to tie the game at 1 goal a piece. Edmonton managed to force it to overtime, against the HOTTEST team in the league in games decided after regulation. Just over a minute into overtime, Zach Parise nets the game winner and the Devils take the W, 2-1. Ilya Kovalchuk walks out of Edmonton with the RWTD Top Performer award as he tallied a goal and an assist with six shots on net and ended the evening a +1.
FINAL OT 2 - 1
My first game as a Devils blogger resulted with a win on Saturday the 14th. The Devils looked solied and consistent, despite a hot goaltender in Ondrej Pavelec who stopped 23 out of 25 Jersey shots on goal. The Devils were scored on first by Jets captain Andrew Ladd about 15min into the first on a shot Marty got a big piece of. With a scoreless second that most will have probably forgotten, it was a spectacular diving stick save by Pavelec on Henrik Tallinder that made him appear as though he was unstoppable. Devils recently acquired defensemen Kurtis Foster broke the zero as he netted his second goal of the season which tied the game at one. Three minutes later, Elias scores the eventual game winner on a beautiful tic-tak passing play from Clarkson to Sykora, through Patrick's legs to Larsson, cross ice to Elias for the score. The Devils hold off the Jets for the final score of 2 to 1. The top performer of the game award goes to Martin Brodeur. In his first start since being benched in Calgary, Brodeur stopped 22 of 23 shots faced and looked like his old self again.
FINAL 2 - 1
The Devils return home Tuesday night to face those same Winnipeg Jets walking out of last week with a 2-1-0 record recording 4 points and maintaining a sixth place spot in the current playoff picture. In my eyes the player of the week goes to Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk finished the week with 4 points on 2 goals and two assists. Kovy was a +1 for those three games and an average of 74:50 minutes of ice time during the three game span.
The New Jersey Devils hit the ice to a roar of boos from the home town Jets fans at the MTS Center, the majority, in regards to former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk. The Devils and Jets opened up with a handful of shots on respecting net minders, Martin Brodeur and Ondrej Pavelec. About mid-way through the first period, a brief scrum breaks out between Devil Ryan Carter and Winnipeg Jet, Mark Stuart which also resulted in Carter receiving a 2 minute minor for roughing which Petr Sykora sat out for. Winnipeg couldn't manage to record a tally with the man advantage as New Jersey managed again to successfully kill the penalty, which has been a strong point to this point in the season being the top penalty killing team in the league and totaling 11 short handed goals through the mid way point in the season.After a very strong opening 15 minutes by Brodeur who recorded 6 saves in the first, let one slip past as Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd ripped a shot high glove side from Marty's right as he managed to get a large piece of the shot, but clearly, not enough to maintain a scoreless first period. By the conclusion of the 1st period, the Devils out shot Winnipeg 7 to 6 and was held scoreless due to Ondrej Pavelec who managed to stay spot on through the first 50 minutes of the game.
With the second period under way, fans saw a much more, calmer period then they were witness to in the first. A handful of shots for each team, one New Jersey penalty, but no goals. The one TRUE scoring chance was by Devils defender Henrik Tallinder as he rushed up Pavelec's right hand side and was robbed on a tremendous sprawling stick save by the Winnipeg goaltender. Both teams remained fairly even in scoring chances, shots on net, and in the physical aspect of the game, the one true stat that shines brightest is the lack of faceoff victories for the Devils. With All-Star rookie centermen Adam Henrique out on a day-to-day groin injury, New Jersey bumped Dainius Zubrus to play first line center along side Devils captain Zach Parise and alternate Ilya Kovalchuk both on the wings. Zubrus only recorded 1 shot on net. Winnipeg, again was out shot by the Devils in the second, 9 shots to 6, and scoreless on the man advantage, as for New Jersey, scorless through two.
As the third period opened up and play resumed, nearly 5 and a half minutes into the period, New Jersey goes on the man advantage on a High Sticking call on centermen Alexander Burmistrov. The Devils continued their powerplay woes and, yet again, were shut down. With time winding down and the halfway point of the third been passed, an abrupt stop of drive from Winnipeg defense leads to one final scoring opportunity from Jets' captain Ladd as he rings one off the shaft of Brodeur's stick that deflects up and into the netting behind the cage. It was then when the ice began to tilt, in favor of New Jersey. The Devils managed to finally set up a well enough play to put one past the nearly perfect Ondrej Pavelec as Kurtis Foster puts the Devils on the board with ten minutes and fifteen seconds left on the board to knot the game at 1. Exactly two minutes and fifty eight seconds later, the play of the game occurs as brilliant play making by forward David Clarkson held the puck behind the Winnipeg net. As veteran forward Patrick Elias performed one of the smartest, most heads up plays of the game, as he allows Sykora's pass to go through his legs and to the blue line to be scooped up by All-Star elected rookie D-Man Adam Larsson who directs a pass towards the right side of the crease as an un-defended Patrick Elias was waiting on the doorstep and burried New Jersey's 2nd goal of the night on a beautiful all around team play which exemplified team work in its fullest. The clock continued to count down as Winnipeg tried to avoid a three game skid and gain two very important points to help them find their place in the thick of playoff push. 18 minutes and 24 seconds into the final stanza of the game, Winnipeg defensemen Ron Hainsey gets called the Holding call which leads to Patrick Elias' 4th career penalty shot. Before the penalty shot occurs, Elias is found at the bench talking with goaltender, Johan Hedberg, former teammate of Pavelec possibly asking for pointers as to where to go with his shot, as pointed out by Devils broadcaster, Glenn "Chico" Resch. Elias moves in to center ice, skates up, puts on the move, and is shut down by the inside of Ondrej Pavelec's arm, despite avoiding the poke check; Elias is now 1-4 in his career on the penalty shot. Play resumes with the draw in Winnipeg's zone which, like many before, is won by the Jets. The puck is carted down the ice and the pressure is on. With 1:08 remaining on the clock, Winnipeg's extra attacker hits the ice. Shot after shot after shot is fired, all but one either wide or blocked in front either by a Jet or a Devil, the one exception was gobbled up by Brodeur but could not be held for the faceoff. The clock runs down as Kovalchuk touches the puck and pokes it out of the New Jersey zone, the boos reign down from the crowed as the former Thrasher makes contact with the puck, and as time expires and the Jets loose at home. New Jersey shows how hard fought the game was in their post game celebration, showing signs of exhaustion. Its the tireless and relentless effort by New Jersey this season to come back from deficits to tie games and either pull out the "W" in regulation or force overtime, where the Devils have the best record in the league in overtime with 11 wins, 1 overtime loss, and 1 shootout loss, 8 of those 11 wins come from the shootout. But for tonight, the Devils walk away with two more points, and none handed to their opponent due to the regulation victory.
New Jersey improves their record to 25-17-2 through 44 games, amassing 52 points and holding 6th place in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Devils are 3 points ahead of 7th place Toronto, and 2 points behind Ottawa in 5th (which may be 3 or 4pts by the end of their game tonight versus Montreal). The next game on the Devils' schedual is Tuesday night, January 17th, which will be the closing game of a home-and-home against the Winnipeg Jets as the Devils return home for the first time since a 5-2 victory over the Panthers back on Friday the 6th in the Prudential Center.