Thoughts from snowed in Roselle Park: USA vs Finland, Olympic Semi-Finals!

Hey looks like they finally got the Canadian girls off the ice (and CMON guys you know it’s hot to see a bunch of hockey girls partying and lighting stogies, screw it if a few are under-age 😉 )…but now it’s time for what everyone wanted to see….the right to fight for the right to wear Olympic gold (and make Kurt Angle jokes all summer… it’s true, oh it’s true!!), you’re all snowed in anyway, so LET’S GET OLYMPIC, eh??

  • How they got here:
  • We mostly know the US Story by now… unless you live in a ditch…. or South America (but she ain’t gonna read this anyway, it’s over 25 words)… so it’s pretty simple… Ryan Miller… timely goals and away they went! The Finns are similar but different, they play a more smothering old-school NJ Devils type of hockey, defense, defense and more defense (but yet no player EVER in Olympic hockey has more points then their own Teemu Selanne)…4 goals allowed in 4 games and 2 shutouts… yeah that’s pretty tight, and Kipper is maybe the best goalie in hockey that no one talks about…. so this should be an epic battle today!!!

  • First Period
  • (I like this way or writing a little better… it adds some flow and the jokes make a bit more sense this way… opinons??)
    — Slow start to the game but loved Ryan Miller coming out and putting a courtesy check on a Finn to clear the puck, I love when goalies do dumb things like I do!…. and just as I talk about dumb shit that I do in goal….

    (1 – 0, USA) Malone[3] (should be Kipper, and Kessel deserves one too… but no one gets one) {2:04}
    Malone chips it out and off goes Kessel to come fetch it….Kipper comes WAY out to get it and makes a TERRIBLE pass that goes right to Malone… sweeps the shot past and it’s one-zip just like that!!

    — and the next few shifts after, the Americans turn up the heat (Rafalski all over the damn place)… not a good sign for the Finns when you NEED to answer the bell after such a gaffe!!
    — and people PLEASE stop texting me that Kipper pulled a Scott… I’d have cleared the zone on the bonehead pass, thanks!!
    — the Finns look VERY nervous here… alot like the US Women did last night….
    — Man the US speed and forecheck is all over the Finns and it drew an interference call…and right off the faceoff!!

    (2 – 0) Parise[3-pp] (Statsny, Rafalski) {6:22}
    AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Rafalski’s shot is blocked, but the Finn who gets a stick on it kicks it right to Statsny who waits and cuts the pass through three people and right on Parise’s stick… holds… flips… TOP SHELF and the Finns are in it and DEEP already!!!!

    — and the Finns now doing their best team Russia impression and US right back to the pp

    (3 – 0) E.Johnson [1-pp] (Pavelski, Malone) {8:36}
    Kipper can’t handle the dump in and punches it to the corner…Malone hustles and gets to it… pops it behind the net… Pavelski to it… throws it in front.. and in American fashion it’s KICK/WHAM/STUNNER!! 3-0 and time out Finland… and maybe bye-bye Kipper!

    — 6 shots on goal…. 3 goals… WOW
    — and keeping with the every other shot thing…

    (4 – 0) Kane[2] (none) {10:08}
    Patrick Kane is dominating the play here….Kane the shot… Brown kicks it back to him…. cuts around everyone… looks.. dump… SCWWWAAAARRRR…. and this is a beatdown!! KIPPER TAPS OUT AND RUNS FOR THE BENCH!!!

    — the only way the US could beat them down so savagely would be simply to invade them and take over :p
    — Enter the Backstrom!!!! And he actually makes a successful save without letting a goal in!!
    — Err nevermind what I said!

    (5 – 0) Kane[3] (Rafalski) {12:31}
    He just walks in, wide open… cuts wide, shoots far side… and I think they can put BOTH goalies in net and we’d still pound them!!

    — I CAN’T KEEP UP!!!!

    (6 – 0) Statsny[1] (Langenbrunner, Parise) {12:46}
    2 goals in 15 seconds… and they had to change goal songs now it’s so ABSURD!!! Parise to the corner… leaves for Langs in the faceoff dot… across to Statsny… and BAM… can … you…. dig… that… SUCKA!!!!!!!! I’m running out of catch-phrases!!!!

    — the Finns would run off the ice and go home right NOW if they could …. really…..’
    — by the way… fuck you NBC, your exclusive crap with the highlights made seeing what happened in the late games impossible and it was a damn near needle in a haystack finding your crappy scoreboard!!!! It’s been annoying me all Olympics and now I can say it!!!
    — Great line from no-longer-cousin Rob… “programming note: the role of the Finnish goalie is now being played by Vessa Toskala”… sure looks it don’t it??? I think Rafalski may shatter Selanne’s scoring record in this game alone!!
    — Shots were 13-4 in the period… and holy God that was just a brutal beatdown!!

  • Second Period
  • — I needed that whole intermission to double check all the goals… and what’s up with no goals in 10 minutes of play?? Really??
    — Rob’s now trying too hard to be funny cause this game is in trash time (though the US is putting the foot off the gas a little soon here)… “who had the worse day… Kipper or Sea World?” Least Kipper only killed himself in this one… Sea World left thousands scarred and I think Finn-Nation is used to this kinda Olympic FAIL
    — Ruttu takes a penalty and a misconduct… at this point it’s for pretending to be a hockey player, totally against the rules on team Finland when medals are on the line 😛

    NEWSFLASH… USA DOESN’T SCORE ON POWER PLAY… they’re partying in the streets in Finland I swear!!!

    — Man if this game was somewhat close I’d be raving about Kessler’s block on that play… at this point I’m just trying not to type for the sake of typing…..
    — It’s the second period and Doc is talking about preggo Dogs and pups… oh boy it’s going to be a SLOW third period…..

  • Third Period
  • — Really ain’t much to say here unless something absurd happens right? Least the US is getting some penalty kill practice here…
    — Ryan Miller pulled for Tim Thomas (who should have played one prelim game if you ask me)… I get the move… it’s classy and to protect the goalie and all…but geesh I have issues doing that with a shutout on the board……
    — uh-oh Bobby Ryan (maybe the one guy who didn’t score today) takes a puck to the noggin… that HAS to hurt… save him for Sunday… he should be alright….
    — See what I mean about the shutout ??

    (6 -1) Mettinen[1] (Lepitsto) {14:46}
    The Finns actually pretend they can play some hockey and pass the puck around…. the long shot comes from
    Jack Johnson tries to block it and it hits his knee (OW) and it kinda goes bullet-time Matrix style from going right to going left…Tim Thomas can do not a damn thing about it on that one….. but still kinda sucks to lose the “zero”… an annoyance at best at this point

    — and that’s gonna do it!!! IMPRESSIVE win for the US… not too much fun to watch once the wolves feasted on the carcass but you can bet Sunday’s gonna be one HELL of a slobberknocker!!!!

    Canada vs Team AMERICA (puta si!)… thoughts soon-to-be from Sun Tavern: Roselle Park, N

    I’ve been toying and messing with the ideas of how to change things up in the post-game write-ups since I think we’ll all admit it’s gotten a bit stale… and honestly with no one else LEFT here writing (it’s no fault of mine as much as anyone wants to believe it).. and I’m gonna try to mix it up some and keep things fresh… also one of the other things I wanted to put out there… an open casting call to be a special “Guest Host” (stealing the idea from Raw) for Devils ROAD games… add some more coverage here… you don’t need to follow a style or a format, you don’t need to worry about pissing me off (the whole idea we follow hockey and read about it is we ALL love and enjoy it after all)…. and I do want to get some OTHER voices on here but MINE…. I went way way OCD in the pre-lockout days with the old CRASHER Line days…. and I don’t want that and I want to have a life OUTSIDE of this stuff…. though I’ve been kinda left with the keys to car… I don’t mind someone else driving and adding to the site when things allow….. so all that aside…. this is clearly the biggest non-medal game of the tournament…. so might as well have some fun with it at the bar and with friends (hell it’s 2 hours from now… CMON DOWN if you can!)

    I have no idea how I will be covering this game… or what I will be writing… I’m really just making this damn thing up as I go right here… so please please do chirp in and get involved!!!

  • What’s on the line tonight??
  • The US comes in at 2-0 and with a win tonight they take a top seed in the medal round, and I think only behind Finland over all as the best team in the Prelims, which will give them a nice patsy in the first medal round game they play in… and even with a respectable loss (more so if it goes to Overtime) the Americans will have an excellent shot at the “bonus bye” for the 4th best team in the pools…

    Canada comes in with two not-so-good efforts in their opening games and an inexcusable shootout game against the Swiss who they are WORLDS better then (though Hiller did play out of his skull)… the shootout and the 2 points for the win (you see that NHL… PENALIZE a team for going to the Skills competition dammit!)….and if Canada doesn’t win regulation (depends on the score)…. they may have to play into the event which would be a DISASTER for a team that was supposed to DOMINATE here and not squeak in…. and all the pressure on the world is on them now!

      First Period

    — So far the best thing about watching the game at the bar…. JR and Milbury on MUTE… and the damn car race ended in time so all the NASCAR heads are leaving!
    — Speaking of bad TV Coverage I could totally go into the disgrace job that NBC is doing with these Olympics but I am trying to be a lil kinder/gentler here and enjoying the ride… least the games today didn’t get stuffed in the corner for more curling…..
    — Also damn, those USA jerseys look WAY too Ranger-Like… I get the 1980 Tribute and all… but booooo!! The Blue ones not so much….

    — SCAWWWWRR!!!

    Langenbrunner tips the Rafalski shot pass and it’s … one… NOTHING… NEW… errr.. USA!!!
    Correction… Tip by CROSBY… score unchanged!!

    — Crosby stuffed on the breakaway… MORE pouting ensues!!!!
    — Getzlaf to the box for a cross check to the skull… ouch!!!
    — USA has all sorts of jump and pressing like hell on Canada…. they’re feeling the pressure….San Jose fans, this look familiar to ya’s? 🙂

    — Well Canada ties it up but still looks kinda crappy, but still a NICE tip by Staal (damn that name) on a Seabrook long shot….

    — And speaking of Staal…. mb30 lets ANOTHER Rafalski wrister far side with Langs giving the ol’mb30 stink face!!!!!!
    — 2 goals on 4 shots for the Americans…. wow… that’s the mb30 we got used to in the clutch :p
    — What a hell of a first period for the US team….and judging by TSN on Facebook, the world is mutiny-ing against ol’mb30 here….

      Second Period

    — How awesome would an Olympic hockey fight be, eh??
    — And right as I was about to say how GOOD Miller’s been….

    Teows behind the net… comes to the front… shot… save Miller… juicy rebound and Heatley stuffs it home (and insert bad driving jokes here about Hot Rod Heatley)….2-2 game, blame Canada!

    — good Lord Donald Sutherland looked like cold hard brutal death there didn’t he???
    — mb30 ANOTHER one off the mask… THIS IS THE HOCKEY GODS TELLING YOU SOMETHING!!!
    — Hot damn the game intensity is getting AWESOME….STAAL TURNS HEEL AND TAKES OUT PERRY!!! He’s gonna win the Royal Rumble!!!!
    — did ya ever think you’d cheer THIS???

    Bobby Ryan the shot… save…..Backus the next shot… is blocked…rebound comes loose… HELLO CHRIS DRURY and he stuffs it past mb30 for an all-too familair sight eh??? Just this one was kinda nicer to see… 3-2 US… FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    — WELCOME TO THE OLYMPIC BREAKAWAY COMPETITION!!!!! Kane, then Thornton…. then BOBBY RYAN!! Oh what a SAVE FEST!!!!!
    — attaboy Rafaslki….get that back elbow in when Staal tries to ride you like an awful country music song!
    — This game has been all the intensity and fire I was hoping for… ANYONE who’s anti-Pros in the Olympics needs this game as proof!!!

      Third Period

    — Cindy to the box, someone get the diapers and a bottle!!
    — Best thing about being in a half-full bar like this… the Olympics are on and the ice dancing is on… NOT ONE FUCKING PERSON IS WATCHING THE ICE DANCING… suck it NBC!!!!
    — Damn if the US scored on that delayed call, would the broken stick have gotten an assist??? US back on the power play!
    — and Rafalski 3:16 says…..

    I JUST LIT UP YOUR ASS!!!!! Puck to the point….Parise and Langs in front… looks like Captain AMERICA is right there to be AMERICAN PAIN IN THE ASS TIPPING IT HOME!!!

    — And then Ryan Miller is just CLUTCH CLUTCH CLUTCH… SUCK ON MY STICK SAVE CINDY!!!!!!!!!!! And a nice flop and spin-a-roonie… SUCKA!!
    — So ya think with each goal the smile on Luongo’s face gets better??? (as I say this MBxxx makes a HUGE stick save)
    — Canadians on a HUGE pp… missed on who… sorry
    — ok, so we did the KILL KILL KILL chant in the bar… even Andy was involved… he got a kick being on the other side of it 🙂
    — seeing Joe Thornton with the puck makes me think the Canadians have more chokers on the roster then the Benoit family did ……
    — and HOLY SHIT RYAN MILLER MAKES ME REGRET MY BEER CHOICE OF SAM ADAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Least it’s an American beer.. screw your Molsons!!!! (only for tonight :p)
    — but just when you think the game is over…..

    Nash from the corner… sees Cindy in front… the old no-touch rule is in effect…. Cindy taps it home and gets it through the pads of Miller…. well it’s gonna be a FUN finish eh???

    — NIEDERMAYER OFF THE OUTSIDE POST!!!! 3:00 of a hockey game to kill!!!
    — Jesus TWO STRAIGHT MINUTES OF BLITZ BUT MILLER AND THE AMERICANS HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!!!
    (30 years later, Miracle 2.0??)
    — Why did Wilson NOT call tiem out there???
    …maybe cause of this!!

    Kesler jumps OVER THE CANADIAN PLAYER and taps it into the empty net… the goal was so ridiculous and crazy, Parise gets the back door assist!!!

    — Deportations, riots and mb30 sent to the American team out of SPITE soon to ensue!!
    — CMON LET EM FIGHT!! SCREW THE IOC RULES!!

    LET’S GET OLYMPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So by semi-popular demand (and my own need to keep busy during this Olympic Break… and well the fact I hate when this site becomes a Ghost Town… but I am the last one standing here… not by design… believe me one of the reasons I joined here was to be a supporting member not the featured writer… but seems with anything I do I end up running the damn show anyway no matter how much I DON’T want to… so here we go again….)…anyway,…. I don’t think I’ll recap any games till we get to the medal round….so insert quality filler here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and as a reference point… I bolded all players in the NHL)

      Teams that could only win if Tommy Salo made an Olympic Return
      (aka, Dark Horses/the teams that suck!)

  • BELARUS
  • Goaltenders: Vitali Koval, Maxim Malyutin, Andrei Mezin
    Defense: Andrei Antonov, Andrei Bashko, Vladimir Denisov, Viktor Kostiuchenok, Ruslan Salei, Nikolai Stasenko, Vadim Sushko, Alexander Syrei
    Forwards: Oleg Antonenko, Sergei Demagin, Mikhail Grabovsky, Alexei Kaliuzhny, Konstantin Koltsov, Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn, Alexander Kulakov, Andrei Mikhalev, Andrei Stas, Alexei Ugarov, Sergei Zadelenov

    Alright… be honest you barely know anyone on this team either (though one or two of the people who love to piss and moan at me, hell they probably blame me for every one else retiring)… the only reason I remember Mezin is I think he was the goalie when Tommy Salo headbutted team Belarus into one of the biggest upsets in Olympic History… they have a few NHL players, and none of them are exactly all-stars…. I ain’t wasting much time on the cannon fodders……

  • GERMANY
  • Goaltenders: Dennis Endras, Thomas Greiss, Dimitri Pätzold
    Defense: Michael Bakos, Christian Ehrhoff, Jakub Ficenec, Jason Holland, Korbinian Holzer, Chris Schmidt,
    Dennis Seidenberg, Alexander Sulzer
    Forwards: Alexander Barta, Sven Felski, Marcel Goc, Thomas Greilinger, Jochen Hecht, Manuel Klinge, Marcel Müller, Travis James Mulock, André Rankel, Marco Sturm, John Tripp, Michael Wolf

    FYI, Thomas Greiss is Nabby’s backup in San Jose in case you wasted time reading this part (no I didn’t need to look it up :p)… Strum and Hecht are functional NHL’ers… but again…. they ain’t got the guns… they are improved from the days of it being the “beat on Ollie Kolzig show”… but they’re stilla LONG way from being competitive in a top-tier way…..

  • LATVIA
  • Goaltenders: Edgars Masalskis, Ervins Mustukovs, Sergejs Naumovs
    Defense: Oskars Bartulis, Guntis Galvins, Rodrigo Lavins, Georgijs Pujacs, Krisjanis Redlihs, Arvids Rekis,
    Karlis Skrastins, Kristaps Sotnieks
    Forwards: Girts Ankipans, Armands Berzins, Martins Cipulis, Lauris Darzins, Kaspars Daugavins, Martins Karsums, Gints Meija,
    Aleksandrs Nizivijs, Mikelis Redlihs, Aleksejs Sirokovs, Janis Sprukts, Herberts Vasiljevs

    Ah… WORLD FAMOUS Latvia (ok you had to read the facebook status to get that), but like I hinted there and the two teams above….. there’s not much here to brag about… and this is one of them teams that will have a parade if they win a game in the prelims and call it a GREAT SUCCESS on a Borat type level (hopefully without the hairy naked man-wrestling scenes :p)

  • NORWAY
  • Goaltenders: Pål Grotnes, Andre Lysenstøen, Ruben Smith
    Defense: Alexander Bonsaksen, Jonas Holøs, Tommy Jakobsen, Juha Kaunismäki, Lars Erik Lund, Ole Kristian Tollefsen, Mats Trygg
    Forwards: Mats Zuccarello Aasen, Morten Ask, Anders Bastiansen, Kristian Forsberg, Mads Hansen, Marius Holtet, Mathis Olimb,
    Martin Røymark, Per-Åge Skrøder, Lars Erik Spets, Patrick Thoresen, Tore Vikingstad, Martin Laumann Ylven

    Funny that a country that is so friggin COLD all the time sucks so bad at ice hockey… but they do…. the only reason I know Tollefson is I grabbed him on waivers in NHL 09 and he was a nice 6th D on the video game… and admit it that’s more then you know about him unless you cheer for the Winged Wheel…. the rest of this team… yeah right, there’s a reason they’re in the jobber category…..

      Teams that can Scare the Piss out of you, but Not Win
      (should clear the prelims and maybe medal but not expected to do much)

  • CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Goaltenders: Ondrej Pavelec, Jakub Stepanek, Tomas Vokoun
    Defense: Miroslav Blatak, Jan Hejda, Tomas Kaberle, Filip Kuba, Pavel Kubina, Zbynek Michalek, Roman Polak, Marek Zidlicky
    Forwards: Petr Cajanek, Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Martin Erat, Tomas Fleischmann, Martin Havlat, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Tomas Plekanec, Tomas Rolinek, Josef Vasicek

    See, now we’re talking some teams that can make a little noise!! Vokun is a legit top-tier goalie (but he’s also erratic enough he could implode at any time… he’s been solid to flat out REALLY GOOD of late though)…. the defense corps are solid too, the forwards have some serious talent in them (Elias, Jagr, Erat, etc…)… they can score some goals, the D is a little weak… but they won’t be a walk over for damn sure, and the Czechs are nowhere near as deep as some of the other teams in the tournament….

  • SLOVAKIA
  • Goaltenders:Peter Budaj, Jaroslav Halak, Rastislav Stana
    Defense: Ivan Baranka, Zdeno Chara, Milan Jurcina, Andrej Meszaros, Andrej Sekera, Martin Strbak, Lubomir Visnovsky
    Forwards: Lubos Bartecko, Martin Cibak, Pavol Demitra, Marian Gaborik, Michal Handzus, Marcel Hossa, Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Zigmund Palffy, Branko Radivojevic, Miroslav Satan, Jozef Stümpel, Richard Zednik

    Goaltending is questionable here, but for Halak the pressure of carrying his country on his back is probably less then playing in Montreal :p… being able to roll Chara out there every other shift will make up for some shortcomings on D… the Slovacs also have some nifty scorers (who will all look better if Gaborik plays… he’s allowed to get hurt in the last Olympic game 😀 )… and just seeing Ziggy Palffy again made me chuckle a little again! It’s a shame them and the Czechs had to split… if they didn’t they might be a medal worthy combination team… if Halak is on though they won’t go down easy either……

  • SWITZERLAND
  • Goaltenders: Ronnie Rüeger, Jonas Hiller, Tobias Stephan
    Defense: Goran Bezina, Severin Blindenbacher, Rafael Diaz, Roman Josi, Luca Sbisa, Mathias Seger, Mark Streit,
    Yannick Weber
    Forwards: Andres Ambühl, Thomas Déruns, Hnat Domenichelli, Sandy Jeannin, Thibaut Monnet, Thierry Paterlini, Martin Plüss, Kevin Romy, Ivo Rüthemann, Raffaele Sannitz, Julien Sprunger, Roman Wick

    Jonas Hiller is good enough to make this team a contender on his own (hell David Aebischer almost did a few Olympics ago), there’s not much else here….hell only one other NHLer and some almost’s and never-were’s… but if Hiller was good enough to purge Jiggy-Pout from the PondScum… he’s good enough to take the Swiss outta the “jobber” category in the Olympics… and he’s not the guy you wanna face in the first game of the medal round… he’ll make it WAY tough on you…..

  • USA
  • Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Tim Thomas
    Defense: Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Tim Gleason, Ryan Whitney, Brooks Orpik, Brian Rafalski, Ryan Suter
    Forwards: David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ryan Malone, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny

    I struggled with making the US an “elite” team in the pool, but maybe as I overrated the Swiss, I may underrate the US team here… but it makes for easier reading to have 4 teams in each bracket… so NYAH!!! One of only two teams to sport an all-NHL roster, the US team is stacked with good young, fast forwards (well and Langs and Drury)… and that youth is a big advantage… sometimes being young and too dumb to realize you don’t belong there is the best thing you can have… the US team also boasts the goalie who’s playing the best hockey in the NHL all-season long, the D is a little soft, but in the Olympics it’s more about speed, movement and recovery then crash ‘n bang… so this too may suit the US team well…. this team is the most likely to make medal noise of the non-elite eight I’ve previewed so far and I am fully aware of that… but with this roster and it’s youth and inexperience… it seems like a “next time” type of team more geared for 2014….

      Teams that if they don’t win Their Country Will Riot
      (aka: the Favorites)



    CANADA
    Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Marc-André Fleury, Roberto Luongo
    Defense: Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber
    Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews

    Well this one is obvious…. not only an ALL-NHL… but a freaking all-star one too!! The Canadians can put two all-star level teams and still have players to spare… after all… it’s their freaking sport man!!! But add that and the intense pressure of home-ice and the high-end demands of their fans and country wanting “gold or don’t come back”… the biggest opponent they could face is their own issues….not to mention EVERY move is gonna be second-guessed as they first happen… Scott Niedermayer… ain’t he too old… hasn’t he sucked this year?? MB30 vs Luongo… hey both have struggled the last few weeks… what about Fleury??? This team may have too much talent for it’s own damn good… and the first line is all-Sharks… we know how they do under pressure and duress, but still… any thoughts of cutting this team down are a reach….anyone who doesn’t think they can win it all and maybe not lose a game is fooling themselves…..


    FINLAND
    Goaltenders:Niklas Bäckström, Miikka Kiprusoff, Antero Niittymäki
    Defense: Lasse Kukkonen, Sami Lepistö, Toni Lydman, Janne Niskala, Joni Pitkänen, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen
    Forwards: Valtteri Filppula, Niklas Hagman, Jarkko Immonen, Olli Jokinen, Niko Kapanen,
    Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivu, Jere Lehtinen, Antti Miettinen, Ville Peltonen, Jarkko Ruutu, Tuomo Ruutu,
    Teemu Selänne

    Strong in goal… finalists last time around… solid defenders… decent enough up front….and Selanne gets hot and they can be dangerous….Kipper’s carried teams on his back before in the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Playoffs….but also in contrast… if Kipper goes ass-up (he’s done that too)… and Selanne and the Koviu’s do nothing… this team is cannon-fodder (no I am not ignoring Jokinen, I’m just stating the obvious on how he is under pressure.. hence him being the perfect Ranger!)…. certainly not a team to be taken lightly either


    RUSSIA
    Goaltenders: Ilya Bryzgalov, Evgeni Nabokov, Semyon Varlamov
    Defense: Sergei Gonchar, Denis Grebeshkov, Dmitri Kalinin, Konstantin Korneyev, Andrei Markov,
    Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin, Anton Volchenkov
    Forwards: Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Fedorov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Viktor Kozlov, Evgeni Malkin, Alexei Morozov, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov, Alexander Semin, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinoviev

    Any team that has a SECOND line with Kovalchuk and Datsyuk on it… you just look and go WOW… not a packed with NHL-talent team… but you can make a case they have more top 10 players in the NHL then anyone else in the event… so what they have is absurdly GOOD talent, the strength of this team is up front (you can say in goal, but Bryzgalov only did it once in the playoffs… and that’s one more then Nabokov ever did…. and Varlamov got exposed by the Penguins last year… so I’ll give the goalies a maybe grade with a chance to stand up and prove themselves)… the D is mobile and finesse which is Olympic-style hockey, so that’s not a minus… and admit it… this is a fun team to watch… thankfully the Cold War is over and we can say that without being called Communists or worse :p.. probably the co-favorite with Canada… not medalling at all would be a MASSIVE fail for this team….


    SWEDEN
    Goaltenders:Jonas Gustavsson, Stefan Liv, Henrik Lundqvist
    Defense: Tobias Enström, Magnus Johansson, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidström, Douglas Murray, Johnny Oduya, Mattias Öhlund, Henrik Tallinder
    Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Bäckström, Loui Eriksson, Peter Forsberg, Tomas Holmström, Patric Hörnqvist, Fredrik Modin, Samuel Påhlsson, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Mattias Weinhandl, Henrik Zetterberg

    OMG IT’S HENRIK LUNDQVIST!!! HE REDEFINED THE GOALIE POSITION… HE MAKES SAVES WITH HIS MASK!!! HE’S GROUNDBREAKING!! (sorry I watched the Ranger game on Sunday… and listening to them beat up on Tampa the way the announcer shills were I thought they made the conference finals :p)… but that aside Henrik DID carry this team to Olympic Gold last time around….and like with Chara, when you can put Nik Lidstrom out there every other shift it fixes many flaws….and with the Sedin’s playing out of their skulls good this year, supporting players like Alfredsson, Zetterburg and maybe the biggest wild card in the tournament in Peter Forsberg… this team is dangerous too…. and another team with much medal pressure on them……

    This should be a fun two weeks of hockey… hopefully you get out there and ENJOY IT!! (not to mention when the women’s hockey gets to the medal round that will be good stuff too!!)… We’ll let this sit for a while and once I check the schedules… I’ll decide what games I’m gonna pick, choose and write about… I’d say the first game is likely the US/Canada one…. well unless it’s Sat night, then I’m in Delaware having a life…. we’ll worry about that when it’s about to happen soon enough….

    Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Preds, 2/12/2010

    Hey folks… no I didn’t fall into the abyss like the rest of the staff did :p… I had a REALLY bad… umm… “digestive situation”… wasn’t much fun, but of course I got all better for work… and then the damn snow hit… so that was another mess… and my thoughts from Apartment A-1 would have been a more angry rant about the only fan noise being that idiot “Ranjahs suck” chant on TV… so anyway… all is well…. all is good… and it’s the damn Olympic Break… though we were given hats tonight, and a good chunk of us didn’t leave with them… more on that later!!!

    The Good:
    — WE DIDN’T BLOW A TWO GOAL LEAD…. hooray!!!!!! In fact this game was a massive 500 pound gorilla off their back and the liberation to it I can only compared to losing a 5’11” blonde gorilla right before my birthday 🙂
    — Jacques Lemaire…. yeah he’s been dealt a crappy deck with this team and the injuries… and he overplays the vets… but HE FINALLY did it and got a message across… Jay Pandolfo sat out tonight… healthy scratch!! THANK GOD, no longer is it ok to shoot pucks right into the logo… no more will be matching lines and putting tpye-2 viagra level stiffs on the ice when it matters!! We have GOOD YOUNG PLAYERS WHO NEED TO DEVELOP, and sitting dead wood for young legs is what we NEED to do more of now!
    — Kovalchuk…. I mean yeah I’ve seen him when Atlanta would play us… but you don’t really WATCH HIM…. Jesus Christ I think he’s got the hardest in-game shot in this team’s HISTORY…. when he clanked that post in the first period… Tammie heard it… on the escalator…. on the other side of the building :p…. when he hit that defenseman in the HELMET with it… he damn sure FELT IT (during the next PP Ilya went back to the dude… and I have no idea if he apologized or in his best Ivan Drago voice went “next time I must break you”)… and then of course… the goal…. and go figure I was just bragging about the power of my WEEKES jersey winning me another Super Bowl box this year… and kick.. wham… GOAL!!!! (I wanted to get a HEY… KOVAL-CHUK over the YOU SUCK… but it didn’t get there!)
    — Hell all the big names we need to score…. scored tonight!!! And it’s a POWER PLAY GOAL… fuck you Sam Rosen!! (and arena security too :p ), Murphy and Fraser got good minutes and I REALLY liked what I saw from Corrente on the RW… like another converted defense-person (oh that will piss her off)…. he did really good… he got his shit dirty… he HIT PEOPLE… and he showed some real promise as a RW… and replacing Pando… the bar was set low….

    the Bad:
    — Jason Arnott was a -3… oh wait… everyone forgot about him and hell he was damn near invisible on the ice, thank God too… the reunion tour HAS to stop and I don’t want that mess back in Jersey :p
    — Brian Rolston played 1/4 of the game and the only reason you’d know it is his time on ice….
    — Poor Zharkov… he’s snakebitten again…. we just don’t like our Russian Wings in Jersey….

    the Funny:
    — I was being vague and message sending today (so was my mp3 player) and after having Freebird come up three times on the device today (and then the Micro SD card is gone… weird)… I decided to post the lyrics for reasons only known to me… and this starts a whole bitch-fight essentially, and anyone who knows me…. they know how much and WHY I hate country music…. so now they’re all like… well that’s a country song, and I’ll be double damned if:
    A. them get away with it (I’ll stab myself… or worse.. watch a Ranger game….. before liking country music, country music SOUTHERN ROCK)
    B. Let them have the last word
    C. Listen to the Who over them!!!!
    — so it started in warmups (though amazing I didn’t have ONE incident with a self-deluded bag of balls bothering me during warmups… yay!)… Patrik Elias WIPES OUT… I wanted to call it a header but I get yelled at by the soccer nation…..and I just panic… all I do is yell OH NO, DON’T YOU BE HURT PATRIK WE NEED YOU NOW DAMMIT!!!! Thankfully he was ok and my cursing fit was only for the amusement of a few!
    — Ah, our lovely Pete moments of the night… though his pesty friendship with dear Clutch is strained (oh let him yell at you… the options are brutal)…. but as always… he asks me the goalie’s name it gets ugly:
    “Hey Scott what’s the goalie’s name?”
    “Rinne….”
    “HEY WEINER YOU SUCK!!!”
    — Josh Burnett (on our 5 on 3 FAILS):
    “Well thank god the whole we-can’t-score-on-a-2-man-advantage thing held true, or the we-can’t-hold-a-2-0-lead thing
    would be in play.” … and we only blew a one goal lead and still won!!!
    — Gotta love a fan base so desperate for offense that when Kovie FINALLY did score… and we as a TEAM scored three goals… hats come flying on the ice… um no guys, slow down there… I was actually half amused (and like Josh)… half stunned by the dumb of it… her lordship goes into a curse filled tirade over and over again YOU FUCKING MORONS STOP IT BEFORE WE GET A FUCKING PENALTY (I swear it was like watching a game with Pat Burns!)… screaming and raving like crazy to the point it annoyed the guy in front of us with his three kids (really the fuck bomb was dropped more times now then any weapon used in Iraq… accept this and don’t get me started on the fucked philosophy of this country where we can show horrific acts of hate and violence all the time and it’s ok .. BUT OH MY GOD HE SAID A NAUGHTY WORD and the world’s supposed to end… fuck you.. lighten up, the WORD means NOTHING unless YOU empower it!)

    …. and just when she stops ranting… Goomba steals the rant… but nooooo we don’t complain about him using it… because we’re a pussy and he could hurt you… douche bag!!!

    Well I know it ain’t much but it was a lot of fun… and don’t worry… I’ll be doing some kinda thoughts and maybe even an Olympic Preview as we go get all Kurt Angle and GET OLYMPIC for the next few weeks…. stick with me… it’ll be fun, I guarantee it!!!!

    ….picked a helluva night to be playing hockey eh???

    …. so as I was out re-proving myself to a bunch of hockey loving fools in Morristown…. I get the news of a little trade….

    ANSSI SALMELA IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    … errrr…. yeah…. right!!!

    Well I played good in goal at least 🙂

    (I know I know, I’m just putting it off now)

    and by now you ALL know the details anyway, so now the Devils have the most dynamic Russian born right handed shot winger this side of Ovechkin in the league… THIS IS GOOD….though to remind some people of the crap I heard today before hand…

    “Lou never makes this kinda trade….”
    You guys forget Doug Gilmour?? Maybe that Moginly guy rings a bell…. maybe trading for Richer and Lemieux don’t count either anymore?? The reason the Devils ain’t made this kinda trade in like…. a decade… they DIDN’T HAVE THE PROSPECTS TO DEAL (Even giving them Oduya, and in the NHL Bergfors… looks like that Parise/Bergie sandwich my friend was hoping on is gonna have to wait now…)… the cup board needed to be refilled before Lou could cook up a deal… pretty simple….

    “what about him walking at the end of the year??”
    Kovalchuk (and damn me I gotta add his name to the spell check now) said he wants to WIN… so lets let him do some WINNING here, and I am talking a serious playoff run … and maybe those contract demands shrink (or he signs a one-year cheapie deal like Hossa did in the Detroit to try at it again)

    “wow… we’re kinda good now… again… huh??”
    Umm… yeah!!! When you can roll out a top 6 of:
    Parise-Zajac-Langs
    Elias-Zubrus-Kovy
    and have Rolston and Clarkson on the 3rd line…. yeah that’s damn good…. and buckle in… looks like we may be riding his horse through May this year (for once)…. it’s gonna be fun tomorrow night ain’t it???

    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)

    I STILL LIVE, I SWEAR!

    The end of the college semester is always tough.  Especially the closer one gets to finally graduating (one semester left – if I’m lucky/good, I graduate exactly 10 years after getting the hell out of high school.  Sad, but fitting).

    So sorry I haven’t posted much lately, but with a straight month ’til school starts up again (and about two months before it gets insane again), I’ll be back on a regular basis for awhile again.  Thanks so much for sticking with us.  And thanks to Scott for not letting the site fall into total abandoned disrepair.

    I have only been paying slight attention to what’s been going on in the world of hockey.  Martin Brodeur broke another record, this one more meaningless than other recent ones (Games played?  Games started? Something like that.)  Zach Parise may very well never score a goal again.  Travis and Zach have split up, are seeing other people, but everyone knows they’ll be back together soon enough.

    The BIG news, though…is that officially, at the end of play last night, the Devils were in first place.

    First place in the Atlantic?  Well, yeah, but think bigger.

    First place in the Eastern conference?  Keep going.  How about something like…

    FIRST PLACE IN THE ENTIRE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE.

    Yeah, this team is damn friggin’ good.

    So tonight, the Devils look to extend that lead in the league against the perennial-doormats-turned-surprisingly-5th-place-in-the-East Atlanta Thrashers.  The last time the two teams played, I believe we were all in moderate freak-out mode, as the Thrashers thrashed (sorry, hack move, I know) the Devils at the Rock, the third game of a three consecutive home loses to start the season.  Needless to say, I’m a little less freaked out now, as is the rest of the fanbase.  And if you’re nitpicking over bad plays or poor shot selection or the team’s inability to make us proud by kicking ass in the situation that is our namesake, then go back and read the bolded print earlier in this post.

    I would be moderately stunned if Martin Brodeur starts tonight, after starting about a zillion consecutive games and then flying to Hotlanta for today’s game.  I think THE Yann Danis deserves the start.  Of course, trying to guess when Marty sits is probably ridiculous anyways.  Edit: And yeah, apparently Marty’s starting again tonight.  Please join myself and the rest of the Devils fanbase in a loud cry of “WTF, I thought this was an Olympic year?!”

    But, even if La Grenouille (remember, thus is Yann Danis’ nickname, so says I) does start, Brodeur will be on the ice tonight.  The Senators announced this morning that Mike Brodeur will get his NHL debut start this evening against the Minnesota Wild, who are probably in their own manner of freak out this afternoon after THIS happened.

    Note to the NHL: The Senators are really into sabotage.  First seven Sabres get food poisoning after eating at a steakhouse in Ottawa, and now this?  Thankfully the Devils have already gotten through one game up there alive.

    A Brief Open Letter to Martin Brodeur, American Citizen

    Dear Marty,discofries copy

    Congratulations on passing your United States of America citizenship test.  Now that you are an official American citizen, there is one bit of wisdom I’d like to pass along:

    It’s not poutine anymore.  It’s Disco Fries.  Get used to it, and please assimilate accordingly.

    Again, congratulations!

    With love,

    2 Man Advantage

    NJ Devils Month in Review, November 2009

    With all the injuries and players coming in and out of the lineup this year, the Devils STILL went 9-3… Good God…think about that…. It’s even crazier when you realize the 3 losses were in a ROW… it was a very good month in New Jersey which is a shame, I write better angry… but it does make the month in reviews come off the keyboard a little faster this way!!!

    Forwards:
    #9 Zach Parise: A (9g, 7a, +11)
    Almost averaged a GOAL a game for the month… that’s sick… he’s going to stomp on last year’s stats and has a legit chance again to break 100 points and re-write the Devils record books offensively… his hockey smarts and presence and knowing where to be is there as much as ever and even more so Lemaire is putting him in a position to win each and every time… and really I can’t say anything bad about him… though I do miss the Parise girls yelling and screaming and making him into a one man Jonas Brothers :p
    Grade: A+

    #15 Jamie Langenbrunner: C (3g, 11a, +4)
    It’s weird with Jamie… his play is eh, he seems slower this year and he looks like he’s losing a step… but yet he’s on pace for his best offensive year ever…. He’s been fortunate to be on the two most productive lines on the team… and I will admit his skill is adding to the success of those lines… but really on his own… he kinda seems not so good… and he does his thing in the skills competitions, but we don’t watch those in the month in review so they are a non-factor in my evaluations….and no matter what you see or think of his play… 14 points in 12 games is above and beyond the expected call of duty for him…. So maybe I’m just seeing it wrong… but hell if it ain’t broke, don’t make em ride the bikes to fix it right???
    Grade: A

    #19 Travis Zajac (1g, 10a, +8)
    Only one goal?? I guess he’s riding Parise’s coattails eh?? That’s not a bad thing though…. Travis does it all on this team… faceoffs, pk, power play… physical….he’s one of the most important players on the team and he is getting a point a night and no longer can Cangelosi get him confused with Shanny… though… BERGFORS…. *sigh… 19 Steve….*…. ZAJAC… SCCCAAAWWRRREEE, is still kinda epic!! I need to make my own funny here cause Travis is like HHH… he’s that damn good!!
    Grade: A

    #18 Niclas Bergfors (4g, 6a, +2)
    Solid… improving… and doing his job in replacing Brian Gionta’s stats… this is a good thing….Lemaire is riding him and pushing him to be better and he’s responding.. funny how that works better then 2:32 of ice time a game isn’t it??? I like what I’m seeing and he too is growing into a legit player… and a better match speed and skill wise for Parise and Zajac for Langenbrunner…and he’s only 22… it’s nice to see our prospects start to prosper!!! And not be delegated to Andrew Peters level of ice time!
    Grade: A

    #23 David Clarkson (4g, 2a, -2, 19 PIM)
    The offense was down this month, but he’s also been bounced all over the place… one time with Parise and Zajac (I like)… one time with Pelley and Halischuk (I not likey as much)….he’s fighting a bit too much for my likes… we need his PRODUCTION and not his FISTS… and he gets a break because he was hurt… but I expect a little bit better then this when we get him back post-olympics (most likely)
    Grade: B- (torn between that and C+)

    #12 Brian Rolston (6g, 3a, +1, 41 Shots on Goal)
    I added the shots on goal stat, just because he has a rep for being mister Rip Em Wide… and his month was spotty, but he seems to have a niche with Elias and it’s starting to pay off for the team and his own statistics, the speed isn’t the same as it used to be but the shot and more important the CONFIDENCE in the shot (14 shots in his last two games) is showing up… and if Rolston can keep hitting the net (and he’s shown he can this year)… good things will happen for him, his linemates and especially the power play on this game… not a GREAT month, but he’s not dragging them down either… hell if he sat in 208 I might even walk over and say HEY to him (or something like that… ok, that’s a joke for Rob… whatever)…. He’s been alright, which for his second stint with the team is almost damn good…
    Grade: B-

    #26 Patrik Elias: A (3g, 7a, +3, 10 games)
    It took him a few games to get his legs (understandable)… and then figure out who ha was going to be playing with (and it’s weird, it’s a grumpy old men line, but it’s WORKING with Langs and Rolston)…and he’s back to a point a game again and really what else can you ask for? Yes you’d like to see more goals… but we’re scoring and we have two top lines again with the Parise and Elias line carrying the mail each and every night while the rest of the team gets healthy and if this keeps up… we might even be more fun to watch and less smoke and mirrors! Welcome back Patrik!!
    Grade: A

    #8 Dainius Zubrus (0g, 1a, even)
    Wow… I know he’s not supposed to score and his main function is to make time and space for people… but holy shit you gotta get more then ONE ASSIST if you’re doing you’re job right and I like Zubbie and all and I hate kicking a guy when he’s down an injured (now there are certain girls I like kicking regardless of position…. But whatever :p)….he’s gotta be better then THIS…. CMON ZUBBIE!!!!
    Grade: C- (I hate, hating our mascot!)

    #10 Rod Pelley (0g, 1a, -1, 10 PIM, 10 games, 7.5 mins/game)
    ROD PELLEY MAD… ROD PELLEY SMASH!!! ROD PELLEY FIGHT!! Rod Pelley get benched for rookie defenseman playing forward…..well whatever pissed him off he had his best game as a Devil (well minus the double high stick moment of awesome of course!)….I threw in the average ice time, because as a spare forward it was kinda telling… the Devils could use a 4th line that eats some minutes and it doesn’t do that when Pelley’s been on it… I need to see more then one good game out of him (this means you too Andrew Peters) to be convinced he’s worth a shit, but I won’t hate him as much as Rob does ever (he just has eyes for Sestito…. We understand… really), Rod’s not been God… or Zod… more like Clod this year with the team… this month… no different…
    Grade: D

    #16: Matt Halischuk (1g, 1a, even, approx 11 mins/game)
    Like Mark Fraser below is also earning more ice time from the coaching staff and is starting to get used to parking himself in front of the net (GOOD THING) and he’s adjusting to the speed of the game at the NHL level … hell he even looks like he BELONGS now on the team and taking regular shifts (again it shows on the ice time and no stat shows more what the staff thinks of you then the minutes you get to play… and thank God Sutter’s not here… he’d get 3 shifts a night and not be allowed to grow up on the ice like he’s been doing)…so I’ll go easy on him, I think the points and the contributions are gonna go nowhere but up and he might even be on the big club all year at this point… something I did not expect a month ago….
    Grade: B (mostly for the improvement in play)

    #11 Dean McAmmond (0g, 1a, even, approx 15 ½ mins/game)
    It’s still weird seeing him wear #11 because he looks and skates like John Madden from way up…. Hell he’s been Madden-esque with his numbers, ice time and effort… which is amazing for a dude who was on the street or TGIFriday’s or something a month ago…he’s been a nice stop-gap type player as we try to get this team healthy and he will likely bump Rod Pelley back to obscurity even more when this team gets healthy (boy that should really get us UBER-MAD ROD PELLEY!!!)….he’s been ok since called into duty… so I’ll give him an OK grade with a small curve based on the speed of getting game ready…
    Grade: C+

    #17 Ilkka Pikkarainen (0g, 1a, even, 6 games played, 7 mins/game)
    Wow, the best thing I can say about him is he’s keeping the tradition of Devils forwards wearing #17 SUCKING BADLY (and yes I mean you too Petr Suckora in there :p)…I don’t see this magic thing he adds to the lineup…. The only thing I think it can be is it keeps Peters OUT of the lineup… that ain’t good enough… HEY…YOU SUCK!!!!
    Grade: F

    #14 Tim Sestito (0g, 1a, -2, approx 12 mins/game, 9 games played)
    SESTITO SANTANNNNNAAAAA!! ARRIBA!!! (hell the nickname alone should get him more playing time!!) He’s been ok too… he shows a bit more jump and offensive hope then Rod Pelley, but that’s like being a bigger scoring threat then Jay Pandolfo, or being smarter then the Blonde Wonder…he’s only 25 and it’s his first year in the system and I’d like to see if he can be a project down the road…. But at least better then Pelley is more gooder enougher to get in the line up now and see what he’s got, this may be a case of “the girl you don’t know looking better then the girl you do know and are sick of her being around” though…. Time will tell, eh?
    Grade: C-

    #25 Andrew Peters (no points, -4, 16 PIM, approx 6 mins/game, 10 games)
    Has had ONE good game all season… that Ottawa game when he looked like Mike Peluso and choked a bitch OUT with that body check… aside of that… he hits marginally, he fights once in a blue moon, he adds no offense and skates like a seven year old boy in his first hockey camp…. And if I want that level of unreliability in my life I can BBM her and ask for that level of ineptitude I don’t need it on the ice!! YOU FAIL SIR!
    Grade: F

    Defense:
    #6: Andy Greene (2g, 7a, +2, approx 28 mins/game)
    OH ANDY!!! My has your legend grown… and I mean even beyond our love for you on facebook (and mine to an unhealthy level :p)….but what can you say… Martin and Oduya go down and you turn into Nick Lidstrom! Power play, penalty kill…. End to end… My Andy does it ALL <3…. He’s worth “coming out of the closet” for… and he’s really been the focus of 90% of the fun on 2man all year long!! THANK YOU ANDY!!! The only thing he’s not done is fix the economy and made international visits easier… but I hear he’s working on it during off-days!
    Grade: A+

    #24 Bryce Salvador (0g, 3a, +4, approx 25 mins/game)
    As good as Andy’s been…. Salvador’s contributions have been just as important and he’s been as essential a player as anyone on this team…. Does everything but the power play, and adding a pinch of offense…but I blame that on Andy too!!! I don’t think you could expect or get any more from him then you’re getting… and it’s what this team badly needed now!
    Grade: A

    #5 Colin White (1g, 2a, +2, approx 20 mins/game)
    He’s been what you expect from him… a bit physical (but staying out the box)…. Plays a lot smarter… making big plays…. And just enough offense to keep ya honest, the best thing you can say about a guy like White is you don’t notice him… and Whitey’s been the good kinda invisible… and I say it again… WHITE POWER!!!
    Grade: A

    #28 Cory Murphy (2g, 1a, -2, approx 9 mins/game, 7 games played)
    OK, he’s not the smoldering bag of AIDS we portrayed him as…. But THEY SAT ANDY FOR HIM!! There is a price to pay for that goddamit!!!!! He got better his second time around and the “if Murphy scores a pp goal then Rob has to buy Anna a Murphy jersey” bit was totally golden and may have saved him in our cranky, bitter eyes! Sit not a top 6 D on any real team… least we know we can spot him from time to time and not have to hide in the corner as much anymore and save the bad pp offense for our own Lord Krang…..Still that all aside, I’d not cry if he doesn’t play a game more in the NHL this year
    Grade: C

    #27 Mike Mottau (1g, 1a, +5, approx 25 mins/game)
    Solid, steady… and reliable… in a year of so much scramble and disjoint all around it’s nice to know Mottau’s been fairly reliable and you don’t worry about him in the ice shift after shift… and in a season when the top 4 has morphed into Greene, Salvador, White and Mottau you NEED nig minutes from all of them… he’s certainly held up his end!!
    Grade: A

    #2 Mark Fraser (no points, +1, approx 13 mins/game)
    One good sign for Fraser was that his minutes were going UP by month’s end, which means the coaches felt better and more secure in putting him out there…. He’s still the first guy sent down when this team is at full strength, but he’s been pretty good in his second stint with the team and you don’t want to crawl and hide in the “Murphy” position when he’s been on the ice, I wish the Devils tracked hits on their site, I think he’d have a few… but he’s been not a liability on the ice and that’s really all you can ask from him, a nice solid depth defenseman on a team that needs some extra good bodies this year….
    Grade: B-

    Incompletes:
    #21 Rob Niedermayer (1 game played in November)
    #20 Jay Pandolfo (DNP in November)
    #7 Paul Martin (DNP in November)
    #28 Tyler Eckford (0g, 1a, approx 7 mins/game, 3 games in November)
    #29 Johnny Oduya (DNP in November)
    #22 Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (1 game in November)
    #32 Matthew Corrente (no points, even, approx 10 mins/game, 4 games in November)

    Nothing really much to say about these guys, though I think Eckford and Corrente can play in this league and it still sucks that PL^3 is below Peters on the goon chart…..

    Goalies:
    #30 mb30 (8-3, 18 goals allowed, 94 sv %, 1.63 approx gaa)
    WOW… damn.. mid-season form… I’ll admit it… he’s been good… and he’s also mister one goal allowed a game… it’s like that wide receiver who gets tackled at the one all the time almost (then again, I don’t care about the shutout record and I found the minutes played record almost a reward for all the seasons he’s played too many game)… and I’m not gonna go crazy kissing his ass til he does some shit in the playoffs… sorry that’s just me and I won’t let my still displeasure totally blind me (and ok it helps that I made up with the person who’s fail his reminded me of but whatever :p)….all bets are off when income taxes are paid… but till then… he’s been good… I’ll deal :p
    Grade: A

    #35 Yann Danis (2 games, 1-0, 3.00 gaa, 87.8%)
    As always the backup goalie is so hard to judge…. I mean yeah he got pulled in his only second appearance in the month, but those goals were HARDLY his fault (two deflections and a ridiculous bounce that came in front and got stuffed home…. I don’t think anyone was stopping THOSE)…it’s hard an unfair to judge the guy in that little time… but I’ll play Meatloaf here and say two outta three ain’t bad on the season…
    Grade: B

    Coaching Staff:
    What can you say that I didn’t in the intro?? You can point to Lemaire, Stevens, et company… and see the improvements in Bergfors, Zajac, Greene, Salvador, Fraser, Clarkson… even rookies like Eckford, Corrente and Zharkov can step in and not be 3 minutes a game fodder…even the vets like Langenbrunner are thriving in this new system and Jacques even seems to have Rolston and Zubrus on the right track and all this with HALF THE TEAM on injured reserve… what the hell else can be said?? WE WERE WRONG JACQUES AND WE’RE SORRIE!!!!
    Grade: A+

    Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Island-ddeeerrrrrssss, Nov 28, 2009

    Well that was hardly a contest was it??? Still it’s nice to pound a team like cheap veal that is one, right??? Fret not Islander fans… they should be Kansas City’s problem soon!! Not much time here since we’re going to MSG to see the BU/Cornell game (hey I got it right!) in like an hour… so gotta rip this out!!

    The Good:
    — ROD PELLEY… he’s ANGRY!!! and INTENSE!!! And he’s GONNA PUNCH A BITCH (or is it “Choke a Bitch” I get my hangups confused) but damn he played ANGRY and that fight was most excellent… maybe there’s hope for ya yet Hot-Rod (no matter how much Rob hates you!!)
    — Brian Rolston!! Welcome to the scoresheet… though please… NEVER again do the Lord Krang OMG I SCORED FOR REAL dance of shock ever again!!
    — WE SCORED ON A FIVE ON THREE!!!!!!!! Our namesake is restored!!! And I loved the families RUNNING for the door before another “FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN” ensued!!!! 🙂
    — Bryce Salvador…. 26 minutes… plus 2 and the job of playing with the young guys to give them confidence.. helluva job Bryce!!!!
    — it’s hard on a game like this where just about EVERYONE played good (after of the first period which was gross)… and not a bad effort was to be seen aside of the stiffs who see 4 and 7 minutes of “quality” ice time….so well done for everyone else!!!!

    The Bad:
    — Matt Halischuk had a pretty good game.. but he had one shift of FAIL I need to bring up again…he gets an empty net (being in perfect position off the Pelley rebound shot) and HITS THE POST CLEAN *ugh*, then falls over trying to hit someone at the Islander blue line trying to come back on defense… d’ohhhhhh
    — Taking 5 penalties on the Islanders?? Really?? I guess the pk needed the practice… but cmon guys… a little sloppy!!!
    — Well despite his two points and his +2… it really seemed like Langenbrunner was kinda… sucky out there (no this is not to annoy Kristin or however she spells it :p)… and still he should give those points to Halischuk!
    — HOW THE HELL ARE YOU A MINUS ONE in a game like this?? Oh yeah… you’re Andrew Peters and the Pikachu… BRING BACK SESTITO!!!!!
    — We’re so depleted now that the Rod Pelley bomb that Biron snagged actually looked impressive too…. oiii
    — It was good to get Zharkov his NHL debut and the youth is exciting…. but I can’t remember not noticing a guy who had 5 shots like he did…..

    The Funny:
    — the two best signs from warm-ups:
    ** Greene is better then orange ?
    ** And DIE GOMEZ DIE!!!!!
    (Someone is confused on opponent :p)
    — Also from warm-ups we learned that Nic Bergfors HATES KIDS… he fired a head hunter over the boards (almost) that looked intended for some puck-wanting kids in the front row!!!
    — Guy in DiPietro jersey walks in to 209… looks around… and sits in the first row… guess the bad hip is contagious and doesn’t let ya up the steps eh??
    — That poor kid who had to do that name the song contest….. First of all she’s in a pink jersey (bad enough, WEAR THE TEAM COLORS!!!!), she’s like eight, and then they make her name “single ladies” (really not a song to be rocking to at 8 years old… well unless you’re 28 and still act it…)…and then they give her a gift pack that weighs 800 pounds…cmonnn!!! How the hell was that lil girl gonna carry it???
    — the YOU LOVE CHEAP MEAT chant for anyone who bought dollar hot dogs has to be HEARD to really understood and laughed at people… sorry… but I tried!
    — The best save of the night… was by ME…one of the 209ers was tossing free hot dogs… the guy behind me had two beers in hand and couldn’t hold on to it… it bounced off him and flew past me… *snap-GLOVE SAVE and cover*… I got skills yo!
    — A first ever hat trick within ONE POST… as I was typing….
    And its three …one….new jersey!!!!! (Elias[2-pp… fuck you sam rosen!] (Rolston, Zajac) {10:30} )
    …oops no it aint, 4 – 1!!! (Parise[15]…aahhhhh (Greene… ANDY!!!, Langenbrunner… still sucked today :p) {11:54}
    Wow, 5 – 1…. Will I ever finish this post?? :p (Rolston[8] (Mottau, Bergfors) {12:32} )
    The best two minutes you will ever have fully dressed 🙂
    — After the fifth goal the section breaks out a BIRON SUCKS chant… 30 seconds into the chant he starts taking to the bench mopig the entire way… the whole timing and the visual of the “skate of shame”… most awesome!
    The Almost-going-way-too-far with the Andy Greene Stuff:
    — Seems EVERYONE had something to say with Andy Greene’s assist being STOLEN on the disallowed goal on replay….and they all knew I was gonna take it personally…..

    ** Josh Burnett: Whether it was in or not, you do not tell Andy Greene he has a goal then take it away. Andy Greene does not appreciate such antics.
    ** Deanna Over: Get some lavender candles and some eucalyptus massage oil for later tonight. Perhaps a strong bottle of red, as well. You can only hope he forgets, and it’s your womanly duty to help him along that path.

    — And of course Andy gets one that NO ONE can take away… and…..
    ** Josh Burnett: Devils goal his 15th of the season scored by number 9, ZAAAAACH PAAARIIISSSEEEE (cue high-pitched tween girl screams)
    Assisted by number 6, AAAAANDDYYYY GREEEENEEEE (cue high-pitched Mackie screams)

    One more home game then it’s BUFFALO BOUND!!! Hope the lil bloggers up North are ready!!!!!!! 🙂