Archives for September 2008

Pre-Season Continues, Devils Drop To 2-2

It’s been a pretty stellar pre-season for the Devils thus far, despite a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals last night at Prudential Center.

The Red ‘n Black roster, consisting mostly of Lowell regulars and a few main-stays, handled the competition pretty well. Considering that competition consisted of guys like Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom, and Michael Nylander — I’m alright with the loss.

Washington was able to grab a 3-0 lead in the third period, but the Devs were resilient, adding two late tallies thanks to Zach Parise and a Petr Vrana deflection. Kevin Weekes went the distance for New Jersey.

The next tour of duty for the Devils will find them in the Nassau Mausoleum tomorrow night for a 7:00pm faceoff. The contest will be the only home pre-season matchup for the New York Islanders. I’ll be in attendance, Section 325 / Row A for those 2ManAdvantage fans on Long Island ūüėČ

Martin Brodeur is expected to play the full contest tomorrow night.

Listening & Working

I’d like to thank everyone who dropped by and hung around for the Live-Cap of the Devils/Rangers game a few nights ago.¬† As you may have noticed, we’re toying with something new as far as the structure of our Live-Cap is concerned.

Frankly, the maiden voyage has generated some mixed reviews.  It mainly breaks down like this:

But on a serious note…

– Those of you that attended and interacted in the Live-Cap had fun with it and seem to be giving it a thumbs up.

– Readers who checked it out after everything was wrapped up (I happen to fall into this category) are generating the more negative responses.

There are also plenty of readers I’ve spoken to that need to see some more of it before they can form an opinion.

This being the case, I wanted to let all of our readers & fans know that we truly appreciate your feedback on the matter and we assure you that we are listening to your advice and we will be trying different approaches, set-ups, and structures for our Live-Caps for the remainder of the pre-season.  We would love it if as many of you as possible could get involved and be a part of the process.

More or less, we’d like to use the comment-thread for this post as a braindump for you and ourselves to share ideas and explore some possible improvements.¬† So get to typing!!

I’d also like to point out that there is not necessarily a definite change taking place to the Live-Cap structure.¬† It’s very possible that we could end up using the original format, thus wasting our time after all. ūüėȬ† Hey, change isn’t always a bad thing.¬† Just ask Larry Robinson.

Thanks again for getting involved, 2MA loves you!

Devils Vs. Rangers Pre-Season LIVECAP!

Click Here for tonight’s Devils/Rangers LIVECAP! (LiveCap will launch in new window)

I smell a LiveCap…

Dear sir or madam,

The gentlemen and lady of www.2manadvantage.com request the honor of your presence the evening of September the 24th, 2008.¬† The occasion marks the first world-famous 2MA LiveCap of the 2008-09 National Hockey…

Ah screw it, I can’t do high-class.¬† Let me start again:

YOU!¬† ME!¬† LIVECAPPING!¬† TOMORROW NIGHT!¬† BE THERE OR BE…ELSEWHERE!

In all seriousness, the first livecap of the season will take place tomorrow night for the Devils home pre-season opener against the Rangers.¬† Be here around 7ish.¬† I have intentions on testing out what I believe will be a new, improved LiveCapping format.¬† What will be so awesome about it?¬† Well, for one, I’ll see your comments in real-time and will be able to approve them the second you make them.¬† That’ll speed up the conversation.¬† Also, everything (should) occur in real-time – no more refreshing the page for updates.¬† If Steve, Joe, Scott, or maybe even Patty happen to be around, they’ll be able to LiveCap right there with me – literal 2 Man Advantage LiveCap!

In the end though, it’ll be your feedback that will decide whether we move to this new program full-time or revert to the format of years past.¬† So please, come check it out tomorrow night and let me know what you think.¬† I’m optimistic that it’s going to be awesome.

See y’all tomorrow night!

It’s very almost nearly time to drop the puck for realsies! (sort of)

Pre-season action begins tonight! Wee!

That’s right ladies and gents, our boys will be suiting up for their preseason opener tonight in Philadelphia, which means we are one gigantic step closer to beginning the season in earnest.

Word on the street is that the Flyers will be streaming the game tonight on their website, which may be the only way any of us will be privy to this contest. If you can’t stomach listening to a pair of radio hosts gush about how fantastic (terrible) an idea it was to sign Mike

Richards for the next three centuries, Tom Gulitti says he’ll be giving period by period updates over on Fire and Ice, so check that out.

Speaking of everyone’s favorite Devils’ beat writer, Gulutti reports that none other than Kevin Weekes will be in net this evening! This of course means three things:

1. We totally have an excuse to use the Weekes laser beam photo.
2. Weekes has completely recovered from the torn bicep muscle he sustained lifting books of crossword puzzles every night on the bench last year.
3. This will be the last time this season the poor dude will see any playing time before March.

In other news, Gulitti also reported this afternoon that one of the line combos will be a trio of youngsters, with Petr Vrana centering a line with Fedor Fedorov and Nicklas Bergfors. Also expected to get substantial time (including some PP action) are Tyler Eckford and Matt Corrente.

Gulitti reports that Mr. Sutter will also try out Brian Rolston on the point during the powerplay (as he should) and Bobby Holik on the top powerplay unit (WHAT…THE…F%*&). No word on if my personal favorite Matt Halischuk will be playing, but i’ve heard he’s been turning heads at camp so I certainly hope so.

At any rate, we’re a mere two and a half weeks from dropping the puck for the start of the season and I can speak for all the 2ma staff when I say it’s about effin’ time. Keep it here for updates as we hurtle towards another New Jersey Devils season.

Getchur Devils Tickets!

Just a reminder boys, girls, and marsupials:  Individual game tickets for the upcoming season go on sale TOMORROW MORNING РSATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th at 10 AM.  Ticketmaster.com, Prucenter.com, Newjerseydevils.com, Prudential Center Box Office Рyou got choices.  Snatch up the Devils/Rangers game tickets before the Rangers fans get a chance to, eh?

For those interested in a hunt, rumor has it there’s a pre-sale going on as we speak, until 10 PM tonight.¬† You need a password though, I wonder what it devpru could be…?

Numbers, Signings, & Ugly Thirds.

Over the last few weeks or so there have been a few tidbits worth updating about but I haven’t gotten around to it until now. For those of you who haven’t already discovered that knowledge is power through some other news source, it’s time to play a little catch-up, 2manadvantage style!

– NUMBERS GAME –

With the return of veterans Brian Rolston & Bobby Holik coupled with the departure of Sergei Brylin, There has been some rare number-swapping rippling through the Devils current roster. Holik will indeed regain his old # 16 that he wore during his first go-round with New Jersey. Dainius Zubrus gave up the number for Bobby and will don #8 for the rest of his tenure with the Devils. It should be noted that this change will in no way, shape or form, have any effect whatsoever on the (dare I say) world famous “Zubbie Counter“.

Sheldon Brookbank will sport the #28 previously worn by Brian Rafalski after giving his old #8 to Zubrus. Brian Rolston will carry over his #12 from Minnesota, as Sergei Brylin’s #18 will be taken over by rookie Niklas Bergfors.

– ROD PELLEY RETURNS, KEVIN CORMIER ACQUIRED –

In under-the-radar news, Rod Pelley has in fact been re-signed by the Devils. The deal is 2 years with a cap hit of $550,000 per season. In addition to signing Pelley, Lou Lamoriello made a small ripple on the trade market, sending Sean Zimmerman to Phoenix in exchange for Patrice Cormier’s older and bad-assier brother Kevin Cormier. If my memory serves me right, the Devils brother-total now stands at 4. (the Giontas, Pandolfos, Parises, & Cormiers.)

In my opinion, Lou can sign as many brothers as he wants as long he doesn’t shift his attention west… Vancouver in particular.

Wait, nevermind. I said brothers, not sisters

– THIRDS HAVE (unfortunately) RETURNED –

It seems that even RBK couldn’t keep the third jersey away from the game. Unfortunately there will be a return of the cash-grabs this season. Some teams have already released their designs, while other mock-ups are being rendered by fans based on provided descriptions. You can check out some of the MOCK-UP JERSEYS here.

– TIME CHANGE –

The Rangers/Devils pre-season game scheduled for next Saturday, Sept. 27th @ MSG has been moved up from a 2pm start to a 1pm start.

That is all.

******

Pre-season starts in just 6 days, folks! Who’s ready for a live-cap?!

Look, Ma! Marketing!

Look, Ma!  Marketing!

Looks like the Devils marketing department hired a few college interns.  A plane carrying the above banner was spotted flying high over the beaches of New Jersey on Labor Day.

The “PSL’s” tag jabs fun at teams who charge a Personal Seat License to it’s season ticket holders.

…Can we drop the friggin’ puck already?!

Are We There Yet?

After a weekend of driving through the mountains of Cobleskill, you can imagine I had more than a fair amount of time to think about…well, absolutely anything.¬† Aside from the usual day dreams about Chinese takeout and when my next Dunkin’ Donuts rest-stop will be, my mind inevitably ended up on the ice.

Typically, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but with the off-season still flaunting its ugly style it can tend to get a little frustrating.¬† Well, I’d like to announce that I’m tired of waiting for something news-worthy to write about.¬† That being the case, I’ve decided I’d like to spill whatever has been on my mind as of late.

Sound good?¬† Too bad, here goes…

IS IT WORTH IT TO GET EXCITED?

Part of me says YES, and the other part of me thinks its counterpart has an addiction to sniffing glue.¬† You see, it’s easy as a fan to get wound up over signing a player of Brian Rolston’s caliber, but it’s not so easy (or enjoyable) to know that realistically Lou Lamoriello hasn’t done much to improve his squad other than sign Rolston & Holik.¬† Granted, some weeding was also done in the Black & Red garden, but the current selection of crops leaves me with a sinking feeling that the team still isn’t ready to compete.¬† Why do I feel that, you ask?¬† Look no further than the blue line.

With Paul Martin as your reigning #1, and Johnny Oduya as our token puck-mover, I just have a hard time feeling confident about our defensive corps.¬† Even guys like Halischuk and Corrente competing for a spot out of training camp, it’s going to take a lot more to keep the Devils from becoming a part of a few embarrassing highlight reels this season.

WILL LOU MAKE ANOTHER MOVE?

If I knew the answer to this question, I wouldn’t be typing to you from my ground level living room/bedroom.¬† Then again, when it comes to Lou, the highest of the hockey insiders still probably wouldn’t have a clue.¬† Would I like to see another move made?¬† Absolutely.¬† One involving a defen

seman?¬† You bet!¬† Again, reality donkey-punches me in the face and I’m forced back down to earth, knowing that another roster tweak isn’t likely.¬† Barring a few minor additions out of training camp,

it looks like the current Devils roster will be the one that takes the ice October 10th at The Rock.

HOW MUCH DOES MARTY HAVE LEFT?

It just wouldn’t be a legitimate pre-season breakdown without asking this question.¬† It seems th

at year in and year out, it rears its ugly head.  The funny thing is that every single year, the answer remains the same.  Marty is Marty. He will bring his usual lights-out game with him no matter what the situation is.  Kevin Weekes will play sparingly or when necessary, unless the team happens to be 39-1-1 at the All Star Break.

WILL THE OFFENSIVES WOES CONTINUE?

It depends.¬† Obviously, Brian Rolston could boost even the weakest offense.¬† Which is good, because I think the Devils are the proud(?) owners of that title.¬† The real question is: what kind of year will his support have?¬† Rolston has already proven what he can bring to the table, it’s the veteran Devils that worry me.¬† If anything, they’ve been consistantly inconsistant.¬†

Let’s take Patrik Elias for example.¬† Dude is either lights-out or a dud christmas light.¬† Gionta is no better, and Travis Zajac left much to be desired in his Sophomore campaign.¬† Perhaps the only reliable forward the Devils currently boast is Zach Parise.¬† Likewise with returning captain Jamie Langenbrunner.¬† John Maddens surprising 2007-2008 season was likely a one-shot-deal (that went high and wide…BA-ZING!!), and Dainius Zubrus will need to step it up in order to be effective in ’08-’09.

In all, Rolston is a great addition and I’m beyond excited to see how many times he will make my jaw drop.¬† The downside is that he won’t be able to do it by himself, and that’s where I start to worry.¬† The boys are going to have to either shape up or ship out in order for the team to be successful.

CAN BRENT SUTTER REALLY LEAD THIS TEAM?

I say yes.¬† Brent Sutter was under fire for a lot of the choices and decisions he made last season and although I was often the one tearing him a new one, I feel confident with him behind the bench.¬† I feel he, like his team, will have to change some things about his game to be successful but in the end is still a leader the Devils can feed off of and will learn much from.¬† If they’re not too stubborn to listen, that is.

*****

That’s all I got for now.¬† I’m sure there are tons more questions that fans like myself ask themselves every day about the team.¬† Got one?¬† Feel like sharing?¬† I’d love to hear them and voice my own opinion about whatever it is us Devils fans like to shoot the breeze about until the puck drops.

Keep it bookmarked at 2MA, the season is nearing and we’re just getting started!!

The home stretch

Why oh why cant there me more Michael Ramos’ out there for us to torment? Would like to issue our sincerest apologies for the lack of action on 2ma recently, but there just hasn’t been anything to report on.

Nonetheless, things should certainly rev up by the end of the month as the youngins will report to training camp September 15.  Not a lot of room on the big boy team, but Matthew Corrente, Niklas Bergfors, Fedor Fedorov, Matt Halischuk et al. should make a strong case for wiggling themselves in there.

That should be enough excitement to rip 2ma out of the doldrums and rev us up for the coming season, so keep checking back in the coming weeks as we try to whip ourselves into form for another year.