Thoughts from Sun Tavern (yes i do have a home :p): Devils at Flames: 3/5/2010

Well I’ve been wanting to fool with doing one of these off my blackberry, and if you’re gonna test something you try it before you go live at a devils game right?? And few people in life do I hold a bigger grudge for turning chicken shit and running for the hills more then coach prune-face….so let’s bring the hate and watch Brent Sutter perfect the art of choke-coaching and do it in the regular season!!!

And this game has even more meaning tonight, and yeah this story will take a bit to get to properly but here goes: as some of you know I have a zero-type relationship with my father, long story I ain’t looking for pity, it doesn’t give me a reason for anything in my life and it hasn’t turned me into any kinda headcase….but anyway, my sister found him and he found me and in the process I am getting to know my two half-brothers and two half-sisters and its been good….so in that process I was talking and hounding the oldest about watching some olympic hockey, and finally she caved and watched the 3rd period of the gold medal game….and when parise scored she was like, who was THAT?? I’m like oh he’s one of ours and she goes back, you have season tickets right?? Now three of the four are watching tonight 🙂

  • First Period
  • — Nice touch having free falling on for one of the old Scott Stevens light em up hits!!
    — Kovy down in the corner but as he gets up we resort to Ivan Drago type lines for him declaring revenge on svatos!!
    “Brent, I must break you!!”
    –I kinda wish we still had bergfors for tonight so he could score flip off Sutter and yell fuck you and your 45 seconds of ice time ball bag!!!!!! ….though Andy could do the same here!!!

    (1-0) Parise[29] (Langenbrunner, Greene) {13:37}
    Oh andy you’re back!! ….nice play at the point to keep turn and shoot, Langenbrunner in front tips it
    but kicks it over the net…and its ahhhhhh Parise!! Rebound, scwar!!!

    — all in all a fun first period, very high tempo, and it was nice to see Brian Rolston play like he gave a fuck and a half tonight (even drawing a penalty!!)

  • Second Period
  • — second period, not so good a start :p

    (1-1) Langkow[12] (Higgins, Kotalik) {1:43}
    Wow white and Mottau on for a goal against?? Just for you Brent! Higgins
    behind the net….cycles in front….Mottau doesn’t and Langkow spin-a-roonies
    it past mb30 (not his fault)

    – we’re halfway t where we want ’em now, get them up 2-1 with 90 seconds left and we’re GOLD!!
    — so Staios can pile drive kovy into the boards, but they call him on the reacharound?? CMON!!
    — hrrmm, kipper’s pads look bigger, compensating for an American beat down, fuck yea!!
    — well our guy didn’t do too well on the US either…

    (2-1, Cgy) Glencross [15-sh] (none) {5:41}
    Man Kovy got owned at the point and had a breakaway so clean
    he could map 50 ways to score on mb30 on this one and he owned
    him like a blonde drunk with a keg of Coors light!!
    (clearly the turning point of the night)

    — got ’em right where we want ’em kids!! Now we wait!!!
    — clarkson fights for the Clark-a-like behind the bar!!! Two punches a take down and stunner!!!! Now give Sutter double digits!!!!
    — me “dammit kovy you owe us one for the oopsie before”….ten seconds later rob texts “kovy owes us one eh?”
    — man the flames are all over the front of the net, when did Brent learn coaching 101??
    — umm, 15 years of recaps and I’m stunned….

    (3-1) Nystrom[7] (none) {16:04}
    Canada’s favorite punching bag makes a nice poke check to stop the puck,
    has it with his glove but loses his balance and moves, exposing the puck and
    hellllooo empty netter, feeling our age are we mb??

    — wow, they quit on Sutter this time, irony ….least that period is over!!

  • Third Period
  • — things went ok in the third, but not for long…

    (4-1) Stajan[19] (Bourque, Iginla) {9:29}
    Flames not getting much preesure but it only takes one shift….
    Bourque rips a nice shot that mb gets the shoulder on but the
    rebound was beefier and this one’s DONE….

    — seems goalie interference doesn’t exist anymore

    (5-1) Moss[8] (Hagman, Backlund) {10:02}
    Moss all but puts his junk in mb’s mouth while totalling
    busting into the crease, gets the rebound and holy shit….
    Least this goal is Bob Backlund approved, eh?

    — well least Clarkson whipped some ass, to think I almost went to this :p
    — speaking of blowing even a Brent Sutter team can’t blow this!
    — well I guess we can make em squirm…

    (5-2) Parise[30-pp] (Langenbrunner, Zajac) {16:08}
    Heh, seem familiar kipper??? Parise the long pass across to
    Langs who bombs it, unlike in a Finn jersey, Kipper stops it
    but beefy rebound du jour is there for Zach to tip home…aahhh??

    — well it IS Brent Sutter!!

    (5-3) Kovalchuk[34] (Elias, Zubrus) {17:26}
    Well I was about to say if they get one here they can make em sweat….and Kovy walks over the line…shot…squeaks….through…Kipper and stops just over the goal line!!!

    — make em sweat fuckers!!!!
    — and our best goalie’s in there….empty net!! But it was not meant to be….oh well, they did make it interesting at least…..

    (well unless anyone wants to guest host the Oilers game…. no more recaps till the Wednesday Ranger game… but i’ll try to pop up something to give some kind of discussion on the board…. wanna keep the place active after all!!!)

    Lou Lamoriello is awesome.

    Brent Sutter is not.

    F&!$ it, I’m pressing it.

    Angry?  Yep.

    Embarrassed?  You betcha.

    Scared?  Try friggin’ petrified.

    Thanks, Devils.  Just thanks.

    I’d love to give some sort of insight, but I’ve missed the last few games (night classes – a curse and a blessing, apparently).  I’m kind of happy I didn’t see anything but the last three minutes of tonight’s game.

    Scratch that, I’m kind of mad I subjected myself to the last three minutes, knowing full well what the score was.

    Sigh.

    This team was supposed to be too good for the annual March swoon.  Too many veterans, too many guys who know how to win, all of that.  What the hell is happening, then?

    The part that annoys/frustrates/scares me the most is the clear parallel between last year’s late-season falter and this year’s.  See:  Big losing streak, lack of goal scoring, disappearance of defense, big ass-whuppin’ from the Penguins.  My poor heart won’t be able to take losing to the Rangers in round one of the playoffs again.

    Speaking of the playoffs, you realize they haven’t won a single game since clinching a playoff spot, right?  A playoff spot that was clinched on a day off, with another team losing, rather than on the ice with the Devils winning.

    This is no way to go into the playoffs.  Things have to be turned around, and it rests on two men:  Brent Sutter and Jamie Langenbrunner.

    Brent Sutter is at least making the appearance of trying.  Being pissy about the Rangers loss, being pissy about Patrik Elias not playing tonight, freaking out at the end of the second period tonight (or so I’m told).  The man’s showing more pulse than he has in two years with this team.  But you do have to wonder if he knows what to do to get this team in playoff mode.  Once is an abberation, twice is the beginning of a pattern.  In this case, a very frightening pattern.

    But what of Captainbrunner?  Now’s his chance to really make his salt as a captain, to really show what he’s made of.  You hear me, Jamie?  TAKE CONTROL.  Jamie Langenbrunner is not Scott Stevens, nor should he try to be – however, it’s time for the current captain to truly and finally make this team his, the way the teams of the 90s and early 2000s were truly Scotty’s.

    After all, if the captain can’t step it up in a time of crisis, how can we expect anyone else to?

    MARTY’S BETTER!

    This is it children.  It’s been a long time.  Painfully long.  I think I speak for most Devil fans when I say, I’ve been counting down the days.  Waiting, hoping, wishing.  And now the day is finally upon us.  The man is back on the ice.  The myth.  The one simply known as Martin.

    Yes gang, Paul Martin returns to the ice for New Jersey tonight when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at the Rock, after missing four games with an undisclosed “upper body injury.”  Wait, what? …You thought I was talking about someone else?

    Oh, right, Martin Brodeur’s back tonight too.  Man, sucks to be Paul Martin, huh?

    Tonight’s game will actually be the first since mid-OCTOBER that the Devils can say that they’ve had a full, 100% injury-free lineup.  Brendan Shanahan and Bryce Salvador will both be in the lineup after obtaining numerous owies over the course of the recent woebegotten roadtrip that we will now forget ever happened.  I guess Florida, Tampa, and Islander players just don’t like B.S. (get it?).

    So, with a full lineup, some people are going to have to make their way over to the healthy scratch list, and surprisingly, Jay Pandolfo ain’t one of ‘em!  Super Jay’s in tonight’s lineup.  In his place in the press box is a (presumably) not-very-happy Mike Rupp.  Jay Leach also sits tonight.  Anssi Salmela was sent back to Lowell the other day with Mr. Scott Clemmensen, who may or may not have seen his last days in a Devils sweater this season – we’ll know the answer to that a little better in about six days.

    So with Marty back, the biggest question, of course, is “is he ready?”  Judging from his responses in various interviews over the last few days, I’d have to say that he is.  I would hope he, Brent Sutter, Lou, and everyone involved in the organization realize that he’s coming off major surgery and the first extended injury break of his career and that caution is the key.  I don’t think they’d be stupid enough to allow Marty to dictate when he returns, which makes me feel that yes, he’s ready for NHL-level action today.

    Once he’s back, Marty may want to play every day, but it will be imperative that Weekes (and maybe Clemmensen) get some time in to spell #30.  The first test of that will be this weekend, two games against teams in the thick of the playoff race on back-to-back AFTERNOONS.  If Marty plays both of them, I may pop a blood vessel in my frontal lobe.  Kevin Weekes should be playing Saturday, period, and with apologies to those who bought tickets already.

    But, that’s another worry for another day.  Tonight, we sit back and enjoy the return of a Hall-of-Famer.  The timing couldn’t be better to get his feet wet, either:  Four days off before this game, against the worst team in the Western Conference.  The Avalanche, while still in the playoff race out west – it’s rather bunched up at the bottom of the conference – are also coming into New Jersey in the midst of a ridiculously long road trip.  Marty should be getting a cupcake team tonight to start his big return (no fat jokes, please).

    As a programming note, for those who can’t be there tonight, the MSG network was kind enough to switch this game from MSG+2 to regular old MSG+.  You know what this means – HIGH DEF HOCKEY!  Sucks if you’re an Islander fan tonight.  As usual.

    And of course, when one comes back, you lose another.  We’ll miss you ’round these parts, Patty.  Hopefully you’ll be around enough to lend some incite from the land of thick pizza and funny shaped buildings.  Also, I love the full circle-ness of your two big posts this season, covering Marty’s injury in the days after it happened, and now saying goodbye the day he comes back.  Well played, Miss Greuter, well played.  I think I speak for myself, Joe, Steve, Scott and 2MA fans worldwide when I say, this place just won’t be quite the same without ya.  Godspeed in the Windy City P!

    Time For A Rebound

    Sure a loss is a loss — but hey, last night wasn’t that bad. The boys exuded a strong effort in Mo-town and aside from a few unlucky bounces, gave Detroit a bit of a scare. I’d be lying to you if I said I expected much better than what I saw last night.

    It’s also a sigh of relief that both Salvador & Gionta are doing fine after they left with injuries last night. Although you never know, both of them could be in a coma at the moment. I guess you never do know until game time.

    Speaking of game time, it’s almost that time again. Nothing like a weekend turnaround!

    The biggest question going into tonight lies between the pipes for New Jersey. Brent Sutter spoke to the tune that he hasn’t made up his mind as to whether Kevin Weekes or Scott Clemmensen will get the nod for the Devils tonight.

    If I may issue a humble statement… Kevin Weekes should — absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, play tonight. (Which probably means he won’t.)

    If Weekes is going to be our go-to guy for the remainder of Brodeur’s absence, you have to trust him with the grinds of a season, especially on these back-to-back showdowns. I don’t care if both games are against Western Conference opposition. The man needs to play, sweat off the rust, and feel like he really is the #1 guy — interim or not. If you sit him tonight, you deny him an opportunity at a bounce-back game after a tough loss and send him in cold against the Rangers on Wednesday. Wonderful confidence booster, no?

    I could go on for hours and hours about this but the point remains the same. Weekes is our number-one now, and he needs to be treated as such. It’s too early to sit the guy, especially when your other option is Scott Clemmensen. (Sorry, Patricia.)

    With that being said, the boys in front of him need to execute the same game plan they did last night — lots of pucks to the net and be a little more responsible defensively.

    Oh, and Patrik — seriously? I mean… really?! You owe us tonight.

    ==============

    COME SAY HI! Josh and I will be in attendance tonight — section 120 (Josh) and I’ll be in section 119 Row 6. Oh, and Scott, too. But you can hang out on the concourse and pass him Gatorade cups as he goes whizzing by you.

    Shouldn’t be hard to find us, we’ll probably be the only ones there.

    Devils/Leafs… Thoughts from Section 209

    Well seems I’m the only one here who watched this fiasco…. so let me get to it…. but gotta save some stuff for the Month In Review coming soon to a website near you!

    But where to start on this one….

    — I have issues with Brent Sutter… but I’ll get to those probably Friday Night (depending on how nasty work gets to me)
    — Jamie Langenbrunner looks trapped in concrete on ice, and really should NOT have played… forget about having major ice time in the third period… don’t tell me about chasing points in October and WE LOST ANYWAY… let him get HEALTHY (not to mention it’s a dick move to call up Berfgors and let him sit in the XL-4000 Luxury Easy Chair once reserved for Kevin Dean, the all time king of healthy scratches)
    — we call up Halishuk and he looks good… plays with energy and keeps up on the Madden line… and he SITS in the 3rd period… oops…I’m Sutter foreshadowing…..
    — poor Gio… stuff that puck into Toskala a hundred times more would ya?? Thankfully the Zub-a-roonie saved the day
    — this team went into a shell at 2-0… then blew the lead… Clarkson with the best fight of his career wakes them up… they take the lead… and go into a shell… and blow it AGAIN, this team can’t sit on a lead in the THIRD PERIOD… STOP TRYING IN THE FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (go with what is WORKING)
    — Toronto worked their BALLS OFF, and frankly deserved to win this game… Ron Wilson.. you can coach my team any day sir!
    — ANDY GREENE… there is no stopping you my man!!! (he’s even made Mottau look better)
    — Marty, you looked tired and uninterested…. I know it will never happen… you want to light a fire on this team and send a message.. “Kevin… you’re up Saturday”… watch this team respond!
    — Power play.. AWFUL (why are the grinders on the outside and the play-makers like Elias and Parise standing in front… HELLO)… penalty killing… WORSE… geesh

    there was not alot to be happy about here… and for a team at 5-2-2, there’s a LOT to not be happy about…..

    more to come in the next few days!!!

    (oh good I can edit this :p)

    also:
    — Luke Schenn… sounds like a Mortal Kombat fighter!!
    — Faceoffs were AWFUL.. yeah the stats say 45%… but I think 90% of those were in the first period… if I use one more percentage I sound like the guy in the NHL Network commerical giving 110% 100% of the time…..

    Devils @ Atlanta LIVECAP

    9:44 PM: Brent Sutter: “Ankle sprain. He’ll be fine.” Uhhhhhh…yeah. Kay. Thanks, Brent, you’ve been quite informative.

    9:41 PM: Alright, so no word on Rolston yet. If they say anything that actually means anything, I’ll post it up here. I’m expecting “lower body injury” (or possibly “head cold”) with no actual idea as to how long he’ll be out. If it’s different, I’ll let you know. If not, goodnight all!

    9:24 PM: And, like the game itself, the first LiveCap of the season is in the books, it wasn’t pretty, but it happened. I’ll stick around a bit longer to see if we get an update on Rolston’s condition, but I’m not holding my breath…

    9:22 PM: GAME! 1-0 Devils. It wasn’t pretty, the offensive production still sucks, the power play still sucks, but it’s a win nonetheless. Marty’s now 10 wins from tying Patrick Roy for most all-time by a goalie (11 from breaking the record), and six shutouts away from tying Terry Sawchuk for most shutouts of all-time., seven from breaking the record.

    9:22 PM: BEAUTIFUL defensive play by Martin to prevent a shot on goal on the rush. Twenty seconds to go.

    9:21 PM: Empty Thrasher net.

    9:17 PM: Ice is tilting Atlanta’s way with two minutes to go. Meep.

    9:15 PM: ANOTHER two-on-one featuring Jay Pandolfo, another non-shot-on-goal. At least no one crashed in a heap into the boards this time, though, so, y’know, take what we can get, yes?

    9:13 PM: No updates on Rolston (what, you expected the Devils would reveal anything ever at any time?), but the replay reminds me a little Sidney Crosby’s crash into the boards last year that resulted in his high ankle sprain. Let’s hope that’s not the case here…

    9:12 PM: Still 1-0, seven minutes to go in the game. Zubrus is now centering Elias and Gionta, so I guess the great line shake-up of the second period has ended. The 32 fans in attendance are chanting! It sounds impressive for 32 people.

    9:09 PM: Rolston hit the boards after losing an edge, Chico says he needed help getting into the locker room because he couldn’t put much weight on his foot. Me no likey.

    9:07 PM:Elias and Rolston two-on-one gets broken up, and after the play, Rolston is down and looks to be hurting…crap. Just…crap.

    9:05 PM: Shorthanded two-on-one for Madden and Pando, Madden passes, and Pando fires it directly into Lehtonen’s pads. Another two-on-one, Elias and Pando, again nothing doing. But it’s chances, at least! …right?

    9:04 PM: Atlanta’s on a power play and I have no idea why. Either I wasn’t paying attention or MSG didn’t think it was important to tell me. Neither would be surprising. Atlanta hits the pipe on the power play.

    9:01 PM:Penalty kill’t. Big save by Marty (and then again possibly by Salvador’s backside) at the end of the Thrasher power play. Our power play may be awful, but at least the penalty kill’s holding up it’s end of the bargain…

    8:58 PM: Paul Martin going off for a holding-the-stick penalty, Thrashers to the PP again.

    8:55 PM: Marty with a save on Bogosian. Come to think of it, has Bogo scored yet in his pro career? Marty seems to like giving up first career goals…

    8:52 PM: Third period’s on, goal credited to Rolston after all. Zubrus and Gionta on the assists.

    8:35 PM: And that’s the end of period #2, 1-0 Devils. 20 shots on goal (I still refuse to believe that). Third period coming up soonish.

    8:33 PM: The official announcement at the arena is giving the goal to Langenbrunner from Rolston and Zubrus. Lehtonen with a huge glove save on Elias keeps it a one-goal game.

    8:31 PM: FINALLY! Rolston, let off the point at the power play, forces his way in front of the net and jams home his own rebound. Devils lead 1-0, Rolston notches his first of his second Devils go-round, and the Devils power play finally picks up another goal. Alllll right.

    8:30 PM: Exelby takes the roughing penalty for his tackle of Langenbrunner, the ever-dangerous Devil power play takes the ice.

    8:27 PM: Now it’s Rolston, Langenbrunner, and Zubrus. And hey, even a little scrummy-ness involving the Cap’n and Garnet Excelby. The most life I’ve seen tonight. The 32 fans in attendance even seemed to wake up.

    8:26 PM: Rupp/Zajac/Parise? Really?

    8:24 PM: Cangelosi just said the shots for the second are 13-5 Devils. I refuse to believe this. There is no way I’ve seen thirteen Devil shots on the night, let alone this period.

    8:19 PM: Clarkson wraparound try! Gasp and shock, it’s not even close.

    8:15 PM: Zubrus charging in on a three-on-one, opts to shoot…and misses the net entirely. Blast.

    8:13 PM: I wonder how we managed to win two games so far this year considering I can’t recall ever actually scoring any goals…

    8:06 PM: Hey hey, something interesting! Brodeur with a stop on the big blast by White (not Colin, Todd), leaves a huge rebound and manages to get in front of the follow-up shot as well. Stellar stop by Marty. The 32 fans in the building agree.

    8:04 PM: I think Sutter’s futzing with the lines again. Clarkson was just out there with Holik and Rupp. Zubrus is centering Rolston and Elias at the moment as well.

    8:01 PM: God, Lehtonen is leaving some juicy rebounds. However, in shades of last year, the Devils can’t do a damn thing about it. Penalty’s over, though. Devils have killed three of three of ’em tonight now.

    8:00 PM: Okay, second period on, Devils still on the PK. A little bit more…something, this period? Anything? Please?

    7:42 PM: Aaaaand that be the end of a very boring first period, scoreless after one. See you in seventeen for what can only be a more interesting second. I hope.

    7:39 PM: Welp, least they killed that one. Holik gets booed by the 32 Atlanta fans in attendance tonight. Yet another Devils penalty coming up, Zajac for hooking. Less than a minute to go in the period.

    7:36 PM: See, this is why I miss Doc. Cangelosi lied to me, it’s actually Atlanta on the power play, not so much the Devils.

    7:34 PM: And just as one penalty expires, and new one commences. The Devils get their turn on the power play, again. So in two minutes, the score will still be zero-zero, again.

    7:31 PM: And so Colin White goes off for interference. This game is rather boring. Sorry. Last year’s early-season game in Atlanta was all kinds of crazy. I miss that game. A little.

    7:26 PM: Even Chico’s mentioning how few fans are in the building. And is also touting the Thrashers “Buy a ticket, eat all you want for free” sections deal. Chico Eats: HOTlanta Edition!

    7:23 PM: How they managed to not get it in, I don’t have the slightest. Good pressure again, but once again, nothing doing as far as scoring. Devils PP is now 0-for-2 on the evening, and 1-for-13 on the year. Ouch.

    7:22 PM: I say it every time the Devils play Atlanta, but DAMN the Thrashers have ugly jerseys.

    7:20 PM: ‘nother penalty on the Thrashers, this one interference on David Clarkson. Don’t the Thrashers know they don’t have to interfere with David Clarkson, that he’s perfectly capable of stopping his own progress? Regardless, Devils PP again.

    7:17 PM: You know, as a Devils fan, I should be used to empty arenas…and yet, I keep finding myself strangely drawn to the swaths of empty seats whenever the camera catches the stands. It’s almost hypnotizing.

    7:15 PM: A nice chance in front for Pandolfo, who sends a backhander at the Atlanta goal with the speed of a honey-soaked tortoise. Sigh.

    7:13 PM: Surprisingly strong on the puck deep in the zone, but Atlanta manages to clear each time. We’re not looking stellar tonight boys.

    7:11 PM: Schneider with a puck-over-the-glass deal and the vaunted (ha!) Devils power play hits the ice. Oh boy oh boy.

    7:09 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Atlanta. You wouldn’t know it from the crowd though. My goodness, and they say we don’t draw in Jersey. Hot damn.

    7:01 PM: Oh dammit. First LiveCap of the year, and Doc’s sick. Sigh. Get well Doc. Other Devils news for tonight: Salmela’s hanging out in the press box tonight, and Andy Greene gets into his first game of the year. He’ll be paired with Johnny Oduya.

    6:45 PM: What’s that coming over the hill? It it a LiveCap? It it a LiveCap? Ahhh musical references no one will get…see you in 15!