That didn't take long!! Ilya Kovalchuk watched his consecutive points in a game streak come to an end on Sunday against the Pathers but scored the game winner Wednesday night against the Lightning. With 9:50 remaining in the game, Kovalchuk took a Zajac pass and fired it past Roloson.
Thoughts on the game:
- Broduer made a nice stop on a Nate Thompson break away late in the first. Thompson had a terrific shot, Marty had an even better save.
- The lone goal by Tampa Bay was a nice deflection. You can't really do much about those goals except maybe try to stop them before they begin.
- Kovalchuk seemed to be all over the ice tonight. Everytime I looked up, it seemed like #17 was front and center with the puck.
- I don't know if I have said it before but I like what Palmieri brings to ice on most nights. He's got energy and a hunger for the puck and its good to see.
- Talinder had a nice goal through traffic to tie the game at 2.
- Everytimg I watch the Lightning, I am always amazed at how quick of a team they are. You don't think much is happening and then all of the sudden it seems they put it into gear and are right on top of the opposition. They certainly are a dangerous team that will be a handful for anyone in the playoffs.
- Kovalchuk put EVERYTHING into that slapper that won the game, I mean EVERYTHING!!
- Give Roloson credit. Watching him in NY when he was an Islander, I thought his career was dead, that he needed to retire but he's giving TB everything he's got and it just so happens, he's got some stuff left.
The league is starting to take notice when it comes to the Devils. This is a team that is 9 points out of the final playoff spot and while making up those final 9 points isn't going to be an easy, the Devils are getting respect from other teams in the league. It's hard not to respect this team, having gone 18-2-2 in the last 22. "In my eyes, the Devils are definitely a playoff-caliber team right now," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "Their record in their last 22 games speaks for itself."
Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, whether the Devils live to play game 83 and beyond or go home for a long summer, at least this team has given us something to watch. Admit it, most of us just wanted to shut the TV off before Christmas and forget that this season ever happened.
Now, go ahead, I know I am going to be called a homer but you have to give some thought as to nominating Jaques Lemaire for the Jack Adams this season, no matter what happens from here on out. If you look at the beginning of the season, you see a team struggling and unable to accomplish anything but frustrating an entire fan base. Sure, moving Jamie Langenbrunner out of town was probably a smart move but John MacLean didn't know how to make this team work. He couldn't get production from one of the most dangerous snipers (Kovalchuk) in the league. Once Lemaire got here, whipped them into shape, this team is finally playing like we thought they would be. Some people don't want to blame Johnny Mac but this run over 22 games speaks volumes on his ability to lead a team from behind a bench. It doesn't matter, Lemaire is here now and this team is doing things that 2 months ago we never thought were possible. As far as I see it, the 2 most important things the Devils need to do once the season is over is 1) sign Parise long-term and 2) find a way to convince Jaques Lemaire to stay.