Kovalchuk scores 2, Brodeur and Devils top Coyotes (AP)

Ilya Kovalchuk sensed something different about the New Jersey Devils before they faced the Phoenix Coyotes. It suddenly didn't matter that they had dropped five straight and six of seven. Ilya Kovalchuk snapped out of a five-game drought by scoring two goals, his first multiple goal game of the season, and carried the Devils to a 3-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.

Devils @ Senators LIVECAP!

10:19 PM: That’s gonna be it for me tonight gang, thanks for hanging out.  See you at the Rock on Saturday!

10:14 PM: Devils win the Atlantic Division and are locked into the number three seed – both of these determined before the game was even over.  The win tonight gives the team 50 wins on the year, a franchise record.  Montreal earned a point in Boston by sending the game to overtime, and now all eight playoff spots in the east are secured, it’s just a matter of seeding now.  Your elite eight of the east:  Boston, Washington, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Carolina, Pittsburgh, New York, Montreal.

10:13 PM: Spezza denied by Brodeur and the Devils win the shootout 2-1 and the game 3-2!

10:13 PM: Langs stopped glove side by Auld.  Still 2-1, Spezza up for Ottawa.

10:13 PM: Fisher misses to the left, remains 2-1 and if Langs scores we win.

10:12 PM: Shanahan roofs it over Auld’s glove, 2-1!

10:12 PM: Alfredsson snaps it past Marty’s glove.  1-1.

10:11 PM: Zach Parise just completely undressed Alex Auld and it’s 1-0 Devils.  Remember the goal earlier this year against Washington?  It was like that.

10:10 PM: I predict Parise, Elias, and John Madden’s stick as shootout contestants.  Also, I think I just heard the TV change to NHL Network at Scott Mackie’s house.

10:09 PM: Seriously though, I can’t remember the last time we played in a shootout, let alone the last time I LiveCapped a shootout.  Interesting.

10:08 PM: Game over, 2-2.  Wait, what’s this?  Shoot-out?  What is this…shoot…out you speak of?  Surely you jest!

10:06 PM: Zach’s never gonna score again (with deference to the -Ookies once again).  Can’t tip Oduya’s shot, nor can he pull home the rebound.  A minute to go in OT.

10:05 PM: Capitals beat Tampa, and now the Devils are officially locked into the number three seed for the playoffs.

10:03 PM: Ooooooh man Marty with one of those magician-like glove saves – entirely too flashy with that previously-injured arm, but it shut up the Sens fans for a second there.

10:01 PM: Man, I’m tired, I just wanted to go to bed.  Stupid Senators.  Overtime on.

9:59 PM: Going to overtime now.  Life isn’t fair.

9:57 PM: DAMMIT!  Sens fire one off the post that looks like it’s in, White with a good defensive play to prevent a goal, then Dany Heatley manages to pound it home.  God-friggin-dammit.  Tie game, 30 seconds left.

9:55 PM: Alex Auld on the bench for the Sens now, timeout Ottawa…A minute and a half to go and it’s still 2-1 Devils.  Meep.

9:54 PM: Two minutes to go.

9:53 PM: Lots of pressure on the Sens goal…really nice shift there.  Zach Parise must be the hardest luck 45 goal scorer in history.  Okay, probably not, but still.  Boy can’t buy a goal lately.

9:48 PM: All penalties are up now.  Six minutes left in the game.

9:43 PM: …and now the power play’s totally done.  Andy Greene takes a tripping penalty and it’ll be four-on-four for a minute, then Sens on the PP.

9:42 PM: First minor is done, two minutes to go on the PP.

9:41 PM: Gio got smooshed again.  Gio’s too easily smooshable.

9:39 PM: Ooooh, Daniel Alfredsson got pissy with a ref over a penalty and now is serving two minutes for interference (I assume) and another two for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Four minute power play for the Devils!

9:36 PM: Welp, Rangers win so they’re in the playoffs.  Sigh.  BUT, it does mean that the Devils are officially 2008-09 Atlantic Division champions!

9:35 PM: Jebus.  Marty can’t hold onto the puck and gets creamed by about 20 Devils and 14 Senators.  …I may be exaggerating a little.

9:32 PM: Ruutu takes a hook and we’re back to the PP.

9:25 PM: To borrow a line from the -Ookies of Interchangeable Parts, ZACH’S NEVER GONNA SCORE AGAIN!  Hits the post on the power play.  Shortly afterward, Martin with a drive, breaks his stick, and then breaks up an ensuing Sens breakaway WITHOUT A STICK.  Paul Martin is a defensive machine!

9:23 PM: Devils have a full two minutes of PP time to start the period.  Fresh ice, fresh legs, full length power play…surely we have to score, right?  Surely…?

9:22 PM: I love the Chuck the Duck season recap.  Almost more than the actual season recap.

9:05 PM: That’ll be the end of a much better second period.  Penalty on the Senators as time expires and it’ll be the Devils on a full two minutes of PP time when the third starts.  Yay!

9:01 PM: I wonder if John Madden’s hockey stick is also an unrestricted free agent this year, and how much it’ll cost to lock it up for three years.

8:59 PM: BRILLIANT!  The pass bounces off of John Madden’s stick – which Madden was not holding – and out of the zone.  LOVE IT!

8:58 PM: And now John Madden has no stick.  Crap.

8:58 PM: Yep, Whitey’s in the box…again…

8:57 PM: Colin White (I think) takes a hooking penalty.  Even if it wasn’t him, I’m gonna blame Colin White anyway.  Just for the hell of it.  Someone, because of Colin White, takes a hooking penalty.  So the Sens head to a PP.

8:52 PM: Leblond with a Cam Janssen-like heat-seeking missle type hit.  Awww.

8:51 PM: Nearly a two-on-one for the Devils but Zajac is a step slow and Langenbrunner misses the net on the shot.  Two-on-one the other way and Marty stones ’em.  Phew.

8:45 PM: White and Chris Neil get pissy with one another and start bitchslapping each other – Colin won’t drop ’em ’cause of the eye injury, and Neil won’t drop him ’cause he’s Chris Neil.  Two minutes each for roughing.

8:42 PM: Alex Auld plays another puck behind the net.  He didn’t just give it to one of the Devils this time, though.  Drats.

8:39 PM: That was Gionta’s 20th goal of the season.  Kind of sad when we’re looking at that as a milestone for Brian Gionta.

8:34 PM: WHOO!  Auld with an awful giveaway to Clarkson, who attempts the world-reknowned Clarkaround – misses terribly, but the puck slides straight out to Brian Rolston and it’s 2-1 Devils!  Also, Gionta’s goal did not come at the tail end of the power play, it came just after it ended.

8:33 PM: GIONTA!  Gio tips-in Shanahan’s shot at the very end of the power play and we’re tied!

8:32 PM: Ugh.  Terrible giveaway by Andy Greene.  On the plus side, at least he recovered and was able to play some decent Greene-fense to prevent a shot on goal.

8:30 PM: Senators take a very stupid too many men on the ice penalty while in the offensive zone, after a nice save on a very impressive drop-pass-and-shot from…a pair of Senators.  God I’m not very good at LiveCapping tonight.

8:29 PM: We be back yo.

8:12 PM: And that’s that.  1-0 Senators after one.  Sigh.  See ya in seventeen.

8:11 PM: The time remaining in the period and the power play are exactly the same.  Funky.

8:10 PM: …not a very GOOD power play, mind you, but a power play nonetheless.

8:09 PM: On a long delayed penalty, Gionta gets the puck to Zubbie, who drives, protects the puck, cuts for the goal…and falls and collides heavily with the boards.  Oh well, at least we’re on a power play now.

8:04 PM: Paul Martin was a puck-handling, puck-possession machine!  Killed the last 10 seconds on the Senators PP all by his lonesome, forcing his will on the puck carrier and qoinking it away.

8:02 PM: How did Ottawa get two Irish guys on their team?  Shannon and Kelly…I assume they’re Irish, don’t get much more Irish than that.  Also, a Devil took a penalty.  I think Colin White, but I wasn’t paying much attention.  Sorry.

8:00 PM: ‘nother odd-man rush, this time for the Sens, and Marty’s like “NUH-UH!”  ‘least he decided to pay attention tonight.  Much better save there than anything in the Toronto game.

7:58 PM: 2-on-1 with Zajac and Langenbrunner.  No goal.  No surprise.

7:55 PM: PLcubed vs. Winchester (who?).  Lots of grappling, not so much on the punching side.  “How’s your wife and my kids?” kind of affair.

7:51 PM: Elias gets sprung on a mini-breakaway but can’t do anything with it.  Why did you get those days off again Patty?

7:50 PM: All kinds of bad things are happening elsewhere tonight:  Rangers are winning, Panthers are losing…I was hoping we could get a win this evening to guarantee the division, then watch the Flyers sweep the Rangers out of the playoffs and helping Florida in.  Oh well.

7:47 PM: Elias is back too.  Only half as important as PLcubed’s return.  Rupp and Holik take a seat in the press box, much to the maniacal laughter of Jay Pandolfo.  Still no Havelid, which means there’s still a certain level of Greene-fense this evening as well.

7:46 PM: Apparently we recalled Pierre-Luc Letournau-Leblond!  OH JOYOUS HYPHEN-LOVING DAY!

7:44 PM: I rushed a post up for this?  Sigh.  1-0 Senators as Rutuu jams home a rebound.  Maybe we were better off without a LiveCap tonight…?

7:43 PM: Late start for me tonight, terribly sorry.  Game’s already underway, no score, sixteen minutes left to play in the first.  Let’s get this thing going.

Since we all need a reason to enjoy a Devils game now…

No this ain’t gonna be some rah-rah cheer you up inspire the masses kinda post… that ain’t my way…..

No this isn’t going to be some massive OH MY GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING…. PEOPLE LIE ABOUT THEIR AGES ON THE INTERNET… FIRE BRODEUR AND PLAY CLEMMENSEN TILL HE’S 70 kinda post either :p

So why the hell am I sitting here wasting your time??
(hell be honest the reason you come here IS to waste time)

But I had mentioned it elsewhere and we’re building some momentum and people are actually gonna show for this one and it’s a Saturday Night so you have NO excuse…. We wanted to have a little Devils Fan Gathering at my favorite little bar down the street… and why not make it into a massive cluster fuck right???

Here’s the Deal… show up at 6:30… we pile into some tables… we eat we drink we converse… we watch Devils hockey, and we see the girls go goofy over the bartender who looks like David Clarkson and marvel at the other two ladies as well 🙂

Sounds good right? Shit you’re convinced this team has driven you to drink right? BACK IT UP!!!! 🙂

Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009
Time: 6:30pm – 10:00pm (or later once the NHL Network gets put on and it will get put on!)
Location: Sun Tavern
Street: 600 W Westfield Ave
City/Town: Roselle Park, NJ
Phone: 9082410190
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=600+W+Westfield+Ave%2C+Roselle+Park%2C+NJ

(really just take the parkway to 137 and go left, it’s right past the Welcome to Roselle park signs)

Come …. enjoy… heckle!!!!!

Devils @ Canadians LIVECAP!

9:45 PM: I’m going to call it a night, boys and girls.  A great evening all around.  Thanks for checking us out tonight, goodnight!

9:43 PM: Patrik Elias with a goal and an assist ties John MacLean for the career lead in points as a Devil.  Jamie Langenbrunner ties his career high for goals in a season.  Brian Rolston earns his 300th career goal.  Martin Brodeur notches career win #551.  What.  A.  Night.

9:41 PM: Three stars – Elias, Patrice Briesbois (who played in his 1,000th career game tonight and skated over to congratulate Brodeur while out as the second star), and, of course, Marty.

9:40 PM: The Canadians fans are standing for Marty – they went from booing their team to cheering Marty as the clock ran out.  Beautiful.  Beautiful.

9:39 PM: GAME!  Martin Brodeur has tied Patrick Roy for the all-time wins record!

9:37 PM: Last minute of the game…if you live in New Jersey and don’t have them yet, I’d advise picking up your tickets to the game on Tuesday night right about now while there’s still some good deals out there!

9:36 PM: Two minutes…Halak still in net for the Canadians.  Devils aren’t even giving them a chance to pull him if they wanted to.

9:35 PM: FORTY-FIVE shots on goal for the Devils so far tonight, versus 22 for the Habs.

9:34 PM: Fans are booing the Canadians now…so much for the possibility of their cheering Marty, at least so far.  To be fair, the Canadians have looked really bad for the last ten minutes or so.  Three minutes left.

9:33 PM: Four minutes to go…

9:28 PM: Bobby Holik doing what Bobby Holiks do best – no, not taking bad penalties, but getting physical with the goaltender.  Which, I guess could constitute a penalty, but not in this case.

9:25 PM: CAPTAINBRUNNER!  Beautiful wrist shot after backing away from the slot and it’s 3-1 Devils.  Langenbrunner ties his career high for goals, and all but one of the big milestones I mentioned at the beginning of this LiveCap have come to fruition, and the fourth one is about six minutes from being a reality as well.

9:24 PM: BIG HIT by Mike Rupp!  Pacioretty, with his head down, is knocked loopy by Rupp between the circles.

9:23 PM: I’d really, really like this game to be over.  My tummy hurts.

9:20 PM: Ten to go in the period.  It’s been kinda slow since the first, eh?

9:17 PM: Clarkaround!  Of course it doesn’t go, and a quick whistle puts an end to any rebound chance.

9:12 PM: DAMN!  Two-on-one for Zajac/Parise but a beautiful defensive play by Briesbois puts an end to that before Zajac can shoot or pass.  Nice play by Patrice.

9:11 PM: 34 shots on goal for the Devils so far, and it’s still only 2-1.  Halak’s been pretty damn good.  Dammit.

9:08 PM: Man oh man, if Marty does tie the record tonight, he will have definitely earned it.  Good couple of chances for Les Habs on the power play, all stood up by Senor Brodeur.

9:07 PM: One minute down in the Canadians PP.

9:04 PM: Ooooo, more chippy-ness following a Bryce Salvador over-the-glass delay of game penalty.  Nothing more comes of it and Salvador is the only one to sit in the box.  Canadians to a PP.

9:01 PM: Third period on!

8:44 PM: Aaaand that’s the end of two.  Score remains 2-1 and I will see you, if you’re still out there, in the third.

8:43 PM: Ouch.  Zajac gets smushed behind the Canadians net.  He’s okay though.  Crazy sustained pressure by the Devils in the Canadians zone.

8:39 PM: Ah, Josh Gorges held someone, that was the Canadians penalty.  As for our power play – some chances, no goals.  Halak’s pretty good about his rebound control.  Power play is over, three minutes to go in the second.

8:38 PM: Huh.  We come back from commercial to be on a power play, but I wasn’t really paying attention so I don’t know why.  I’ll take it, though!

8:36 PM: I dislike Halak.  He’s playing pretty well tonight, which disappoints me greatly.  Didn’t he get the memo that it’s Marty’s night?  Jackass.

8:34 PM: Things getting chippy.  Clarkson in the middle, of course.  Before that was Rupp getting cranky with some Canadians.  Also of course.

8:31 PM: Habs with some serious pressure on Marty and in the Devil end for the first time tonight.

8:29 PM: Canadians fans cheer wildly for the most mundane of bringing-the-puck-up-the-ice plays.

8:23 PM: Wow, the replays of those two stops showed they were even more awesome than they originally appeared.  He kicks one out with a leg behind his body, then blocks the other with his shoulder while falling down.  Hot diggity!

8:20 PM: Marty with a couple of big stops!  Wait, they’re actually going to make him WORK to tie the record?  I thought this was an arranged marriage type situation?!

8:18 PM: This Shanahan-Zubrus-Clarkson line – I like the cut of it’s jib.  Another thing I like?  That little WRAT promo angling for disenfranchised former K-Rock listeners.  Shame most K-Rock listeners can’t pick up The Rat.

8:16 PM: That was funky.  Somehow Parise wound up in the Canadians net, wiping out Halak in the process.  No penalty on young Zachary, however, much to the chagrin of the Canadians faithful.

8:13 PM: This power play, not so great.  PP time is up and the teams skate five aside.  Also, I kinda like these retro Canadians jerseys.  At least they’re not the barbershop jersey from earlier this season/way early in the Canadian’s existence.

8:12 PM: Oh yeaaaah, we’re still on a power play!  Usually that “oh yeaaaah” realization only happens when we’re killing a penalty to start a period.

8:12 PM: We back, yo.

7:53 PM: ‘nother Canadians penalty, another delay of game penalty, this one on Markov.  Period ends with the Devils on the PP – 1:47 of PP time to start the second when we get back.  14-7 Devils by way of shots on goal, 2-1 Devils by way of score, and I will see you in seventeen minutes.

7:52 PM: Clarkson wants to wraparound so badly.  He’s been thinking it at least twice tonight, only to be stopped before he even really got started.

7:48 PM: Oh jeez, Marty gets bodychecked by Alex Tanguay.  It was definitely a penalty, but Marty sure made it look good, too.  Hah.  Devils again to the PP – fourth time already tonight.  Two minutes to go in the period.

7:47 PM: Patrick Roy’s in the building.  Hooray, I guess.

7:44 PM: I can’t believe I didn’t notice this immediately – Patty Elias gets the assist on the Rolston goal, tying him with Johnny Mac for the all-time lead in points as a Devil!  ‘grats PATTY too!

7:40 PM: The ice-level microphones are working quite well tonight.  You could hear Kostopoulos’…uhm…”complaints” about his last penalty loud and clear, same with the ref yelling “NO HIGH STICK NO!” when Patrik Elias tipped the puck into the zone just then.  This amuses me.

7:37 PM: Dang.  Tomas Plekanec with a goal.  2-1 Devils now, and the shutout counter ain’t gonna change tonight.  Sad.

7:35 PM: WHOA!  Rolston with a dump-in, blocked down by the defender right back to Rolston, who blasts it by Halak!  That’ll be Rolston’s 300th of his career (‘grats Rollie!) and it’s 2-0 New Jersey.

7:33 PM: ‘nother Canadians penalty – silly Tom Kostopoulos, you don’t have to hold Mike Mottau to slow him down!

7:31 PM: Madden shorthanded breakaway – misses wide.  Okay, maybe his hand WAS amputated, without the aid of hospital-grade painkillers.

7:30 PM: Komisarek outtathabox for Montreal, one minute of penalty-kill time.  Also, Mad Dog’s back out, so I guess his hand didn’t have to be amputated.  Or it did and he’s hepped up on Pecosets.

7:26 PM: Aw dang.  Gionta with a holding-the-stick penalty.  Four-on-four for a minute, then Canadians to the PP.

7:24 PM: GOAL!  Patrik Elias with a BLAST and the Devils with a 2 MAN ADVANTAGE goal!  1-0 Devils, Elias with his 700th point as a Devil, one shy of Johnny Mac’s record, and we’re still on a power play for 1:45ish.

7:23 PM: Devils to the 2 MAN ADVANTAGE!  Someone from Montreal flips the puck over the glass and the Devils get the 2MA for, oh, 7 seconds.

7:22 PM: Good pressure, bad staying-on-feet skills.  Zajac takes a tumble in the offensive zone.

7:20 PM: Langenbrunner to Parise, who’s sliding on his butt directly into the goalpost.  Luckily, sliding on his butt was the result of a Tom Kostopoulos hold, and the Devils to a PP.

7:19 PM: John Madden takes a shot off the hand and heads to the bench.  Man up, Madden.  Man up.

7:17 PM: I’m moderately disappointed that the game’s been on for two minutes and we haven’t scored yet.

7:15 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Montreal!

7:09 PM: Les Habs are continuing their 100th year celebration by wearing another old jersey, one that is primarily white.  Which means the Devils are wearing their home reds.  Works for me, the way they’ve been playing at home lately.

7:02 PM: Need MORE proof that tonight’s gonna be a huge historic event?  Check out who’s roaming in the comments section!  Hiya P!

7:00 PM: Obviously, the big one:  With a Devils victory, Martin Brodeur ties Patrick Roy’s record of 551 career wins.  Other possibilities:  With two points, Patrik Elias can tie John MacLean’s record for career points as a Devil.  With a goal, Jamie Langenbrunner will top his career high for goals in a season.  Also, Brian Rolston’s next goal will give him 300 on his career.  Finally, Kevin Weekes is two chapters shy of finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, completing his quest to finish the series while the rest of the team plays hockey games.

6:47 PM: There’s something historic in the air this evening.  Some kind of record could be tied tonight.  Actually numerous milestones can be attained – I’ll run it down in a bit.  LiveCap coming – let me know you’re out there!

Devils… Panthers (11/20/2008)… Thoughts from Section 209

(God I can’t believe November is almost done, the NFL is in Week 12… and my birthday is coming… good God the older you get.. the FASTER it goes… really….)

It was nice to actually SEE THIS TEAM WIN A GAME (and hockey played as God, or whatever being you crawl into the corner and beg for more goals from, intended it played)… and actually play kinda well…..
This one had all the feelings and makings of an “aw shit they’re gonna lay an egg here” moment… but it never happened… that first period was pure comatose… neither team wanted to be there… the team was blah, because the place seemed lifeless… the place was lifeless because the quality on ice was bad and it was an ugly cycle!

But it’s kinda funny how things woke up in the second period… two moments of fluke shots (and well me just randomly screaming at Hassan to get the Farooq outta my seat during the intermission… I let them move me out of my seat for the opener and I HATED IT)…but anyway… that only set the pace for one of those great moments in section 209 history!!

We have a habit of booing the late showers (well some of them) just to give them grief and to be punctual! So anyway… I wanted to step it up for the 2nd period… so here he is walking up the steps… 2 beers in hand all ready for some Devils hockey… I curl up a napkin and all I am thinking is… oh god.. .hit the chest… be Jamie Langenbrunner…. right into the logo…the chest, not the beer… hit the logo…. so OF COURSE… I throw the napkin and the damn shot is SO PERFECT it doesn’t even hit the plastic cup part of the beer and just splashes in perfect like a Michael Jordan shot on the Knicks 🙂

(and just to bring it back to the Devils… they took one shot in the second too and it counted just as much!! :p)

At least it was a nice, solid pounding on a crappy, well BAD, Panthers team (though making Scott Clemmensen look like Mary Brodeur was usually what WE do to backup goalies… was nice to see that and going 1 for 1 on shots in the second period happen!)… the Third Period was pretty decent too!

The Good:
— Elias-Zubrus-Gionta….. this line is producing and big time!!! (nice to see Patrik getting going too)
— the MOVE Paul Martin put on for his goal… HOLY SHIT (it’s funny how guys who’s jerseys I wear seem to do amazing when I wear them to games… quick someone get me a White Langenbrunner!)
— I’m not big on cheerleaders… but DAMN these dancing girls we have now… yum!!!
— Scott Clemmensen did play well (I am not taking anything away from him but I am still annoyed at the bullshit way Weekes has been tossed under the bus) and I can’t imagine why I like my Section Chanting my name! 🙂
— JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER DOWN TO REASONABLE MINUTES… hooray!
— the 5 year old kid on his birthday leading the 209 chant in the last minute (and I tell you EVERYONE got into this one!)

the Bad:
— getting dominated in play by this crappy Panthers team… that’s just bad!!
— you could say the attendance and the flat crowd, but the crowd energy was siphoned from the lack of play on the ice (and I really don’t give a shit about attendance numbers i find it BETTER to have a small crowd… you know I can like.. um… DO STUFF in the arena like harass the crazies and stuff)… and you gotta figure… beat up team… AHL jobber as your goalie… and the Florida Panthers… yeah that’s as hot a ticket as Rutgers Football :p

So anyway not really a LOT to say here… so might as well save it for tomorrow… after all IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT (and what the hell ELSE do I have to do right??)

That wasn’t a game, that was a statement.

And thus ends the saga of Brodeur V. Avery, at least for the time being. A 5-0 thrashing by the Devils, with every single player wearing the NJ crest looking spectacular. Check out Scott’s analysis below – even he couldn’t come up with someone to chew out!

As Scott mentioned, Andy Greene looked stellar, putting up two assists and bringing us back to the Andy halcyon days of the 2007 playoffs. Dainus Zubrus clearly is as upset as we are that the Zubbie Counter remains in the cob-webbed cellar of 2MA and is working to change that. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond had a wicked hit late in the game to go with his first career NHL point. Zach Parise continued his stellar start, adding another goal and assist to his growing point totals. And of course, John Madden finally scored on a fast break-like situation!

Perhaps most importantly though, is that – save for a bad penalty by Clarkson in the first period – the Devils FINALLY figured out how to keep Sean Avery from getting under their collective skin. In fact, I submit that the Devils/Clarkson/Brodeur gave Avery a small dose of his own medicine. Even ESPN took notice of the little shoves and the clearing attempt by Brodeur that whizzed by Avery’s head. The Devils frustrated Avery and made him a non-factor. My only question is why they needed a thirteen-game study session last year to figure it out.

So now, with a 5-1-0 record, we move on to a home-and-home with our dear dear friends, the (still winless) Philadelphia Flyers. This could be fun.

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!

Game 1? Awesome

Before I begin, I’d like to apologize for the lack of pictures in this post. I have them up and ready to go, but I seem to be having a problem with getting them posted. I’ll try to have this problem rectified as soon as possible. – Josh
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So it’s in the books, the Devils open the 2008-09 season with a 2-1 victory over the Islanders. It wasn’t all pretty, but it wasn’t all bad either. So, I present to you, loyal 2MA reader…THE AWESOME, THE NOT-SO-AWESOME, AND THE DOWNRIGHT RIDICULOUS of the Devils’ season opener as I saw from my perch in 114:

THE AWESOME – No more Zombie Nation!

I’m not going to lie – I’m conflicted with this awesomeness. After Gary Glitter’s arrest and persecution, I was perfectly fine with the Devils’ choice to stop using Rock And Roll Pt 2 as their goal song. When they used Ole! by Bouncing Souls two years ago, even better – awesome band, awesome song. But last year’s song, Kernkraft 440 by Zombie Nation, just sucked.

So, I guess the annoyance with last year’s song trumps the distaste of the performer of the new/old song. And in the end, Glitter’s paid his debt to society, so maybe it is alright after all to be using his song again.

It’s still better than Zombie Nation.


THE NOT-SO-AWESOME – HE’S NOT WEARING A MASK!

I was in the middle of a conversation with a friend about hockey rules when Marty was run into by Paul Martin and lost his mask. I know hockey’s a fast sport, and sometimes things happen faster on the ice than we notice them on television or in the stands, but can someone please explain to me why someone was allowed to fire a shot even in the general direction of a mask-less goalie before a whistle was blown? Pucks have been frozen by overzealous referees in less time than it took for play to be blown dead after Marty lost his mask.

Brodeur is on track to shatter records left and right. This should be a huge deal for the NHL. A slow whistle by the referee could have easily ended any chance Brodeur has at taking his place in the record book – and ultimately raising the NHL’s profile on non-hockey friendly outlets such as ESPN. There are some things that are just too dangerous to mess around with, and a mask-less goalie is one of them. Any time a goalie loses his mask, play needs to be whistled dead immediately. Period.


THE DOWNRIGHT RIDICULOUS – Green men and dancing guy strippers…wait, I’m at a Devils game?

Look, I know the Devils get a bad rap over their marketing and fan relations and in-game entertainment. Usually I’m one of the ones complaining the most. But if this is what’s in store for this year, I recant all of my prior complaints. Just don’t make me watch these people anymore.

First is the guy with the multiple shirts. He does some kind of strange dancing stripping routine that was funny at first – especially when he stopped a guy who clearly didn’t want to have anything to do with him. But the next five or six times? Not so much. The enthusiasm is nice. The shirt-removing routine grows old really fast.

The green guy was less obnoxious, but far more difficult to understand. My friend tells me it’s a reference to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which is probably more correct than my guess – an overzealous fan of Andy Greene. Whatever it is, I’m reasonably certain green guy was not wearing underwear beneath his frighteningly form-fitting costume. And I really didn’t need to see that.

Bold predictions and excited rants: Season preview the first

You know what? I think Rangers fans are scared.

A mere two days away from the puck hitting the ice stateside for the first time this season and those Rag loving Wall Street types are torpedoing our economy into oblivion with the hope that maybe, just maybe, the entire country will dissolve in time to put off the hockey season, and as a result their inevitable demise. It’s gotta be that. Or the Russians.. Hmm.

Well I will not be deterred! It’s Devils season preview time baby!

Three days to go before the New (Old) and Improved New Jersey Devils hit the ice against the New York Islanders at the Rock. If you’re like me, you’ve read the 645 other season previews out there who are writing off the Devils as an aging group running an outdated system.

I say eff that.

Marty

Yes Brodeur is a year older. Of course we’ll need to address this in the coming years but I for one am not gonna even pay a passing thought to this considering he won the Vezina for oh, the 4th time in 6 years. Next topic.

The new old guys

I’m actually extremely excited to see what this offense can do this year. On paper I see it as a solid blend of experience and youth, speed and size. I think that in the second year of Sutter’s reign, the boys will come out with a lot more confidence and gusto working in his system that will produce a noticeable increase in goals with the addition of Rolston and Holik.

The retooled front lines could also fall completely flat, but after several lean offensive years and two years of epic collapses from my beloved Mets, I’m prepared to handle everything short of the top three lines tearing up their contracts on the ice and signing with the Rangers, Flyers and Islanders, respectively.

Oduya’s army

Oh the defense.. You know, I’ve got no idea on this one. They were so befuddling last year I’m not going to even try. Maybe someone taught Johnny Oduya to skate backwards. Maybe Paul Martin will step up and show the offensive prowess we saw glimpses off last year. Maybe Annsi Salmela will become the next Scott Niedermayer and alleviate the need for me to start calling him salmonella by mid-November.

Anything’s possible, I suppose. If I were a betting man though, I’d be placing my chips on the guy in net and the offense carrying this team forward.

The Tykes

Speaking of Salmela, the potential youth influx certainly bears watching. I think Lou and Brent made the right choices on Vrana and Salmela for opening night, but I’d also like to see what Matt Halischuk and Niklas Bergfors can do at some point in the season. Who knows, maybe if they take Matt Corrente off suicide watch after his miserable pre-season performance he could even make an appearance. Definitely a wait-and-see approach with the new guys though.

All-in-all, I’m optimistic. If the D steps it up I think we’re a cup contender. If not, we could at least make up for a terrible showing last year by beating up on the Rangers and Islanders in the season series. Friday night’s a great time to start. Go Devils!

P.S. Church claps all around to the Rags fans who will undoubtedly point out that they scraped by with a pair of victories against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that had played together for all of 35 minutes before the first game. Kudos.