Poor David Clarkson…

Poor, poor David Clarkson.

And poor us as well.

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

Ouch.

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

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

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

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

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

THE ZUBBIES ARE HERE!

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the first annual ZUBBIE AWARDS!

Recall if you will, last season (I know it’s hard, pretend late April didn’t happen, that’s what I do).  Go all the way back to the second weekend of December.  It was a glorious time to be a Devils fan.  The Devils were in the midst of one of the wildest games of the year and possibly the most fun game I have ever had the pleasure of attending – a total 80s-style scorefest against the Rangers that the Red n’ Black took by a final score of 8-5.  During that game, one Mr. Dainius Zubrus notched his 21st goal as a Devil.

That evening, rather than waiting to get home and make a new ZubbieCounter update, I wrote it on a piece of paper, snapped a picture with my cell phone, and sent it along to Steve, who posted it on this very blog.  This started a discussion between Steve, Joe, and myself.  We decided to hold a contest, in which you, the 2MA reader, would submit (or Zubmit) your own ZubbieCounter updates.  We’d pick one for each goal, and in the end, you the reader would get to vote on which one you liked best, with the winner getting undetermined prizes.

The contest was a huge success for us – I didn’t realize how many entries we actually got until I went through the ZubbieCounter e-mail address again a few days ago.  There were some absolutely brilliant entries for each of his goals for the remainder of the season.

And then the playoffs happened.  We spiraled into an uncontrollable funk that we’re only just now finally breaking out of.  I’ve promised you the Zubbie awards for months now, and the time has finally come.

Below you will find each of the winners from last season.  On the main page, you’ll see our nifty new poll feature.  Simply go over there and vote for which one you like the best.  Vote only once please (I’m using an honor system here, but if I suspect monkey business, I’ll suspend voting a choose my own winner.  It’s my contest, I can do that, y’know).  Also, two nominees are nominated twice.  Because quite frankly, the two winners for the last goal of the season were both too funny.  Again, my contest, I can do what I want.  Booyah grandma.

Winner gets still-to-be-determined STUFF.  Said stuff will probably not even be determined until I have a box that I have to fill with something.  You will definitely get the Chico Resch autographed 2MA sticker, though, and probably a bunch of other awesome things.

So, without further ado, I present to you, your 2008-2009 ZUBBIE AWARD NOMINEES:

Steven O's Zubmission Steven O’s Zubmission

Wilson L's Zubmission Wilson L’s Zubmission

Jon C's Zubmission 1 Jon C’s Zubmission (24th goal)

Chris S (Rico)'s Zubmission Chris S (Rico)’s Zubmission

Kevin B's Zubmission 1 Kevin B’s Zubmission (26th goal)

Kristyn's Zubmission Kristyn’s Zubmission

Jon C's Zubmission 2 Jon C’s Zubmission (28th goal)

Kevin B's Zubmission 2Kevin B’s Zubmission (28th goal)

So there you have it.  Get to voting!  Since this is a ZubbieCounter contest, I say we let Zubbie decide when voting ends.  We’ll take votes until the end of the game in which Zubbie scores his 33rd goal as a Devil, or until 4 PM on November 15th.  Whichever happens first.  Probably the latter.  Either way, get your votes in now!

YES! THERE’S ONE LEFT IN US AFTER ALL!

Ladies and gentlemen, the final goal of the Devils 2008-09 regular season was scored by none other than Mr. Dainius Zubrus.  You know what that means.

We’re up to 28 now.  Get your 28th Goal As A Devil ZubbieCounterContest Zubmissions in now!  zubbiecounter at gmail dot com will be the e-mail address; you have until the very second the puck drops for game 1 of the playoffs, either Wednesday or Thursday.  Let’s end this contest with a bang, shall we?

Sometimes you can’t pick just one

…As was the case with the most recent entries in the ZubbieCounterContest.  Thus, for Zubbie’s 26th Goal As A Devil, we have two winners.  One looked like it required a good amount of work, and the other just made me giggle.  Congrats, Mike J. and Kevin B.  Y’all are in the running for undetermined free swag at the end of the season.

For those who have forgotten somehow:  When Dainius Zubrus scores a goal, make or take a picture and send it to us with the words “__th Goal As A Devil!”  The proper e-mail for such an entry is zubbiecounter at gmail dot com.  Hopefully Zubbie steps it up some and we can keep seeing your awesome creations.

Devils @ Lightning LIVECAP!

7:36 PM: Alright, so I’m gonna go get something to drink, then start my 2MA overtime shift, updating the ZUBBIECOUNTER four times over. See everyone soon!

7:34 PM: Final statline:
Zubrus – four goals
Elias – three asists, eleven points in the last five games
Salmela – two assists
Leach earns his first NHL point with an assist
Rupp notches his first goal of the year
Gionta has scored in four consecutive games

7:32 PM: And that’s the game! 7-3 Devils – save for a harrowing couple of minutes late in the second, a very well played game all-around.

7:30 PM: One minute remaining in this splendid game.

7:28 PM: Lost in the ZubbieMadness is the fact that Elias currently sits with three assists, adding to his insane point totals in the last five games.

7:26 PM: Anssi Salmela with a pretty blatent trip and the ‘Ning head to the power play.

7:35 PM: ZUBBIE AGAIN! Holy ZUBBIECOUNTERMELTDOWN BATMAN! 7-3 Devils, FOUR goals for Zubrus!

7:21 PM: Not much going on right now. Probably a good thing, my heart can only take so much.

7:19 PM: I’ll take Tampa’s use of Ole! by Bouncing Souls as a good sign for us. Because I liked Ole! as our goal song, I don’t care what anyone else says.

7:15 PM: My goodness, this game oughtta be like 10-3 right now. Elias with a wide open net, can’t get much on the shot and Ramo gloves it down.

7:11 PM: ‘nother Clarkaround try, nothing doing. Man the ZUBBIECOUNTER is gonna be back in full force tonight.

7:09 PM: ZUBTRICK! ZUBTRICK! ZUBTRICK!!! Beautiful breakaway backhand and DAINIUS ZUBRUS HAS SCORED A HAT TRICK!!

7:06 PM: Oh jebus. Langenbrunner with a rather wide open net, sends it high.

7:02 PM: We’re not looking good this period. Luckily, however, neither are the ‘Ning.

6:59 PM: Okay, we’re back for the third period. Again, we’re pretending the last seven minutes of the second period were a terrible nightmare and nothing more. Let’s get it on.

6:42 PM: Okay, end of the second period. I’m willing to act like the last seven minutes didn’t happen if the Devils are as well. Let’s just keep in mind that it’s still a two goal lead going into the third period. I’ll be back then.

6:40 PM: I miss Kolzig.

6:37 PM: Another goal would be REAL nice right now. I liked Tampa Bay as a place better when the building was silent.

6:35 PM: …who scores on it. 5-3 Devils. Uhm…this ain’t good.

6:34 PM: Pando! That was not kosher! Pando breaks up the breakaway, but not in the usual Devils manner, and now it’s a penalty shot for Malone.

6:31 PM: Oh dear. St. Louis with a goal on the 4-on-4 and now it’s 5-2. Okay guys, that’s enough feeling bad for Tampa now…

6:30 PM: Devils penalty now, Zajac for interference. Sigh. Four-on-four now. for about a minute and twenty.

6:29 PM: Hey, penalty on the Bolts. Good deal! Too many men on the ice.

6:28 PM: Damn. Radim Vrbata taps one in and it’s 5-1 Devils. Oh well.

6:23 PM: We’ve still got over seven minutes to go in the second. Gionta’s goal is his sixth on the year and makes it four straight games that he’s potted a puck.

6:21 PM: 5-0 DEVILS! Beautiful screen by Zubrus and Gionta gets the goal. Kari Ramo is now in net for the ‘Ning, as the red n’ black have chased Olie the Goalie.
6:19 PM: Clemmensen with a couple of good saves. Actually, our D looks real good tonight too. We just look good all around. Weird, huh?

6:17 PM: Salvador goes to the box for hooking. He feels shame.

6:15 PM: Couple of nice stops by Clemmensen. I’m rather impressed with Clemmer’s play since Marty’s injury. But his amazing play almost makes me sad, because I feel terrible for Kevin Weekes. However, I’ll take a non-sucky Clemmer over a sucky Clemmer any day.

6:12 PM: Penalty kill’t.

6:10 PM:Devils PK hits the ice as Colin White (who got an assist on the second Zubbie goal) goes off for tripping.

6:07 PM: Oh. My. God. ZUBBIE AGAIN! Zubrus fights the puck past the pads of Kolzig and it’s 4-0 Devils. ZUBBIECOUNTER is working overtime today.

6:03 PM: Zubbie! ZUBBIE! CRAP I DON’T HAVE THE COUNTER READY! 3-0 Devils and the World-Famous ZUBBIECOUNTER will notch up one more when this game has ended!

6:02 PM: They’re reviewing it, though it’s pretty clearly no goal.

6:01 PM: Oh myyyy some beautiful passing on the PP but Kolzig stones Zajac with his stick. Good looking power play so far.

5:59 PM: Devils remain on the power play to begin this period.

5:58 PM: We’re back y’all. Second period, underway.

5:42 PM: And a very good first period is in the books, Devils lead 2-0. See you in seventeen.

5:39 PM: Devils hit the power play, holding on…a Bolt. Less than a minute left in period #1.

5:38 PM: BIG save by Kolzig on Langenbrunner.

5:36 PM: Whoo! Clemmensen makes a wicked save on a deflection, play comes up to the other end. Clarkson draws a penalty, passes to Salmela who threatens to shoot multiple times but dumps it off to Leach, who passes to Parise coming off the bench. Parise with the blast and it’s 2-0 Devils! A beautiful play from beginning to end.

5:33 PM: I think Clarkson just tried a Clarkaround without even having the puck on his stick…

5:27 PM: Clarkaround try! Missed entirely. You keep trying though Clarkie. Someday…Someday…

5:25 PM: Big blasts from the defense by Martin and Salvador. We almost look like we’re on a power play right now. It’s kind of weird, seeing a team not called the Devils play like we usually do.

5:23 PM: Ten minutes in, and not much interesting going on since Rupp’s goal. A nice chance for Zubrus/Elias, but the pass was not on target, so nothing doing there.

5:21 PM: Bryce Salvador is a defensive BEAST. To think, we got this guy for Cam Janssen. I love-ed Cam Janssen, but…man did we ever win on that trade.

5:19 PM: I would LiveCap a game that MSG+ seems to have issues with broadcasting. Eesh. All is well now though. I think

5:17 PM: Scott Clemmensen’s been wearing 35 this year, but the back of his helmet still says 40. This amuses me for some reason, that he hasn’t bothered to get it re-painted.

5:14 PM: Third jersey rant time: If you’re gonna go with writing out your name, write out YOUR TEAM’S NAME! NOT SOME LAME NICKNAME! I’m looking at you, “Bolts” and “Sens”. Thankfully we’ll never have to see a third jersey that says “Devs” on it.

5:11 PM: Holy crap Mike Rupp scores! Deflects a shot/pass from Anssi Salmela five-hole through Kolzig. Beautiful tip. 1-0 Devils.

5:09 PM: Puck meets ice and we’re underway. Olaf Kolzig’s in net for the ‘Ning.

5:07 PM: Oh, and Jay Leach is up to replace Mottau. Yippie.

5:02 PM: To get us all up to date: Mottau’s suspended for tonight’s game as well as Wednesday’s. Madden remains out with a sore foot. Clemmensen’s in net after Weekes posted the win Friday. The Lightning’s third jersey is muy ugly. We good? We good.

4:43 PM: Devils take on the ‘Ning, 5 PM eastern. Stick with us!

Numbers, Signings, & Ugly Thirds.

Over the last few weeks or so there have been a few tidbits worth updating about but I haven’t gotten around to it until now. For those of you who haven’t already discovered that knowledge is power through some other news source, it’s time to play a little catch-up, 2manadvantage style!

– NUMBERS GAME –

With the return of veterans Brian Rolston & Bobby Holik coupled with the departure of Sergei Brylin, There has been some rare number-swapping rippling through the Devils current roster. Holik will indeed regain his old # 16 that he wore during his first go-round with New Jersey. Dainius Zubrus gave up the number for Bobby and will don #8 for the rest of his tenure with the Devils. It should be noted that this change will in no way, shape or form, have any effect whatsoever on the (dare I say) world famous “Zubbie Counter“.

Sheldon Brookbank will sport the #28 previously worn by Brian Rafalski after giving his old #8 to Zubrus. Brian Rolston will carry over his #12 from Minnesota, as Sergei Brylin’s #18 will be taken over by rookie Niklas Bergfors.

– ROD PELLEY RETURNS, KEVIN CORMIER ACQUIRED –

In under-the-radar news, Rod Pelley has in fact been re-signed by the Devils. The deal is 2 years with a cap hit of $550,000 per season. In addition to signing Pelley, Lou Lamoriello made a small ripple on the trade market, sending Sean Zimmerman to Phoenix in exchange for Patrice Cormier’s older and bad-assier brother Kevin Cormier. If my memory serves me right, the Devils brother-total now stands at 4. (the Giontas, Pandolfos, Parises, & Cormiers.)

In my opinion, Lou can sign as many brothers as he wants as long he doesn’t shift his attention west… Vancouver in particular.

Wait, nevermind. I said brothers, not sisters

– THIRDS HAVE (unfortunately) RETURNED –

It seems that even RBK couldn’t keep the third jersey away from the game. Unfortunately there will be a return of the cash-grabs this season. Some teams have already released their designs, while other mock-ups are being rendered by fans based on provided descriptions. You can check out some of the MOCK-UP JERSEYS here.

– TIME CHANGE –

The Rangers/Devils pre-season game scheduled for next Saturday, Sept. 27th @ MSG has been moved up from a 2pm start to a 1pm start.

That is all.

******

Pre-season starts in just 6 days, folks! Who’s ready for a live-cap?!