Archives for January 2009

Thoughts from Section 209… Devils/Penguins.. 1/30/2009

Another Devils game… another AMAZING finish… another add to the awesome winning streak and the better things feel… and it just keeps going… it’s hard to call it routine when it’s still so TOTALLY reeking of Awesomeness, but it keeps on keeping on!!!!

the Good:
— Doc… where to begin? The only announcer I’ve known in my whole life as Devils fan… the skill.. the humor.. the way to make you realize it’s only hockey, but yet it means everything in the same breath… I watch a lot of other games in a lot of other feeds… and no announcer in any sport can come up with a million different ways to say the same thing like Doc can… funny charming and maybe the game’s best, but most underrated ambassador PERIOD… I once had a brief chat with him post-game in the Meadowlands and we were talking about hockey in Florida (I was with Paige and she was still living down there then)… and he was saying one of the things that makes hockey to get attached to in non-hockey areas are some of the tough to pronounce names and if all the good players were named “Smith” or “Roberts” it would make the game easier to follow… hell I think all you need is to give someone a half hour to talk with Doc about the game and they’ll be fans for life!
— Brendan Shanahan… I admit I wasn’t sold on adding another old man to the roster… but man he BRINGS it on the shot, and he’s made the 4th line ridiculous, and that BOMB on the power play… holy hell…he even helped Holik get the Devils on the board… he’s slow and it leads to some bad penalties (but who doesn’t on that 4th line) but we have a useful 4th line that the way Shanny is going is gonna have a double digit goals by season’s end!
— Has any Devil before had a 2 goal night, 3 games in a row? I can’t think of it… not even during Gio’s crazy season
— Zach Parise… even when he’s not scoring (which is rare).. he just finds new and better ways to get the puck to the net!
— speaking of… ditto for Travis Zajac, I know he’s got post-hitter’s disease, but still.. damn, that third period deke!!!
— even though only 2 lines scored tonight it seemed the whole team was buzzing (well except the goalie), and it kinda showed when you look at the stats and hell they even got “the Golden Child” to whine her way into the penalty box, and boy did the fans have a field day with Cindy C. whining her way to the box!

the Bad:
— That second period… man someone put NyQuil in the Water cause everyone was falling asleep there, even the crowd… so much for it being Friday night eh? :p
— Why is the NHL Network on Doc Emrick night using the biased, pitiful and Colorado-level homer-ific level announcers to give the Devils/Penguins replays… last thing I wanna hear is the Penguin Pity Party… gimmie more Doc!!!!
— Scott Clemmensen can NOT NOT NOT start back to back games in a row EVER again.. no no not never! (Clemmy 3:16 says you jsut five-holed my ass??)
— Bobby Holik’s penalty count, while reputation based is getting absurd… thankfully the PK is doing SO WELL now it’s not a big issue but it could be down the road

the Funny!:
— I saw the best thing EVER waiting for warmups… if you’ve gone to enough games and get their early… I’m sure you’ve seen this dude… he’s one of the candy vendors (and seriously this guy deserves a million promotions he’s maybe the best and coolest vendor I’ve like EVER seen, and should be in a better job)… he comes out with this sales pitch to get you to buy his candy…. he walks up to a group of four couples sitting next to each other:
“Ladies…. Gentleman… the CANDYMAN IS HERE… and you know what’s coming guys, Valentine’s Day… no time like now to get started early on it… nothing says love like some CANDY for the ladies… *holds up some reese’s pieces*.. give her one of these and put it in here mouth… and she’ll wanna take you home NOW!!! Or here… give her a Swedish Fish… RIGHT ROM SWEDEN… Valentine’s Day love right here!!” (personally I hate the concept of Valentine’s Day, like I need a day to show how I love my woman just as much the other 364 days of the year… well maybe not last year… hell that’s why she got “best of luck in your future endeavors on like Feb 10!”

all rants aside this candyman dude needs to be selling season tickets…. “CMON.. why buy one game when you can sit here ALL SEASON… the SEASON TICKET MAN is here!!!” you know you’d buy from that!!!
— Parise Girls were back in 208… AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! (ok it’s an inside joke.. whatever!)
— Marc-Andre Fleury not only got caught napping by Langenbrunner with 30 seconds to go… but he apparently was dozing during Doc’s ceremony (what else do you expect from an ungrateful whiny Penguin-type)…but he was totally not paying attention and totally missed the start of the national anthem… the first verse goes off and he’s like OH SHIT… jumps off his post… flings his helmet off and turns around to face the flag… hilarity!!
— and I still swear that stick Shanny broke trying to clear the puck in the 3rd period… it looked like it was gonna go 10,000 feet in the air… land in the net area and sock Clemmy in the damn head… it almost did as it rolled and like a few other shots… beat Clemmy right in that 5-hole!

Re-using an old picture…

…just ’cause we can.

Also, Jamie Langenbrunner must be getting the band back together, because clearly he’s on a mission from God.

It’s quiet…too quiet…

A thousand apologies.  Life aparently never becomes less hectic for any of us, and as such, there’s been little attention paid here.  I owe ya, though.  Look for a LiveCap at least once next week, either Tuesday or Friday (or, if I’m feeling particularly randy, maybe even both).

I wish I could give you some nice analysis of last night’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Bruins, but alas – I didn’t see a damn bit of it.  I was actually in enemy territory, seeing Kings Of Leon at Madison Square Garden (interestingly enough, Joe was also in enemy territory for a concert as well – Metallica at the Nassau Mausoleum).  I can only assume that last night’s game went something along the lines of “cool, 1-0…nice, 2-0!…crap, 2-1…(explitive deleted), 2-2…(MANY EXPLITIVES DELETED), we’re losing!…HOLY (EXPLITIVE DELETED) WE TIED IT!  WHOOOOOO! VICTORY!!” at least that’s how it went for me, keeping an eye on the score on my phone.

So fresh off the win in Boston, we’re back to The Rock to take on the not-in-the-top-eight-despite-having-two-of-the-best-young-talents-in-the-league Penguins.  Also, it’s Doc Emrick night.  I’d see the Devils play a middle school JV squad if we were honoring Doc before the game.  I highly advise making your way to Newark tonight if you have the means; if you don’t, at least enjoy a cold one and what should be a good game.  Look for Mackie’s subdued rantings post-game (and I’ll take subdued Mackie rants in exchange for wins, thankyaverymuch).

Life is good.

So here we sit, the NHL All Star Game coming up in less than 48 hours, the first half of the season complete (okay, a little more than half, but this is convienant, so bear with me, eh?).  As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, the Devils hit the break at the top of the Atlantic Division, despite hardships such as LOSING THE GREATEST GOALIE IN THE HISTORY OF GOALTENDING to injury less than a month into the season.

I could get used to this first place thing.  I’m hoping the team feels the same.  I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what we can expect as we hit the point in the season traditionally marked with obsessive watching of the standings and Tums overdoses.  And so I present to you, loyal 2MA reader:

Devils Storylines to watch, Spring 2009
Story the first: March 1st is only 36 days away!

March 1st, of course, being the date Lou has referenced as being the day they hope Marty call go “full-out” in practice.  Now, being the obsessive schedule-watcher that I am, I feel the need to bring up at least one point:  Marty won’t be going “full-out” in practice March 1st – The Devils host the Flyers in an afternoon tilt at The Rock that day.  Unimportant semantics?  Yep.  But I feel the need to mention it anyway.

So it’s pretty likely that we see Marty early in March (I’m predicting March 7th on Long Island, for what it’s worth).  This gives Brodeur about five weeks to shake off the cobwebs, play through the rust, and get himself ready playoff time.  I, for one, cannot wait.  The shape that Marty was in to begin training camp this season suggests to me that he’ll be in mid-season form when the playoffs start – which is exactly what we’d want out of our franchise goaltender.

Also, that pesky all-times wins record is still entirely within reach this season – he only needs seven to tie and eight to break Patrick Roy’s record of 551 wins – and the shutout record, while unlikely to be reached this season, also looms on the horizon.

Story the second – The battle for the best seat in the house.

Marty’s return means at least one thing:  someone gets to reclaim the role of “Cushiest gig in NHL”, being the Devils backup goaltender.  Based on current results, it seems a given that that job should without a doubt go to Mr. Scott Clemmensen.  However,  it might be wise to not jump to conclusions quite so quickly (because naturally, if we did, this would be one short article).

Both Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen are free agents at the end of the season.  Both would have to clear waivers to be sent to Lowell – and presumably, neither would make it through the waiver wire, though I imagine at this point that Clemmensen would be more likely to be claimed than Weekes, based on his performance in usurping what was presumed to be #1’s duty when Marty went down in November.

So we’ve got one Hall of Fame-bound goalie, two good goalies who will both likely be gone next season, and a trade deadline right in the middle of Marty’s expected return.   The question then becomes, who does Lou jettison?  On one hand, there’s something to be said for keeping the guy that more than kept us afloat in the three months without Brodeur.  On the other hand, Clemmensen probably gets a better return based on recent performance, and Weekes has playoff experience (2002, anyone?) that will come in handy if – god forbid – Marty is not 100% by then.

It’s a difficult decision, though a pretty good one to have.  I have a feeling Clemmer, however, is the odd man out and gets shipped somewhere – anywhere – for a draft pick, unless a potentionally playoff-bound team finds themselves suddenly without a starting goaltender (say, perhaps, Columbus, who have to be at least a little worried about Steve Mason’s back), in which case Weekes gets moved.  I wouldn’t expect much back for either player, but Lou turned Cam Janssen into Bryce Salvador, so anything’s possible.

Story the third: Zach Parise is so awesome. (Patrik Elias too.)

WE’VE been saying it for years now.  The rest of the NHL, however, is just noticing now.  The boy wonder sits at third in the NHL with 28 goals, making Brian Gionta’s single-season Devils record of 48 a definite possibility for number nine.  He also has 55 points, good for seventh overall.  Patrik Elias has tallied 54 points, leaving him in ninth at the break.  Two Devils in the top ten in SCORING.  What a world.

Parise has too small a body of work to really draw on in this case – there’s not much that suggests he’ll slow down or pick it up even further, so I expect he’ll maintain his current pace and flirt with the 48 goal Devils record and maybe even a 50 goal/100 point season.  Elias, however, has made a habit over his career of picking up the pace after the All Star Break – and when the pace right now is 90+ points, it’s fun to think of what it could be if he follows his typical post-break trajectory.

Story the rest: Quick hits OR other things to think about.

  • Will Lou pull a big deadline deal for a defenseman?
  • Will Brendan Shanahan prove to be brilliant or a bust?
  • Will the line of Holik/Rupp/Shanahan earn the nickname The Hanson Line before the year is out? (You figure it out.)
  • Will Jay Pandolfo make his way into the lineup before the trade deadline?  After it?  Has he seen his last day in a Devils sweater?

And last, but by no means least:

  • Will Marty ditch the ill-fated MB30 mask?

Devils/Habs: 1/21/2009….Thoughts from Section 209

Yes folks I’m still alive….we’ve had 4 home games all month, one I was at the bar watching football, the other one was in the middle of a massive work marathon for me… but now we get ready for the fun part of the season, and I gotta admit this has been the most fun and amazing regular season I’ve ever lived through! And tonight’s game was no exception!

the Good:
— Paul Martin’s goal post-penalty box on that AMAZING pass from Elias… that was pure karma… bullshit penalty called… Patrik (but CMON Patrik… assists aren’t what the “real fans want”) feeds him a layup pass, deke SCORE (and love the fist pump after!)
— David Clarkson… I’ve been tough on him because I see so much potential in him being my next favorite player… I saw a lot of that tonight, most of it was away from the puck (a classic one is he’s battling whoever number 8 is on Montreal, I don’t care to look him up, and being French AND Canadian, he decides to surrender to throw his hands up… so Clarkson sees no ref around and just DRILLS said Frenchie with a shoulder check!!! He was doing that all night!)
— Travis Zajac just gets better and uglier goals each game… but this is VERY good… means he’s got his nose in front of the net and just the right times!
— Zach Parise is starting to get the wacky goals too like the bounce off a defenseman…. his march into uncharted waters of scoring for the Devils is on, and it’s amazing to see a… no… TWO…legit elite NHL forwards tote their shit on this team!
— with this offensive outburst, we’re still a “boring trap team”..but yet the same team with more goals then said “exciting” Penguin and Ranger (talk about a team that traps on a Lemaire like level!) teams do on the season! And the “no name defense” was pretty damn good again tonight
— Scott Clemmensen only gave up one bad goal… that’s a start!!
— and oh yeah… that Brodeur guy is starting to skate again… but my first thought is… ok… great… but he had an ARM injury.. I know you don’t use your arms a lot when you skate so it’s not THAT big of a deal I would think, still it IS a step

the Bad:
— the officating again… seemed… lopsided… no shock, but hey it’s made our pk better so I can almost accept that!
— Brent Russo should not be allowed to sing ONE national anthem before an NHL game… forget TWO… her American Idol level of butchering the Canadian National Anthem forced me to stuff napkins in my ears to ease the AWFUL pain of her trying to hit Canadian hiigh notes (and other people were wincing too… that poor 8 year old next to us so badly wanted to stuff her ears too!)
— and on that note… whoever the PA announcer was tonight needs to be exterminated (unless it’s a re-assignment for Cameron the shirt retard, then I can deal with it)… boring … monotone (can’t hit the emphasis on players names during goal calls and he had FIVE CHANCES)… and one more hint, you can’t goad fans to be loud by mumbling in monotone and this fan base in this building knows when and how to be loud on it’s own (lacking 5,000 Frenchies in the arena to motivate us sometimes hampers it a little)
— it was still weird seeing Shanny in #18 (he was kinda eh tonight, but I expect that as no way does he have NHL legs at this point), I’m glad we don’t need to rely on him game in and game out… and it’s kinda sad that Pando’s on his way to “best of luck in future endeavors”, but after seeing guys like McKay and Brylin decline over the years you start to learn and accept the fact that time is indeed a bitch and you can not defeat her…..
— but also on that note, when you back up Holik, Rupp and Shanny in their own end and make them run around after you… it gets kinda UGLY
— (and I had to put this somewhere)… Mindy+Rum+the restaurant=amusing night in the section, quite loaded she was :p
— they need to do SOMETHING to piss me off… I write better angry!! Though like I said, it’s been a fun ride and I can’t wait to see where and when it ends!

Get well Burnsie

Just wanted to say that the entire 2ma staff is hoping for the good health of former Devils bench boss Pat Burns, who unfortunately has been diagnosed with cancer for a third time.

Burns, who of course led the boys in red and black to their third cup in 2003, apparently is dealing with some sort of cancerous activity in his lungs. According to TG over at Fire & Ice he still operates as a special assignment coach for the Devils, helping out where he can. While he has evidently opted not to go with chemo to treat the cancer, he has been receiving some sort of treatment since learning the cancer had returned last spring.

He’s a fighter, as evidenced by him beating cancer twice before, so let’s hope he can put it to bed for the hat trick. Get well Burnsie!

Devils @ Blue Jackets LIVECAP!

9:31 PM: Final statlines are as boring as the first 50 minutes of the game were – Madden with a goal, Zajac with a goal, Clarkson with an assist.  The only three pointgetters on the night.  Weekes with 26 stops on 27 shots, and methinks we have a mini goaltender controversy brewing.  Who goes tomorrow night?  I’d tend to think Clemmensen, just because it’s the second half of a back-to-back on the road – but that didn’t matter in St. Louis and Dallas last month either, where Clemmensen started both.  So what happens?  Let’s hear your opinion in the comments – as for tonight’s LiveCap, that’s the end of that tonight – Goodnight everyone!

9:29 PM: Still kind of can’t believe they won this one – not a very deserving win, and surprising that the game winning goal wasn’t called back, but hey – two points is two points, yes?

9:26 PM: Patty Elias misses a wide open net, but it’s okay…they manage to hang on and somehow, we’ve won this one, 2-1!  The road trip is now officially a success – or at least, not a failure – as the team now sits at 3-1 for the trip with two games to go.

9:25 PM: One minute left in the period, Mason heading to the bench!

9:24 PM: Ohhhh man Oduya with a helluva play to save his own ass.  Loses the puck and it slides slowly into the slot directly in front of Weekes – Oduya dives for the puck and chips it ahead to Elias.  Pretty play after a bad near-turnover.

9:22 PM: Nice chance for Holik and Pandolfo, Pando with a good shot and Holik just missing out on a rebound.  Threeish minutes left.

9:20 PM: The goal sure has awakened the crowd in Columbus.  Also, some jerk keeps shoving his Devils jacket into the view of the camera.  C’mon now dude, seriously.

9:16 PM: The official ruling is referee’s discretion when the net is dislodged by a defender, whether intentional or accidental.  So not only did we get a favorable call from Toronto, but it was because of a favorable call by Don Koharski.  Will the wonders never cease?

9:14 PM: Maybe I don’t know my rules entirely, but I feel we got away with one there.  If I’m a Blue Jacket fan, I’m pissed right now.

9:12 PM: Holy crap, they counted it!  2-1 Devils.  Net was definitely dislodged on the far side before the puck went in.  Moved by a Blue Jacket, and the post on the side Madden scored on was still on.  They call it for us, and while I’d like to call it retribution for all the times we’ve been screwed by Toronto, I fear karma for this evening…

9:11 PM: Net got knocked off by the butt of a defending player.  Not sure if it’s gonna make a difference, but it should I would hope.

9:08 PM: CLARKAROUND!  ‘Course, it doesn’t actually go, but the rebound gets jammed home by John Madden.  It’s going to be reviewed, and it looks like it might have made it home after the net was dislodged – Koharski very adamantly said it’s a goal but the video suggests otherwise…crap.

9:04 PM: BEAUTIFUL!  Bad giveaway by Umberger to Zajac, who zips in a laser and we’re finally tied at 1!

9:03 PM: Hey hey!  A power play!  See, whining about it worked.  Dorsett trips Zubbie and we’re on the advantage.  It’ll be nice to see some pressure on Mason now.

9:02 PM: Penalty once again killed.

9:00 PM: Tutin cranks one off the pipe – hot damn that was close.  Doc creeps me out with his sudden change of tone whilst discussing the Unseen Hand.  Like a Twilight Zone episode, he sounded.

8:57 PM: Sigh.  Devils penalty – I’ll note here that we haven’t picked up a power play yet, either – and it’s back to the kill.  The only silver lining here is that the Blue Jackets are tied for second worst when it comes to giving up shorties.

8:55 PM: I never thought I’d say this, but Mike Rupp needs to shoot the puck more.  Steve Mason seems to have issues with his shots tonight, and he’s about the only one Mason’s had issues with.

8:53 PM: Gionta and Zubrus get tangled up and Elias pulls the puck out of the mess – he feeds Salvador, who can’t bury it.  Closest thing to a chance we’ve gotten this period.  This is getting depressing.

8:51 PM: Pandolfo/Madden/Clarkson on ice right now.  Sutter’s juggling a bit I presume?

8:50 PM: Solid defensive games do not a good LiveCap make.

8:47 PM: I refuse to believe that Bobby Holik is third all-time on the Devils goals list, and yet only seventh on the all-time Devils penalty minutes list.  Something’s not right there.  Also, third period has just started.

8:30 PM: Welp, that’s the end of two.  Mike Rupp with a hit on a Blue Jacket (Peca, I think?) shortly after the buzzer, but even that doesn’t result in a scrum or anything remotely interesting.  1-0 Blue Jackets, and I’ll be back in 17.

8:27 PM: Ohhh Zachary.  Devils finally get a good chance but Zach misses the net on the short side.  A one-on-one chance for Huselius coming up the other side gets a good stop by Weekes at least.

8:25 PM: Doc & Chico make a good point – it’s debatable that the Devils have taken a single shot near Steve Mason – everything’s from the top of the circles to the points.  Not gonna score much that way, guys.

8:23 PM: Five minutes left in the second period and things aren’t looking quite so hot for us at the moment…

8:17 PM: Dammit.  I’d take boring over getting scored on – Malhotra with a wrister right through Weekes’ legs and it’s 1-0 Blue Jackets.

8:14 PM: Anyone else kinda sorta hoping Sidney Crosby pulls out of the All Star Game because Patrik Elias would be the most logical choice to replace him?

8:12 PM: It IS a terribly boring game tonight.

8:10 PM: A big slapper by Columbus is met with a good stop by Weekes.  Oh yes, Weekes certainly can.  Oh yeah, and the nightly bad Bobby Holik penalty just occurred, so we’re back to the PK.

8:07 PM: It’s goalie night in Columbus tonight – big stops by Mason and then Weekes – Weekes on a point-blank shot in the slot.

8:03 PM: I just noticed that Steve Mason catches with his right hand.  Maybe that’s why we haven’t been able to put anything in on him so far, it’s weird to have a lefty goalie.  It’s also weird to have a six-foor-four goalie, too…

8:00 PM: Penalty, killed.  Jackets held shotless, actually.  This second period is starting to look just like the first so far.  Yahoo.

7:56 PM: Back just a minute late.  Zajac took a rough header into the Columbus goal – seems okay, though – and a two-on-one for the Blue Jackets gets a nice stop Weekes.  Penalty on Johnny Oduya for hooking, and the Devils head to the PK.

7:38 PM: Welp, that’s the end of one.  No score, no penalties.  I’ma go get some pizza.

7:37 PM: The guy in the crowd directly behind Brent Sutter is wearing one awful winter sweater.  It probably would have been a contender in the ugly sweater contest the Devils had earlier this year.  Shudder.

7:33 PM: Doc “It’s not that the goalie’s haven’t been good – we all know they’re always the best players on the ice…” Chico: “Yes.” Doc: “But the defenses have both been pretty good as well.”  Okay, so maybe it doesn’t come across the same in text, but Chico’s “Yes” was hilarious.

7:31 PM: Kevin Weekes is looking sharp tonight – the few chances that the Blue Jackets have had have all come in the last few minutes and each time has ended with a good save by #1.

7:29 PM: Difficult game to LiveCap so far – no goals, no penalties, few stoppages in play, pretty good defense on both sides.

7:25 PM: Lots of white tee-shirts in the crowd – could they be trying a white-out in Columbus this eve?  It’s not working though, ’cause there are quite a few people not in white either…

7:21 PM: I’m beginning to feel like New Jersey is the only place in the world without a Tim Hortons.  ‘least we got Quick Chek…

7:18 PM: Stoppage in play as a referee finds himself flat on the ice – no, not Don Koharski, the other one.  Looks like he pulled something trying to avoid the play – he’s left, and we’re down to one ref and two linesmen.

7:16 PM: Mike Rupp may or may not have family in the audience (he’s from Cleveland), but he’s trying to impress regardless – a good bit of streamrolling and puck protection leads to a deceptively hard shot that Mason blocks away.

7:15 PM: Weekes is playing a game of “whatever you can do, I can do better” with Mason and makes a couple of solid stops of his own.  I like seeing Weekes make good stops, it makes me feel warm inside.  Which I need on a night like tonight.  Seventeen friggin’ degrees…

7:13 PM: This Mason character impresses so far.  Good handful of stops now.  We’re not making it tough – a beautiful bit of passing amongst Zubrus/Elias/Gionta goes perhaps one pass too many, and nothing hits the net from it.

7:12 PM: Audio drops out – that was a little weird.  Doc disappears mid-sentence, and we get to hear an announcement about winning Blue Jackets tickets.  Weee!

7:10 PM: Early game fashion review:  I like the Columbus uniforms.  I’m not sure I know why, because it goes against my anti-vertical-piping stance.  It might be because I just like the team a bit.

7:09 PM: Couple of shots on goal early for the Devils – all stopped by the rookie phenom they call Steve Mason.

7:08 PM: Puck on ice in Columbus.  Oduya/Martin/Parise/Zajac/Capnbrunner to start.

7:05 PM: In the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to mention that the Blue Jackets are my second-favorite team du jour this season…

7:01 PM: Can Kevin Weekes start tonight’s game?  (You know what’s coming, right?)  Why yes…YES WEEKES CAN!  YES WEEKES CAN!

6:59 PM: Devils waltz into a very very cold Columbus tonight (minus ten degrees?  I almost – ALMOST – feel bad about complaining about 17 degrees.  Then I remember, this is New Jersey, not Nova Scotia, and feel perfectly justified complaining about 17 degrees).

4:40 PM: You know what I love most about winter breaks?  It affords the opportunity to LiveCap wayyy more often than usual.  With plenty of lead time to potentially attract people to come pay attention (or at least, more lead time that usual).  YOU!  You surely will come back at 7PM eastern time to pay attention to my ramblings, yes?  Yes, I know you will.  Because you love me so.  It’s a date, it is.  See you at 7.

Zubbie Counter, V24.0

First off I’d like to thank everyone for really getting on board with this fan-interaction!  We’ve received tremendous feedback after putting the Zubbie Counter in YOUR hands and the amount of submissions has been staggering!  The 24th was definitely the toughest decision yet, but — you wanted the best, you got the best:


Congratulations to Jon Chan for this xBox beauty!  I love the nameplate… priceless!

Keep the submissions coming to [email protected] !!  Will tonight be #25???

Well woulda look at that…

You guys got ’til Friday afternoon.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, kindly reference this post and the box score to last night’s game.  You may well be interested in who scored the empty net goal to seal the 5-3 Devils win.  Hint:  it’s his 24th as a Devil.  Get yer cameras out and dust off the old photo editing skills!

Devils @ Ducks LIVECAP!

10:34 PM: Parise gets credit for the third Devils goal.  Final score 4-3, Devils can’t capitalize on being the only Eastern Conference team in action tonight, and cannot pick up the two points.  Thanks for sticking with me tonight – I doubt I’ll be capping Tuesday, but we’ll get some stuff up this week.  Goodnight everyone.

10:32 PM: Well, so much for that.  Horn sounds, and the game ends 4-3 Ducks.  Still no call as to who scored the third one.  Pronger, the dirty prick, forearms Parise in the face as time’s running down.  He’s up and okay, however.

10:30 PM: By sheer force of will, somehow, someone jams the puck past Giggy, and somehow it’s 4-3!  30 seconds or so left…I dare not get excited about it.  Clemmensen’s back off the ice for the ensuing faceoff.

10:29 PM: They’re actually bothering to pull Clemmensen for the extra attacker, which can only mean this game will look worse on paper than it already is.

10:25 PM: That’s the game – Ducks goal by Chris Kunitz, and it’s 4-2 Ducks with three minutes to go.  Broken sticks and refs in the play and a goal that maybe shouldn’t have been – we can complain about alot, but in the end, they didn’t deserve to win this game anyway.

10:24 PM: I swear, the refs have gotten in the way of the play a half dozen times today…

10:21 PM: A great play along the board by Mike Rupp to protect the puck and get around behind the net, shake the defender – passes it out to Bryce Salvador, sneaking in at the hashmarks – and Sal duffs it.  Badly.  Sigh.

10:20 PM: Bobby Holik’s face-goal was the 200th goal of his career.  ‘grats Bobby.

10:18 PM: Seven minutes left in the game, the Devils are getting some pressure, but not nearly enough.  CMON DEVILS.

10:12 PM: Good PP pressure, Gio hits the pipe.  Dammit.  Thus ends the power play.

10:10 PM: Penalties coming from a scrum result in the Devils on a power play.  MSG+ doesn’t want me to know who got what, though…I think it’s Moen for roughing.  We’re on the PP nonetheless.

10:06 PM: Zajac with a weak clear – gets a second chance and clears it perfectly to Langenbrunner coming off the net for a shorthanded breakaway, and Langs can’t get it over Giggy’s refrigerator door-like pads, and the score remains 3-2.

10:03 PM: And Bobby Holik’s daily ill-timed penalty, right on cue…Devils to the PK again.

10:00 PM: I’d be a bit more pissed if I thought this team played like it deserved for that call.  But if you play like they have tonight, you don’t deserve the breaks – whether they’re legitimate or not.

9:58 PM: Alright, that’s it, I give up.  Somehow it’s a goal despite no video actually showing the puck in the net.  3-2 Ducks.  Whatever.

9:56 PM: Puck gets jammed into Clemmensen but no goal is called – the Ducks start celebrating after ten or fifteen seconds.  No video seems to show any conclusive evidence – I think it’ll be called no goal, but…you know how these go against us.

9:54 PM: Third period’s on in Cali.  The Devils have ten shots so far on the game.  It’s a wonder we’e tied at two, boys and girls.

9:36 PM: Welp, that be two periods now, game still tied at 2.  Be back for the third.

9:31 PM: GOAL!  Rolston with a blast from along the boards, Clarkson drives home the loose puck in the crease, and it’s 2-2.  That’s how the power play should always look – Rolston blasting, Clarkson screening/rebound hunting.

9:26 PM: At least our penalty kill’s been good tonight.  Parise’s out of the box, and how do we celebrate killing THIS penalty?  Actually, we celebrate by drawing a penalty.  ’bout time.

9:24 PM: How do we celebrate killing the penalty?  Taking another penalty!  Parise with a hook.  Clemmensen does make a rather nice glove save to prevent a goal on the delayed call.

9:21 PM: The Devils picked up three shots early in the period, and they remain the only three shots for the Red n’ Black this period.  Zajac gets called for hooking, too, so it’s a Ducks power play coming.  Jebus.

9:16 PM: Oy…dump in by the Ducks bounces off a ref and skitters across the blue paint, scaring the crap out of Scott Clemmensen in the process.  Apparently it would not have counted, as a puck can’t go directly in off an official, but that kind of bounce seems awful typical of the way tonight’s game is going so far, doesn’t it?

9:15 PM: Well, okay, maybe it was off White’s chest.  Sure looked like his face though.

9:14 PM: Shot bounces off of Clemmensen, then off of White’s face, forcing Clemmensen to make another stop.  Off of Colin White’s face.  I hope it bounced off his bad eye at least…

9:11 PM: Clemmer’s making his stops and all, but he looks terribly shaky while doing so.  It’s scaring the living crap outta me.

9:09 PM: Doc just said that Pahlsson has the “goal of margin” but I could have sworn he said he has a bowl of oranges.

9:06 PM: Get your ZubbieCounterContest entries ready – tonight’s game may have started at 8 PM here, but in California…well, it started at 5 PM.  Both of Zubbie’s multi-goal games this season have come in 5 PM start time games.

9:04 PM: The Ducks are so terrified of the Clarkaround that they manage to dislodge the net before Clarkson can attempt his signature move.

9:03 PM: Oooooo, sustained pressure by the Parise/Zajac/Captainbrunner line.  Mottau’s a puck-shooting beast so far this evening.  I think he may account for half of all Devils shots, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a very, very sad thing.

9:01 PM: Ducks with a post shot.  Uh, guys…the game’s in Anaheim tonight.  I know LA’s nice and all, but you gotta show up in the next city, y’see…

9:00 PM: We’re back for the second period, for better or worse.  Hopefully we see more than four shots on goal this period.

8:44 PM: That period sucked.  I’m gonna grab a beer.  See ya in seventeen.

8:41 PM: Ugh.  Pahlsson with a goal over Clemmensen’s shoulder with nine seconds left in the first period and it’s 2-1 Ducks.  WEAK.

8:36 PM: Sweet gorilla of Manila, the Ducks are pressuring Clemmensen something wicked.  The shot totals currently sit at Ducks 10, Devils 2.  How in the living hell is this game tied?

8:34 PM: Crap.  Bobby Ryan with a diving tip of a pass from Brendan Morrison and it’s 1-1.  Pretty looking goal, shame it was against us.

8:33 PM: George Parros is cranky now and is assaulting Mike Rupp and John Madden.  I can’t help but look forward to a Parros/Rupp scrap.

8:29 PM: GOAL!  Mike Mottau with a wrister that looked like it bounced in off Bobby Holik’s face.  Insert Holik’s face joke here, I know will!  1-0 Devils.

8:27 PM: That explains that – Doc tells us the shots are a thrilling 5-1 in favor of the Ducks.  No wonder this game feels so blah.

8:26 PM: Ten minutes gone already in this game and little has occurred.

8:22 PM: We look…not so hot right now.  Weak turnover by the Devils results in a two-on-one that Clemmensen handles pretty easily.  But still.  Not pretty, guys.

8:21 PM: I’d do my usual fashion review of the Ducks jersey, but…well, it’s the Ducks jersey.  They suck.  Review over.

8:19 PM: Not a whole heck of a lot going on so far tonight.  Wake up everyone!

8:17 PM: It always surprises me to learn that George Parros went to Princeton for four years.  I find out about it every time we play Anaheim, and it’s always astonishing.

8:16 PM: The camera’s totally messing with me tonight, I feel so distant from everything going on on ice…

8:14 PM: Sorry, couldn’t pay much attention to that penalty kill, personal stuff here.  Good now.  Rolston’s just out of the box, and it looks like Clemmensen had to make a handful of decent saves, so he seems sharp-ish to start.  I swear I’ll be paying more attention, starting now.

8:11 PM: Welp, that didn’t take long.  Rolston with a trip, and the Devils hit the ice short one person.  Meep.

8:10 PM: The camera feels strangely distant tonight.  Come to think of it, the audio’s kind of quiet too.

8:08 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Anaheim, Giggypuff is in net for the Ducks.  Also back for the Ducks – Corey Perry, returning from suspension.

8:05 PM: George “The ‘Stache” Parros is still in Anaheim…I completely forgot that.  I hope Mike Rupp ate his Wheaties, he hasn’t dropped them with a true heavyweight like Parros in awhile.  Doc is very pleased that they sell Parros mustaches for charity at the Igloo, and bought one for himself.  No, he did not don it on camera.

8:03 PM: In net: Scott Clemmensen.  Dammit.  I have nothing against Clemmer or anything, but we gave him every chance to get hot – it’s Weekes’ turn.

7:43 PM: Yeah, I’m crazy.  But hey, if the players can play a game less than twenty four hours after a late-night awesomefest, then so can I.  I don’t expect tonight to be quite as wicked as last night was, but we’ll find out together, won’t we?  Let me know if you’re out there gang – Devils/Ducks, coming up in 15 minutes.