IT’S A TRAP!

Jacques Lemaire, to the surprise of absolutely no one who follows hockey at all, is the new head coach of the Devils.  God help us all.

I’m going to give this a month or two before deciding whether it’s a bad move or not, but it doesn’t feel good right now. Lemaire is terribly old-school, and the Devils were finally turning into a strong forechecking team, and a pretty exciting one at that.

On the other hand, Lemaire, while successful with the Wild, wasn’t THAT successful, and he’s gotta know that at his age (64 in September), this is his last shot to prove that he can win in the new NHL. Maybe he can change. Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

Hey, at least Brian Rolston can be counted on for a good chunk of goals this year. It was under Lemaire that he scored 30+ per season for three years before signing with the Devils last year.

For those wondering, Lemaire brings Mario Tremblay with him as assistant coach. The Devils retain Tommy Albelin, and Johnny MacLean moves down to Lowell as the new head coach there. Congrats to Johnny Mac, as this, I think, essentially guarantees him the Devils head coaching job in two years.

It’s definitely a decision that leaves us much to discuss for the rest of the summer. Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?

Devils Vs. Sharks LIVECAP!

5:41 PM: Stats:  Clarkson with two goals.  Parise, Rolston, and Gionta with two assists (Gionta with the first goal, as well).  Four game winning streak – including two in a row over the two best teams in hockey.  What a weekend.  That’s going to do it for me today.  Goodnight everyone!

5:39 PM: Stars of the game:  Clarkson, Langenbrunner, Elias.

5:38 PM: GAME OVER!  DEVILS WIN, 6-5!  Devils give the Sharks their first regulation loss when leading after two periods.  Good god what a game.  You coulda had this on national TV, NBC.  Bite me!

5:36 PM: Empty net for the Sharks.  Also, Clarkson gets credit for the last goal, not Rolston.  Thirty seconds to go in the game, the penalty is over!

5:35 PM: Minute and thirty to go in the game, a bit over thirty seconds to go in the power play, and the Sharks take a time out after Clemmer gloves down a shot.  Holy hell this is gonna be one hell of an ending.  Have I mentioned that NBC totally BLEW IT?!

5:34 PM: This. game. is. NUTS.

5:33 PM: Oduya gets called for…something…on Setoguchi.  Sharks to the PP.  Meep.

5:31 PM: ROLSTON!  GOOD GOD, every time he scores on a shot like that, the money we’re paying him becomes more and more worth it.  BIG blast from the top beats Nabakov, screened by Clarkson.  6-5 Devils and three minutes left in regulation.

5:30 PM: Parise has done ust about everything offensively save for score a goal.  I’d wager he’s at seven or eight shots and some great passes.  Only a matter of time, I think.

5:29 PM: Clemmensen is NOT having a good game.  Gets mixed around behind the net trying to play the puck.  Joe Thorton gets whistled for a cross-check, though, so…opportunity is there now.  Let’s get the lead kids.

5:25 PM: Thorton pulls a Lyle Odelin and passes to the goalie.  Haha.  Probably not as intentionally as Odelin, but still.

5:24 PM: Less than eight minutes to go in the third.

5:21 PM: Gio with a rocket of a shot that bounces off the post, and the PP is over.  That…was not so good.

5:20 PM: Oh for christ sake.  Pavelski picks it up on a turnover in the neutral zone and beats Clemmensen with a backhand, and we’re tied again on a shorthanded goal.  Dammit.

5:19 PM: Joslin dumps a puck over the glass – that’d be a delay of game, and the Devils get themselves another PP.  Let’s try and extend the lead a little, yes?

5:16 PM: Parise and Zajac with the assists on the Cap’n’s goal.

5:14 PM: YES!  Parise with a drive, big rebound to Captainbrunner who jams it home!  5-4 Devils with the lead, 12 minutes to play in the game!

5:13 PM: Not a great start to the power play, as Johnny O can’t hold it at the point.

5:11 PM: And there’s our make-up call for the bad penalty against Colin White at the end of the second – at least I assume so anyway, because Mike Rupp drew it.  I’d like to see a replay, but MSG+ would like me to see that guy who talks about how great the local teams are instead.

5:10 PM: And that’s the end of the power play.  But we’re tied.  And that’s pretty awesome.

5:09 PM: Devils still on the PP for another 35ish seconds.

5:08 PM: WHOO!  THAT’S what the power play should look like!  Hard-working all around.  Parise hammers a shot in on Nabokov that’s stopped, Parise throws the rebound through the crease at Elias jams it home! Elias with the goal on the 2 Man Advantage, because Patty loves us.  Tie game!

5:06 PM: Clarkson gets whomped into the boards, crumbling in a heap.  Ehrhoff gets the penalty, Devils get a 2 MAN ADVANTAGE for 30 seconds!

5:05 PM: Devils are really buzzing on this power play – a handful of shots already and even more chances.  A minute and change to go.

5:04 PM: Penalty to Thorton for a hook – a legit call, which means we’re still owed some makeups from previous bad calls dammit.  Regardless, it’s a power play.

5:03 PM: Okay, penalty to Captainbrunner over, we’re back to full strength.

5:01 PM: Third period on.  Devils still on the PK, and still down by a goal.  The Sharks have yet to lose in regulation when making it to the third in the lead.

4:42 PM: Setoguchi scores on a nice pass from Thorton, and it’s 4-3 Sharks to end the second.  Devils will still be on the PK for the start of the third.  See y’all then.

4:40 PM: Oh for eff’s sake.  Captainbrunner goes down with a trip and now it’s a five-on-three for San Jose for 1:17.  Dammit gang.

4:39 PM: Mike Rupp with a shot on net, which surprised me because this is the first I’ve heard of Mike Rupp playing this afternoon.  Colin White takes an interference call and now it’s the Sharks on the PP.

4:35 PM: And the inability to convert that opportunity may prove costly, as Cheechoo scores with a blast, re-directed by the stick of Andy Greene on defense.  Game’s tied at 3.  Sigh.

4:34 PM: JEBUS!  Elias gets a one-on-one with Rob Blake, waits for Zubbie, Zubbie manages to get Nabakov to wind up way out of net, and then can’t get it to anyone in the slot – because no one would get to the slot.  Dammit.

4:33 PM: Kerry “The Hair” Fraser says it was inconclusive, so the call on the ice stands, and it’s no goal.  Phew.

4:31 PM: Pavelski gets ROBBED by Clemmensen.  They’re reviewing the play and it seems similar to the one that went against us in Anaheim.  Clemmensen’s pad is somewhat in the net and there’s no way to really tell where the puck is underneath.  Frankly, I think the puck, if in the net, was kicked regardless in the end.  Of course, as we all know, the one in Anaheim went against us, so…let’s just wait and see.

4:28 PM: And that’d be the end of another Devils PP.  I think that’s 0-for-3 on the day now?  Not good, guys.  Not good.

4:27 PM: Zajac’s back on the bench.  Thank you merciful god.

4:26 PM: Ohhh man Parise with a glorious chance in front but can’t lift the rebound over Nabakov’s pad!

4:25 PM: Devils head to the power play after a high sticking call against the Sharks.

4:24 PM: So with Zajac still out, they’re mixing in centers to play with Captainbrunner and Parise, and right now it’s Holik.  Now THAT’S scary.

4:20 PM: All penalties have expired, back to full strengh for everyone.

4:19 PM: Johnny tried to dust off last year’s Orr-duya smooth skating rush all by himself, but this time he shoots probably too early and misses the net.  Oh well.

4:18 PM: And now Rolston goes down for a slash.  Rollie’s picking very bad times to take very bad penalties.  Four-on-four for a minute and a half.

4:17 PM: Clowe goes to the box for an unintentional trip, but a trip nonetheless.  Devils back to the PP, sans Zajac, who’s yet to return from the locker room.

4:12 PM: Game sure has settled since the early parts of the first period.

4:09 PM: Zajac just took a stick to the face by Bryce Salavdor.  Crap.  Zajac to the locker room.

4:07 PM: And that’s the end of that one.  Not much going on, only one shot on Nabakov.

4:04 PM: Michalek with a huge slash on Zajac’s stick, and we get our first PSE&G Power Plaaaaay! of the afternoon

4:02 PM: We be back.

3:43 PM: Aaaaand that’ll be the end of the first, Devils up 3-2.  Shots are 11-8 in the Sharks favor.  I’ll be back in seventeen, will you?

3:40 PM: Salvador gets tangled up and tripped, no call though.  Can’t really tell if it should have been a penalty, but everyone at the arena thinks it was.  Devils have yet to go on the PP this afternoon.

3:38 PM: Hey, what gives, we haven’t seen a goal in like five minutes.

3:36 PM: Hey NBC, this is what you missed out on this afternoon, when you just HAD to air Rangers/Flyers.  HA!

3:34 PM: What a wild game.  3-2 and we’re only 3/4s of the way through the first period.

3:29 PM: CLARKSON! Devils with a breakout, two on two.  Bad pass but Clarkson grabs a hold of it, spins and whips a deceptively strong shot at the net that I don’t think Nabby even saw.  3-2 Devils, assists to Madden and Rolson.

3:25 PM: At least I picked the right game to LiveCap this weekend, based on early returns, eh?

3:24 PM: …where they thusly score.  Patrick Marleau tips one in for his 30th on the season, and the score’s tied at 2.

3:23 PM: Aaaand Rollie celebrates with a hook, and the Sharks – who have scored a PP goal in 9 of 10 – head to the power play…

3:22 PM: To quote Steve…”Rolston SHAT SCAARR!”  2-1 Devils, Rolston whips a quick wrister down low through Nabakov.  Madden and Gionta with assists.

3:21 PM: Good looking crowd today.  I’d venture to guess that we may be looking at a sellout this afternoon!

3:18 PM: We looked real good for like a minute there.

3:15 PM: Hot damn.  Big drive by Rob Blake beats Clemmensen cleanly, and we’re tied at 1-1.

3:13 PM: No Doc this afternoon, as he was in NYC calling the very amusing 5-2 Flyers victory over the Rangers – one featuring a four goal second period for Philly, the pulling of Lundy (again), and a five-on-three shorthanded goal by Mike Richards that made me laugh very loudly.

3:12 PM: Nevermind, Canjo just answered that – Pepe was not listed as a starter, hence a little confusion at the start of the game.

3:10 PM: Gionta from Patty and Zubbie, 30 seconds in.  Claude Lemieux took the opening faceoff against Patty, btw.  I wonder what kind of reaction he got when they announced his name at the arena pre-game.  Did he get the traditional “(insert player name here) SUCKS!” chant, or perhaps some cheers?

3:09 PM: GIONTA!  I didn’t even have time to mention that the puck’s on ice and Gio sweeps on in off a pass from Elias and it’s already 1-0!

3:08 PM: Apparently Paul Martin is also not playing today due to “upper body soreness,” Jay Leach is in.  Shanny was not a surprise, Martin really is…I wonder what happened there?

3:07 PM: Shanny’s out for the Devils with general soreness after blocking four shots Friday night with his feet area.  Jay Pandolfo is back in tonight in his stead.  Go Super Jay!

3:04 PM: On the Devils end, three straight wins.  Clemmensen has posted consecutive shutouts and hasn’t allowed a goal in seven straight periods, over 140 minutes.  Captainbrunner has nine goals in nine games, Elias has a six game assist streak going, and the team is coming off a 1-0 victory over the NHL-leading Bruins.  Yay!

3:03 PM: So here’s the deal.  First, regarding the Sharks:  Yes, Pepe is playing.  He missed practice yesterday due to illness, but he’s over it.  Passed it on to Dan Boyle, though, who will miss the game with the flu.

3:00 PM: So there’s about twenty other things I should be doing today, but none of them involve two of the best teams in hockey, so here I am, LiveCapping Devils/Sharks for all you loyal 2MA readers.  Let me know you’re out there!