A few thoughts come to mind from tonight's game. The first is a word..."Dominating!!" That's what the Devils have been against the Penguins this season and once again they dominated the Penguins tonight. The second thought is that while most love putting on the old uniforms, I forgot how ugly they really are on TV but thankfully the Devils only looked like the Devils of old in uniform and not in play.
So some thoughts on tonights tilt..
Paul Martin - I was wrong, he didn't need to sit tonight because the Penguins were too strong of a team. He fit in very well, looked very good and had a nice goal to put the Devils up 2-1 in the first. He looked good on defense as well which is the bigger story because we need him going forward.
Patrik Elias - Did we mention it's St. Patty's Day?? This guy loves to show up on this day and play, oh who are we kidding he shows up most days we just needed to make the Elias - St. Patricks Day connection. In all honesty those, his goal in the second came from a stretch of excellent play by the Devils. First Zajac takes off on a break away while shorthanded to get, i can't say robbed but it was a beauty of a save by Fluery. Penguins try to regroup and immediately get picked off by Elias who streaks down the ice and goes "Seven Hole" and then we get a lesson on the "Goalie's Hole's" by Chico Resch. (Insert crack about Henrik Lundqvist here!!)
Penguins Defense - or actually lack there of. Lets see, Zubrus, breakaway..SCORE!! Zajac..shorthanded breakaway, Fluery makes an incredible stop and Elias..shorthanded breakaway..SCORE!! If I am a Penguins fan I am scratching my head and asking WTF?? Why are you letting the Devils and this game get SO wide open??
Devils Offense - Right now its clicking and hopefully will only continue to do so. For the second game in a row, the Devils chase the starting goalie to the bench. I actually thought Johnson did a very good job although the first shot he faced is one I am not sure how it didn't go in.
Rod Pelley - It was an ulgy hit. Obviously the name Goligoski and the number 3 were plain as day and Pelley probably shouldn't have followed through with the hit. Glad to see Goligoski out on the next shift but I'll be interested to see if the NHL doesn't demand a little money from Pelley. Huge penalty on Letang in that whole mess because it took 2 mins away from a 5 Minute Major.
Devils Dominance - I thought the Penguins actually dominated the first 5 minutes of this game and then backed off. Its amazing what the Devils have done to the Penguins this season but I am going to keep the broom in the closet until games actually matter. With that said, the Devils have outscored the Pens 22-5 this season and no team has ever knocked off a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when losing 6+ game in the regular season.
Devils Power Play - If I have to look for something disappointing from tonight its the PP. Every night it's usually the PP. It just doesn't perform like I hope it would and it hasn't changed since we got a very good QB in Kovalchuk on it.
Tonight's Three Stars
#1 - Patrick Elias - 1 Goal, 1 Assist on 1 Shot (LOL!!)
#2 - Paul Martin - 1 Goal on 1 Shot (again LOL!!) and 18:05 mins of ice time (Huge ice time for first game in 5 months).
#3 - Danius Zubrus - 1 Goal on 2 shots.
The Devils travel to Toronto tomorrow night against a team that probably wants a little redemption for losing a game like they did the last time they played NJ, even if the game was here.