Archives for January 2008

Life happens.

Dear 2MA readers,

This is what a real identity crisis looks like, no?Yes, there was supposed to be a live-cap of tonight’s Devils game done by yours truly, but unfortunately, a personal crisis prevented me from being able to let my magical fingers shine for you good folk.

Sidebar: I don’t like the term “personal crisis.” It makes it sound like I’m having some sort of identity issue. Or, like, I’m feeling like I need to call, you know, one of those Hope Lines or something. Such is not the case, I assure you.

Alas, I apologize for the lack of live-cap. I will make up for this by giving each and every reader of this site one million dollars.

Awesome, aren’t I?

Just kidding. About the million dollars.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick note, so, that’s what’s going on. Thanks for hangin’ in, everyone!

I changed my mind.Yours forever,
Patricia

PS ~ Maybe it’s better off there was no live-cap. I didn’t see the game or anything, but a 4-2 loss to the Penguins? Ouch. So sad.

PPS ~ For those wondering, everything is okay on my end. I thank you in advance for your concern.

If you’re not concerned, that’s cool too, but you don’t get thanks from me, naturally. Hee-hee.

Oh, there’s an All-Star game this weekend?

I didn’t know.

Okay, that’s a lie. I did know. I just conveniently decided to ignore it.

Does anyone watch the festivities? I don’t. In fact, I haven’t in years. Nothing against it or anything, I’m just not into all the flashy displays of cherry picking and, uh, non-existent defensive play.

I am a Devils fan, you know. Those things obviously do not mix with rooting for Black ‘n Red.

I’d be a Ranger fan if I enjoyed that stuffs.

Low blow?

Sorry, cross-river rivals. I kid because I love.

Anyway, sorry for the lack-of-coverage this weekend. We were gonna do stuff, really, but it just didn’t happen, on account of me not believing in watching the game (I make it sound like I’m a Jehovah’s Witness or something, I’m really not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.), and the other boys either working, drinking too much beer, or working while drinking too much beer. I’m sure they wouldn’t do the latter, though, they are totally good boys. Right guys?

Alas, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming, like, tomorrow or something. I’m sure of it.

If not tomorrow, then definitely Tuesday.

I’m, uh, sure of it.

Correction!

While it pains me to admit it, I am, in fact, human.

I would like to correct an error I reported at the conclusion of last night’s live-cap.  I closed by talking about how the Devils will continue to hold their first place spot in the Atlantic via the wins tie-breaker.  Well, that’s what I get for doing research immediately after an infuriating loss.

Turns out, the Philadelphia Flyers are the rightful owners of the Atlantic Division’s top spot, due to the fact that they have played one fewer game than the Devils, giving them a greater win percentage.

Boy, ya gotta hate those technicalities.  My apologies for the mistake!

MONTREAL @ NEW JERSEY LIVE-CAP!

9:42PM ET: BREAKING NEWS: How’s this for a cosmic alignment? Despite spontaneously combusting on a night when all five Atlantic Division teams were in action, the Devils will keep their first place spot in the Atlantic Division going into the All-Star break. The Islanders fell 4-1 to Boston, the Rangers, well, don’t matter, and the Philadelphia Flyers just put away the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. The Devils and Flyers are now tied for first place, with the Devils holding the tie-breaker via the wins column. Even after the ass-kicking they received two nights ago, the Flyers found enough good in their heart to help out the boys in Black ‘N Red. Ain’t that sweet?

Someone's not happy...I’ll see you in Church.

9:32PM ET: Wow. Langenbrunner takes a penalty with twenty seconds left. If there has ever been a disastrous end to a game, this is right up there with the best of them. Oduya dubs a shot as time expires, the Habs have won it. If you’re as disgusted as I am, you’ll understand why I’m ducking outta here for the night.

Thanks for joining me tonight, keep it at 2MA as we’ll be buzzing during the entire All-Star Weekend. Thanks again, and goodnight!

9:31PM ET: Mottau races back to touch up an icing, Devils get their timeout. :52.6 remain.

9:29PM ET: Following suit for the night, the Devils are able to get Brodeur to the bench but then go offside on the ensuing rush. Have fun dwelling on this one for four days, guys. Brent Sutter’s time-out has been denied. 1:15 left.

9:28PM ET: 90 seconds remaining, boy is this going to take a miracle.

9:26PM ET: Yet another completely unnecessary penalty to the Devils. Mr. Rachunek takes down Kostitsyn and he will sit for a trip. Oi.


It really is.
9:19PM ET:
Unreal. Chris Higgins scores a power play goal and the Habs lead it 4-3. It really is uncanny how the Devs dictated the play for the better part of 2 whole periods, and have completely imploded in this third, and most crucial period. Needless to say, I’m none too happy.

9:16PM ET: Hey, why not dig yourself a little deeper? Devils gift-wrap another power play for Montreal. Boy, have they really mailed this one in or what?! Clarkson off for a hook.

9:12PM ET: Just as the penalty expires the Canadiens have tied the game… or have they? Goal is under review and will likely be called back. Koivu got a stick on a Mike Komisarek shot but it was very high. Don’t move folks, this will be a helluva call!

…And this one counts. The Canadiens have taken advantage of a Devils team that basically fell asleep in this period and let the lead get away.

Not cool, Patty.9:09PM ET: Patrik Elias has lost some of his awesome-value as he takes a Goaltender Interference penalty. The Devils continue to hold the door open for Montreal. Habs PP with just under ten minutes left.

9:06PM ET: More sloppy play from the Devils, can’t even get past the red line. (Hey, wait a minute…) Looks like they’re starting the all-star break one period early.

9:02PM ET: Brylin out of the box, an effective power play from the Habs but Brodeur keeps them at bey.

8:58PM ET: Further proving my point, Sergei Brylin will sit for two as he is the proud father of a minor penalty. MAD scramble in front of Brodeur but he’s able to keep the puck out!

8:57PM ET: The concessions at The Rock are going to have to start offering antacids with those $1.00 hot dogs if the Devils keep this kind of play up! Not a way to defend a lead, boys!

8:52PM ET: Smolinski the barbarian strikes again, Habs jump out of the gate quickly, back to a one goal game with much, much hockey to be played. I’m regretting that pizza now!

8:51PM ET: Puck drops on the third period, Devils looking to protect the two-goaler and put this baby to bed!

8:35PM ET: Well, the Devils power play unit shows us they are, indeed, human. 5-on-3 expires as does the 5-on-4 and the Habs are back to full-strength. The dying seconds of the middle frame tick off and the Devils will head to the room with the two-goal lead in tact!

I blame the writer's strike.8:33PM ET: And the Montreal Canadiens have gone off the deep-end. Unsportsmanlike Bench Minor called on Carbonneau and the Devs are back on the 2MANADVANTAGE! Ohhh yeah!

8:31PM ET: The wussification of the NHL continues, Steve Begin to the box for Cross Checking.. and Langenbrunner Scores!! Before I can even inform you that the Devils had a 5-on-3, Langenbrunner unleashes a hellacious shot right through Huet, Devs back up by two!

8:28PM ET: Tomas Plekanec becomes a victim of a weak slashing call, Devils will go back on the pee-pee with a little over two minutes remaining in the second period.

8:24PM ET: Brian Smolinski has done the unthinkable and scored on Martin Brodeur.. while wearing a Montreal uniform! Run to church right now, the apocalypse is upon us! Devils lead cut to 2-1, just over five minutes remaining in the second.

8:17PM ET: Mad scramble in front of Huet but the Devils can’t make good on the chance, Habs back to full-strength.

8:14PM ET: Canadiens can’t get anything done on the power play, and now they will try their luck on the PK as they are called for a Too Many Men penalty, Devils power play!

8:09PM ET: Kovalev gets tripped up by Gionta along the Devils bench, Montreal back to the double-p.

Who knew???8:06PM ET: Elias strikes again! A lovely give-and-go as Mike Mottau breaks in and sends one across the ice to Elias who fires it home on bended knee. 2-0 Devils early in the second!

8:01PM ET: Second period underway, Devils take care of the rest of the PK.

7:51 PM ET: (Intermission Report): Cangialosi and Daneyko are joined by Jeff Vanderbeek. Word comes that the Devils have already had FOUR official sell-outs this season, they also lead the league in increased attendance figures. Excellent news!

7:44PM ET: That’s it for the first period! The Canadiens not able to get much going on their powerplay, of which the Devils will have to kill :05 seconds when the second gets underway. I’ll be back before the puck hits the ice (again)!

7:38PM ET: The Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner line giving the Habs fits in their own end. Perfect cycling but Montreal is able to get the puck out of their own end.

7:32PM ET: My oh my what a deflection in front by Brian Gionta, Huet is lucky to have that one as John Madden was already celebrating a goal. Goalpost giveth, goalpost taketh away!

Cookies? Who told you you could eat MY cookies?7:27PM ET: Elias Scores! Steve Begin turns one over and Elias fires a twisted-wrister off the pipe into the cookie jar, Powerplay goal and the Devils lead it 1-0! …Wait, goal is under review. Not exactly sure why. Goal counts, apparently Elias can shoot the puck at the speed of light and cause refs temporary blindness.

7:25PM ET: Kostitsyn takes down Mottau, Devils will put that murderous powerplay to the task!

7:24PM ET: Langenbrunner finds himself the beneficiary of a crazy bounce off the boards and fires one that is turned aside by Huet. Shots 3-2 in favor of New Jersey as we reach the mid-way mark of the opening frame.

7:19PM ET: Steve Begin tries to toe one up on Johnny Oduya, but the defensive wizard denies him. Much of the banter between Doc & Chico has been about Brodeur’s dominance over the Canadiens, which always gets me paranoid.

7:15PM ET: Kovalev turns one over in his own end, Madden gets a chance in the slot and hits the side of the net. Good to see he’s back to his old self!

7:13PM ET: A scrambly pace to start the contest. Langenbrunner fires a shot just inside the line that gets deflected to the netting.

7:09PM ET: Aaand we’re underway! The Habs putting their league-best road record against New Jersey’s potent home record. Rupp-Pelley-Asham get the start for Black ‘N Red.

7:04PM ET: Mike Emrick makes a ridiculous Oduya-related pun. Hilarity ensues. Highlights of the victory over Philadelphia are being rolled, much to my amusement. Almost time!

6:54PM ET: Alright, folks, we’re moments away from puck drop. Well, actually, moments away from mindless banter courtesy of Chico Resch, then we’ll be moments away from puck drop. Annnyway, you wanted a live-cap, you got a live-cap! See ya in a few!

Canadiens? Pshh. (OK, I’m Scared.)

One last game before the break, folks. If the Devils were planning on entering the break with a win under their belts, I bet they were pretty stoked when they realized Montreal would be the opponent.

pwned!Thanks in large part to Martin Brodeur, the Devils have completely dominated the Montreal Canadiens over the last decade or so. Through 51 career games against the Habs, Mr. Brodeur has amassed a heart-burn-inducing record of 34-12-0 including five ties, eight shutouts, and a measly 1.76 GAA – which also happened to be my grade-point average throughout college. Dude should have a Ph.D. in ownage.

The Canadiens, hot off their ninth consecutive victory, will square off with a Devils team that has nine consecutive victories of their own against those very same Canadiens. Although the head-to-head record is quite lopsided, the Habs have put together a pretty impressive season. Montreal only carries one less point than New Jersey into the contest, as they currently sit in the second seed in the Northwest Division.

Scoreboard-watching will once again be a game-within-the-game def not lmaofor the Devils, as tonight will see all five Atlantic Division teams hit the ice, two of which head-to-head as Philadelphia takes on Pittsburgh. The tightest Division in hockey, the Atlantic separates five teams by only seven points. The Devils continue to pave the way, while the Rangers have the farthest journey ahead of them.

Some encouraging news for the Devils blueline today, as it has been announced that Defensemen Andy Greene has a “50-50” chance of returning to action tonight. If Greene gives the thumbs-up, Brent Sutter will likely go with seven defensemen in tonight’s lineup. John Madden will also be a go tonight, although he has admitted to looking forward to the all-star break to give his lacerated ankle some recovery time. Even if Madden has been ailing, his presence has been nothing short of monstrous in the Devils last two contests.

Amidst all the hype, there is a very important game to be played tonight, so Yours Truly will be live-capping every slapshot, kick-save, and David Clarkson wrap-a-round attempt right here at 2ManAdvantage! It’s a game the Devils should win, which absolutely scares the bejesus out of me.

Tune in just prior to puck drop for any last minute notes, ramblings, and beer requests!

Clarkson’s a Young Star!

Now, we all know that David Clarkson is a young star, in that he’s young, and that we like him quite a bit ’round these parts.Practice your wrap-arounds, kids...

Well, apparently the NHL was paying attention – or felt bad that the Devils won’t have any representatives in Atlanta this weekend, what with Marty Brodeur and Brent Sutter both declining chances to participate in the All-Star game.

Either way, David Clarkson has been added to the YoungStars team, which will participate in a 3-on-3 competition during the SuperSkills Competition on Saturday night.

Hooray for Clarkie!

You may recall a Mr. Zach Parise pretty much owning the YoungStars game not too long ago. Perhaps Clarkson can continue the wave of Devil dominance over other baby NHLers league-wide? I think it’s a definite possibility.

Now, if only there were a way to have the game decided with a wrap-around contest…

NEW JERSEY @ PHILADELPHIA LIVECAP!

9:40 PM ET: Aaaaand that’ll be the end of it! Devils win, 7-3! Oduya with a goal and THREE assists, Parise and Elias with two goals a pop (Elias also tallied an assist), and Zajac with three assists. A great game all around, I’d say. That’ll wrap it up for us tonight! Goodnight!

9:38 PM ET: Silly Clarkson with another wrap-around attempt. Unsuccessful, but cute how often he tries.

9:36 PM ET: Devils power play is up and we’re back to full strength. Lotsa dump-and-chase now. I’m a-ok with it though!

9:34 PM ET: Knuble and Vendermeer for Philly, Pelley for the Devils, all for roughing. There ya go. Very quiet in Philly tonight. I like it.

9:33 PM ET: Welp the Devils are apparently on a power play, though I have no idea who went for what in the last scrum.

9:30 PM ET: Marty with the stop and another scrum behind the net with Colin White in the middle of it for the Red and Black. More penalties likely a-comin’.

9:25 PM ET: Clarkson and Zubrus are in the box for the Devils (elbowing and roughing, respectively), Downie in for the Flyers for roughing and it’s a Flyers PP. Which makes little sense, but whatever. Let’s just get out of here without Philly mugging someone, eh?

9:22 PM ET: Rachunek takes a nasty header into the boards and a big scrum ensues. Penalties a-comin’.

9:20 PM ET: We haven’t scored a goal in like, 10 minutes. Makes me sad.

9:13 PM ET: Asham with a shot off the crossbar!

9:12 PM ET: Clarkson with a 2-on-1 with Elias, stopped by Biron. That would have bothered me if we weren’t up by four goals.Twice!

9:07 PM ET: ELIAS! 7-3 DEVILS! Clarkson with a big blast and Elias with a bad angle shot that makes it’s way in! Man this game rules.

9:05 PM ET: Langenbrunner to Zajac to Parise and it’s 6-3 Devils! Pretty passing play all around less than a minute into the third period.

9:04 PM ET: Third period underway!

8:47 PM ET: And that’s the end of two. Not a bad game so far. Hate to give up three goals in two periods but at least we’re putting them in the net as well. Be back for the third shortly!

8:46 PM ET: Randy Jones with a shot from the top of the right circle that sneaks in over Marty’s shoulder and it’s 5-3 with less than ten seconds left in the second. Drats.

8:44 PM ET: Vishnevski takes a penalty against Briere on a kinda-but-not-really sort of penalty. But I’m happy right now so I won’t whine. Devils PK gets some time in.

8:42 PM ET: Couple of nice chances in front of Biron and some scrummy stuff at the end. Biron with a couple of nice stops, his first against the Devils all year (I KID, I KID!)

8:39 PM ET: Gagne takes a dumb penalty and the Devils are BACK to the power play yet again!He is, y'know.

8:37 PM ET: Parise stuffs home a Travis Zajac rebound for the goal and it’s 5-2 Devils! Devils chase Nittymaki and Martin Biron hits the pipes for Philly. FIFTH power play goal of the evening. And guess who gets the assists? Well that would be Zajac and…JOHNNY ODUYA!

8:34 PM ET: Johnny Oduya is having such a great game that his mere presence is making the other team make his former mistakes. Smith with the Oduya Special – puck over the glass delay of game – and the Devils had back yet again to the power play.

8:33 PM ET: The penalty to Dowd is up, and for the first time tonight, the Devils don’t connect on the power play. Lazy jerks.

8:28 PM ET: Another slash against the Flyers and the power play gets back to work. I’m literally quaking with excitement at the prospect. Jersey Jim Dowd, who could have been a PR Guy for the Devils but chose to play in Philly, is the culprit.

8:27 PM ET: JOHNNY ODUYA IS ON FIRE! Oduya carries it ALL THE WAY from goal line to goal line, sends a neat backhand pass to Patty Elias in the slot and Elias tips it home, 4-2 Devils! 4-for-4 on the power play, and Oduya now with a three point night!

8:25 PM ET: Upshall tot he box for slashing and the suddenly red-hot Devils power play gets another chance on ice.

8:21 PM ET: Penalty kill and the Devils with a couple of good shots on Niittymaki but nothing doing. The game’s gotten a little slower, which might be a good thing.

8:16 PM ET: Mike Rupp trips up Cote and the Devils head the penalty kill again.

8:13 PM ET: Clarkson is back, for those wondering.

8:12 PM ET: And all penalty time is up.

8:11 PM ET: And we’re back! Devils successfully kill the, ahem, 2 Man Advantage, and now it’s a traditional man advantage for Philly.

7:52 PM ET: End of period with a score of 3-2 Devils. Philly will be on about 10 seconds of 5-on-3 to start the second. See y’all in 17.

7:49 PM ET: Rachunek with a big hit on Gagne in the corner, Gagne appears to hit his head on the glass. Doesn’t look to be intentional on Karel but he’s to the box for four minutes for boarding and roughing. It wasn’t cheap but oh well. Knuble also goes to the box for roughing post-play. 5-on-3 for Philly.

7:48 PM ET: Vishnevski to the box for cross-checking, Flyers to the PP.ZUBRUS WATCH '07-'08

7:46 PM ET: ZUBRUS! Devils power play is 3-for-3! Elias and Gionta with the assists and it’s 3-2 New Jersey!

7:45 PM ET: Briere to the box for interference and the currently 2-for-2 Devils Power Play gets a shot to go three for three.

7:42 PM ET: ANOTHER FIGHT! Clarkson Vs. Downie. Starts out big by the Flyers bench. Downie gets a through shots in, a couple of big hits by Clarkson. Downie appears to claw at Clarkson’s face opening up a big gash near the eye. Fight ends with Clarkson letting go and Downie yapping. Typical Flyers cheap crap, it appears. Clarkson heads to the locker room for medical attention.

7:41 PM ET: Big scramble in front of Brodeur, but Marty’s up to the task.

7:39 PM ET: Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin with the assists on the Langenbrunner goal. The defensive is contributing offensively big time lately kids. This is a very good thing.

7:37 PM ET: FIGHT! Rupp Vs. Cote. Cote leads with his left and they tie up. A few shots for both but overall a very slow fight with not much connecting. Rupp gets the takedown punch/drag, but overall, I’d rule this one Edge: Cote.

7:35 PM ET: You know what always cures the Devils power play ailments? A game against the Flyers. Langenbrunner with the PP goal and it’s 2-2!

7:32 PM ET: Upshall tries to clothesline Mottau and gets two minutes in the bin for it. Devils to the PP.

7:31 PM ET: Things have slowed down some now. Which is why I’ve been quiet. I’ll be talkative when something happens though I swear!

7:22 PM ET: Here we go again with the high scoring Flyers games…2-1 Flyers, Mike Knuble slaps a shot past Marty that Marty probably could have had. Dammit.
ODUYA RULES!

7:19 PM ET: JOHNNY OFRIGGINDUYA!! A BLAST from the point and it’s a tie game! And we finally have a power play goal! Martin and Zajac with the assists.

7:16 PM ET: Some Flyer to the box, Devils on a power play. ‘Cause we’re dangerous on the power play, y’know.

7:14 PM ET: Briere gets the goal. Briere sucks. Dammit.

7:12 PM ET: Rupp to the box for a penalty. Ensuing faceoff sees a blast from the point and either Gange or Briere tips it in. Great. 1-0 Flyers.

7:10 PM ET: Elias fires one past Niittymaki and it rings off the post!

7:08 PM ET: Game on! Parise, Langs, and Zajac; Oduya and Martin to start.

6:57 PM ET: Devils hit Broad Street (no, not the Broad Street in Newark, the other one). Game upcoming!

Brodeur to skip All-Star Game

Y’know how folks are always clamoring that Marty Brodeur needs to play fewer games?

Well, here’s at least one game he’s going to skip: It was announced today that Bruins goalie Tim Thomas would be taking Brodeur’s slot on the All-Star team for the Eastern Conference.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and it’s something along the lines of “D-WHAAAAAAAA?!” That was my reaction, at least. If the true reason for Marty’s not playing is revealed, you can bet we’ll letAnd he don't need no All Star Game to prove it. you know, but for the time being, I’m going to guess it’s just to get a little R&R. (Edit: According to ESPN, Brodeur is skipping the game due to a “family obligation.”) As far as I know, Marty is in good health. So perhaps he’s just skipping the game to rest up for what’s liable to be a very rough few months of jockeying for playoff position?

In other All-Star news, Evgeni Malkin was added to the Eastern team to fill in for injured teammate Sidney Crosby, while Corey Perry, Mike Ribero, and (wait for it…) Scott Neidermeyer have been named injury fill-ins for the Western Conference.

Yes, the very Scott Neidermeyer who has played all of like, three minutes for the Anaheim Ducks. That guy.

Shakedown For First Place

Flyers tonight. In Philly. Rough game.

Why am I speaking in such short sentences? Well, I’m worried. The Devs have had success against the Broadstreet Bullies (obviously, we can start using that one again…) this season, but the Atlantic Division has resorted to the scare tactic and taught us that every single point is worth its weight in gold. With only eight points separating the ceiling from the floor, it doesn’t exactly help when four of the five Atlantic Division teams are in action tonight.

The pressure is on, the teapot is steaming, the due date for the science project is approaching…so on and so forth. Oh, you want my point…right. Well, the Devs need this win. Bad. Regulation time would be nice, too, but I’m willing to negotiate that.

The Flyers recently spent some quality alone time in the Atlantic DivisiLOLerson basement, but have since signed the deed over to those funny group of Rangers from New York. Philly hopped on, and rode a horse named Nittymakki out of the cellar and right up the Devils collective ass. With them, and the Penguins teaming up to sandwich the Devils in the 3rd spot in the Division, points are enormous…especially those that can be earned (and taken away from!) fellow division opponents.

I firmly believe that the next two weeks or so will go a long way in deciding who will still be around come the second week of April.

With so much on the line tonight, the Devils will obviously start Martin Brodeur between the pipes, with my guess for the Flyers going with Nittymakki. John Madden was given the day off yesterday after a heroic return to the lineup, helping the Devils to a 3-2 win over Toronto. He will be playing when the Devils take the ice at the Wachovia Center tonight. That’s great news for Devils fans, because watching the team play without the services of him and Mr. Pandolfo was, well, somewhat of a health hazard.

Tonight’s puck war might as well be a playoff contest – for both teams. The Atlantic Division is the tightest it’s ever been in recent memory, and for the nine-thousandth time, I’ll say it: the points are huge. No excuses for a poor effort, if the Devils want to have a shot at getting back atop the Atlantic standings, they will need to come through with a solid, air-tight game tonight. The Devils are climbing a mountain at the moment, and they look like they’re starting to lose their balance.

…I hope they regain control, because it could be one hell of a fall if they slip up any more.

On a personal note…

That Johnny is so silly.

_____

Today’s Mr. Bechtel’s day of birth ladies and gents! Wish him a happy birthday, will ya? He ain’t gettin’ any younger, ya know!