Archives for January 2009

Devils @ Kings LIVECAP!

1:04 AM: The final statlines:  Zajac with a goal and two assists, Elias with a goal and an assist, Parise with his 100th career goal, Rolston with a goal in his 1,000th career game, Kevin Weekes with 34 stops on 35 shots, and the Devils power play goes 3 for 7.  Not a bad night at all.  Goodnight everyone!

1:03 AM: To everyone who stayed up to keep me company on this LiveCap and enjoy this extremely satisfying win, I love you all, thank you.  I’m going to attempt to LiveCap tomorrow evening as well, assuming I’m home in time for it.

1:02 AM: Stars of the game: Zajac to win, Elias to place, Weekes to show.

1:01 AM: That’s the buzzer, 5-1 Devils win!  Can Kevin Weekes be one of the three stars…well, I don’t have a vote, but I have to say…YES WEEKES CAN!  YES WEEKES CAN!

1:00 AM: Less than a minute left in the game.

12:58 AM: Patty Elias with a beautiful between the legs drop pass…shame it was to nobody in particular.

12:56 AM: Fight!  Mike Rupp doesn’t want to lose his job in the Shanahan debacle, and takes down Matt Greene with five or six quick punched square to the head without absorbing any blows of his own.  That fight was all Rupp.

12:52 AM: Power play over, score remains 5-1 Devils.  I think I may be fading, luckily there’s only four-ish minutes left in the game.

12:50 AM: Slashing call on Brown puts the Devils on yet another power play with sevenish minutes to go in the game and a four-goal lead.  Parise’s back on the ice for the PP, so I guess he’s alright.  As we all breathe a GIANT sigh of relief.

12:46 AM: Matt Greene is now on every Devils fan’s shitlist, as he creams Parise, who’s shaken up on the hit.  The response from the Devils – A beautiful two-on-one goal by Langenbrunner from Travis Zajac and Johnny Oduya.  Parise seems to be okay-ish at least, he’s on the bench still.  5-1 Devils.

12:43 AM: Power play is thusly over.  If I haven’t mentioned it before…I have to say…I absolutely love the “The Money You Could Be Saving With Geico” commercials.  The money is just terribly adorable.

12:42 AM: It’s a good thing that our PP’s been so good tonight and that we’re up by three, because this particular PP is not so hot so far.

12:40 AM: Armstrong in the box for slashing.  Rolston scored his goal in his 1,000th game, for those who forgot that it was said game (like I did).

12:37 AM: Now they’re playing Ruby by Kaiser Chiefs!  The other Oduya song! (Ruby ruby ruby ruby/O do ya do ya do ya do ya).  I’m telling you, Johnny’s gonna be all over this.  ‘nother penalty coming on the Kings, the currently 3-for-5 Devils PP gets another crack at it.

12:36 AM: Rolston with a BLAST from the point and it’s 4-1 Devils!  Good God the man’s got a wicked slapper!  Good screen by Clarkson in front.  Gionta and Zubrus get the assists.

12:35 AM: Andy Greene needs a shave.

12:33 AM: I didn’t notice it on the other power plays (probably because two of them were so short), but it looks like the five-forwards-on-the-PP experiment is over, Martin and Langs are the first PP pointmen.

12:32 AM: Interference against LA.  That’ll probably piss off the LA fans who were bitching for a penalty on Colin White just a moment before the LA penalty.

12:30 AM: The unseen hand’s being a jerk to us right now.  Baaaad start to the third period.  Luckily Weekes seems to not be particularly distressed by his allowed goal and has made some moderately wicked stops to keep the Devils ahead by two.

12:29 AM: Armstrong gets credit for tipping it in.  Second of the year.  We always seem to give up goals to low-scoring players, no?

12:28 AM: Weak.  Frolov with a floater over the shoulder of Weekes and it’s 3-1 Kings.  Someone tipped it in front.

12:27 AM: Oh right, we started on a penalty kill.  No matter now, Johnny O’s outta the box and we’re full strength now.  Dream On on the organ in LA.  I love it.

12:26 AM: Third period, she begins.

12:09 AM: Time for coffee.  See ya when the third starts!

12:08 AM: Our PK has been stellar on this penalty.  Period ends with the Devils still up 3-0, and about 20 or 30 seconds remaining on the Oduya penalty.  I’d give you an exact, but MSG+ decided we didn’t need to know how much time was left.

12:06 AM: Doc and Chico with a hilarious discussion of how Chico’s complaints led to water bottles being allowed on the top of the net.  Detractors (Glen Sather) said “What else, do they want a bucket of chicken out there?”, leading Chico to proclaim that that would have been an early version of Chico Eats.  Love it.

12:04 AM: I’ve never had to type the letters “AM” while LiveCapping before.  If I screw this up in the future, my apologies in advance.  Penalty on Oduya for hooking.  Crap.

11:59 PM: Weekes with a big stop on the two-on-one again!  Weekes is on fiah!

11:58 PM: Zubrus gets sprung on a breakaway coming out of the box – and what a clumsy looking breakaway it was.  I’m gonna give Zubbie the benefit of the doubt that maybe it was crappy ice or something, but he nearly tripped over his own two feet, then let the puck kind of roll of his stick.  Whoopsie-daisy?

11:57 PM: Weekes with another big stop on the penalty kill.  YES WEEKES CAN!

11:54 PM: The one bad thing about this game so far – we’re getting absolutely creamed in the big hits department.  Captainbrunner just got plastered along the boards.  As if that didn’t suck enough, Devils get whistled for too many men on the ice, being served by Zubrus.   Poop.  Four-on-four for three seconds, then a Kings PP.

11:52 PM: The power play’s been on for twenty seconds and hasn’t scored yet.  What gives?!

11:50 PM: And Matt Greene heads to the LA box, so our suddenly spectacular power play gets to hit the ice again.  I’m giddy with excitement, and for a chance, I’m not being (all that) sarcastic!

11:49 PM: Salvador’s outta tha box.

11:48 PM: Hoooo boy Weekes most certainly doesn’t want to go back to his usual bench seat.  Great job with the stop on the power play on a two-on-one like chance from LA.

11:46 PM: Bryce Salvador goes to the box for roughing, Kings to the PP.

11:44 PM: Gettin’ a little sloppy in our own zone.  But that’s okay, because after the whistle, they’re playing Shut Up And Let Me Go by The Ting Tings.  I love other arena’s music.

11:41 PM: Kevin Weekes is looking QUITE sharp in net tonight.  I’m lovin’ it, of course.

11:39 PM: Oduya with a blast, but Quick gets it.  An Oduya goal is a-comin’, I tells you.

11:35 PM: Kings with a time out, and the Staples Center is playing Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand.  Or as I call it, oDuya Wanna.  So, naturally, I’m calling a Johnny O goal this evening.

11:33 PM: PARISE!  I like it when we play the Kings.  Parise walks in pretty much uncontested and lifts a backhander above Quick for a 3-0 lead.  Parise’s goal is the 100th of his career.  A nice play by Elias to start the play.

11:32 PM: Our power play is magic I say!  Zajac wins the draw on the ensuing power play, back to Elias who blasts it through Quick.  The last PP goal was three seconds into the advantage, this one four seconds in!  2-0 Devils.

11:30 PM: Johnny Oduya gets creamed with a hit that seemed rather close to a forearm to the head – losing his helmet.  A King goes away for hooking on the same play, Devils on the PP.

11:29 PM: Second period underway!

11:10 PM: Clock winks down to the end of the first period, and for a change, it was actually pretty good on our end!  1-0 Devils, 10-7 shots in the Devils favor.  Weekes looking sharp, a power play goal, and a handful of solid chances on young master Quick.  Not a bad start at all.  See y’all in 17.

11:09 PM: Egregious giveaway behind the net, turns into a nice save by Weekes.  Once again, YES WEEKES CAN!

11:08 PM: Zubrus penalty = kill’t.

11:07 PM: Mouse brings up a good point in the comments – the left post is being cruel to us.  Stupid left post.

11:03 PM: Zajac now getting credit for the goal, from Langenbrunner and Elias – so I guess he tipped it.  Gionta banks one off the post that stops in the crease and just kind of hangs out there, drinkin’ a beer, havin’ a sammich – waiting for someone to do something.  Sadly, that someone is a King, who clears it safely from the crease.  This turn of events pisses of Zubrus, who takes it out on Kopitar, and heads to the box for tripping.  Get it got it good.

10:59 PM: Wow!  A Rolston-like drive by Langenbrunner for the power play goal from dead center.  Maybe tipped by a King.  Three seconds into the power play, it’s 1-0 Devils.  Give assists to Elias and Zajac.

10:57 PM: Matt Greene just hit Andy Greene.  This amuses me, Greene-on-Greene violence.  Elsewhere on the ice, a King takes a holding penalty and our soon-to-be perfect power play shall hit the ice again.

10:54 PM: Clearly the late start time is messing with me – I KNEW we got a power play, but it didn’t quite click that we were on a power play.  Sorry to not mention it.  All for naught, of course, because Brendan Shanahan is not on the ice yet.  That’s how it’s supposed to work, right?  He’s going to save our power play single-handedly, right?  RIGHT?

10:53 PM: Holy hell that was a nice stop by Johnathan Quick.  Parise on the doorstep is stoned by the Kings goalie with the glove – or, as the replay shows, with the edge of the glove, deflecting it under his body.  He sure flashed the glove like he got it there, though.

10:52 PM: I lied, the Kings are wearing their usual black-and-purple home jerseys.  See, THIS is why I need a high definition television.  Who wants to contribute to the cause?

10:49 PM: Doc and Chico are discussing Quick’s tubbyness.  Perhaps he’s not as quick as it would appear.  Meanwhile, the organist at the Staples Center was just playing Inagattadavita, reminding me of that scene from the Simpsons.

10:46 PM: We’re allowing quite a few shots, and not getting terribly close to this Jonathan Quick character.  I don’t like this Quick guy, his name is too appropriate for a good goalie.

10:42 PM: Josh’s typical early-in-the-LiveCap fashion review:  I really like both the regular and alternate Kings home jerseys.  Tonight they’re sporting – I think – the alternate.  But I haven’t seen a closeup, and don’t have an HDTV, so I could be wrong here.

10:40 PM: Shot on goal for the Kings, stopped by Kevin Weekes.  YES WEEKES CAN!  YES WEEKES CAN!  YES WEEKES CAN!…ahem.  Sorry.  I like that chant.

10:39 PM: The top two lines are the same, making the fourth line Pandolfo/Holik/Rupp – which of course begs the question “which of these is not like the other?  which of these is just not the same?”

10:38 PM: Rolston/Madden/Clarkson to start the evening, and the puck’s on the ice in the Staples Center.

10:35 PM: Oh, and Doc’s back!  Of course!  God it’s nice to see Doc again.  Speaking of Doc – mark down January 30th on your “Game to attend/watch” calendar – it’s Doc Emrick night at The Rock!

10:32 PM: Let’s get a quick run-down of the day’s news.  Brendan Shanahan is a Devil – he’s agreed, in principle (thank you spelling police!), to join the team.  He probably will not officially sign until he’s ready to play – a salary cap thing.  Numbers?  Not disclosed.

Other news for today:  Kevin Weekes is in net tonight for the Red n’ Black.  Brian Rolston is playing in his 1,000th career game tonight (‘grats, Rollie!), there may or may not be a line shake-up tonight – we’ll see as we go on.

10:29 PM: Well here we are.  It’s been a long day with some big news.  But also, there’s a game tonight.  And, for better or worse, I’m going to livecap it.  Throw on a pot of coffee now boys and girls.  If you’re out there, let me know.  This one’s gonna be a fun one!

Shanahan’s a Devil again!

TSN is reporting that Brendan Shanahan is set to start skating in New Jersey today, in anticipation of signing a contract with the team in the coming days.

I think I speak for most Devils fans when I say…huh?

I’m conflicted at best, personally.  I can only assume he’ll get a one-year deal, so it won’t be a terrible move if it doesn’t work out.  It’ll definitely add some depth for a good playoff run, and boosts the power play immediately.

That said, where does he fit?  The top two lines are pretty much set in stone for the time being – they’ve both been too good.  The third and fourth are both solid lines, and while some shakeups were expected for tonight, I’m not sure who gets dropped to fit Shanny in.  Mike Rupp?  Jay Pandolfo?  David Clarkson?  Methinks Lou may be working on another move…

I’ll be gathering more information as the day wears on, and hopefully there’s some more to report come gametime tonight.

——————————————

Boys, girls, and marsupials…

Tonight, the Devils embark on a season-high six game roadtrip, including three games on the left coast.  Tonight’s tilt with the LA Kings starts at the incredibly painful hour of 10:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.  No one would be stupid enough to attempt LiveCappery of such a game…

…except me.

I implore all readers, throw on a pot of coffee and join me tonight as the Devils take on the Kings, live from the Staples Center in beautiful Los Angeles, California.  While I sit here in my bedroom, live from not-as-beautiful snowy central New Jersey.

See y’all at 10:30.

Ooooof

WTF?!

Well I was readying an entry on the unsung heroes of the Sans-Marty Surge, but after last night’s 110 percent effort against the Atlanta Thrashers, methinks I’ll put it on hold until the boys decide to stop hitting the snooze button.

Oh since Marty’s still injured, lets just pretend in this picture he lent his jersey to Clemmer last night as a good luck charm. Anyways, could someone please get these guys a Red Bull or at the very least leave out the Vicodin in their pre-game pasta? I know everyone’s sad about Patrick Swayze having cancer, but really, he’s accepted his fate. Dirty Dancing will live forever.

SO LETS WAKE THE EFF UP MMKAY?

We’re back, baby. Again.

OKAY…I think we’ve got our issues taken care of for serious this time.

Now, on to bid-ness.

On Sunday, Mr. Dainius Zubrus scored a goal.  Actually, he scored two.  And as you may recall, we’re having a little blog/reader interaction/contest with relation to Mr. Zubrus’ goal scoring.

So, without further ado, I present to you, 22nd and 23rd Goal As A Devil, as submitted by Mr. Steven O. and Mr. Jun L.:


Not a bad way to start at all.  I thought some of the submissions were absolutely brilliant, and I hope Zubbie keeps potting some pucks so we can keep seeing what you’re coming up with.

A note that I probably should have mentioned sooner, and may be totally moot now anyway:  In the event that Zubbie scores more than one goal in a game, my personal preference would be to see a picture per goal, rather than one catch-all picture for all goals.  But again, that’s just a preference, and we reached past that to select the first picture because of sheer adorability anyway.  Congratulations Steven and Jun!

———————————————————————————————–

Now on to some other things.  Quick hits, if you will – things I was thinking of while I couldn’t log into the site:

-Did anyone else get the distinct feeling that the only reason Brent Sutter pulled the goalie with eight minutes to go in the game last night was because his son was on the other team?  I think Brent was trying to impress Brandon – I could just see him yelling across the benches to him, “Look at me, Brand!  I’m hip!  I’m pulling the goalie with eight minutes left!  What do you think of your old man now!”  Meanwhile, Brandon probably was nervously looking in at the ground with his hand over his eyes wondering how his father could BE more embarrassing.

-The overtime winner against Ottawa – THAT’S what Rolston’s getting his $20 million for.  Not many people in the league can physically push a puck through a goaltender like that.  Alex Auld might have an extra hole in his sternum that wasn’t there before Sunday.

-I’ve already trademarked the term Clarkaround (okay, not really, but alot of people sure are using it, and I’d like to think I started that here), and now I’m going to trademark another: Langenbrutal.  I love ya, Cap’n, but I cringe nearly every time you touch the puck these days.  Usually that kind of cringing is only reserved for Sheldon Brookbank or Johnny Oduya on a bad day.  Get it together man.  On a side note, credit where it’s due:  That WAS a wicked shot to tie the game against the Sens.

-All Star reserves are announced tomorrow.  For the Devils, I’m calling it Parise to win, Elias to place, Clemmensen to show.  Do we get all three?  No.  Probably we only get Parise, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Patty made his way to Montreal as well.

Dainius Zubrus scored.. I feel like something is supposed to happen now. Hmm…

Can anyone remind us? Perhaps by sending said reminder to [email protected]?!

Devils/Habs… 1/2/2009.. Thoughts from 209

Bienvenue au Montreal!!! (OK well it felt like it was Montreal… last time I saw that many frogs in one place I was at a zoo!! Did I offend ya? GOOD!! Go back to the Month in Review if you want happy Scott!!)… and the Devils went right back and took their house back by curb stomping some bad Montreal goaltending! I’m still amazed the damn game wasn’t announced in French… oh wait that’s a lame Mets tactic doing Spanish Night games totally crapping poor unknowing me when I went to my last game at Shea!

The Good:
— How can you not love how this team plays as a TEAM and when it’s going well it’s a JOY to watch… tonight was such an example!
— Penalty kill does it again, shutting down a dangerous Montreal supériorité numérique.
— Gionta… LE BUT!!! Madden… LE BUT!!! (about damn time too!!)… even though Halak shoulda had most of those 3 goals tonight, i’ll take em!!!
— Zach Parise still undressing both goalies like it was some bad French Porno!
— David Clarkson beat the bloody living piss out of that Frenchie stiff… seemed like most wars… I want to fight you… ok I fight you… I hit you… I SURRENDER!!!! (I am so all over this French thing tonight!)
You could see how that can of whoop ass got the Devils back into the game and stopped the Montreal chasing of players earlier in the game
— Scott Clemmensen scares you silly but damned if he don’t get it done… he even pushed for an assist almost on one play (save that to the Pro Scotty!)

the Bad:
— Jesus Christ there was a TON and I mean a TON of Montreal fans in the place and they were charged up on the way into the place (and I probably mean by that DRUNK)… the damn ole ole song was churping from minute one… to about minute ten… and I though Giants fans were bandwagoners :p
— Andy Greene did have that one oopsie… but when the final is 4-1, you’re kinda grasping (least it wasn’t like the goal I allowed in to make it 4-2 in my Fords Cup Tournament… think Montreal/Islanders with the empty net… except it jumped over my stick as I came out to shovel it!)… aside of that the defense was primed!
— Have an asthma attack in the arena and leaving your inhaler in the car just FUCKING SUCKS… no pun intended… kinda took the wind outta the game for me… and I hated missing out on all the fun chants when the hot coffee trick didn’t work
— If you are from a non-English speaking country and you want to come and insult the fans around you… be SURE to do it in their own language… nothing reeks of pussy more then hiding behind a language NO ONE cares about when tossing your little beer-induced insults!! (don’t get me long I kinda like French… but I ain’t in France… or in the part of Canada not even CANADA wants!)
— speaking of… it does seem of late that we are not getting the Lions’ share of the calls… nice of the officals to give us practice on the penalty kill… but still.. CMON REFS!!!

the Entertaining:
— the normal 209 banter of yelling at the goalie had a classic moment… *PA announces.. now in goal… Marc Denis*
“HEY HALAK… YOU SUCK!!!”
“Dude, they switched goalies”
“HALAK YOU STILL SUCK AND I HOPE YOU DIE TOO DENNIS!!!!”
(dude it’s Denis… Den-kneeeee… then again he can’t remember Alex Auld’s name either!)
— Finding a girl who had the hots for Aaron Asham… seriously… if that don’t deserve a “yeah… whatever”… what does??
— the mock “OLE” chant to shut them up in the 3rd… awesome… the typical WWE Fan reaction to chant USA… STUPID… you DO realize three of the greatest players EVER to wear a Devils logo are CANADIAN right? (and the 4th is Czech…. an American is making a case for #5… no NOT CLEMMENSIEVE!)

NJ Devils Month in Review, December 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL (ok that sounded as lame and phony as when everyone else says it… so instead I hope your hangovers were painful!!… yeah that’s more like it)

What a fun December it was (and I gotta admit I’ve gotten a bit of a rush in this non-Brodeur era of hockey because you don’t know what you are getting and… man… that’s kinda exciting still!!) 9 wins, 5 losses…. A ton of goals and a win over the Rangers we will NEVER forget in our lifetime (and a birthday game stinker), but when you look at this month as a whole, the quality of TEAM play, it’s hard to complain… even for me!!

Forwards:
#9 (LW) Zach Parise:
8 goals, 11 assists… hot damn this kid is getting 100 points this year (and in the NHL Top 10 in scoring, reminds ya lots of the 1999-2001 Devils which scored, played defense and did it all at a level you thought you might never see again… never is NOW folks!), you need to work hard and long to find problems with Zach this year…even now being the focal point of the opponent’s defensive plans… you can’t stop him! Keep an eye on #9… this could be the finest season ever played by a man in a Devil sweater!!

Grade: A

#14 (RW) Brian Gionta:

Another solid month and still on the 70-point pace… people will whine that he’s shooting into the logo and not scoring enough (only 2 goals), but like I say a lot on assist guys (and he had ten this month)… SOMEONE is scoring on those plays… and while it may not be the pretty pass, it’s good work and effort that is getting those plays across… and it’s hard to downplay his success over his years with Elias… but don’t worry… on NJDevs they will find a way!!! With the decline of Madden as drastic as it is… there’s a chance he might be playing his way back here again next year, and he’s a guy you can use on power plays, penalty kills and he gets his tiny lil nose dirty! But I guess 12 points in 14 games is a reason to send him to the AHL :p

Grade: B+

#19 (Center) Travis Zajac:

It’s a joy seeing this kid who all the world but a few with a clue wanted traded last year… and look at him now… he’s becoming a mini-Holik WITH a scoring touch! 6 goals, 5 assists (and getting better each month)… damn I wish I could find faceoff stats, but I think he’s been okay on those too… maturing more and more right in front of us!

Grade: B+

#26 (LW) Patrik Elias-A

9 goals, 10 points… what is he Zach Parise?? And take it one step further… only ONE minus game all month! (+8)… skating hard… playing hard… damn someone needs to suck around here so I have something to rip on…this is almost going to get boring soon with all the rave reviews!!! Not to mention he’s on the pace to be the scoringest Devil ever!

Grade: A+

#11 (Center) John Madden-A

OK, here’s some of the bad… earned his way out of being a key guy on this team with his defensive play declining as his skating is losing a step (bad time to be an UFA right?), ZERO goals….. 2 assists… a -5, but the one thing you can credit him for… the penalty kill is again respectable and he’s a part of that and he’s still a faceoff guy on this team too, so while it’s bad… he does add value as a 4th line center, but good Lord he’s not dropped off… he fell off the damn cliff!!

Grade: C- (the pk effort is saving him from EPIC FAIL!)

#8 (LW) Danius Zubrus:

How do you only have 2 goals and 4 assists when Elias and Gionta are playing SO WELL around him? Odd, might be playing his way off that 1-A scoring line as Brian Rolston gets better and better, he is still playing physical and making space for his line mates… but 6 points ain’t enough when it’s all hands on deck hockey like it is now!

Grade: C

#15 (RW) Jamie Langenbrunner-C

Much like Zajac the stats get better each month and it looks like he’s 100% healthy at last (and not playing… maybe not scoring as much as he should and DEFINITELY not in the right place as the point man on the power play… but he is producing which is a plus, 2 goals and 10 assists is plenty good enough to be there buzzing with Zajac and Parise, just be a DAMN FORWARD IN FRONT ON THE POWER PLAY… please!!!! Playing good enough… but not flat out amazing….

Grade: B+

#23 (RW) David Clarkson:

Looks like he’s GETTING IT playing with Holik (Dear God now that Tallackson is exiled can he wear #21, please??)… two goals and 4 assists still ain’t enough offense, and needs more time in front of the net on power plays, but it’s getting there and should easy set highs in goals and assists… I just want a little bit more offense (like imagine a 20 goal pace instead of a 15, that would be scary on this team)… also didn’t seem to fight or bang as much as I’d like…CMON GOONAGE!!!

Grade: B-

#20 (LW) Jay Pandolfo:

It’s almost a damnation when you need Mike Rupp to make a sick play to put you on the scoreboard, two goals… no assists (selfish asshole :p).. though the beauty short on PuffyPads was a plus and a key goal in that disaster game! The ice time is dropping too… he’s becoming close to a “why did we sign him again?”… penalty kill specialist who isn’t adding much besides that….

Grade: C- (again the goal on the Rangers keeps him from failing for the month!)

#17 (LW/C) Mike Rupp:

It’s scary that I almost feel BAD for him being stuck with Madden and Pandolfo… if anything it’s not a good mix of the three guys…but there’s no one else to put there. Tolerable offensive stats considering his crap line mates and lack of personal offensive skill….and still that pass to Pando was a beauty….as much a victim of circumstance as much as limited NHL Skills….

Grade: C

#25 (LW) The man simply known as PL^3 (cause I hate typing his name!)
I have to mention him because he played three games this month… ok I feel I did my duty here…no fights… no minus games… okay… terrific, my job is done here….

Grade: D+ (he’s barely relevant enough on this team to mention)

#12 (LW/C) Brian Rolston:

Took some time to get it going and he seems to have that now with Clarkson up there to raise hell and Holik making some space, took most of the month to get going (all 4 goals were in the last 8 games, took some time to get comfortable on the ankle and find some chemistry like he has on the Holik/Clarkson line)… the power play laser is coming too, could be dangerous if the $8 million line gets it going too….

Grade: C+ (but improving)

#16 (Center) Bobby Holik:
Big mean nasty bastard and he is BACK this year…. Goes out there for ten minutes a night and bulldozes people!! Gotta like that!! Knows his role and FINALLY in his career is ok with it! And even added a few points in this month in limited games and playing time… doing his job and seems to be rubbing off in good ways on Clarkson and Zajac… takes a few too many old school nogoaliking penalties… but I think you gotta live with that right?? Besides… the penalties got the pk back on track and dammit that’s TEAM spirit!!

Grade: A

Defense:
#7 Paul Martin:

Only 4 assists but his value to his team goes beyond that. Playing about 25 minutes a night and +6 for the month tells ya lots in what he means to this team. Doesn’t and won’t excite you offensively, but still mans the point on the power play (and NEEDS TO on this team). This team needs Martin and Salvador playing well to excel for the key parts of the season!

Grade: A

#27 Mike Mottau:
Sweet goal in the Blues game, gotta mention that….not getting put into situations that exceed his limited talent level, but playing better now that his minutes are in the 16 a night range. Could and probably should be the odd man out if/when the defense is healthy but he’s a solid go-to guy as the fill-in defender.

Grade: B-

#5 Colin White:

Wow, who fixed his OTHER eye? He was pretty damn good this month… well until the random upper body injury (I swear we’re gonna have a guy die of AIDS and it will be just a lower body injury!).. not taking too many penalties, adding a touch of offense and looking like (huh huh…. One eye joke!) a solid second pairing guy that he’s so badly needed to be!

Grade: A-

#29 Johnny Oduya:

A mere two goals and no helpers… that’s not going to cut it, as the whole blue line seems to be slumping on the offense… guess the duck and cover theory to protect Clemmensen is affecting the offense from the back end (not to mention since NONE of these guys sniff power play time with this idiot 5 forward pp unit… it’s not the Wildcat for damn sure!), the plus 4 comes from the fact that he can play and help either one of the 2 best Devil defenders now (White and Martin)… still need to see some more offense, but I guess his average offensive numbers will make him a cheaper re-sign next year, but is a spot that could use an upgrade on this roster

Grade: B-

#24 Bryce Salvador:

Victim of the dreaded upper-upper body infected ear which slowed him down this month for sure…lead the defense in points (ok it’s only one goal and 4 assists but CMON OFFENSE!) and a +6 …. Wasn’t missed that much when he was hurt though, but that is credit to the rest of the team and not a knock on him. If you had a defense corps full of these guys, you’d be a good team!!

Grade: B+

#28 (version 2) Jay Leach:

He’s been good… real good… and it looks like he’s gonna be here to stay and Salmela is the odd guy out in Lowell (damn… almost said Albany, bet they wish we were back there… least some people nearby would care… that Carolina move’s been SUCH a helper right?) …. Played EVERY game this month and earned the right to! Doesn’t score, but doesn’t make too many mistakes and at 29 years old may be finding his groove in the NHL… looks like he could be an official Lou “find”.. excellent, quality 3rd pair defender!

Grade: B+

#2 (D-RW) Sheldon Brookbank:

Two games in December… I think both were at forward… but either way… was two too many at this point… he’s got less use on this team then PL^3 right now, and we have better depth players all over the place… can’t be sent down, not worth trading… kid’s kinda stuck being a glorified practice squad player….

Grade: Incomplete, to be generous)

#6 Andy Greene:

Hasn’t added a point in his 7 games back (gonna need some points out of him)…but he’s been pretty good and steady… stronger on the puck then in the past, but getting promo minutes on this team ain’t gonna be easy… so right now playing “only” okay on the 3rd pair is gonna be good enough to keep him in the lineup each and every night… I think he’ll get better as the season moves along…

Grade: C (the definition of being only okay)

Goaltending:
#35 Scott Clemmensen:

9-4, 2.05 gaa, 92.8%?? Wow… it is Brodeur-like… but he does it more with smoke, mirrors and some sheer shit-eating LUCK (I’ve said it before if Brodeur had his luck NO ONE WOULD EVER SCORE ON HIM)… He’s getting it done which is key… but something to look at… the Islanders Jodi McDonald was just as awesome in the first 6 weeks of the year and now looks burnt out and beaten… all the more reason to save a guy who’s never played 14 NHL games in a SEASON… forget a MONTH!!!!! Sutter better be more careful with this one or it’s gonna bite him hard in the ass….

Grade: A (where’s the assists like some other “famous” Scott goalie :p)

#1 Kevin Weekes:
This whole thing with Weekes being tossed under the bus (and some Mindy egging on) drove me to get this poor bastard’s jersey!!! This guy deserves SO MUCH better then he’s gotten this year and he’s handled it ALL with class, silence and dignity. I’ll wear his jersey proudly at my own hockey games (not to mention the Devils went 3-1 in the Weekes games I’ve worn him for!)… and each time they throw him out there.. it’s a no win situation… ok Marty’s out for most of the season, let’s throw Weekes out there to get killed while the team deals with it…just beat the Rangers in an 8-5 heart attack game that the FANS were exhausted from.. and NO WAY are they going to play up to that level the next game… go get em Kevin!!! And then to not play him in Dallas after flying from St.Louis…. it really pisses me off!! FREE THE WEEKES!!!!!!

Grade: A (for not attacking someone on sheer principle!)

Coaching:
Well they’re winning…the forwards are clicking… the defense has meshed and they play for each other (in this way the Brodeur injury is a blessing… this is now a TEAM instead of “playing for #30”)… the coaching job has been good but hardly perfect… the 5 forward pp and even worse the 6 forward “pull the goalie” look is even worse! And also to Sutter’s credit was him actually PRAISING the team once or twice this month.. looks like Mister Cranky-Pants is getting it! Sutter is starting to look like a keeper with some more polishing (but that too will be determined in April and beyond….)
Grade: B+ (they’re winning for him which is the key)