In a first of many posts, we here on Running With The Devils will recap the 2009-2010 Devils’ season. We’ll cover everything; the good, the bad and the ugly. Took kick off the series, I’ll look at the season achievements of the Devils.
Coming into the 2009-2010 season, the Devils had several questions throughout their lineup. Would an infusion of young talent pan out? Would Jacques Lemaire bring the team success? How would Martin Brodeur respond after missing significant time with a torn bicep injury last season? And, finally, could the Devils make a deep playoff run? The team would answer all of these questions, with some encouraging and disappointing answers.
The Devils opened the season losing two games, and the team looked disorganized and not prepared. But after those losses, the Devils took off. They corrected several problems, and finished the 2009 calendar year sitting 28-10-1. That record included a 9-2-1 record in November and an 11-4 month in December. The team played solid on all fronts, finishing 2009 with 2.77 goals per game (11th in the league) while averaging 29.8 shots on goal (tied for 15th). The powerplay stepped up, converting on 20.8% of their chances (tied for ninth). The defense took care of their end, only allowing 27.7 shots per game (tied for third), allowing 2.18 goals per game (second in the league) and killing 82.6% of penalties taken.
Some individual players also found success early in the season. Brodeur, coming off a serious injury in 2008, played a solid first three months of the season. He made history on December 21 when he shut out the Penguins, 4-0, at the Igloo. That shutout, number 104 of Brodeur’s career, broke a tie with Terry Sawchuk for the most career shutouts. It became another great milestone in Brodeur’s path to an eventual Hall of Fame induction. Zach Parise finished with 17 goals, 25 assists and 42 points, and those numbers came after the left-winger went through a dry spell in December. But it wasn’t all roses for the Devils.
The Devils never played with a healthy roster during the first three months. Patrik Elias missed time recovering from a groin injury early in the season. Paul Martin and Jay Pandolfo joined the injury list after a game against Pittsburgh October 24. Johnny Oduya joined that list later in the month after a game in Boston, leaving with a lower-body injury. All three of the players would go on to miss the entire month of November. Dainius Zubrus, Rob Niedermayer and David Clarkson joined that list in November, and Bryce Salvador missed time in December. Some of the players returned before the end of the year, but the Devils still had to plug holes with young players while dealing with these injures.
But the Devils couldn’t sustain their early season success in 2010. Read after the jump for the rest of the recap, including the Devils’ second half of the season.no comments