Archives for January 2010

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Leafs, 1/29/2009

Did anyone notice the Full Moon last night?? You should have…it set the tone for that game last night… weird shit was EVERYWHERE, 208/209 was a little too drunk and ran out of gas, and boy so have the Devils… the good news is they played Toronto and the Maple Leafs this year are simply known as “Chicken Soup for the Struggling Hockey Club’s Soul”… and on a FUCKING COLD night like last night, we all need a little Chicken Soup!!!

The Good:
— ZUBBIE!!!!!!!!!!! See why we didn’t pass the Zubbie Counter to anyone else (yes I’m looking at YOU Mike Jeckel!!), Jesus Christ that was his best game since that 5-point one vs Tampa MANY moons ago …..*sigh* I wish he could do that against non-lottery teams, but that could happen if he sticks with Parise and Zajac
— Zach Parise was hungry and attacking all over the place tonight… and DAMN he wanted that hat trick… it was like he realized he’s 12 goals behind Marleau and saw the awful Leafs as a chance to get back into it all at once!!!
— Patrick Davis!! He looks like he’s settling in
— I liked that Lemaire gave Bergfors a night off… he had totally hit the wall and needed a night to get his legs back… I think Niedermayer needs one or two of these two… and with Pelley back we can SPOT THE OLD FARTS ALSO!!!!

The Bad:
— Doc said it nicer then I would have… and I’ll give her credit for it:
** Deanna Tortorello Over “I’m pretty sure Doc just said this is Marty’s eleventy-second start.”
If Martin Brodeur is Canada’s No. 1 goalie in the Olympics next month, as everyone expects, the Devils will probably pay the price in March. Coach Jacques Lemaire said Friday he would have to rest Brodeur if the 37-year-old goalie plays a lot in Vancouver. “If he’s the man to go in all the way through the Olympics, I think we will have to give him some off time after,” Lemaire indicated. “Because that will be intense.”
So WHY THE HELL NOT START NOW??? Ever hear of PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE??? You don’t beat the horse until it fucking breaks!!! You rest the horse knowing it has a big practice tournament is coming in mid-Feburary… and the REAL EVENT comes in April… you have a VERY capable goalie, who will in theory be here AFTER MB30… PLAY HIM!!!!
— Speaking of bad decisions… it’s seems Lemaire has been a little Sutter-ized of late… starting Neids and Pando in overtime?? REALLY… the idea is to score goals, not let the group stiffer then an old folk’s home after a tragic Viagra accident out there!!!
Taking Zubbie off the Parise line (maybe thinking Zubrus needed to come back slow after missing you know.. most of the year and all)… but WAY too much of Nieds and Pando in the 3rd period too….PLAY THE KIDS please!! (nice to bitching they “only” got 8-10 minutes as opposed to the shift and a half under coach prune-face!)
— the defense… 2 goals in the last 5 minutes and COLTON ORR HAD A BREAKAWAY… let me say that again… COLTON ORR had a goddamn breakaway… I almost don’t blame mb30 for the goal he was probably stunned by it like I get when the random fat guy gets a take off and go breakaway amazed that no one can catch up to his rumblin and tumblin ass and stop him…..Mike Mottau was turning the puck over like it was out of style (but yet he was a +2, how??)… and like I was saying before the excessive ice time has guys playing over their head and it’s coming back to haunt them now… might be a good time to get Corrente, Eckord and Fraser some ice time up here and let some guys if not REST, then slow it down some…….

The Funny:
— ah, and where to begin… I think it’s become my new mission in life… I’m sick and tired of the douchey attitude from people in the lower sections where I’ve been going to watch warmups for FIFTEEN YEARS…. and until this year it’s NEVER been a big deal.. stand in a row, watch them warmup, get a feel for the team and LEAVE, your seats BLOW for a full game experience and I hate them… so fuck you I don’t want your seat…. but my God… EVERY game this year it’s attitude about their seats… don’t you have nachos to buy??? So I started standing in the aisle to not deal with it… and last night this rotten little midget who hates life (I swear he was Steve Cangelosi’s KILLER ACCOUNTANT, cause you know those little people hang out together)…. sends his mistake child in like a retard missile barreling and cutting through everyone and clips me in the knee (and I’m still aching from my hockey game last night, so I’m annoyed already), then his dad pushes through me and I snap… YOU KNOW AN EXCUSE ME ACTUALLY works….. he claims he said one, but then again those people in the emails from Nigeria claim I have 50 million sitting there for me….and then the lil accountant starts screaming and cursing at ME because I called him on his douche-ness, which pissed the guy behind me off cause now he’s dropping F bombs like he’s me on here :p….he tells me to go to my seat and I tell him loudly that I have EVERY right to be here cause I’m a season ticket holder and been doing this for FIFTEEN YEARS….and I ain’t going nowhere!!! The lil fella actually went to the usher and whined at her… and I told her … I ain’t going… and going I didn’t!!! Though on sheer principle I let EVERYONE in the area politely and with a smile leave the aisle and the section in front of me… ok on principle to further provel Cangeliosi and Goldberg’s #1 CPA that it was his idiocy that caused the whole thing…. fuck you one time a year person and I HOPE YOU DIE!!!
(talk about setting the tone eh??)
— Oh man was 209 a little extra drunk last night… and the full moon added to it I’d bet :p…. poor Pete… he’s got so drunk he got QUIET… that was a weird third period seeing him NOT yell and holler and pester Clutch all game… but hey he got Gustafsson AND Toskala’s names right…. good for him… he’s fucked on Sunday since the guy’s name is QUICK… he doesn’t do one syllable names well….gonna have to coach Dee on advising him since I’ll be here making food for the Royal Rumble!!
… the KILL chant was off all night too… first it was too fast, like an old record player on 44 instead of 33 (oh wait.. none of y’all know what a record IS… *sigh*)… then it got WAY TOO SLOW… in fact it was so slow it was at a Chris Benoit-level rhythm… what do I mean… a Kill so slow it takes all weekend to finish it off……
— …. going with the weird of last night…. when Parise (AAAAHHHHH) scored (and what a goal it was)… the dude behind me had a Stone Cold moment…. thumbs on the beer bottle… shakes them beer goes spewing EVERYWHERE… and yeah I got doused… but you know what… I thought about it… this shit washes off… he just wasted $16 on a beer bath… so he’s pissing more money away then I am…. so go him!!!!… and it set up a great line from mister Barry:
“Barry Meikle: Wow, he’s paying nearly as much per goal as the Rangers did on Gomez.” (since I did comment on it for the facebook thread)
— one last funny moment I got glimpse of….puck gets chipped out of play and pops some dude in the front row…. he’s wearing a Leafs jersey (sadly it was not our favorite accountant of DOOM)….and he’s wobbling… as he wobbles… I catch the number… he’s wearing a Gustafsson (whatever his name is) jersey…. I kinda sit and think…”shit that was the best save the big Swede made all night!”

…. So like I said… programming note… Scott’s gonna be HOME for Sunday’s game… so no thoughts about the Kings, well except for the fact that I fucking HATE the city of LA and I hope it dies!! But I do have a month in review to do soon… so Fret not … 2 man shall NOT go into a coma again this week…. and I’m open and willing to take suggestions on what you guys would like me to do to give Olympic Coverage??? Should we adopt a team??? (I say Sweden, no major Devils on the team, so we get rest and we let Lundqvst burn out his puffy padded self in the Olympics so the Rangers suck more, and the Devils get some NEEDED rest)….you guys read this crap… lemme know what ya want!!!!

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Lez Habbies, 1/22/2009

Well that wasn’t pretty to watch but it was DAMN FUN to attend…. I gotta say the passion and noise of the Montreal fans that come down to see them play in Jersey… ever since we moved to Newark, these games have been AWESOME… yeah it brings out the worst in the drunken stupid… but that’s gonna happen anyway (I mean yelling Canada sucks… booing their national anthem?? CMON!!!! I’d say we’re better then that …. but most of us ain’t… you’d think the least you’d do is sing your OWN damn anthem *sigh*… but then again these are the same people that “lost” their Eli Manning jerseys and “Mark Sanchez jerseys fell off the truck and into their laps”…. I can rant for days about THIS… but it’s not the place for it….all I’ll say is I have a bunch of real good friends (some of them actually read this)… and I’d love to say good luck and be happy for them… but damned if I can do… and yeah it’s kinda because of the same idiot type fan that like to yell CANADA SUCKS while wearing an mb30 jersey… see I got back on topic :)… and I do have a lot of fun things to get to…..

the Good:
— Mark Fraser… again stood up and fought… and this one energized the building and the TEAM (damn shame he dinged up his hand in doing it… which is why he left the ice)…. but him turning and smacking D’Agostini in the face with the elbow pad was 100-stars awesome!! (it did lead to a nice crack of… oh yeah… you don’t need Laraque with a fighter like THAT on this team :p )
— Even though the game was over late into it.. the young guys kept going and played hard (a lot of teams will coast and not play in the last few minutes when the game is clearly over like this one was)… but the Devils and noticeably the kids: Zharkov, Bergfors and Palmeri of note kept playing and getting some good shots and chances… I kinda liked the feisty!
— Jamie Langenbrunner …. I bag on him alot… but damn… 8 shots and the nice breakout pass that fed Parise (who did have an epic move on the goal)… that was good stuff…..

the Bad:
— this is something that has been annoying the shit out of me all season long… it used to be, and it’s been this way ever since I started going to games back in 1992… you go down… you watch warmups… never a problem…. and it was all good… now this year, those people come to their seats and have bitch fits about their seats and being in them… it’s annoying… but really… I don’t want your fucking seat, these seats BLOW when the game starts… I just wanna watch the warmups… so settle down princess I’ll be outta here in 18:00!!
— This team looked TIRED again…. very tired, White and Mottau were sloppy, Rob Niedermayer looked disinterested (a rare thing on a Devils team ever)… I’d say Pando was tired and off… but his job and role have been useless since the lockout ended (the “shutdown forward” is more a dinosaur role then the hockey goon with lead in his skates and foil on his fists)
— … and not to mention… the absurdly long laundry list of guys on the injured list (and Paul Martin get the hell healthy!!) it’s really starting to show… the guys who had stepped up (Andy Greene for one)… now seem outta gas… and guys like Oduya just haven’t gotten it this year… it’s not good now…
— the PSE&G powerplay has failed the Devils much like the PSE&G technology has failed the building (and my fellow Jersey folk know the shit job they do on a day to day basis anyway…)
— Speaking of… now would be a wonderful time for Brian Rolston to step up and earn his contract instead of mooching off Patrik Elias when he’s healthy… trust me… I know a LOT about life-sucking mooches…. you were mister “oh Lemaire is the best thing for this team”… well get the fuck out there and DO IT, 1 shot and a -2 in 19:00 is NOT getting it done!

the Funny:
— So were watching warmups and me and Dee are trying to find Andy…and we can’t! it takes a minute of checking the ice to see if we can find him… we look and look….Oh wait he’s next to Pandolfo… That explains it, the light of Andy is drowned out by the darkness known as jay pandolfo! (seems fitting the way Pando is playing… and thank God Andy’s on D and they can keep him as far from the Pando-black hole as possible!)
** Steve LaFlamme Andry Greene=JEsus Jay Pandolfo=Satan
** Scott Mackie HAIL SATAN!!!
— I didn’t know how to react to the three really… and I mean REALLY… two fingered and 4 sandwich kinda FAT dudes who sat in 208… wearing BRUINS jerseys… I mean really… yeah you wanna be random douchebag on the road I get it…. but there’s a small level of respect and yeah I’ve worn Devils jerseys to random LA and Dallas games in their arena (but LA fans are idiot scum anyway and the hell with them… and I saw 20 games in Dallas with my time and relationships there I was almost part of the section)… ya just don’t do it!!! You wouldn’t wear a Devils jersey to a Ranger/Flyer or Islander game would ya?? Well maybe you would, and then you suck too!!
— All that aside we were doomed from second one of this game:
“HEY PRICE… YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!”
“Hey dummy, Price ain’t playing???”
“He’s NOT… well….. he STILL SUCKS… um Scott… who’s the goalie???”
(poor Pete he can’t remember single-syllable goalie names)
— the Gomez/Gionta reaction (and we’re gonna have more on this) was pretty hilarious… for the wrestling fans they’ll get this one… Scott Gomez was clearly John Cena… when Cena punches the fans boo (somehow it became cool to hate Cena and the idiots all jumped on like sheep trying to be cool with the rest of the idiot mob)… so Gomez gets the puck and it’s BOOOOOO…. he passes to Gionta… and it was like when the guy would hit Cena back… and it was YAAAAYYY… so Gomez/Cena… BOOOOO…. Gionta/opponent… YYAAAYYYY.. all game long… it amused me muchly (hell it was more fun then the ENTIRE Hell in a Cell PPV there)
and one more Gio comment from Rob from TV at home: “side note gio looks like a child molestor with his goatee people above 5’5 should be the only ones allowed to grow facial hair”… thank God I’m 5’7” :p
— this made me smile so I added it:
** “Rob Tonnesen doc said the puck off the omiprescent stick of greene ? ”
— So there was a two-minute sequence when we all thought Gionta had scored that it was a softie (it was a sick deflection and it was too fast to see from my seats… and we were having so much fun with the Habs fans… you guys ROCKED in 209 last night handshakes and all from us…. so we missed a lot of things… but anyway… so we think Gionta scores… and we all turn and STARE at her Lordship since we ALL gotta see how she’s reacting to this… she kinda stares…. and waits…. off comes the BC Gionta jersey and chokeslammed to the floor… but WAIT… she’s a Gionta DEVILS jersey under it… she tries the “but it’s about the TEAM in front”…and the look back shows the FAIL of the comment…. off comes the jersey… CHOKESLAM ahoy!!! I wish we had a camera and could have iso-ed her all game along… that shit was hilarious, and worth the price of admission alone!!!!

I can’t complain too much about this game… it was FUN and that’s the fucking POINT right??? A good time was had and the injuries are catching up to this team… and it looks like we get Denis tonight for the Islanders game… hope you guys enjoyed it from wherever you sat!!

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Panthers 1/20/2009

January 20th already?? Holy Shit where does it go??? Well 2 and a half hours kinda slowed down today…. it wasn’t exciting… it wasn’t 96 shots on goal level epic…. but it was a win and a needed (with some spolied asshats Devils fans out who OMG WE LOST THREE IN A ROW were contemplating suicide… for Christ’s Sake… try being a Buffalo fan then whine about Panic… and Chan Gailey… ouch), but the Devils needed some rest and a willing opponent and they certainly got that in the Florida Panthers who looked like the Benoit Family Show on Ice tonight :p

the Good:
— Jacques Lemaire… he has the pulse of this team…. he knows they’re tired and it showed on the road trip, and this team needs a break, but the schedule isn’t giving them one… so he’s cutting back on the practices and even cancelled the morning skate:
“Go back to bed,” Lemaire said…. “They looked different,” Lemaire explained. “What’s wrong? I don’t know. That’s the million dollar question, what’s going on. A lot of things are not going right. It’s how to fix it.” (from my point of view some time off was a good way to do it!!)
— Nick Palmeri… he was in the good spots on the ice (gotta love a rookie who gives the goalie the ol’stinkface during the pp)… he was in the nasty areas (something the Devils need more of)… and he set up the Devils winning goal… he played good and I was happy to see him get his just rewards today (which is funny because if you remember WAY back in the rookie game I blasted him cause he just sucked with Tedenby)… but like that game this was only one game and he DID whiff on an empty net pp-rebound…. so no one’s perfect but a damn good debut!! (Patrick Davis was far more forgettable and served his purpose in making Rod Pelley be PIST… or perturbed if you have problems with me stealing the butchery of the Enlgish Language and making it good again :p).. and it was good to see Palmeri get rewarded with some first line ice time (and his in your fact style will make room for Zach and Zajac!)
— Dean McAmmond… he had a nice game, but man that blocked shot and beat the clock empty net goal was again a thing of pretty and good to see hard work rewarded like that!!!
— Colin White…. had a good smart game and two great knock em down hits in open ice… was good to see…. he covered alot of….ummm… gaffes (I’ll be generous)…..of Mike Mottau tonight, who was certainly gonna play his way out of the lineup this way…
— Also… how could I miss on my Andy?? <3 … good smart solid game… and a wicked "how do you do" shot that went through everyone and Vokun was lucky to get a leg on!
— the penalty kill…. barely had time to yell KILL KILL KILL…..not that anyone was paying attention anyway…..

the Bad:
— this game was kinda sleepy and lifeless at points… but hey you win ugly to get out of a funk (and the morbid douchebag side of me wanted to see more spoiled Devil-bitch-fan paranoia…. oh well)
— the power play is STILL O fer Oh-Ten… that's not good… it came close, and I loved the puck possession and most of the pp time was in the Florida End… it's getting there and Palmeri getting his shit dirty was a good thing too…..
— 27 games in a row for mb30?? Really??? I understand he played good and we go through this shit every year… but it's still an Olympic Year… and a night off Mentally…. it's a good thing now and then….
— And yeah Vokun played well too… but one goal?? That's still not gonna cut it more often then not…. again it's a win and you take it… but there's gonna be a lotta ugly nights with Elias out (again)

the Funny:
— it was quite amusing to see after some big saves and nice play both way to see the only goal scored on the goalie was a simple faceoff dot blast that gets a stick and just squeezes by Vaokun… go figure!!
— Well where to start tonight??
The crowd was kinda dead and we were too… though Patrick Davis blowing a tire and damn near smashing into Pando was funny… there wasn't a lot tonight… (hell even poor Clutch was in hiding tonight!!) but we got two gems for ya:
— Me and her LordShip went to the restaurant tonight to use my buy one get one coupon (was kinda nice to have something good given to me as a STH that wasn't demanded or bitched for by the people who buy tickets from me :p)… anyway… so for some reason the main area was "all reserved" (for a Panther game?? CMON)… so we got stuck in the bar area… by the kitchen… this was a good thing… there was a lil black woman yelling out some GEMS (I called her the kitchen Nazi, her job was to crack the whip and make all the cooks… well… cook and do their job)… and she let out some gems I tell ya!!
** "Yo these meatballs need a sista!!"
** "oh shit I needed a triplet"
** "Get this sista a finger and NOW!!!"
(I do recommend the bar seats for this amusement alone!)
— One thing that can't be left out was the standard badgering of Tasha (birthday tomorrow or not) and her Parise/Bergfors curse of not being able to see them score goals when she watches (and no assists don't count, i tried that rationalization… we know how well that works on women :-)… right?)… so we took turns trying to screen HER on the power play… the things we do for team and her sitting in the fetal position trying to cover her eyes… good stuff!! And it did lead to this semi-disgusting line:
Tasha: I wanna be in the middle of a Parise/Bergfors sandwich
Me: Well then ya might wanna start learning how to take faceoffs!!
(not exactly the way she wants the cream filling from a twisted oreo cookie)

…. well that was a nice easy way to shake off the hockey writing rust and get back to shit… back at it Friday Night!!!!

The Night The Lights Went Out In Jersey

So.  That was strange.

Look, I know the PSE&G Power Play sucked tonight, but seriously.  C’mon.

I take full blame for the power outage, by the way.  I was in the arena tonight, and for no good reason whatsoever, myself and my friend Amanda got into a discussion about how there hasn’t been a leak in the roof at the Rock, or a fire in the concession stands, or anything like that since the first year.  Can’t explain why we started talking about that.  But 10 minutes later, the lights were out.

It was clearly our fault.

But you should thank us.

Seriously – there was no way the team was even scoring a goal tonight, but by the time this game is finished?  Who knows!  Could you imagine the uproar in Florida if the Devils come back to win this thing whenever it starts up again?

Interesting thought:  Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond went into tonight without a single penalty minute on the year.  Weird, right?  He fought Zenon Konopka early in the game.  Not so weird.  But yet, as he sits on a plane to Montreal this evening, PL3 still technically has no penalty minutes.  It’s like the hockey gods are saying “No Pierre, you musn’t fight.  You must be a good boy.”

Needless to say, tonight was a very bizarre evening.  Right down to the Devils in-game entertainment folk playing “Dancing In The Dark” by Bruce Springsteen shortly after the lights went out.

‘Least we know they’ve got a sense of humor.

I’ll make sure to update when some kind of annoucement is made as to when this game is finished.  ‘Til then, look up “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” by Reba McEntire, and just change the word “Georgia” or “Jersey” (and maybe “judge” to “Gary Bettman” if you feel so inclined.

NJ Devils Month in Review, December 2009!

What a month of December!!! 11-4 overall (and ok the Hawk game left a bad taste in your mouth, but don’t be spoiled bitches about it!!), the team is still atop the NHL… and hey… it’s all good… enjoy the goddamn ride and how fun December was! And yeah I know it’s a bit late (but hey with my track record compared to the rest f 2ma, I’m allowed some slack… and I’m not going to tonight’s game so you have this to read instead… it’s all good!!)

Forwards:
#9: Zach Parise-A (2g, 10a=12 pts,+2)
OH MY GOD PARISE ALMOST WENT THE WHOLE MONTH WITHOUT A GOAL!!!!! And look…. the world didn’t end, dogs and cats didn’t start having babies… I didn’t start speaking Spanish….. the Cowboys didn’t start winning in Decemeber…. oh… wait… they did 🙂 But in seriousness the best thing about Parise’s scoring funk… he NEVER stopped playing hard, getting chances (hell he still had 10 assists so someone got ten goals thanks to Zach)… and his body language and effort never sagged or dropped during the funk… that’s the sign of a good player! Hard work, consistent effort, it’s all good Zach!
Grade: B+

#19: Travis Zajac (2g, 5a=7 pts,+1)
Had some scoring troubles in the month too, but I’ll link those issues to Parise’s (since for the most they are linemates for life in jersey)….But you can also say that maybe Parise struggled too because Zajac was kinda eh in the month also…slumps do happen though, and the Devils were fortunate that the 3rd and 4th lines were GOOD this month (and it helped the team alot)…his level of play and intensity didn’t seem to match Zach’s though (but that’s expected and why Zach is the superstar on the team and why Zajac is just a good supporting piece)… he’ll be ok, and he’s already scored in January so it’s all good!
Grade: B-

#15: Jamie Langenbrunner-C (5g, 5a=10 pts,+1)
It’s a weird thing… and stats aren’t always everything (yes I’ll get shit for this with the first week he had in January. but this is DECEMBER’S month in review :p)…. he has nice offensive numbers, but there was a REASON he’s been pulled from Zajac and Parise… and down to the 3rd line… the wheels are not there and something seems off on his level of play… he reminds me of the top scorer on my Ford’s Cup team… he had great hands and could finish with anyone…. but man he didn’t do much else… maybe he’s playing through injury again I don’t know (he does too damn much of that and costs himself a month of good play to not sitting a few nights… I know that kinda stubborn, as anyone who saw me walking around like my leg fell off at Tuesday’s game)… there’s a reason me and my fellow 209ers have been tough on him all month…..
Grade: B-

#18: Nicklas Bergfors (7g, 3a=11pts,-5)
Love the offense and the skill and the confidence this kid shows on the ice each game… but you can tell from the -5 on why Lemaire dogs him about defense and learning both ends of the ice…. but in doing his main job in making most of up forget Brian Gionta (sorry your Lordship :p)….also showed he can skate and play with Parise and Zajac (hell his efforts are part of the reason Langenbrunner is no longer on that line)… not to mention that second in the league in rookie scoring is pretty damn good too… he’ll learn the rest of the game and Jacques’ will crack the whip as it’s needed to keep him in line!
Grade: B

#21: Rob Niedermayer (3g, 3a=6pts,-1)
Smart…crafty, does a lot of little plays still that you just look and see… DAMN I liked that… kinda spotty on faceoffs (some days it’s real good… other days it’s 15%..crikey! Not the fastest… or overly physical, but he still finds way to do the little things, and that ear-piercing NIEEDDDDMMMMAAAYYYYYEEEEERRRR to my left is always attention getting :P…..he’s been solid
Grade: B

#12: Brian Rolston (5g, 4a=9pts, +4)
Steady through the month, but hit the wall at the end (hell alot of the guys did… that was a ROUGH month of games)…. no points in his last 4 games is a bit of a downer…. and he’s back on a 27-goal pace after what was a slow start to the year for him….he kinda is what he is at this point, and the main thing…but there’s been too many games you forget he’s out there and with his shot, speed and pp time that can’t happen…..
Grade: B-

#20: Jay Pandolfo (1g, 3a=4pts,-5)
Ugh… of all the guys to come back and be healthy this is the one I wanted back the least…. I know I’ve been on Pando’s ass since he came into the league, but the good years are behind him…gets too much ice time (I don’t like or beleive in the defensive shadow role… that died with the lockout)
Grade: C-

#10: Rod Pelley (2g, 2a=4pts, +2)
The POWER OF PIST ROD PELLEY (ah, leave it to me to take moments of personal idiocy and make them into gold and eternal running commentary for life)… and four points in a MONTH?? I’d have been shocked to see that for the YEAR… he’s really growing comfortable in his role.. and he can lay some MONSTER hits for a 5’11” guy! I mean don’t get me wrong.. he’s still a 4th liner… but again with the lousy level of 4th liners and how the chicken-shit coaches of the past didn’t use them… it’s been a god send to see an effective 4th line, and it has been Pelley-Powered!!! (and people who know me love I loves me a good 4th line!)
Grade: A

#25: Andrew Peters (4 games, no points, +1, 15 PIM)
I’m sorry I don’t give a shit what he did the rest of the month, but when you ain’t played in 3 weeks and you get into a fight 16 seconds into the game and your jersey comes off YOU FAIL AND YOU SUCK SIR!
Grade: F (TIE YOUR FUCKING JERSEY DOUCHEBAG!!!)

#17: Ilkka Pikkarainen (11 games, 1g, 2a=3pts, +1)
Pikka-chu’s been decent this month too, and even the garbage way his first NHL goal was scored (PRICE WAS WRONG BITCH!!)… I see points on the 4th line and I get all excited! And add in the fact he was getting 8-10 minutes a night that shows the level of improved play here… and keep in mind the grade is for what his role is on the team, and he’s been good at what he does!
Grade: B

#11: Dean McAmmond (3g, 4a=7pts, +1)
Geesh, he was a -8 in the last 4 games, and the only non-minus game was a shutout :o…. damn), he slowed down a bit as the month went on (obviously :p)… but still… he’s been ok between Elias and Rolston, and he’s putting up John Madden-style numbers… hopefully the end of the month slip is just a rut and not the old fella crashing into the wall after only 6 weeks back in the NHL… he’ll adjust… I’d hope, though as old as he is, he ain’t THAT established in the NHL as much….something to worry and keep an eye on….
Grade: C

#28: Vladimir Zharkov (0g, 6a=6pts, +5)
Nifty little player, has nice flash… doesn’t get enough shots to the net yet… but he’s learning, played well with Elias and Rolston and that helps too….good guy to just plug in there and get a bit of offensive crafty in there….probably gone back to Lowell when this team gets healthy, but he’s got a good chance to be on this team next season and beyond (or a key piece in a playoff push type of trade)
Grade: B+
—————————————-

Defense:
#6: Andy Greene (2g, 9a=11pts, +2, 25:00 TOI)
What can I say about Andy that I haven’t already? 2nd in the East in scoring… plays damn near half the game… makes smart plays in one step back in his own end….mobile… and still growing as an NHL player… it’s been the best story about this year (yes in more ways then one <3 )… Andy could fix the economy, move continents and even get Michael Bay to write good movies!!! Need I say more????
Grade: A

#24: Bryce Salvador (2g, 0a=2pts, +2, 21:00 TOI)
As good and obvious as the Andy Greene Show has been… I think what gets really lost in that act is the fact that he's had a pretty damn good side kick in Salvador with him…. long gone are the days of people pissing and moaning that we got this guy for Cam Janssen (think about THAT for a second)… Bryce has done everything asked of him and been the steady compliment and rarely needed backup plan for Andy when he jumps into the offense…..
Grade: A

#2: Mark Fraser (1g, 1a=2pts, +7, 14:00 TOI)
He's been solid too…but protected… you can tell by his ice time and when the Devils are home, they take advantage of match-ups and keep Fraser off the ice when the big boys are out there…he's big, he takes the body….he could fight more, but I don't like defensemen fighting personally… he's coming along nicely!
Grade: B-

#5: Colin White (1g, 4a=5pts, +2, 23:30 TOI)
WHITE POWER!!! (it's my thing deal with it :p)… he's been good again this month, plays big ice time each game…. again when you don't notice Colin… it's good… and I didn't notice him much… and it's been a long time since you'd yell HOLY SHIT COLIN at him… so since less is more for Colin, I'm gonna say less about him and grade him more!
Grade: B+

#29: Johnny Oduya (1g, 0a=1pt, +5, 21:00 TOI)
ONE POINT?? Really?!?!?! Least his defense is getting better… and he's moving the puck again and better on defense… still you'd think the one guy who'd benefit from Lemaire like every one else… There's still much time to improve at least, and he did improve this month….
Grade: C-

#27: Mike Mottau (0g, 1a=1pt, -7, 26:00 TOI)
Looks like all the ice time is catching up with him a little bit here… his stats slipped (and look at that -7), and the plays… just not as good… been forced (again) to play over his head and it caught up a lil bit this month… he's still a useful player… but they pushed the gas pedal too far this month and it's running on empty…..
Grade: B+

#32: Matthew Corrente (5 games, no points, even, 10 PIM)
Much like Fraser was brought in sparingly, and allowed to get his feet wet… and in the NHL getting your feet wet playing defense is NOT an easy job… I liked the fighting (but again, more when he was playing forward)…. he was pretty well protected when possible….still truly hard to figure him out while he's still figuring it out… but he's been ok!
Grade: C+ (borderline incomplete)
——————————————-

Incompletes:
#7: Paul Martin-A… did not play all month
#23: David Clarkson (2 games played, no points,-2, 5 PIM)… came back and got hurt again *ugh*
#16: Matt Halischuk (2 games, no points, -2)
It's a damn shame, he just looked like he had gotten it on the NHL level and caught up with the game and the speed of the players on ice…he got sent down… grrrr… in a perfect world, he's in and Pando's out, we all know this ain't a perfect world though
#22: The man called PL^3….Hasn't played a game since Nov 4th… wow
#8: Danius Zubrus… also did not play in December

Goalies:
#30: mb30 (15 games: 10-4, 2.37 gaa, 3 So, 3a)
Well what can you say??? He's in mid-season form (and it IS mid-season so that makes sense :p)…. played too many games in the month but this is NOTHING NEW *sigh*…. I guess we're supposed to forget this is an Olympic Year and the fucker's gonna play 100 games BEFORE the playoffs… and trust me…I'm 37 also… the body DOES break down admit it or not…. dude needs some rest (and Dennis's been good when allowed to play, and I do mean allowed)… being benched after one bad period in his ONLY bad game in the month ain't enough… UNLEASH THE DENNIS!!!
Grade: A

#35: Jan Dennis (1 game, 1-0, 0.67 gaa)
Only got one chance to shine and hot damn he DID make the most of it when he did… came in for the Atlanta game at the same time that the Cowboys shocked the WORLD in New Orleans (what a great snowy night that was….)… I just give him a grade because it's so damn hard to sit there all the time and flip the switch and play when you win the lottery and get a damn start on this team!!
Grade: A

——————————————-

Coaching Staff:
What can you say about what Lemaire and company is doing with this team?? If the head coach is the conductor for a symphony then Jacques is crafting his greatest song ever here….The dealing with the injuries, the growth and development of the rookies… it really is the mother of all masterpieces…. the only knock I have on Jacques is that he's not letting Dennis play enough… but I can see why the way mb30 is pumping out A games each night…
Grade: A

Front Office:
… well there were no trades or major moves to really talk about… I mean there's not much need to… things just keep on keeping on!!!
Grade: A (but could be called Incomplete too)

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs. Starrrrrrrrrrssssssss, 1/5/2010!

Happy new year and all that to ya! (I know I still owe a month in review… it’s half done, I swear and I’m hoping it’s done tomorrow, but you gotta write the more pressing piece first always….and not to mention I got a little bit of Dallas Cowboys fever right now… and CMON… you know you wanna see another Phily team lose, right?)….but another feel-good night and some very pleasant memories from the 1999-2000 Stanley Cup run and all the crazy stuff I’ll try to get to down below…. all in all a great night and a great win against a VERY erratic STAARRRRRSSSS team……

the Good:
— Patrik Elias…. welcome back to the scoresheet….all those passes that Andy over-shot you to make you skate harder and get in the right place are starting to pay off… yay!
— Zach Parise… my God nine shots on goal!! (I’ll get more into this when I do the month in review but I love how his level of play didn’t drop when he slumped and he keeps playing the same way hat-trick or ten-game drought be damned!!)… pretty good night for our personal “one man Jonas Brothers”… many ‘ginies were tingling (and an evil Mickey Mouse was counting the cash!)
— PL^3… yeah he hit… yeah he did his thing… but I saw some REALLY good board work and puck control and a little finesse to keep the play and the board work going (7:40 and more ice time then Rod Pelley tells ya Jacques liked what he saw too)… and this is a step in the right direction of leaving Andrew Peters in a ditch somewhere near Bayonne HS (it’s a big-ass school, plenty of hiding spots!)
— Bryce Salvador…. I’d swear he was announced as a scratch, but 14:00 from the press-box and he looked pretty good playing from there too… smart plays… and he adds a stability to the blue line that no one else not named Andy has brought to the team this year!
— so I hear mb30 broke the old mask and had to actually be Marty Brodeur for half the game…. I really wish he’d listen when the hockey Gods TWICE tell him something :p…. and yeah shutout #106… it wasn’t as dramatic as the last two were… it kinda felt like the Stars cashed out late in that game, but it’s still a lil bit nice to be a part of more history each time the score goes to zero (and how sick is it that like one of ever 5-some wins… is of the zero variety… that’s just sick to digest….)
— and shame on me almost forgetting to talk about lil Nicky breaking the damn bank with all the stuff he won in the Zamboni race during the first period… good lord our #1 draft pick is well taken care of by this team…always good to see it happen to the deserving fans (and it shut up a fool in 109 who said the good stuff doesn’t happen to those in the cheap seats!)

the Bad:
— there was no bad last night… I’m gonna to use that space for 2000 Cup memories and my Stanley Cup Party story in that old basement apartment back that Saturday night in June of 2000 🙂

the Funny:
— Brian Rolston… first shift… looks like he blew a tire jumping on the ice… and kinda reminded me of the Matvichuk (I think)… getting injured and crawling to the middle of the ice to block shots back in 2000 for the Stars…. I should remember better who it was that was a classic moment in maybe the best, and most exciting Stanley Cup Final of the 4 the Devils had and possibly the most exciting one I remember in my lifetime… but as he was falling and limping to the bench I mumble… hrrmmm… I wonder if anyone reminded him that he got traded for Claude that year and it took him like 18 months and a second trade to mentally recover (and talk about pressure to be traded for Claude… and then be in the trade that brought Andreychuk and ESPN’s first love child, Ray Bourque, that’s a TALL order…)
— so I had what I like to call my personal “moment of Cangelosi” last night (handy link of reference:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOEO4XuQCj4 … just so you know and get what I am talking about)
…. one of my running jokes of late is that when Tasha watches the game, her boys in Parise and Bergfors NEVER score (and even when they do she gets stuck on the escalator to not see it… and I get to yell CLOSE YOUR EYES and STOP LOOKING or GO TO THE BATHROOM, we need a goal!!!)… so on the Zajac goal I saw Bergfors swat at it… I swore he tipped it in…. so i text her and go… look you finally got to see your goal…..so when they announced it was Zajac’s goal… I kinda yelled to myself… “NINETEEN!!”… oops, well at least her Lordship wasn’t there to make fun of me for that and goddamit I am taller then our roaming gnome of parody fame!

the 2000 Cup run memories:
— the Devils did a GREAT job of reliving that Cup run… hell they even dug up Steve Kelley (I guess he was glad they remembered he was on the team.. he played like one game and 10 shifts in the entire playoff run)… it’s always good to see Claude in the house again too…Larry Robinson (we all remember that locker room beatdown/tirade too of course)…. Patrik Elias in game 7…. Jason Arnott in game 6…. the “six shots on goal game” (I swear I can still hear Sundin and Pat Quinn piss and moan they had more shots on goal then that)… Scott Stevens dominating Pavel Bure and then the world…. and that game 5 in the Cup Finals… the single greatest one on one goalie duel ever seen by human eyes…..It’s been 10 1/2 years it really was the right time to remember, look back, and smile at those awesome memories (and thoughts of a 110-recap season… my God I was burnt out that summer)
— Lord Krang: lol, sherry just listed “sykora getting knocked out” as one of the memorable moments of the 2000 cup run!
(and she’d be right….Petr Suckora only knows FAIL when he is on the ice as a Stanley Cup Finalist… the only two he’s won, he was unconscious in 2000, a healthy scratch last year…. and 3 times the loser when he played)… I love when the professionals think as I do :p
— I still need to recall the party at my house that night…. it was Brian… a hockey princess we no longer associate with, her BF at the time and we’re all just there watching the game…. I remember my “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STOP POUTING OVER SYKORA WE’RE PLAYING A FOR A STANLEY CUP” rant (one of the reasons I no longer associate with said person… the sick obsession over mediocre to BAD hockey players and not caring about who her friends were… gee, a theme in my life eh :p)…. so I blasted her so bad the boyfriend kinda hid and curled in the corner…. so a few hours later Jason Arnott does the deed… I had one of those old “giant soda bottles of popcorn” wrapped in tin foil and a bowl on top of it to look like a mini-Cup… and yeah we filled it with champagne… I think I drank a whole bottle by myself that night…. and a few more friends came over… I was on the phone with two more… John and Jen walk in (I know the names don’t matter, I think the only person I still talk of all these people is Brian, and that could change as of his wedding in September *whistles*)…. they walk in… I’m already fuzzy and the last thing I remember that night was going “OHHHH, WINE!!!”…. and then dragging the mini-Cup and champagne stinky body to Rex Plex the next day to skate around with our Cup and sweat champagne in goalie pads!! Feel free to add your own memories and comments too… it’s the right place for it!

Captainbrunner = Hattrickenbrunner

Okay, so I gotta work on the name.  I can’t help it if Hat Trick doesn’t fit in as nicely for Langenbrunner as it does Andy Greene (Greenetrick!) or Niklas Bergfors (Bergtrick!) or Patty Elias (Hatrik, of course).

But yes, Jamie Langenbrunner, fresh off his addition to the roster of Team USA as token old guy, goes home to Minnesota and notches a hat trick in a game the Devils absolutely did not deserve to win, yet still managed to.  The win was entirely because of the Captain.  Well, okay, Jay Pandolfo (seriously!) and Martin Brodeur too.  Everyone else kind of sucked.  Even our beloved Andy Greene (we say it ’cause we love, Andy!).

But despite the majority of the team sucking, the Devils still topped the Wild, 5-3.  All because of Captainbrunner’s first career hat trick.  I’m amazed it’s his first.

So a brief jaunt into the Western Conference ends with an abysmal performance in a Chicago loss and a not-much-better performance in a Minnesota win.  But that’s the nice thing about this year’s team – they can still find a way to win even when they suck.  It wasn’t happening that way the last few years.

Now we can look forward to Tuesday against the Stars.  Why would anyone be looking forward to this game in particular?  Three reasons:  1) Stanley Cup in the house (and money raised by selling pictures with it goes to charity, always something we’re down with at 2MA), 2) Claude Lemieux is scheduled to be there, and 3) I’m gonna be sitting in the rich people seats that night.  Hooray for free food and pretending to be snobby in the Ice Lounge!