New York Islanders (3-2-1) at New Jersey Devils (3-0-2)
This is the second time we get to see the Islanders this season but the first time at home. The Devils are 2-0 at home this season.
The Last Devils Game – The Devils did OK the other night in Boston. Boston is a tough team. They are pretty deep team full of guys that love to just grind it out. Moose kept us in the game but when you spend a lot of time trying to clear the puck out of your end, eventually something is going to find twine. And it did, late in the 3rd. The Devils did manage a point but lost the 2nd point in a shootout, which we looked terrible at.
The Last Islanders Game – They shocked the world, or at least according to NHL.com. The rolled over the Penguins 4-0 and looked damn impressive doing so. Let’s hope that team doesn’t show up tonight.
The Last Islanders/Devils Game – Opening night, the Devils took care of business in the Islanders arena. Zajac scored on a beautiful feed from Kovalchuk to open the scoring. The Islanders did tie the game but immediately David Clarkson banged home his first of the year to give NJ the 2-1 win. The Devils defense played an amazing game that night.
Tonight’s Game – Let’s start with the good news. Cam Janssen cleared waivers and is on his way to Albany. Mark Fayne and Stephan Matteau will be watching this game from above this evening, which means the Devils will see 2 new skaters on the ice tonight. Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson will dress for NJ tonight.
Hopefully Henrique can spark the scoring tonight because the Devils have had their issues when it comes to scoring. Larsson has to be a better option than Fayne so I am definitely excited for The Adam and Adam show tonight.
Don’t mistake the Islanders for some great team because of their thrashing of the Penguins the other night because the Islanders are just an average team. True, their top line is pretty good and the Devils main focus needs to be John Tavares, Matt Moulson, and Kyle Okposo. Keeping them quiet should be as easy as winning the possession battle, something the Islanders don’t really do well at.
The Islander have also given up a lot of shots this season, it’s just that Nabakov has been up to the task of keeping pucks out of the net. Let’s make tonight the night he isn’t. Get traffic in front and shoot, shoot, SHOOT the puck.
The Islanders are a tougher opponent than they were opening night only because we are a week and half into the season which has given them time to find some chemistry together, something they failed to do in a short training camp.
Johan Hedberg kept the Devils in the game as long as he could, but New Jersey fell to the Boston Bruins by a score of 2-1 after an extended shootout. The Devils looked better than they did on Sunday in Montreal, but the offense just was not enough to slip by Boston tonight.
New Jersey and Boston played in a scoreless first period that saw nine shots on goal for both teams. Despite this statistic, the period seemed heavily dominated by the Bruins. Johan Hedberg was strong, as he was all night, in the opening twenty minutes and denied several scoring opportunities at his door step. The Devils were not as physical as we would like them to be, but looked better than they did on Sunday--that's for certain.
David Clarkson scored the lone goal for Jersey's team 8:30 into the middle period. The goal, Clarkson's fourth of the year, came on the power play and seemed to shift the momentum towards the visitor's side. Through strong defense and outstanding goaltending through the rest of the period, the Devils headed into the locker-room up one-to-nothing.
One thing is for certain: the Boston Bruins are unstoppable in the third period. Tonight was no different.
The Bruins entered the game without a goal given up in the final twenty minutes of any contest and kept their streak alive against the Devils. Nearly sixteen minutes into the third, Nathan Horton tied the game for Boston on a wrister that squeaked through Hedberg's five-hole. The goal was Horton's third on the year and sent the game into overtime.
Both teams refused to budge in OT, despite some pretty good scoring opportunities. Again, Hedberg came through in the clutch and kept New Jersey in the game.
Tyler Seguin went first for the Bruins in the shootout and converted his opportunity. The Devils caught a break, however, when the officials ordered a re-do after an object was tossed on the ice. Despite the displeasure of the crowd, Seguin converted on his second chance and put the Bruins up 1-0 in the shootout. Ilya Kovalchuk converted on the Devils' first chance and evened things up.
Both squads failed to score in the next four rounds. The Devils closest opportunity came on a Patrik Elias shot that rang off the crossbar. Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins in round six. Here's where things got confusing: Marek Zidlicky was sent to center ice to take the Devils' sixth-round chance. My question is: why?
With Gionta, Carter, and Zubrus on the bench, I am dumbfounded as to why Zidlicky was out there taking a shootout opportunity. Coach DeBoer made a smart decision by resting Martin Brodeur tonight, but this was just a bonehead move.
Zidlicky should not have taken the final shootout attempt. Period. End of story.
The Devils power play (1-for-5 on the night) looked decent but needs some improvement. The puck movement was excellent, but New Jersey could not find a way to score on the man advantage. I have confidence that when Adam Henrique is back, the offense will be more potent and able to score.
Henrik Tallinder looked flat out there tonight. He lazily skated the puck out of the zone in overtime with plenty of time left on the clock. Without Henrique and Parise, New Jersey cannot afford lazy play. Someone needs to provide an energy boost for these guys out there. Where are you, Salvador?
Things NEED to turn around on Thursday at the rock. The Devils are still in first place, but the Rangers and Islanders are starting to turn things up. If the Devils want to stay where they're at, they will have to do the same.
Jersey is back in action on Thursday evening against the Islanders at the Rock. Puck drop is set for 7:00 EST. For all of your latest Devils news, analysis, and thoughts, follow us on twitter. Make sure to follow our staff as well: Scott Robb, Devin Mattera, and Raj Vaidya!
The Devils visit the TD Bank Garden tonight as the Devils and Bruins, the last two Eastern Conference teams without a regulation loss square off.
Let’s not beat around the bush. This is not an easy game the Devils are facing tonight. By making that statement, I am not taking away from what the Devils have accomplished so far this season. Much like the Bruins, the Devils have picked up a point in each of their games played this season but Boston is probably the best team we’ve seen so far in this short season. The defense has been good, their goaltending has been up to the task and they’ve been pumping pucks into the opposition’s goal. Boston is the only team left in the NHL to be perfect on their Penatly Kill, having killed off all 23 opportunities handed to the opposition.
The Bruins have won four in a row and eight of the past nine games against New Jersey. They've also put together a four-game home winning streak during that stretch. This the first of three meetings this season.
The Devils Last Game: They got off to another slow start and found themselves in a 2-0 hole before Elias redirected a puck in the net to cut the deficit in half. In the third, Montreal got that goal back for a 3-1 lead but the Devils didn’t give up and got a PP goal from Clarkson and then a goal from Zubrus to even the score at 3. A bad call in the OT period game the Habs a PP which they put home and skated away with a 4-3 OT win.
The Bruins Last Game: They quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead last night in Carolina. The found themselves up 3-1 in the second before they gave up 2 quick goals before the end of the period. Krejci scored with 1:50 left in the 3rd and Seguin put home an empty netter to seal the victory. Even though the score was close, the game really wasn’t and the Bruins controlled most of the play.
Tonight’s Game: We haven’t been getting off to very good starts and at 3-0-1, that hasn’t really hurt us with maybe the Montreal game being the exception. Boston is a tough team to battle back against so a good start is an important key tonight.
Boston is perfect on the PK so I don’t have a lot of hope with our PP tonight. Of course, 1 PP goal against a team not used to giving them up can make a PK unit crumble.
Patrick Elias has the hot hand as he has 2 goals and 3 assists over the last 2 games. David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalcuk have points in every game this season, so I would expect Boston to concentrate on those three tonight.
Johan Hedburg gets the call tonight, which is probably a good thing because the Bruins have beat Martin Brodeur in his last three outings in Boston posting a 3.29 goals-against average.
Tonight’s Lines: Tedenby was sent to Albany and Anderson, not Butler was called up. Looks like Janssen will sit tonight as will Larsson. Looks like Matteau will get another shot on the top line in what will be his 5th game this season. Many wondering if this will be Matteau’s last game as the Devils must make a decision on him prior to Thursday’s game.
Sorry kid... your Bruins actually winning something is SOOOO 2011.
Chat with us during the game via Twitter and come back after the game for our recap. The Devils play a lot of hockey in the next 6 days so let’s hope we get a good start tonight.
If there is one thing I’ve been loving about the New Jersey Devils this year it would be the fight that appears to be coming from within. We saw it last Spring and so far, through 4 games, we’ve seen it 3 times this season. We didn’t really need to pull it out against the Flyers because we had that game in our grasp pretty early on.
The Devils were down 2-0 going into the 3rd period and thanks to a crazy Elias redirect, they closed the gap to 1 goal. Early in the third, Montreal scored on a pretty play from Brandon Prust to put them back up by 2 goals. Normally, you’d think a goal like that, at that stage of the game would spell death but the Devils didn’t think like that, they didn’t give up home. They got a 5 on 3 and made Montreal pay the price. A few minutes later, they found the equalizer and all of the sudden it looked like we were going to steal on from the Habs.
While we failed to get the job done in OT, we did manage to get a point where we were down 2 goals in the 3rd. Anytime this team can win 7 of 8 points available to them, I will take it!!
· For some reason the Devils came out missing something in the 1st period but they got it corrected before the game got out of reach.
· Elias had a 3 point night which put him at 900 points in his career. The guy has been the man for this organization for so long, sometimes I wonder if we forget how great #26 is.
· Zajac rang a puck off the pipe 40 seconds into this game. Had that puck gone in, I wonder what kind of game we would have seen. Oh the “What if’s”
· Speaking of “What if’s”.. Kovy had two of them. A breakaway in the second period that was denied (it came together VERY quickly) and then rang a shot off the pipe in OT. If fact, Price didn’t even flinch as that puck whizzed by his glove.
· The penalty in OT that led to the Habs GWG was weak but it happens. Bad calls happen and they reaped the reward from it.
Now the schedule gets CRAZY busy. We have Boston on Tuesday, Isles on Thursday, Pittsburgh on Saturday and then Islanders again on Super Bowl Sunday. Not only is that a jammed packed schedule, it’s a schedule full of good teams that promise to be battles.
Washington Capitals (0-3-0) @ New Jersey Devils (2-0-0)
This is the second home game of the season for the Devils and the first time we will be meeting the Washington Capitals at the rock this season. Adam Oates, former Devils assistant coach took the head coaching job vacated by Dale Hunter last summer.
The Last Devils Game: The other night, the Devils took on the Flyers at home. The Devils quickly got out to a 1-0 lead on Zajac’s second of the season before the Flyers seemed to settle down and control the flow of the game. Marty had all the answers though and Clarkson scored his second of the season near the end of the 1st. After Kovalchuk put home a penalty shot to extend the lead to 3, the Flyers lost composure and eventually the game as Marty recorded his 120th career shutout.
The Last Caps Game: Been kind of a disappointing start for the Caps. They’ve gotten off to an 0-3 record and really haven’t been in a game yet. They’ve given up 14 goals this season while only putting in 6. Montreal beat the Caps in Washington by a score of 4-1 last night.
Tonight’s Game: Despite the 0-3 start for the Caps, this is a game that I am a little nervous about. The main reason would be the man behind the bench. He knows what we are about, he knows our game plan or at least has a good idea what it is and probably has a good idea on how to stop NJ.
Discipline was a bit of an issue the other night but our PK did a great job. Let’s cut down on the penalties because any PP unit that includes the name “Ovenchkin” isn’t one I want to see very often.
The defense needs to clean up the slot a little more. We’ve done a great job limiting the Islanders and Flyers to shots taken but at times they both got the puck into the slot area and had some pretty decent chances. I’m fine with a shooter beating us for a goal from the outside but if they do so in the slot, I can’t help but feel it was a breakdown and probably easily prevented.
Looks like Marty will again be in the net tonight and it looks again as if Adam Larsson will be a healthy scratch. With the way the defense is playing, it is hard to suggest they are doing the wrong thing with Larsson but I do feel between the playoffs and the start in 2013, we might be hurting his confidence a bit.
I’d like to see our PP get rolling downhill tonight. We had a 5 on 3 the other night and felt it took a while to get set up. Of course PK’s are more important but the PP has been one area I’ve been displeased with (yes you can be displeased in a 2-0-0 start!!).
Let us know what you think? Are the Caps just a bad team and not a threat tonight or is this a game we should be worried about?
As always, check us out on our Twitter accounts during the game and then come back for our recap after.
Yes this is a Devils site but sometimes I see things in the hockey world that aren't Devils related bu I still want to touch on. These are going to be what I like to call "Quick Hits" and be warned, they will probably contain some offensive remarks from time to time.
So I logged on to NHL.com and was met with a nice picture of Gaborik, Nash and Richards, which I posted below. I'm sorry but could NHL.com be sucking Ranger dick any harder?? "NY's top line could be the NHL's best" is what they had to say. Well for $21+ million spent on one line, I would hope they would be pretty good. Not really front page kind of stuff.
Brayden Schenn will sit one game for his hit on Anton Volchenkov. Schenn came off the bench and skated right to Volchenkov, let his feet and targeted the head and upper body. No penatly was called on the play.
After knocking off the Flyers 3-0 last night at The Rock, the over-all feeling about this team was a good feeling. I thought they put in a great effort, did some good things and stuck up for one another. That isn’t to say that there are things to work on because there are ALWAYS things that need a little work. Then I started thinking about Cam Janssen and I am just confused as to why he has a spot on this roster.
I thought his purpose in NJ was obvious. When it comes down to hockey skills, he doesn’t really have much. He failed multiple clearing attempts against the Flyers top line at one point in the game and basic hockey skills are something we've seen that he lacks in the past. So if clearing the puck, a basic hockey skill all hockey players should possess is something he has trouble with, he’s obviously not taking up a roster spot for his superb hockey skills. He’s enforcer, a guy that gets off on pounding in the face of an opponent yet last night when he should have been on the ice dealing with Wayne Simmonds, he was kept on the bench. Eventually near the end of the game Clarkson took on Simmonds and then Bernier took on Schenn all while Cam Janssen was kept on the bench. It wasn’t until the final seconds of the game that we saw Cam Janssen on the ice and at that point, his enforcer services weren't needed.
I can almost defend keeping him on the bench during a 1 goal game due to his lack of skills but in a game where you are up by 3 goals, some idiot cross checked your goalie, another idiot left his feet to make a big hit, you keep him on the bench?
I ask you, what exactly is it that Cam Janssen is supposed to bring to the table for the Devils??
Let’s start with the pre-game coverage because it bothered me. Before we even get to the broadcast, NBC cuts to an interview between Salvador and Brian Engblom and all he’s interest is the team’s mindset now that Parise is in Minnesota. In fact, according to Engblom, the Devils have remained intact from last season except for the departure of Zach Parise. No mention of Sykora and Ponikarovsy who were both very important to this team one season ago. What a terrible interview on the part of NBC. After a brief studio segment, we make it to the start of the Devils and Flyers. I’ve sat through a bunch of NBC broadcasts so far this season, all of which were home openers and this Devils game has been the ONLY one where NBC didn’t broadcast the player introductions. BIG TIME FAIL on the part of NBC but why should I be surprised?
Now, to the game and just like that, the Devils find the back of the net. Bryce Salvador did everything he was supposed to and put the puck on net from the point. In typical Bryzgalov fashion, at least against NJ, he put out a nice juicy rebound which Zajac, streaking out in front all alone, put into a net that was wide open for his second of the year. Through the first 4 periods of the season, Zajac is definitely quieting the critics about his big, long-term contract.
The Flyers seemed to settle down a bit and took control of the game, which is being played at a high tempo. The Flyers were skating a little faster, getting to the puck quicker and appeared to be knocking on the doorstep. Unfortunately for them, that doorstep belonged to the one and only Marty Brodeur. Hartnell had a couple of good chances that were denied. The Flyers came away with two power plays in the first period but NJ shut them down.
At the end of the first, the Flyers took a bad interference penalty. The Flyers have struggled on the penalty kill so far this season and their struggles would continue as David Clarkson would get his second of the year.
Period Over – Devils up 2-0. Biggest stat of the first period: Flyers hold NJ to 3 shots on goal but find themselves down 2-0.
They say that coaches hate goals scored early on in a period and late in a period. Well, the Devils had one of each in the first, how would the second period go? 1:39 into the period, a Zidlicky penalty would lead to a power play for Philly. Unfortunately for Philly, this would be a power play against NJ. Picking up right where they left off last season, Kovalchuk gets the puck on a breakaway for a chance at a shorthanded goal but gets hooked from behind. In the resulting Penalty Shot, Kovalchuk beats Bryzgalov up high for his first of the season, a shorthanded penalty shot. FYI, Kovalchuk is now 3 for 4 in penalty shots that count (not counting that skills crap to decide games).
Things would then get a little chippy. Clarkson steamrolled Timmonen at center ice which would start a scrum. In fact, 3 Flyers went after Clarkson and the hit was nothing but clean. A few minutes later, Schenn would put a huge hit on Volchenkov and then immediately after that, Simmons made deliberate contact with Marty following a save. Now this is Devils / Flyers rivalry hockey.
At the end of the 2nd, the Devils would get a 5 on 3 opportunity that could really decide the game. Unfortunately the start of the 5 on 3 was very sloppy but they did regroup and get a couple of opportunities but nothing came of it. The final :30 seconds of the period saw the Flyers starting to buzz but the clock ran out before they could do anything with it.
The third period was kind of quiet offensively. The Devils got a few chances on the power play but nothing came of it. Toward the end of the period, things got a little chippy again. First Salvador put Talbot on the ice for being too chippy and then Clarkson took on Simmons and did a great job.
Schenn and Bernier got into it as well.
In the end, Marty gets his 120th shutout of his career, 10th against the Flyers. Devils improve to 2-0 while the Flyers drop to 0-3.
- Throughout the game I was questioning if the Devils could play strong for the entire 60 minutes and the answer to that would be a big fat yes.
- The Devils continue to get under the skin of the Flyers and we witnessed a lot of frustration on the part of the Flyers which led to a couple of power play opportunities.
- Marty looked fantastic. In fact, I think I am going to start campaigning for more 48 game seasons if this is the Marty we get when the season starts in January.
- The first goal by Zajac was more of what made the Devils so successful last spring. Quick little flips of the puck followed by the winning of the battles in the corners which lead to great chances and finding a way to finish those chances.
- Matteau continues to impress me. True, he hasn’t put a puck in the net but he’s close and he’s working hard.
- The defense looks great and while I hate the decision to keep sitting Larsson, he’s not really needed at this point.
- Was a little disappointed that Janssen was kept on the bench so much, especially when Simmons needed to be taught a lesson. What exactly is Janssen’s place here if he’s not going to get out there to rough a guy up?
- While the shot totals eventually piled up, what will be lost in the recaps is that NJ was up 3-0 on just 5 shots on goal.
- Overall, it was a great effort from start to finish. Devils get a couple of days to feel good about this one before they get a shot at Adam Oates and his Capitals on Friday.
Throughout the game, a couple of us on twitter were joking around with #PariseNJDrinkingGame but honestly, let the Parise storyline die. NBC refused to let it die and kept bringing up. With the exception of Brodeur and maybe Stevens, the Devils have always been more about the front of the jersey than the back. Parise is gone, it’s fine and the Devils will be just fine without him. Let the storyline die.
Philadelphia Flyers (0-2-0) @ New Jersey Devils (1-0-0)
The Devils return home tonight for the first time this season. There will be a new banner in the ceiling (although it’s not the banner 99.999% of us REALLY wanted but it did come at the expense of the Rangers so if you are bummed it’s not a Stanley Cup banner, at least find comfort in knowing that it isn’t hanging in Madison Square Garden).
Puck Drop: 7:30pm EST
The Broadcast: TV - NBC Sports Network; Radio - 660 AM WFAN
Season Series: 0-0
The Last Time We Saw Philadelphia: That was Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals where the Devils sent the Claude Giroux-less Flyers home for what would turn out to be a VERY LOOOOONG summer.
The Last Devils Game: The Devils opened up the season on Saturday night against the Islanders in Long Island. The final result would suggest a close game but that doesn’t paint a clear picture. The Devils outshot, outhit and outworked the Islanders for most of the evening. The Devils defense, under the direction of rookie coach Scott Stevens was SOLID. Should we expect anything different from something Scott Stevens puts his name on? Zajac got the Devils on the board first and then after watching the Islanders eventually tie the game, David Clarkson picked up right where he left off last season and put home a clutch, game winner.
The Last Flyers Game: The Flyers traveled to Buffalo on Sunday, a day after losing at home to the Penguins. The Flyers found themselves up 2-1 in the second period before the wheels came off. With the scored tied at 2 after 2, there was still a chance for the Flyers to get a point or two. Unfortunately for the Flyers, that chance never left the locker room between the second and third periods. Buffalo took control of the game in the third by scoring 3 goals within 5 minutes, sending Philly back home to start the season 0-2.
Thoughts on Tonight’s Game: I am sure that Philly is going to come out tonight with a little extra “giddy up and go” because of their disappointing start. I didn’t really consider the Islanders a great test the other night but a team like Philly, who is pretty deep offensively, will be a good test for our team.
Philly does look to be a little weak defensively so far this season so if NJ can put forth another solid effort on defense, we should have enough offense to send Philly home with another loss. Philadelphia has taken a lot of penalties so far this season and given up quite a few power play goals. They been shorthanded 9 times and given up 5 goals. To be fair, one of those 5 came with the net empty but there is definitely a weakness to exploit there. This is a rivalry game so I would expect a number of calls on both sides of the puck.
Philadelphia Flyers Notes:
- Danny Briere will be out tonight.
- Zac Rinaldo will also miss tonight’s game.
- Cosmonaut Ilya Bryzgalov will man the pipes.
New Jersey Devils Notes:
- Looks like Adam Larsson will be sitting again.
- Stephan Matteau will make his home debut.
- Brodeur gets the call tonight, which he should.
Players To Watch:
When it comes to the Philadelphia Flyers, you always have to keep your eye on Claude Giroux. Given the opportunity, he can score some clutch goals for his club. I’m also keeping my eye on Sean Couturier because I believe that he could have a breakout season this year.
As for NJ, I want to see how Stephan Matteau does tonight. He had a lot of energy the other night in Long Island and seem to be places where the pucked ended up but this is a rival game and he has a pretty well know issue with taking a good amount of penalties at the junior level this season. Will the extra adrenalin of a rival game and home opener push him over the edge?
It should be a great game. Philly hasn't started like they had hoped and I am sure will be eager to try and get their first win against the team that sent them home last summer. I'm a little bummed that it looks like Larsson is sitting again. I know he's an NHL calibre defenseman, I just don't get why we keep scratching him.
We wanted to send out a little reminder to Brayden Schenn. There's a lot of hockey left to play this season. Try not to let the Devils use you as their own personal punching bag.
As always, check us out on our Twitter accounts during the game and then come back for our recap after.