The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (7-6-1) vs Washington Capitals (10-4-0)
TV/Radio: MSG +/660 AM WFAN
Know Your Enemy: Rock the Red
Season Series: This is the second meeting of the season and the second time this weekend we play the Caps. Washington knocked us off at home last night 3-1
What We Think of the Capitals: Not much has changed in our eyes since we discussed them yesterday. They are still an offensive power house and we don't me offensive like Ovie calling his coach a "fat f***" while on the bench.
Tonight’s Game: They didn't play a horrible game last night but once the Caps took the lead, the Devils looked defeated despite the time left to go in the game. Play the full 60 tonight, other than that, the same things I talked about yesterday need to be done. Control the puck, put pressure on their defense and minimize the amount of time the Capitals offense has with the puck.
I'm guessing we will see Hedberg tonight instead of Marty.
It's not going to be an easy game. I said I'd be happy with a split this weekend and I still feel that way, I just really thought we'd win at home and lose on the road. I believe they can find their game and find a way to win in what I consider a tough building to steal a win in.
Enjoy the game. GO DEVILS!!!
This was a recap I received via email but I don't know who sent it. I the owner wants to contact me via email I would appreciate that.
The Devils may have lost, but they didn't go down with out a fight. The actual score only tells part of the story, for those who did not get a chance to watch the game, be proud of your Devils. They fought hard against one of the true regular season power houses and only really 'gave up' one goal. The other two, in this writers opinion, were dumb luck. T
he Devils held the Caps scoreless to late in the second when the puck bounced off of Ovechkins leg and dropped right in front of him, and he was able to sling it past Brodeur from about two feet. The second goal came short handed. Why? WHY? did we call for a line change when they have the puck on a break away? This set up a one on one, and those rarely end well for the goalie. Two devils on their way to the bench had an opportunity to cut off the puck in the neutral zone, but they went to the bench instead.
The nail in the coffin was Brodeur way out of the crease and the caps basically had an empty net. I saw no reason for him to be that far out of the pipes. His reaction was phenomenal though, IF he was where he should have been, the puck would have been brick walled. Instead he was about 4 feet from the goal, and its not hard to get past a goalie who isn't there. That's the scoring summary, but that doesn't tell the whole story. We drew first blood with a beautiful top shelf that had to fly through traffic. We were actually shooting the puck, not playing with it. I counted AT LEAST three post ringers, which means we had the goalie beat, it just didn't cross the thin red line. We dominated the offensive zone for most of the game it seemed, we took chances, took shots, took hits, and fought hard. I'm proud of the game we lost. The Devils are looking so much better than last season. Let's see if we can have revenge tonight.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (7-5-1) vs Washington Capitals (9-4-0)
TV/Radio: MSG +/660 AM WFAN
Know Your Enemy: Rock the Red
Season Series: This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. Washington easily won the season series last season 3-1 and outscored NJ 15-8 in those 4 games. This is the beginning of a home and home against Washington.
What We Think of the Capitals: Always a dangerous team. Every time you look at the ice you can find a guy capable of making the goalie look bad. I’m amazed that they don’t score 5 goals every night. The Caps goaltending situation leaves a lot to be desired though. Both goalies are decent but every time I watch them, I expect them to be better. The biggest story in the Caps division has to be that the Caps are in 2nd place looking up at the Florida Panthers. Wait, what? That HAS to be a misprint right?
Tonight’s Game: The Devils are looking for their fourth straight win tonight. All eyes will surely be looking at Devils rookie Adam Henrique. If you don’t know, Henrique has two straight game-winning goals and has scored 4 goals in the last three games. His goal scoring will certainly be needed at Kovalchuk has been ruled out of both games against the Capitals.
The Caps are an offensive power house. Just take a look at their stats: they are ranked 2nd in goals per game, 3rd in PP success rate and 12th when it comes to shots per game. The Caps make the most out of their shooting opportunities.
If NJ wants the win, they have to do one thing tonight. Control the puck. If the Devils can control the puck and out shoot the Caps, then they just might stand a chance tonight. That’s what happened against the Flyers last week.
I’ll be interested to see how Marty does tonight. He had a great game the other night against the Hurricanes and hopefully he can build off of that for tonight.
Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute. The Capitals are among the elite teams in this league and I’d be happy if we can come away from this weekend with a 1-1 record.
Enjoy the game. GO DEVILS!!!no comments
Tonight’s game was amazing! It really was a fun game to watch. The Devils dominated play almost from the beginning and were awarded the win (in regulation!) for their outstanding efforts. The fact that the game was shown on Versus, enabling me to actually watch it on my TV as opposed to my computer, could have very well contributed to my enjoyment.
I have to admit, when I first found out that Marty Brodeur was starting the game in net for the Devils, I thought it would be a colossal mistake. Given Johan Hedberg’s perfect record against the Canes the last 4 times he faced them, I really thought/hoped/assumed that he would get the start tonight. Not so, and, at first, it looked as though my initial reaction to Marty’s presence in net was bang on…especially as the the Canes took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period on a shorthanded goal scored by none other than Brent Sutter’s son. But as the game progressed, the Marty of old seemed to materialize, and he played lights out.
As a matter of fact, Marty kept the Devils in the game and even provided some momentum (courtesy of a huge save) until Dainius Zubrus tipped an Anton Volchenkov shot past Cam Ward at 10:56 of the 2nd period. Petr Sykora put the Devils ahead at 2:37 of the 3rd period by scoring right off of a Patrik Elias faceoff win. Less than four minutes later, “Carolina” tied it when Adam Henrique tipped a Carolina shot past Marty. Henrique redeemed himself, however, just over ten minutes later when he scored the eventual game winner on a wraparound shot.
The Devils played really well, and I agree with Mike Milbury who noted that they played better than the Hurricanes. (On a side note: I love Mike Milbury. While most hockey “experts” - not named Chico Resch - rarely give the Devils any credit, Mike Milbury always seems to have the Devils’ back. I remember last season during the Devils’ amazing second half run, Mike predicted - albeit erroneously - that the Devils would make the playoffs. And he vehemently argued the point with Keith Jones. Loved it!)
Anyway, the Devils played really well, and the only part of their game that I can find fault with was the power play, as usual. They went 0 for 4 or something like that and, of course, gave up a shorthanded goal. But that goal wasn’t the result of sloppy play…Patrik Elias fell while playing the point and the Hurricanes took the puck right past him. I do have to acknowledge one good thing about the PP and that would be Petr Sykora. Sykora was on fire on the PP tonight…shooting the puck everytime it touched his stick. He may not have scored on the PP, but he isn’t afraid to shoot and doesn’t waste valuable seconds skating around and passing the puck back and forth. It was refreshing, to say the least, to actually see pucks flying at the net during a Devils PP. I’m happy that Sykora scored a goal tonight. He deserved one.
Conversely, the Devils PK is still perfect at home.
And what else could be said about Adam Henrique??? The dude is simply on fire. After scoring his first NHL goal 2 games ago, he’s since scored 3 more, 2 in one game and 2 game winners. Insane! He was the 1st star of the game and deservedly so.
The win tonight gives the Devils their 7th win. It took them 13 games to get them. Last season, they didn’t get their 7th win until their 22nd game. I would say that Peter DeBoer’s Devils are way better than John MacLean’s Devils were.no comments
The Matchup: Carolina Hurricanes (5-6-3) vs. New Jersey Devils (6-5-1)
7:30 PM at The Rock
TV/Radio: VERSUS/660 AM WFAN
Know Your Enemy: Shutdown Line
What we Think of the Hurricanes: The Hurricanes are coming off of a 5-2 loss to Dallas and are actually in quite the slump…losing their last two games and six of their last eight. All-star goalie Cam Ward was pulled in their last game, and their power play is almost as atrocious as the Devils’. Rumor also has it that if the Hurricanes don’t start winning, coach Paul Maurice will be in the hot seat.
Tonight’s Game: The Devils enter tonight’s game having won two straight, defeating the Flyers in a shootout on Thursday and the Jets in overtime on Saturday. The Devils won their first and only meeting so far this season with the Hurricanes 4-2 on October 10th at the Rock. While the Hurricanes (well, actually, both teams) are horrendous on the PP, the Devils are third in the league on the penalty kill and are perfect on the PK at the Rock so far. (Knock on wood). Ilya Kovalchuk – still recovering from a pulled leg muscle - won’t play in tonight’s game. Andy Greene (lower body injury) is a game time decision. No offense to Kovy, but it didn’t appear as if his most recent linemates (Zach Parise and Adam Henrique) missed his presence in Saturday night’s game. Henrique had the first 2-goal game of his career (one of which was the OT game winner) with Zach getting the assists on both of them. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…this Henrique kid is the real deal. On the defensive end of things, Johan Hedberg is 4-0-0 against the Hurricanes over the past two seasons.
The Hurricanes are 0-3-0 when trailing after the 1st period and 0-4-2 when trailing after two. Here’s hoping the Devils jump out to an early lead!
GO DEVILS!!!no comments
The Matchup: Winnipeg Jets (5-6-1) vs. New Jersey Devils (5-5-1)
7:00 PM at The Rock
TV/Radio: MSG+2/660 AM WFAN
Know Your Enemy: Thrashing the Blues (Claims to be an Atlanta Thrashers/St. Louis Blues blog. Since the Winnipeg Jets were formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, this blog is hopefully the right one.)
What we Think of the Jets: The Jets aren’t really doing that badly considering the entire team had to acclimate themselves to not only a new city and climate but also to an entirely different country…all within the past 6 months. Additionally, the Jets have remained a member of the Southeast Division and, as such, the majority of their games are against other Eastern Conference teams. This translates into a good amount of travel into another time zone. One could only assume that the traveling would take its toll on the players at some point but, so far, they’re not playing as if the excessive travelling is affecting them.
Tonight’s Game: The Devils enter tonight’s game fresh off their Thursday night shootout win in Philadelphia. You can read Darren’s recap of that game here. That same night, the Jets earned their first shutout of the season against the Islanders. The Devils are, unfortunately, riddled with injuries. Joining the usual suspects (Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson) on the injured list are: Ilya Kovalchuk (pulled leg muscle), Andy Greene (lower body injury) and Johan Hedberg (pulled back muscle). All three of them are listed as day-to-day but will be sitting out tonight’s game. Eric Boulton could be ready to play tonight after sitting out five games due to a a sore hand. Marty Brodeur will get the start in net tonight. As we all know, his last appearance between the pipes (Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to Toronto) was less than stellar. Hopefully, he’s been able to practice a little more and shake off some of that rust he seems to have acquired while sitting out with his shoulder injury.
The Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets during this past off-season. For you youngsters and those with a very bad memory, there was once a Winnipeg Jets team that existed from 1972-1996. That team moved to Phoenix in 1996 and became the Coyotes. There are only two current Devils who have played against the original Winnipeg Jets team…Martin Brodeur and Petr Sykora.no comments
We’ve made it through the first 11 games of the 2011/2012 season and the question on everyone’s mind is: “Are the Devils better under DeBoer than they were under John MacLean?”
First thing to look at would be the records. Last season the Devils got off to a miserable 3-7-1 under Johnny Mac and were dead last in the Atlantic Division (and I believe dead last in the Eastern Conference where they would stay for a while). This season, the Devils are off to a 5-5-1 start which puts them in 4th place in the Atlantic Division and sitting in the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference. A .500 record is a big improvement.
The next thing to look at would be goal for and against columns. Last season our opponents seemed to score on us at will. I remember one game we lost 7-2 and another we lost 6-1 and there weren’t too many 1 goals games. In fact, the Devils only pumped in 19 goals in their first 11 games while they gave up 36 to their opponents. This season, the Devils are still giving up more than they score but it’s a much closer margin with the Devils scoring 24 and giving up 31.
After the first 11games, I believe we can actually answer “YES” to this question but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
The one major difference that I’ve seen this season that I didn’t see in the beginning of last season was “fight.” I’m certainly not talking fisticuffs because I’m not trying to bring attention to the fact the Clarkson gets his ass kicked every time he drops his gloves. I’m talking about how the Devils don’t pack it in and go home because they’ve either allowed their opponents to get a decent lead or keep allowing their opponents to find the equalizer. Need some examples?? Ok…
Game 2: Carolina – The Hurricanes were able to find the equalizer twice before Kovalchuk put the Devils on top for good. An empty net goal would seal the 4-2 victory.
Game 4: Nashville – The Predators find themselves up 2-0 after the first period and completely dominate the second but the Devils battle back in the third to tie the game at 2. The Devils would go on to win the game in a shootout.
Game 10: Toronto – Three times the Toronto Maple Leafs would take a one goal lead and watch the Devils come back to tie it. Eventually the Leafs took took the lead for good but the Devils had to believe that they had a chance all night long.
Game 11: Philadelphia – The Devils gave up two ugly goals early in the 2nd to find themselves in a 2-0 hole but battled back to tie the game. They gave up another goal in the 3rd, only to battle back again and finish off the Flyers in a shootout.
These things DIDN’T happen with MacLean behind the bench. This team is trying and that is a lot more than they were doing at this point in the season last year. Sure, there are issues with the defense and Marty didn’t look good in his comeback against the Leafs the other night but there is effort. That alone is enough to say that DeBoer was a much better decision than MacLean a year ago.no comments
Give the NJ Devils credit because they fell into a 2-0 hole to a very good Flyers team but were able to battle back and find a way to send the game to OT and eventually the shootout, where they skated away with a 4-3 victory.
I thought NJ played a decent first period and didn’t allow the Flyers to find the back of the net but that obviously didn’t sit well with Philly as they came out and owned the first part of the second period. Rinaldo got the Flyers on the board first in what was really a defensive breakdown. Couterier found Rinadlo all alone in front of the net who wristed one past Hedburg.
A few minutes later, Jagr skated from one end to the other and then found Giroux all alone with a wide open net to make it 2-0. Another complete breakdown and all 5 Devils stood around watching Jagr put on a skating clinic and not one Devil picked up the puck or Giroux. That prompted a little outburst by me on twitter.
Captain Zach Parise did exactly what a captain should do, strap the team on his back and backhanded one past Bobrovsky less than a minute after the Giroux goal. Less than three minutes later, Andreas Lilja gave the puck away to Kovalchuk for a 2-on-1 break that Henrique finished for his first NHL goal and a 2-2 tie. The Devils had somehow managed to dig themselves out of a 2-0 hole and looked to have the momentum.
Early into the third, Fayne hauled down Talbot who was awarded a Penalty Shot, which Talbot put into the back of the net. The lead lasted until 13:25, when Elias intercepted a Matt Carle clearing attempt and found Clarkson alone in front of the Philadelphia net.
Parise and Elias found the back on the net during the shootout to give the Devils the victory.
Kovalchuk ended up leaving the game with 1:35 and sat out the entire OT and shootout, which was a little concerning. Apparently he’s day to day with a pulled muscle. Hedburg also suffered an injury to his back but was able to complete the game.
It’s hard for me to give anyone on the Devils the MUD award that Deb usually hands out. After the first two Flyers goals, I was going to give it to Larry Robinson for allowing his defense to stand around and watch the Flyers just play with the puck but they, like the rest of the team recovered nicely so there is no need to hand out the MUD award again.
Congratulations to Adam Henrique who got his first NHL goal and ended up with 2 points on the night. Hopefully the Devils have picked up some momentum from this game as the Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets make their way into NJ tomorrow night.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (4-5-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (7-4-1)
TV/Radio: MSG +/660 AM WFAN
Know Your Enemy: Flyers Goal Scored By…
Season Series: This is the second meeting between these two teams so far this season. The Devils opened the season at home against the Flyers on October 8th, losing 3-0.
What We Think of the Flyers: Yuck.
Tonight’s Game: The Devils enter tonight’s game after suffering defeat at the hands of the Maple Leafs last night. That loss gave the Devils an NHL losing record and was extremely frustrating to say the least. For a recap of last night’s debacle, you can read my post here. A very rusty Marty Brodeur returned to the lineup after sitting out with a shoulder injury for 3 weeks. Fortunately, the Devils decided to give him more time to rest and are going with Johan Hedberg in net tonight. The Devils aren’t the only ones with goaltending issues. The Flyers have had their fair share with Ilya Bryzgalov losing a horrendous game to the Winnipeg Jets a few games ago. Bryzgalov seems to have bounced back, though, beating the Buffalo Sabres last night by a score of 3-2. Regardless of what the Flyers do tonight, the Devils simply must find a way to win. This team is in serious need of an identity and chemistry among its players. Hopefully, they can get it together tonight.
Patrik Elias’s PP goal last night was the 93rd of his career breaking the team record previously held by John MacLean. Patrik wasn’t very proud of his achievement, stating that it meant nothing since the team lost.
Enjoy the game. GO DEVILS!!!no comments