Poor David Clarkson…

Poor, poor David Clarkson.

And poor us as well.

That’s why you stand up and face a Zdeno Chara slapshot head-on rather than wimping out and turning sideways.  Of course, I say this behind a laptop, and not on ice staring down the barrel of a 100 MPH slapshot from the guy who broke Al MacInnis’ fastest shot record last year.

Ouch.

So add Clarkson to the infirmary list for the Devils.  Y’know, the list that already includes our beloved Dainius Zubrus.  And Jay Pandolfo.  And Rob Niedermayer.  And Johnny Oduya.  And Paul Martin.

Know what list is growing just as fast as the injured list?  The rookies list.  Add Vladimir Zharkov to a list of rookies or first-year NHLers already containing Niklas Bergfors, Pierre-Luc Letourneu-Leblond, Matt Halischuk, Matt Corrente, Tyler Eckford (who’s on his way to Lowell right now), Illka Pikkarainen, Mark Fraser, and Tim Sestito.  Guess we’re no longer one of the oldest squads in the NHL, eh?  Small victories, my friends, small victories.

Zharkov was leading the baby Devils in scoring before getting called up, and according to the ever-awesome TG, will be skating on a line with Dean McAmmond and Matt Halischuk.

Seriously gang, read that again:  Our third line – the Devils traditional strength – is two rookies and Dean Mc-friggin-Ammond.  The injuries have gotten so bad, we’re using our training camp roster.  It’s a wonder Trenton and Lowell can even field teams at this point.

So now it’s Devils/Islanders in about a half hour.  Unfortunately, no LiveCap on my end this afternoon gang.  I’ll make sure to have another one happen soon, and I’ll also make sure to let you know well ahead of time when it happens.  In the meantime, enjoy your New Jersey Lowell Devils taking on the Islanders this afternoon.

News galore!

Today, my friends, is a big day in Devils fandom.  Something that hasn’t happened all season is about to happen.

Yep, user-generated ZubbieCounters!  (What, you were thinking something else?)

Oh, and that Elias dude is playing in tonight’s game or something.

Let’s get to it:

Patrik Elias makes his season debut tonight after missing the first thirteen games of the season with various surgical repairs.  Dude’s gotta be bionic now.  Welcome back Patty, we miss-ed you and your super groin (wait, that didn’t sound right).

Elias’ return means someone has to be a healthy scratch tonight, right?  WRONG!  It means someone else joins the rank of the Ouchies club.  Rob Niedermeyer this time.  He has the ever-ubiquitous Upper Body Injury and won’t play at all this weekend.  PLcubed looks like he loses the “Goon of the Game” contest to Andrew Peters and will therefore be tonight’s Goon in a Suit.

Enough news for ya?  TOO BAD, HERE’S MORE!  Jay Leach was put on re-entry waivers yesterday.  Which means, right around…now, the Devils should be finding out if he is available to play against the Islanders tonight of if the team is on the hook for half of his salary while he goes and plays for someone else.  If he survives re-entries, will he play tonight?  Who knows.  Who comes out if he does play?  Also uncertain.

Edit 12:49 PM: French language site RDS seems to suggest that Jay Leach was claimed off waivers by Montreal.  I’m not certain as my ability to speak French is limited to being able to say “Yes, it is a book”.  Two years of high school French and it doesn’t help me when I need it!  Anyway, it looks like Jay Leach is heading north of the border, with the Devils on the hook for half of his salary.  That sucks.

Edit 12:53 PM: TSN claims the same thing.  In English, this time.  See ya, Leacher.

One this is certain, though.  It won’t be Andy Greene who comes out of the lineup, because as the league is finding out, ANDY GREENE = WINS.  As Scott mentioned awhile back, has there ever been a guy go from healthy scratch to Chara-like minutes quicker than our own Greene Monster?  I think not.

And I almost forgot (though I don’t know how)…YANN DANIS STARTS IN NET TONIGHT!  La Grenouille himself (don’t ask) gets the nod between the pipes to play his former team, the Islanders.  Let’s hope he’s better for us against the Isles than he was with the Isles.  If he plays like he did against the Bruins, he’ll be golden.

Alright then, we got Elias, Niedermeyer, the Goon race, Andy Greene = Wins, Yann Danis…did I forget something?

Ah, right.

ZUBBIECOUNTER30 USER GENERATED CONTENT!

Some really good ones came in for this most recent goal.  I laughed.  Louder than I should have at 2 in the morning.  Other people in my house weren’t too happy.  So you might wanna refrain from reading the rest of this post unless it’s an hour of the day in which your family or roommates are awake.  Fair warning.

The first one comes from Richard H.  It’s incredibly clever.  (Get it, 30 Rock?  Zubbie’s 30th?  The Rock?)

zubbiecounter30-Richard H

Pop culture baby.  Best way to our collective hearts.

Next up comes a Zubmission from a Mr. Aaron B.  It doesn’t look like much, but it’s indicative of another surefire way to get your Zubmission on our site:  Take a photo yourself.  See, Mr. Aaron was at the game in Boston where Zubbie scored his 30th, and snapped this quickie photo just after Zubbie broke most of the arena’s collective hearts.

zubbiecounter30-Aaron B

That 2 in the 2-1 score?  That’s thanks to the Dainiusaur.

The final two Zubmissions come from ZubbieCounterContest veterans.  Kevin B. actually sent in three hilarious Zubmissions because he couldn’t pick just one.  It was hard for me to pick one, but I think this one was a hair better than the other two.  Made me laugh pretty loud, anyway.

zubbiecounter30-Kevin B

Poor Zach.  Being separated from his BFF Travis Zajac was clearly traumatic.

And finally, we come to Jon C’s Zubmission.  Look, I mentioned before that an instant way into our hearts is a pop culture reference, and this one is possibly the ultimate pop culture reference of the last few months.  Frankly, I’m mad at myself for not having expected it before it came in.  2MA readers, I present to you via Jon C…Interrupting Kanye:

zubbiecounter30-Jon C

That’s almost criminal how good it is.  Thanks Jon, Kevin, Aaron, and Richard for the awesome entries.  God I can’t wait ’til Zubbie nets another goal.  (Also, don’t forget, voting for the ZubbieCounterContest continues on the main page until November 14th, or until Zubbie pots #33.  Whichever happens first.  Probably the former.)

Oh, there you are, hockey!

Game night.  Devils/Rangers.  Let’s see if Marty can, y’know, win a game at the Garden for a change.  It’s only been TWO AND A HALF YEARS.

2MA will probably be on radio silence this evening (but you expected that, right?  We’re the flakiest bunch of flakes who ever flaked in from flaketown).  I’ll miss the beginning portion of this game due to my damned continued schooling.  Might try to get up a post-game analysis-type thing afterwards though, so stop in around midnight (or tomorrow, if you need your beauty rest).

The pertinent info for tonight:  Brodeur in net (a-duh), Pikkachu and PLcubed in the press box, Peters and Halischuk on the ice.  Everything else as it was last game (yes, likely including Zubrus centering Parise and Langenbrunner to start…god help us all.  Though at least we don’t have to change the name ZZPop).

See y’all at some point after the game.  Oh, and wish me luck on my midterm.  Gonna need it.

When the hell do we play again?

I don’t like the schedule very much this year.

I mean really – there’s a two-week Olympic break in February, right?  So what happened to the condensed schedule?  Why did the Devils have a bunch of days off, then two games in a row, and now a bunch more days off?  It’s mighty boring.  Especially if you’re a Met fan like me and am physically disgusted at the baseball playoffs.  And if you’re a Seahawk fan like me and am embarrassed by your favorite football team’s performance week in and week out.  I NEED MY SPORTING DISTRACTIONS, NHL SCHEDULE MAKERS!

I guess in the mean time, since the Devils don’t play again ’til tomorrow, I can always do a little housekeeping with respect to Devils news & notes:

First off, Cory Murphy cleared waivers.  I’m only a touch surprised by this.  He’s already down in Lowell, and we may very well never see him again.  Unless someone gets injured.  Please, no one get injured.  Thanks.

The L-Devs also signed Dean McAmmond.  It’s okay, you can yawn, I already did.  He’s on an AHL contract and won’t be with the big club unless Lou offers him a big boy contract, too.

Patty Elias will see a doctor on Friday as he continues to work his way back into playing shape.  Still no definitive date for his return, but did you really expect anyone with the Devils to say so, even if there was?  My guess is November 7th @ Ottawa.  Dunno why, just a hunch.

Finally, Wednesday night’s home game against the Sabres suddenly has all kinds of crazy goings-on.  Mystery puck night is back – complete with jacked up price!  What was $20 for a puck signed by a mystery Devil last year is now $25.  But the proceeds benefit UNICEF, so you’re a real jerk if you complain about it.  Touche, Devils.  Touche.

I wish I was going to the game Wednesday night, I’d TOTALLY pay $25 for a Pierre-Luc Letourneu-Leblond puck.  Think about it, with a name like that, how’s he supposed to fit it all on one little puck?  It’d be the craziest puck signature ever, more silver marker than vulcanized rubber!

Also Wednesday is the return of College Night.  Irony for me being that I can’t attend, because I have to go to two college classes.  D’oh.

And since it’s Halloween week and the Devils play in the very scary location of Tampa Bay on Halloween itself, there’s a costume contest at the Rock Wednesday night as well.  Winner gets the choice of a catered suite to a future Devils game or four tickets to see Miley Cyrus.  Who’d you rather spend an evening with, Miley or Andrew Peters?  (…on second thought, don’t answer that.)

But since I won’t be there Wednesday, I guess my “Blind NHL referee” costume will have to remain in the closet for another year…

See Ya, Murph.

The Devils put Cory Murphy on waivers today.  I’m sure you’re heartbroken.

I’d like to take full credit for this move, as it comes the day after I go public on this very weblog with my formerly private belief that ANDY GREENE = WINS, but I think Murphy himself had something to do with it as well.

Like that Evander Kane goal in the Thrashers game Friday night, for example.  Yeah, that wasn’t one of Murph’s finer NHL moments.

So what’s this mean?  It means that Cory’s got himself a ticket to Lowell in 24 hours, unless some team in desperate need of a defenseman picks him up.  If he survives the waiver wire and hits Lowell, his contract is such that he wouldn’t have to pass through re-entry waivers to be called back up to the big club, so there’s hope for Murph yet.

The move does come as little shock, though, as Andy Greene has been playing redonkulous (yes, I went there) in the games that he’s been in.  And, of course, Andy Greene = Wins, as previously mentioned here (vote in our poll, by the way.  It’s Andy Greene = Wins related.)

The one sad part of this move?  The Devils went from two good Irish names to none in the course of less than three weeks.

Devils Part Ways With Shanahan, Josh Cries A Little

In the “Stunning News of the Day” catagory: The Devils have cut veteran Brendan Shanahan. Or Shanny opted not to play. Or something happened that has ended in Shanahan no longer playing with the team.

My heart, she is currently breaking.

I’m stunned, and all I can really say is this: Pikkachu better be DAMN GOOD if his presence means we’re losing Shanny.

According to the ever-awesome TG of Fire & Ice, Shanahan’s next move – catching on with another team, retirement, working within the Devils organization – is still unclear.

Now I need someone else to get a throwback-style jersey of. Dammit.

THROWBACK NIGHT!

Boys and girls, a day I never expected to come with Louie Lams in charge is, in fact, coming. I’m a little surprised that I get to type these words, but here goes:

On one day only – March 17th, 2010 – the New Jersey Devils will don their old red, white, and green jerseys for the game that night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Yeah, you read that right. Christmas Tree jerseys on St. Patrick’s Day!

I already had this date circled on my calendar because of the glorious time had last season for the St. Patty’s home game, but now, this game is a definite must. It’s the closest the Devils have ever or possibly will ever come to donning a third jersey.

The next question, of course: Will there be red, white, and green jerseys sold in the upcoming season? That day only? Not at all?

Regardless, I think it’s safe to say St. Patrick’s Day will be a memorable day for Devils fans again this season.

IT’S A TRAP!

Jacques Lemaire, to the surprise of absolutely no one who follows hockey at all, is the new head coach of the Devils.  God help us all.

I’m going to give this a month or two before deciding whether it’s a bad move or not, but it doesn’t feel good right now. Lemaire is terribly old-school, and the Devils were finally turning into a strong forechecking team, and a pretty exciting one at that.

On the other hand, Lemaire, while successful with the Wild, wasn’t THAT successful, and he’s gotta know that at his age (64 in September), this is his last shot to prove that he can win in the new NHL. Maybe he can change. Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

Hey, at least Brian Rolston can be counted on for a good chunk of goals this year. It was under Lemaire that he scored 30+ per season for three years before signing with the Devils last year.

For those wondering, Lemaire brings Mario Tremblay with him as assistant coach. The Devils retain Tommy Albelin, and Johnny MacLean moves down to Lowell as the new head coach there. Congrats to Johnny Mac, as this, I think, essentially guarantees him the Devils head coaching job in two years.

It’s definitely a decision that leaves us much to discuss for the rest of the summer. Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?

It’s coming…

According to the Devils Twitter feed (and other “traditional” sources, I GUESS), the Devils have a “Major Announcement” set for 1:30 PM today.  Gee, I wonder what it could possibly be.

Actually, instead of wondering, here’s the line on what today’s Major Announcement will be:

Jacques Lemaire as Coach:  1.5-to-1
Lou himself as Coach:  2-to-1
Devils sign low-level free agent: 2.5-to-1
Mike Haviland as Coach: 8-to-1
Lou is resigning to run a Panera Bread:  10-to-1
Devils sign mid-level free agent: 20-to-1
Scott Stevens as Coach: 100-to-1
Mike Keenan as Coach: HA-HA!-to-1
Devils sign high-level free agent: Snowball’s-Chance-to-Hell
Other: 25-to-1

So get your bets in and stick with us! We’ll have the announcement up as soon as it’s out, here, on our Facebook page (friend us! facebook.com/2manadvantage) and on our Twitter feed (follow us! @2MAblog)

Programming Notice

Guess who’s back?
Back again?
Josh is back!
Tell a friend.

Ahem.  Thank you.  I have returned from the dark depths known as summer classes.  Y’know, when they stuff four months worth of knowledge and work into your brain over the course of four weeks.  Of course, I’m doing it again this month, but I don’t actually have to BE there.

So instead, I can be here!  Huzzah!

First order of bid-ness comes in the form of “OMGLOOKATUSWEREGONNALIVECAPFREEAGENCY!”

Get here early, as the immitible Steve Stirling will be keeping you posted on all the pre-noon FA opening shenanegans and goings-on.

Then, around noonish, there will be a seemless transition of updating power, as Steve takes his leave and I take my seat at the laptop/television screens.  And by seemless transition, I mean one or both of us will likely go missing and the internets will possibly explode.

Seemless.

So join us tomorrow for the third annual 2 Man Advantage Free Agent Signing Day Happy Fun Time & Box Social!

Also, I haven’t forgotten about the ZubbieCounterContest.  I’ll get on that…eventually.  Before the summer’s out.  Probably.  Hey, maybe we’ll get lucky and the contest voting will be a big celebration of the trade to ditch Zubbie’s contract that Lou is surely working on as we speak.

…He’s not working on it as we speak?

Drats.