COMMENTRANTY: Uh, what the hell was that?

Wow.

WE'RE MAD AT YOU, VANCOUVER!I don’t think any of us were quite expecting that. The close up of Brent Sutter mumbling to himself constantly shown in the latter stages of last night’s 5-0 whipping at the hands of our Vancouver counterparts said it all. Blame it on the long flight or the bad bounces if you want, but sometime during the second period our boys just quit.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, I’m worried. Never have I felt as uneasy when a team I supported was in first place. Well there was the Mets sometime in September, but that’s a whole different train wreck.

I’m dealing with that. My therapist says I’m making progress. Things are good.

But these Devils are an enigma. We sit atop a division that’s likely the most competitive in the league, yet we’ve been shut out in 20 percent of our games. We’ve dominated plenty of playoff-caliber teams, but have been trampled by the league’s worst. On several occasions this fall, I’ve sat before my TV and proclaimed both that these Devils are unstoppable and that they need to be dismantled to start anew, sometimes in the same game.

And since when has taking bench minors during power plays become en vogue?! You’re already on a power play! So what if you didn’t get a call!

Holy rehab Batman!Serenity now.

I just can’t figure it out.

You can analyze their game top to bottom, point out strengths and flaws until the cows come home, but you’ll just end up making yourself crazier than Amy Winehouse. At times they look as though they’re forging new frontiers in science with the chemistry they have. But in games like last night’s and the drumming we took from Phoenix last weekend, they look like they haven’t met.

“Patrik, Meet Zach and Brian. Zach, Brian, meet Patrik.”
“You guys like hockey too? Rad!”

It just seems like some days the boys come to play and some days they don’t. I’m sure the Devils are currently working through their 345th sprint drill, so hopefully that gives Scowlin’ Sutter some time to figure out what the eff happens to his team between these night and day performances.

Because come playoff time if we’ve been shut out 17 times like we’re on pace to be, we won’t last. Hell, with a stat like that, we might not even make it. And you know what? We wouldn’t deserve to.


RANT: Something, anything – just stop the bleeding!

Someone's angry!After blowing lavish amounts of money to watch some of the greatest suck-fests in recent Devils history, I just can’t stand to watch the team I adore so much continue to put forth such piss-poor efforts. Players stuck in slumps that have carried over from last year, an inability to develop chemistry, and a no-excuse lack of effort have me feeling such a strange combination of blind rage and indigestion.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what compels this team to just flat out eat it seemingly every night. What happened to the Devils that struck fear in the eyes of the whole league? Don’t gimme that Rafalski/Gomez crock pot. I mean, the talent is there, it’s just not clicking or being used anywhere near its potential. As true as it may be that the team is not even close to giving 100% 75% 50% every night, it could have a little something to do with a certain head coach shuffling up the lines every odd-numbered shift. It seems that if the boys go consecutive shifts without scoring a goal (God forbid!!) Brent is going to mix things up worse than an inebriated dyslexic with a speech impediment — and the result has the players looking like so.

Here’s a dream of mine come true:

ME: (to Brent Sutter after 2-1 loss to Islanders) Hey, Brent – you do know it takes chemistry to win hockey games, correct?

BRENT: Well of course I do, I’m a two-time Stanley Cup champion and I’ve been coaching juniors for years.

ME: Ok, so… STOP ____ING WITH THE LINES!!

Frowns.BRENT: It’s Elias’ fault.

…speaking of overpaid and underachieving “all-stars” — Patrik Elias, what in green hell is your problem? You have had your head so far up your hep-free ass this year, you’re turning into the NHL equivalent of Adrian Foster. Brother, you seriously need to up your game, spend a month or two at hockey-schwitz , or just dye your hair a different color — this under-producing madness needs to stop. You’ve gone from single-handedly dismantling the New York Rangers playoff run not even 2 years prior, to making Keith Tkachuk seem like a reasonable trade option.

As a fan, there is nothing harder to swallow (my cooking aside) than having to watch your team not even come out of the locker room for a game. Much to the dismay of the Black ‘n Red faithful, that’s become a nightly chore. It’s one thing to have to deal with a team that just flat-out doesn’t have the talent or the needed resources to win hockey games and be successful.

...not so calm and collected.But when your roster boasts names like Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta, Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, and Dainius Zubrus – throw a name like MARTIN BRODEUR into that mix and there is no reason why the New Jersey Devils should be sitting laying, bleeding at 6-8-2, good for dead last in the Atlantic Division.

The Devils have picked a horrible time to continue their woes as they are doing nothing but burying themselves early on by continually failing to even show up for games against Atlantic Division rivals. I guess winning really does get old, eh guys?

Something needs to be done to turn this season around. Points in November are just as important as those in April, but that memo must’ve hit the Junk Mail folder of the Devils collective mailbox.

Attention Devils: STOP SUCKING

Stop making the logo sad, boys.My apologies to those who swung by 2MA land looking for a livecap of tonight’s game. But after hearing the final score (5-0 Penguins), do you really want to know the messy details?

I didn’t think so.

It’s been a long time since the team played so badly that I could honestly say I was embarrassed to be a Devils fan, but this game did it. There is no other way to put tonight’s loss – it was just plain EMBARRASSING. Eight shots in the last two periods? Four goals in the last three games, and one in the last two? Waiving Richard Matvichuk and playing Sheldon Brookbank? Clearly this is a team in disarray.

I’ve always been confident that this Devils team will always be good. I’m not nearly as confident right now. I want to believe this team can get better, but the defense quite frankly sucks. When your second defensive pairing is Oduya and Mottau, there’s a problem. The offense will come around – we’ve seen flashes of it in the 6-5 Atlanta game and the Halloween 6-1 drubbing of Tampa – but the defense, as currently constituted, simply cannot get the job done.

There’s one other thing about this team that scares me. This Devils team has no heart. None. They are an engine without a sparkplug. Whether you like him or not (and I’m assuming 99.9% of those reading are of the latter), Sean Avery makes the Rangers better by…well, by being Sean Avery. We don’t have that. We have a team comprised of some big guys who can hit but not often enough, guys who can fight but not well enough, and guys who can inspire but do nothing inspiring enough.

Garbage.So what to do? Well, I don’t have that answer. But leaving tonight’s game, I saw a man who should. Y’see, to avoid the crush of dejected Devils fans heading down the escalator, I took the stairs. As we hit the Suite Level 1 area, who should burst through the doors along with a small posse of men in suits but Mr. Lou himself. He didn’t look too happy, to say the very least.

It’s funny, but seeing Lou visibly annoyed made me calmer. I believe Lou will make everything all right. I believe that this team will ultimately pull together, or will get the parts needed to not suck anymore. Or at least the Kool-Aid tells me so.

So while I down another pitcher of water and artificial sweeteners, I have only one request of the Devils: Stop sucking. Please.

PATRICIA SAYS: Hey guys, sorry for no live-cap last night. I was severely under the weather, I didn’t even catch the game myself…which, apparently, was a good thing. We’ll be back for live-cap goodness on Thursday!

COMMENTRANTY: Complete shocker, Avery opens his mouth!

Well it seems as if this rivalry has taken yet another turn! See what had happened was, prior to the Devils’ second meeting of the season with the Rangers Sunday night, Wuss Avery had a few words for some of our boys in Red. These words can be seen here. (link opens in new window)

Now, heating up an opponent before a game is all gravy and biscuits… but enough is enough! Avery, it’s time for you to STFU!!!

Marty wins!For a player who’s never been an all-star, never won an award, has one cup freeloaded from the Red Wings, and has never led the league in anything more than penalty minutes, what right do you have to bash the #1 goaltender in the world? The modern day Jesus Christ! You’d have to wake up very early in the morning for many years, learn how to fly, and you still will not be at an acceptable level to criticize Marty for anything. ANYTHING!

My best guess is, you’re jealous. Jealous that you will never have the skill Parise or Clarkson has. Why not pick on someone your own size else? Colin White for example? (link opens in new window)

Sean, you may have made it to a professional level, but just like Sidney Crosby in college, you got no class!

COMMENTRANTY: The Long Trek & The Pessimist’s Reaction

Plus one in OT!So this is how it stands: one big game left on the record-setting road trip and the Devils are 3-4-1, collecting seven of a possible 16 points thus far, with two more big ones up for grabs Thursday night. If you have anything to do with the Devils — from Lou Lamoriello to the losers who just blog about them (wait…) — you can’t be thrilled with those numbers. So much fuss is being made league-wide about the Devils poor play as of late. In a way, it’s flattering.

The Devils have long been a team that is synonymous with winning and success. So naturally, when it is discovered that the team is sub-.500 only eight games deep, fans across the league can’t help but start gossiping. There have been rumbling tirades that “Brodeur is finally on the decline” and that it’s “impossible to replace Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski,” even one absurd comment that “Brodeur is being exposed for the fraud he is – no defensive system = no W’s for Marty and the Devils.”

Um, is there maybe a slight inkling of a possibility that maybe, just maybe it’s nothing more than…a poor start? It’s no secret that most hockey fans are quite the apocalyptics (is that even a word?), but this is borderline ludicrous. It really burns my ass that there are people writing this team off as a failure this early in the season. Does anyone realize that the Devils are the only team league-wide yet to play a home game? To be honest, there’s much more to laugh about just across the river.

It's gonna be okay.I am in no way making excuses for, or justifying the sub-par record the Devils have established, but I am not maiming this team just yet. The Devils offense has displayed some dangerous talent and a serious will to fight for every single loose puck throughout the course of a game. The defense has made steady progress – keeping in mind they’re short one mighty anger-riddled enforcer. Brodeur has not played well, but you cannot expect that to continue. Even during his darkest games this year, he has showed signs of brilliance. A bit confusing, yes, but promising nonetheless.

So take the past and put it behind you. There is one game left on this hellacious trip. Thursday night’s contest between the River-rival Rangers will be the biggest game of the young season for Black ‘n Red. A win over the hated rivals would breathe a whole new life into the team, as well as give them the opportunity to greet their hometown fans for the first time with a somewhat-respectable record to boot.

I cannot assure you that the team will turn it around and post another 100+ point season, nor can I assure you they will even make the playoffs — but I can tell you this: this is the New Jersey Devils we are talking about. Feel free to write this team off all you’d like, but it would be foolish to make such asinine assumptions.

Worthy of a Rant

*DISCLAIMER*: Everyone tune up your sarcasm meters and suck on some salt.  Hear me out, here.

.I can’t take it anymore.  I just can’t stomach this kind of hockey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  This is not the New Jersey Devils team that we watched during the regular season. Tonight’s game was nothing short of nauseating to watch. 

As far as Game 4 is concerned, my particular gripe is with Colin White and Captain Patrik Elias, who seems to have never figured out how to unlock the safety control on his stick that will allow him to actually shoot the damn puck.  Don’t throw that “Emery has been great” garbage at me.  It’s disgusting.  ‘Rayzor’ gives up a 9,000-foot rebound on EVERY shot that New Jersey takes, yet there is not a forward to be found within 15 feet of his crease.  It’s an Ottawa blessing that the Devils offense is so laid back.  Patrik Elias has a wonderful opportunity from just inside the hashmarks with Emery scrambling to get back to his feet, and he forces a pass to a completely covered Scott Gomez.  Unreal.  You better start hanging out with Paul Martin, Patrik, he could show you a thing or two.  Oh, and that crafty little stop, pull-up, wrist-shot move… lame.  It doesn’t work.  Just ask Jeff Friesen.

Colin White’s “ho-hum, I have all day” mentality has gotten old and gotten old quick.  He nonchalantly carries the puck around his zone, gets knocked off the play, and then the self-control goes out the window and he takes a stupid penalty.  How many times has that happened?  I can’t count that high.  Good thing we locked this guy up long-term. 

I’m not going to start venting about Martin Brodeur.  The guy has kept us alive obviously a lot longer than the team should be, but Marty, you better start caring about those horrid goals that are finding their way through you.  Seriously, hug the post, man.  Another one of those and our season is over.  If this is how the playoffs are going to look with you playing seventy-two million minutes a season, then I think a change is in order.

The envelope is open, but the winner hasn’t been announced just yet.  It’s going to take 3 solid, textbook New Jersey Devils hockey games to win this series.  Of course I have the faith, but please forgive me if it’s dwindling rapidly.

 

I need to [email protected]

You know what time it is!It’s apparent the Ottawa Sun hates us. No worries, really. I otherwise would not care very much about what some bitter Canadian columnist had to say about the Devils, but Mr. Earl McRae takes the oh-so-delicious cake.

THIS (link opens in new window) is what I’m referring to, folks.

So, apparently, New Jerseyans are two crayons shy of an empty box.

Reeeeeeeeeally?

I’m gonna have to RANT ’bout this one!

WARNING: THIS RANT CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND IMAGERY. CONTINUE IF YOU ARE A PERVERT…JAY-KAY ABOUT THE PERVERT PART. CLICKY THE MORE TO READ THE FUN STUFF: [Read more…]

Pardon me.

Gosh darnit.I hate when hockey fans turn into assholes.

Seriously, guys, get over it. Your team lost. What, you’re all pissy because King Henrik finally faultered in the shootout, so you think you have the right to go and physically assault a rival fan?

Messed up, I’ll tell you what.

We’re all hockey fans here. Rivalries are great and all, but there’s no need to verbally and physically attack a fellow hockey fan. That’s just lame.

Time to get something off my chest

RANT!!!It’s always fun beating the New York Rangers.

It’s also always fun being in first place. Watch out Buffalo!

So, I’d like to start with a shoutout to our friends over at the Battle of New York blog. Seems like the latest Devils triumph has caused quite the stir over there, with Rangers fans crying fowl, Devils fans crying victory, and Islanders fans…well, just crying. Sorry Long Island, you guys really kinda suck right now.

After taking a gander at some of the latest musings over there and then venturing over to our other friends NJDevs.com, I must say, I’m pretty shocked. Little did I think that last night’s affair would have caused SO much controversy. Gee folks, give credit where credit is due! I, for one, think King Henrik had a solid game and I’d also like to pat Jed Ortmeyer on the back for his plaWho is the king now, bitches?y, but it really does stop there. Jagr gave up on the game (what else is new?), Shany-han really didn’t have that much of a presence (well, not enough for me to notice at least), and, well, on the flipside, MVP Marty simply shined. He made his big saves, and he benefitted from the solid play of the stacked six in front of him. No less, the Devils are still playing without Johnny Oduya and Richard Matvichuk, while Whitey has only JUST made his return to the ice himself. Cut us some slack! …or if not, at least realize that, hey, we’re not playing with the likes of Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer anymore. We’re damn proud of our defense, even if not elite, and they’re getting the job done. Marty is also getting the job done. The offense is somewhat getting the job done. We might not have the most lethal offense in the world, so when we’re only scoring one or two goals a game, we need to find a way to shut down the opposition, whether it be in a trap-like manner or not. Who cares if it’s boring. It’s a win, and we’re winning. A lot. So poo on you.

Whew.