Odds of a Devils’ Stanley Cup Win

Fans of the New Jersey Devils have had a lot to celebrate over the past few regular seasons. They’ve been one of the most dominant teams on the ice leading up the playoffs, giving the home-team faithful months of chest-painting, white-knuckled, devil-shouting opportunities.

When the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around, however, the Devils have a nagging little habit of being a habitual one-and-done squad.

What are the odds that all changes this year? It’s still very early in the NHL season, but based on the offseason moves, the current momentum the team is carrying, and the weight of the Devils’ competition, it’s the perfect time to lay down the lines and to call things like they are.

New Jersey has an extremely talented team. With their 38-year-old lock-down, never-say-die staple goalie, Martin Brodeur, the Devils rarely have to put up big offensive numbers to win. And forward Ilya Kovalchuk was a great addition when he came along halfway through last season.

They’ve also won four of the last five Atlantic Division titles. But don’t risk it all just yet. This isn’t a casino online; we’re talking about hockey. Sure, the Devils are regular season juggernauts, but out of those four division wins, they’ve only won two playoff series and, out of five straight postseason appearances, haven’t made it past the first round in three years.

Kovalchuk couldn’t get the Devils over the hump last year. Some say the mid-season acquisition was the reason, and that things will flow more smoothly this year. But it’s hard to forget that five-game beat-down New Jersey took from the Flyers.

Overall, the Pittsburgh Penguins are favored to win the Atlantic this year, at -150, but are essentially a .500 team to date. This does leave the door open for New Jersey to knuckle-up and handle business in the regular season, surpassing their +300 odds and taking down the title again, but they have to prove it out on the ice.

To get to the Stanley Cup Finals, we’re looking at a completely different set of odds. The fact that the Devils fall short year after year has to be factored in, even if you’re approaching it through pro-Devil bias. The odds of hitting a big win playing slot online are better; New Jersey is +1500 to get to the Finals.

Nothing is outside the realm of possibility. New Jersey is a great team with a few weak runs on their schedule that could bode extremely well. However, the team has to show up during the playoffs and prove that they’re worthy of a Stanley Cup. Until then, all the odds in the world won’t help the Devils.

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs. Panthers 12/11/2009

Damn what a slow and un-exciting way to start off the weekend of what’s been a pretty awesome near two-week-celebration of my birthday (on Sunday mind you…. Sun Tavern may never be the same again :p)… though I feel bad for my friend and long-time reader Barry from Scotland, he’s been out here for two games… and seen TWO DUDs so far… least he gets the Flyers tonight….there was about one thing and one thing alone that was worthy about tonight’s match-up… it was the mildly anticipated duel between mb30, and last season’s most unlikely savoir of season in Scott Clemmensen…. (and even though I’m not feeling it today and I have no energy and this game sucked… I am a person of my word… I said I’d cover the home games… well…. here I am :p)

the Good:
– I have to say I was VERY happy for the reception that Scott Clemmensen got from the fans… we as a fan base (and be honest most sets of fans are this way too) can get bagged on for being classless assholes…. we boo’ed Niedermayer (I know I did), we don’t care when Rafalski is back…. Gionta’s reaction should be interesting if he’s healthy for the second Montreal game… but last night… all the yelling of SUCKS for the opposing team STOPPED when Clemmensen was introduced as the goalie… hell he got a bigger ovation then most of the Devils intro’ed after (well except Andy)…. and it was good to see that we as a fan base can at least have a memory that extends one season :)… hell even Pete who would yell at his own mom if she wore the other team’s jersey was yelling:
“Hey clemmensen…we miss you!!!…………… And we hope you live!!”
Awwww :) (see I have a heart, fuckers!!)
– I also thought Rod Pelley had a nice little game….dare I say… PIST PELLEY POWERFUL!!!!!!!! Hell that line even got double-digit ice time… and McAmmond’s goal (which was the first since like color TV was invented) was pretty shifty and again he reminds me way too damn much of John Madden…..
– Brian Rolston… the offense has been back in the last six weeks, and we’re actually getting the player advertised for here in him at last!
– and no matter how dead, or empty the arena can be… or how out of it the fans are…. lil Nicky brings his shit and his A GAME every night… tonight’s just one of those nights you can really love and appreciate that kid’s passion and there ain’t much else good to talk about tonight….
– though it was a fitting tribute tonight to Scott Clemmensen as well… he scares the shit out of you… bad goals go in….his technique is clumsy and borderline WTF-worthy, but hot damn he played in this building and HE WON, just about every time… I’ll call that a positive as I can actually remember a lot of the FUN that last season was (until that miserable March and April….)

the Bad:
– Wow, even yahoo screwed this one up: “Florida’s Michael Frolik (R) beats New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, who was denied in his first try at record shutout No. 104.” … someone wanna tell the guy writing on the FRONT PAGE, that the Devils had a game Wednesday too… so it was the 2nd try??? Thanks, K-BYE!
– This is kinda all you need to know about it being a bad night….. (A. Greene 20:02 0 0 -2)… it’s actually kinda funny because I thought he was kinda GOOD with the stick checks and the little plays that kept the puck away from the Panthers and took away 4-5 good chances, and stopped an empty net with a slick little stick move….or am I covering too much for my man? :p
– the Devils had just gotten back into the game and it was 3-2 after the sweet McAmmond goal, and it looked like they were about to crank it up and get going again…..and they let Frolik rumble, bumble and stumble in CLEAN on that damn breakaway, and yes it was a sweet perfect move and abusrd finish over the pad… but you CAN’T DO THAT right when you got shit back your way, I know they’re human… they’re allowed a stinker between two rivalry games in Phily and Carolina but…. aw….. shit, this just took what was a revived crowd out of it too…. uugghhhhh

the Funny:
(not much here either…. we’re saving it for tonight)
– I saw a tiny, really skinny young lady walking into the ice lounge with a Langenbrunner jersey… and you’re going “ok, so what’s your point?”… well when you’re such a tiny lil girl like that and the name is SO DAMN LONG it gets all mooshed up in the back and you can’t read the thing and it makes ya even look more tiny and dainty then y’are… don’t do it… it make you look brittle and shit… stick with the small names… go Pairse (AHHHHH), Zajac….hell go Andy… we all should!!! Or even customize… I saw a MOM jersey… CMON MOM JERSEYS!!!!!
– My lone facebook contributor:
Steve LaFlamme …there is no ‘ctrl’ key on Andy Greene’s keyboard. Andy Greene is always in control. (we didn’t have enough for pure Andy Greene worship tonight…. I expect more tomorrow :p) (sorry guys I scrapped the SMS code idea… I didn’t think it was gonna save this write-up)
– but in the theme of it….. I did have an OMG WTF IS THAT MOMENT…. after the 2nd period I make my trip to the bathroom… I hear a weird bouncing sound… and it was that puffed up JS Giguere-sized “Lil NJ” (and I thought my “bastard son was a MESS lookit lil NJ eh??) and he’s bouncing through the hallways running up and down like he’s the freaking stay puft Marshmellow man…. or of course your 2003 Conn-solation Symthe winner as well…..

Damn I got nothin else… this was a stink, the Flyers are in 10 hours or so… I’m done here :p

And another one bites the dust!

Reports out of New York indicate that the New Jersey Devils will take at least two less penalties a game next season.

That’s right, ladies ‘n gents, Bobby Holik is no longer with Black ‘n Red.

After 18 seasons, 11 with the Devils, the 38-year-old bruiser has decided to hang ‘em up.

His reason? He wants to be a family man.

Best of luck, Bobby. Just don’t take any cross-checking penalties with your kids. I heard those could be pretty lethal with children.

In all seriousness, thanks for a great career in New Jersey. I’ll let the whole “EFF YOU GUYZ I’M GOING TO THE RANGERS LOL!!!” thing slide. Just this once. Don’t Brett Farve this shizz and come out of retirement, like, seven times and go play with, I dunno, the Flyers or something.

Actually, you kind of really sucked this year. That might not be such a bad thing…

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.

Game night.

So.  Tonight.

It’s a big one.  A little too big for a pair of teams that have been pretty poor in their last four games.

The Devils, of course, are 0-3-1 since Marty Brodeur recorded shutout #101 two Fridays ago.   The Rangers, who play host to NJ tonight at MSG, are 1-2-1 over the last four.  I’m sure this is exactly what Versus was angling for.  Show Us Your V indeed.

Ah, who am I kidding.  We all know the real storyline – not that it’s the REAL storyline, but the storyline the media’s going to hype ad nauseum – Sean Avery Vs. Martin Brodeur, round whatever.

Avery’s keep his mouth shut on tonight’s game (as probably should have been expected, the Rangers won’t allow him to talk to the media ’til post-game), and Marty’s dodging questions with relation to Avery.  In reality, there’s bigger fish to fry than worrying about Sean Avery – namely, righting the ship before crashing and burning in the first round of the playoffs again, while simultaneously striking a big blow to the Rangers playoff chances.

Avery can do whatever he wants as far as I’m considered, so long as the Devils escape unharmed and with a regulation victory.  Of course, it’s easy enough for me to say, I’m not playing the game, nor do I have a hoard of reporters asking me about Avery.  So of course, that’s going to be in the back of Marty’s mind, and in the back of the team’s mind.  Focus is the key tonight, however.

Moving on from that sideshow, the Devils remain pretty awful on the road – losing seven of the last ten.  Tonight’s game, of course, is in MSG, which means they’ll have to break that pattern in order to come away with a big two points.  The Devils are in the midst of a brutal stretch of games, six games in nine nights.  The Flyers are nipping at their heels, only six points back.  Two points tonight will be huge, snapping a losing streak, opening some more space in the division race, and making the road all the more difficult for the Rangers going into the playoffs.

While the Devils have not been particularly good against the Rangers in the last few years, as we all know, the boys in Red n’ Black have taken three straight from the cross-river rivals.  Problem is, they all came with Scott Clemmensen in net.  Marty’s beaten New York dozens of times, but not very often lately, so here’s to hoping we can right that little bizarre wrinkle of a stat this evening.

There won’t be a LiveCap tonight, sadly.  At least not from my end, as I won’t be catching the early portions of tonight’s game due to schooling commitments.  So kick back, enjoy and game, and for the love of all that is good in the world, let’s win this one tonight, yes?  Yes.

No Update Needed.

To answer the burning question, YES — we’re still alive. Despite losing a pie-eating contest to my girlfriends brother, (Seriously, who eats NINE pieces of pie and still LOSES?!) I’m still able to sit and rant about my team.

That being said, as hockey fans we’re all used to watching our teams throw up the occasional stinker — much like the Devils did the other night in Pittsburgh. As bloggers, it’s typically our duty to go running through our cluttered ten-by-ten apartments — dodging landmines of empty pizza boxes and chinese take-out along the way — and rip our boys a brand new shiny one for doing so.

In other cases, our readers take care of it for us. Please see exhibit 1-A:

(In response to our Thanksgiving Day graphic)


Thanks for taking the words right out of our mouths, Rick. Next time the boys throw up a smelly one like that again, I’ll be sure to make you your very own 2MA graphic.

Now… how to kill the next couple of days before we meet up with the Flyers?