Thoughts (again) from Sun Tavern, NJ: USA vs Canada..where are YOUR Gold Medals?

OK, so who else has simply LOVED these Olympics this year?? I know I have…. Hell I even got into the curling, and all that wacky stuff (I almost even know all the rules)….and the hockey what can I say?? The women’s tournament was a ton of fun (and I’ve made the Lady Finn goalie with the best eyes EVER into an international STAR…. now if only I could bring her and her power left hook home… hrrrmmm….go ahead, bring on the jokes about me and foreign women… I can take em!)… I’m actually kinda sad to see them go this year… but if you’re going to end an Olympics… THIS is how…. US invading Canadian soil…. one game… winner takes all…. “one shall stand…. one shall fall” (if you guys can whip out Princess Bride quotes I can go with the ONLY acceptable Transformer movie ever made!)… and in a few short hours if Kurt Angle walked up to one of these teams and said “where are YOUR gold medals??” they can turn and go “RIGHT HERE BEATCH!!!!”

And since I have some time here… and while I did like the Olympics… time to air some annoyances here…..
— I DON’T CARE ABOUT POLITICS or any crap show on MSNBC I’m only watching your shit channel because you MADE ME and no matter how many times you shove the ED show commercials down my throat I ain’t watching…
— in this trend if I see one more commercial for the goddamn census I am going to stab a kitten…. we get it… it’s important … we need fill it out… stop shoving Tina Faye in my face!!
— Though in some happy news, hockey fever is running wild in the Sun Tavern, this is gonna be a damn near football Sunday crowd 🙂
— and since I already took one shot at Michael Bay here… the only thing scary about the new Elm Street is that it’s Michael Bay’s awful dream :p

  • First Period
  • — Wow Doc looks OLD… and just when you think it… they show Al Michaels circa 1980… now THERE is a dude who looks old now :p (though as much as NBC annoys me and pushes shit down your throat… that Ice Vision thing is hella awesome!)
    — Both goalies make the first saves in the game and no Kipper flubs!!
    — No real advantage in play back and forth by either team… but some SERIOUS one-liners going back and forth at the bar!
    — Orpik SLAMS Heatley HARD AND HEAVY into the bench… no truth to the rumor that Ron Wilson offered him a US jersey and a chance to turn heel and join team AMERICA (fuck yeah!)
    — Crazy scramble in front and it’s PUFFY PAD SAVES OF DOOM BY LUONGO…and a stick save and cover… for extra drama-flavor!
    — They showed the replay of the puck on the line and I swear to God if that was curling the US would have won!!!
    — Dammit.. so much for the American burger helping :p

    (1 – 0, Can) Teows[1] (Richards) {12:50}
    Richards gets through two US defenders and works hard to get the shot through… Miller the good save, but the rebound to his left and there’s Teows and he grabs and fires the rebound up and over…. and a nation up north exhales!!!

    — Seems 18,000 people want a beer all at once since they’re yelling Miller!!!!
    — And they call Bobby Ryan for CHECKING… really… he CHECKED the dude!!
    USA kills the penalty pretty easy… they didn’t respond after the goal, but hell they didn’t pull a Finland at least!
    — Callahan a mini-break with time running out… but he’s a Ranger…. he sucks… two more periods and we can hate them again!!

  • Second Period
  • — the people behind us are getting a little bit too much into EVERY time a US player comes down the ice (and representing the US in a Scott Stevens jersey… really?? )
    — Ryan Malone to the box for FACE-CHECK!!! (Hell they might call that in the NHL too!!)
    the people oversell the Miller save like it was a gunshot…. I be happy no points for Cindy!! And I’m busy talking US beer va Canada beer with my Ottawa friend Sara!
    — WOW WHAT A SAVE BY MILLER…. oops as I was gonna say it was Richter-like… the result might be :p

    (2 -0, Can) Perry[4] (Getzlaf) {7:13}
    Getzlaf makes a centering pass… Marleau to the net…..Whitney gets a stick on it, but bad luck… good bounce…. it goes right to Perry and he turns and just FLIPS it… and Miller had NO CHANCE

    — US gets another pp but when you put Langs, Parise and Rafalski on it… YOU GET DEVILS RESULTS SUCKS… EVERYONE KILL EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!!!!
    — Team USA is getting with it now… J.Johnson the rush.. around the d… in front… KICKED OUT LUONGO !! DAMN YOUR BLOATED LIKE WOMAN ON PMS PADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    — Doc sets Olympic record… most times mentioning Cherry Hill, NJ … that’s gotta be some kinda first!!!
    — KEEP MENTIONING CHERRY HILL DOC!!!

    (2 – 1) Kessler[2] (Kane, Rafalski) {12:44}
    Simple play but damn it worked… Raflaski leaves for Kane… across to Kane… centers and Kessler swats at it… and Luongo doesn’t….
    see it’s off the ice… this is a good thing… FUCK YEAH!!!

    — HERE COMES PARISE…AAAAAAHHHHH!!! But Luongo comes out and gives him the logo-buster on a Rob Tonnesson level!!!
    — USA off side on the goal?? Well that call seems random in the Olympics now :p
    — Good Lord people it’s a fucking shot on goal… STOP SCREAMING… hockey idiots!! (see why I like hockey being a cult sport???)
    — Nash with the WRAPAROUND BUT THAT’S MUH-TOE MUH-TOE even a Devils fan can cheer!!!!!
    — Stretch pass and RANDOM NUMBER 21 CUTS IN BUT MILLER MAKES THE SAVE AND JOHNSON SACRIFICES HIS STICK BUT HELPS GET IT OUTTA THERE!!! END OF SECOND PERIOD… wow… we gots us a GAME peopless!!!

  • third Period
  • — Wow, that was a good play for Canada… why is she cheering this… doesn’t she…..
    I instantly cut her off and say NO…. no really the woman behind us can’t tell a hockey puck from a curling stone (thanks for the setup Tasha!)
    — Team Canada starts the 3rd period with a nice start…. if we were playing GOALPOSTS!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!!!
    — Ohhh Drury’s hurt!!! 11 minutes until RANGERS SUCK time anyway!!!
    — WHAT A SAVE BY MILLER ROLLING THE RIGHT LEG OUT ON THE REBOUDN CHANCE!! How come that NEVER works for me dammit!!!!!
    — Fuck Drury’s back…. well we only need him 9 more minutes anyway, right??
    — Malone a shot… people behind us scream like it’s Parise…. but it’s not to be!!
    — OK the save was LESS epic because it was on Thornton and Heatley… the only time Heatley hits the target is when driving kids :p
    — “I never watched a full hockey game before” (from behind us)
    me “WE NOTICED”
    — Rafalksi pounces on a loose puck… but BLOCKED BY BOYLE… if only he kept his house from burning with that passion….
    speaking of… WTF is with the random goal horn?!?!?!
    — FUCK YOU CROSBY POKE CHECK MILLER!!! All I yelled was ANYONE BUT CINDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    — Wow, the hockey geniuses want us to pull Miller with 2 minutes left… CMONNNN!!! (again this is why I love that no one loves hockey :p)
    — I wish I could tell you what happens, but the front run idiocy is killing him…. “Hey Luongo can’t catch”… ummm… asshole, he’s a butterfly goalie… ALL HE DOES IS CATCH asshat!!!!!
    — Miller to the bench… people freak out that the puck WAS NINETY FEET FROM THE EMPTY NET!! Good god!!!!
    — DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES… AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    (2 – 2) PARISE[5] (Langenbrunner, Kane) {19:35}
    WHO GIVES A FUCK HOW IT HAPPENED.. ZACH PARISE TIES IT UP WITH 30 SECONDS LEFT!!! THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO FUCKING KNOW BITCHES!!!! BRING ON OVERTIME!!!!!!

    — Confirmed FACT, they’re even yelling AHHHHHH, PARISE IN ARGENTINA FUCKER!!!!!

  • Overtime!!!
  • — Wow, the woman behind me called Parise the best there is the best there was and the best there ever will be… hey that shit’s Canadian dummy!!!!
    — also that kinda fitting that an Olympics I don’t want to end has an extra session!!
    — Parise comes in 1 on 3… me “so the sides are even!!!”

    (3 -2, Canada) Crosby[4] (Iginla)
    Well we all know what happened and why… dammit Miller should have had this shot too…. and Gary Bettman too busy jacking off in the NHL luxury box… and the fucking golden child does it again :p…. mb30 fakes joining in the Olympic Pile like a Jewish woman on her wedding night…. yay Canada… hate you Crosby and RANGERS SUCK AGAIN!!!!!

    — well back to the Devils grind soon and often!!!!

    He done it again!

    You gotta give it to Zubbie.  He doesn’t score much, but when he does, he makes ’em count.  Game winner tonight with under two minutes to play.

    Oh, so you want to make a ZubbieCounterContest picture for this, Zubbie’s 3oth Goal As A Devil?  Okay, knock yourselves out.  Send ’em in to [email protected] by, oh, let’s say Sunday night.  I’ll pick a winner Monday morning to be posted on this very site.

    Will the ZubbieCounterContest continue for this year?  Not really sure.  But you guys are a creative bunch, so it’ll at least be fun to see what you come up with.  Get going!

    NJ Devils Month in Review, October 2008

    Back at this again!!! Always fun, always exciting to start a new season and have some expectations to it… and then soon after… it fizzles away by game ….goals… slugfests, all sorts of crazy stuff… but the roller coaster is on a down swing and injuries aside the first month of the 2008-09 season has some things to worry about!!!

    Forwards:
    #9 (LW) Zach Parise:
    The future of this team and holy shit the future is NOW too… 12 points in 9 games… goals in his last five, a game winner and a game tying goal too… what the hell more could you ask from this kid?? This may be the easiest guy to talk about this month… and it’s a shame… he deserves more time here… but nothing to say besides… awesome!!!
    Grade: A+

    #14 (RW) Brian Gionta:
    Has been bounced around already… and not by opposing forwards…. Victim #1 of the Sutter lines out of a hat shuffle… but really has done pretty well so far…people will bitch and whine “because he only has one goal” (should have had a second last night, but it did become an assist)… and leading the team in assists and second in points… not too shabby, more so for a guy with a knock of being shoot first second and third… shots lead to rebounds which lead to assists…. I like the feisty play and for a midget he really does thrive when he gets his nose dirty!
    Grade: A-

    #19 (Center) Travis Zajac:
    Looks like a bounce back year so far for Travis… he’s bigger, meaner (from my seats he sometimes looks Holik-ish)..killing penalties… and looking like the team’s best center this, again only one goal, but SOMEONE scored on his 5 helpers right?? Last year is LONG forgotten here (and remember this all you dopes that wanted to trade a 25 year old with this much upside… I TOLD YOU AGAIN… be patient with the kids!!!)
    Grade: B+

    #26 (LW) Patrik Elias-A
    5 minor penalties is not a good thing already, and seems to lost a step on his shot and is looking to help and pass first… hasn’t exactly clicked with Zubrus and Vrana, and with the injuries at forwards seems to be looking for a guy to make plays with.. willing to cut him some slack based on injuries and shifting talent around him… but will need more from Patrik if/when Parise slows down….least on the bright side… Elias has 40 shots, which means the effort and opportunity IS there… just a matter of them falling in….
    Grade: B-

    #11 (Center) John Madden-A
    The 3 goals is a nice start, but it seems like Madden may be slowing a bit… look at the goals scored by opponents in the last few games…. 5, 3, 6… a troubling sign and yes the defense has been spotty, but some of that falls on the checking line… blasted in the post game by Sutter as well… maybe it’s a sign that this checking line can no longer be the focal point of this team’s strategy anymore….does have value still as the team’s lone faceoff guy too…
    Grade: C+ (just a bit above average.. seems about the right grade for him)

    #9 (LW) Danius Zubrus:
    Has been a nice surprise this year… the goal stats are a bit eh, but also has been shuffled around… seemed to be more comfortable and physical with Holik as his center… but this physical controlling play seemed to have continued without Bobby One-Brow around…
    Not really in the right mix playing with Elias and Vrana either… but the guy has a skill set and it’s just a matter of finding someone to play with him when Holik and Rolston get back too…. He’s been good so far though…
    Grade: B+ (another much improved from last year folk)

    #15 (RW) Jamie Langenbrunner-C
    Disappointing could be a word… slow could be another… rushed back from an injury when there is NO NEED to (it’s October… play the kids and let the beat up guy you need in the stretch heal) 16 PIMs is a bad sign of being caught behind the play and having to cheat and heal up…. It may be a point in his career where he’s going to need to take some nights off to be effective, but the old boy’s club coach ain’t gonna do that either…then again this could be a “he’s off to a slow start and will get better come January” things… all the MORE reason to sit his ass and let him get healthy!!!!
    Grade: C-

    #23 (RW) David Clarkson:
    VERY frustrating player… has all the skills and tools to be one hell of a power forward… but won’t get his nose dirty…. 2 goals again looks nice on the stat sheet but one was a Marty Turco whiff… the other was a NICE tip-in though… had one hell of a fight last night though… if he’d do more of that and keeping his stuff in front of the net he’d be a million times better, but I guess he’s still young… personally I’d give him #21 and make him watch Randy McKay films until his eyes bled!!
    Grade: C

    #20 (LW) Jay Pandolfo:
    Again seems a bit slow this year… the 2 on 1’s shorthanded are long long ago and probably not coming back… maybe a bit complacent after getting the new contract, but he’s been slow out of the box too… not expected to score, but if this line is gonna get 18+ minutes a night… he HAS to be more then 2 assists, and again when Sutter is calling him out for a bad game (which should be expected when as many goals have flown by as they have in the last week)…it’s a scary thought if these guys wear down this year….
    Grade: C

    #22 (LW) Petr Vrana:
    Has a nose for deflections by the net which I like.. stands in front… get his shit dirty, but doesn’t seem to have any explosion or anything in the play so far… but then again this team demands a lot on both ends of the ice and that and getting used to the league jitters are the norm (playing him on a line with Rupp is a TOTAL waste though mind you), 5 games is a short body of work to judge him on… and not to mention when the coach smells a sniff of shortening the bench he seems to be the first to go, and that seems to be more about his age rather then performance
    Grade: C+ (some of this is fault of the coaching staff still, more on that later)

    #12 (Center) Brian Rolston:
    Looked like he was about to find his way and got hurt… that sucks….
    Grade: Incomplete

    #25 (LW) Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond:
    Nice long ass name… he can fight… he can hit… he’s got an assist… but if he’s playing every night… we got problems… thug-loving fans will call for him to play in Cam Janssen like fashion, but is a spot player for limited minutes and he’ll be ok at that
    Grade: Incomplete (3 games, and probably 10 mins of ice)

    #17 (LW/C) Mike Rupp:
    Still the worst hockey instincts I’ve seen in a human being outside of my pickup games in Short Hills… he’s fighting more which is a plus….but still… he’s kinda eh… tolerable as the team’s 12th forward which he seems to be… loved the fight with Hollweg last night that was 5 stars!
    Grade: C+

    #16 (Center) Bobby Holik:
    Was scrappy and annoying and in people’s faces and backs when he was in the game… but the broken finger came at a bad time when he could have seen more, decent faceoff numbers… will eventually chip in some points and hopefully mentors Rupp and Clarkson along the way….he was decent enough until he went down…
    Grade: C

    Defense:
    #6 Andy Greene:
    Wow what a difference a year made in Andy’s play… more points in the month then all of last year… the shot is improved and two multiple assist games…. And the confidence is showing in his game as well, third on the team and first of all defensemen with a +4, and there’s been a few nights he’s been the best guy on the ice from the blue line…much like Zajac WORLDS of improvement over last year!!
    Grade: A

    #7 Paul Martin:
    Three assists isn’t going to cut it over the course of a month… good thing Andy Greene is picking up the slack… has a nice rapport with Salvador and is playing like a top pair defenseman (though he did look gassed 26 minutes into his ice time last night)…the kid is coming along very nicely and his skating is better then any other defender on the team..
    Grade: B-

    #27 Mike Mottau:
    Less minutes and on the 3rd Pair D is exactly what he needed… seems to have clicked with Andy Greene and the offense is coming from both of these guys nicely (hell look at the point upgrade in defense from this year to last already)… can’t complain much about this guy either… off to a good start….
    Grade: B

    #5 Colin White:
    Spotty… kinda playing with just one eye open (I know that’s awful… but I yell way too much NO PLAY IT WITH THE GOOD EYE COLIN at games)… may never evolve into the next top defenseman the team expected… but he’s ok… he just needs to be more ok then bad, and he’s not been doing it that well this year… it’s only 9 games, but it is troubling… but still he’s a +4, that’s odd… but it also doesn’t account the wet soggy swiss cheese the pk’s been in the last few games….
    Grade: C-

    #29 Johnny Oduya:
    Seems to be okay so far this year… still the mental mistakes are back a little… and he doesn’t seem to know how to use his speed and shot again (then again he’s probably getting scared to death of the Wrath of Sutter…. JOHHHHNNNNNN…. JOHHHNNNN!!)… only one assist is disappointing and may be spending more time covering Colin White’s bad eye then he need be doing….
    Grade: C

    #24 Bryce Salvador:
    Is fast becoming my favorite player on the team… plays smart… sticks up for teammates… hits after the play… fights… you name it and this guy does it… Playing solid with Paul Martin (we call this earning the contract!)… not doing much in offense, but doesn’t need to… I think this keeps up and my next paycheck is getting me a #24 jersey! I have no complaints on this guy!!
    Grade: A

    Incompletes:
    #28 (D) Anssi Salmela, #10 (RW) Matt Halischuk, #2 (D) Sheldon Brookbank:
    Salmela looked not ready for prime time… it’s ok, let him bake and come back in Lowell (though he might be back now with Andy Greene on the shelf with the broken hand)
    Halischuk looked like he belonged with Madden and Pandolfo… this is good…
    Brookbank didn’t kill anyone with his slapshot yet, so we are pleased!

    Goaltending:
    #30 Martin Brodeur
    Stupid, arrogant and ego-centric as the helmet may be (and it annoys me that he is allowed to put something on his mask that so OBVIOUSLY makes him ahead of the team)… he’s really been kinda good this month… well not the last two games (and I won’t go even into the fact that it’s a fucking joke that he played 22 hours after the game on Friday Night too… why waste money on a backup? Came out of the box really good and hellbent on breaking this all time wins record that NO ONE really cares about (well some Devil fans might… I don’t…want to set records that MATTER? Win more Cups… go get Patrick Roy’s PLAYOFF win record…. Until then it’s meaningless stat compilation and I’d rather he not burn his ass out in February again)… looked flat out EXHAUSTED by about shot 40 in the last game (then again that used to be a week’s level of worth… sad this is the only way I say the word WEEKES… free him now!!), but the blips in the defense and goaltending aside (it is a bit troubling that he’s let in some softies against the Rangers and Flyers)… he’s been pretty damn good… PLAY LESS GAMES!!!!
    Grade: B+ (yes I knocked him down some for the helmet and the back to back garbage)

    Coaching:
    Ah Brent Sutter… where to begin?? Now let me say this.. I LIKE the guy… I stress this because it’s going to sound like I don’t and I want him gone… but he’s doing things that piss me off so far……let’s get to those
    ? Rushing Langenbrunner back when Bergfors was called up… Langs has been beat up, injured and showing a lot of age and wear on the tires at this point of his career… letting him take the foot off the gas and rest up would have been wise…
    ? TOO MUCH ICE TIME TO THE OLD BOY’S CLUB!! Yes Elias, Madden and all have been key parts of this team, but how are you going to see what these kids in Vrana, Halishuk and so on have when you DON’T THROW THEM TO THE FIRE IN KEY SCENARIOS (and it’s even a bigger disgrace when you see how BAD Madden, Pando and Langs looked… more so in the last game… instead of bitching them out post game HIT PLAYERS WHERE THEY CARE… put the young legs out there and see what they got…. Every other god damn team in the league does it… not like we’ve been piling up Cups since the lockout!
    ? Lack of creativity in the offense… this seems to have changed a little with the youth… we’re actually seeing speed… flow… people in front… deflections….and not to mention… I’m sorry.. it’s retarded to have you finesse guys in Elias and Parise being the guys standing in front of the net while the Clakrson’s, Zubrus’ and Gionta’s are the ones outside the paint and they NEED to be in the goalie’s face to be able to make plays and finish shit off!!!
    ? Special Teams…. They’re more like from the special Olympics… the power play concepts seem to be good and shots and traffic are flowing from it… just not bounces… I guess that can be injuries and personnel issues now as well (though I’d rather see Greene get pp time as a reward for this resurgence)
    ? Brent is the first second and third guy to kill someone when they mess up.. how come he NEVER comes out and praises the team as much as he kills them… the more you beat on a horse without break or reward the sooner the damn thing is gonna die on you….

    Things I do like though:

    ? This team finally seems to have some balls… re: Salvador creaming a guy who tried to run at Martin….Rupp crushing Hollweg, etc…. this team is taking no shit and won’t be as soft or intmidated as they have been past years….
    ? The defensive pairings… White and Oduya almost by default… but this might change with Greene out… Greene and Mottau have chemistry as well as Martin and Salvador are a nice top pairing… but the minutes may need to be kept in the 22 range

    So all in all…. We’re way better then we were last year, but an alarming sign against the better teams in the East… but the talent and mindset is there for this team to do well… but they’re doing only ok….. like I said I like the guy and I think he can adjust but he better get to it.. CMON BRENT!!!!
    Grade: C

    (no comments on Lou yet, because we have yet to see how his improvements to the team will pan out)

    A ‘Stone For The Rock

    Stone as in MILE-stone. Those of you who were thinking KIDNEY-stone look pretty foolish right about now.

    So does anyone else realize the big milestone? Well, yesterday Prudential Center celebrated its one-year anniversary of Devils hockey. Yup, a solid 365 days had passed since that inaugural drop of the puck. It’s just too bad that said puck-drop was the only thing worth remembering on that night, but I’m not here to split hairs.

    I remember walking from Newark Penn Station to the arena for the very first time last October. I had never felt so much anticipation in my life. Once inside, I was awe-struck. I couldn’t believe this incredible building was our new home.

    That season seemed to come and go in quite the blur. I caught about fifteen home games last year and I still got that feeling of anticipation every time I made the walk down Market St. Though it may have gone quick, The Rock saw some heavy action and incredible moments in it’s inaugural year.

    Now, for all of you out there – regardless of what team you follow – if you had the chance to experience Prudential Center last season, use the comment thread to share some of your favorite memories from the first ever season at the Rock.

    Allow me to kick things off with my most memorable moment — Patrik Elias finishing off a beautiful 2-on-1 with Zach Parise to score the OT game winner vs. Boston. The Devils fell behind 3-0 in that game but battled all the way back for the win… December 5th, 2007.

    Allow me to refresh your memory:

    Hold On To Your Horns.

    So the boys have completed their first road trip of the season and are returning home with a very respectable 4-1-0 record. The trend thus far seems to be thousands of shots on goal with minimal results on the scoreboard, but apparently that’s all that’s been needed. Marty has been Marty, and the D has been…well, the D. You know — giving us the occasional coronary every now and then, nothing out of the ordinary.

    Oh, right — and we’ve lost Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston. Yup, Both of them. Rolston probably for a month or two.

    I really don’t know what to make of this situation. It’s kind of funny — in a cosmic sort of way. Ya know, we bring back two veterans from the past and instantly our team is somewhat of a threat again. We get all amped up about it, and now they’re both sidelined less than three weeks into the season. On the other hand, there’s the fact that neither one of them has really had much of an impact on the outcome of the first five games, aside from Rolston’s game-winner in Atlanta.

    As a Devils fan, I almost feel contractually obligated to round up my fellow fans and organize a cult-like mass suicide. But, for some reason or another, I’m still optimistic that the favorable results will continue. (Maybe that’s you-know-who’s way of telling me to stop drinking.)

    This year’s Black & Red squad is a deeper one than last year’s, and I think we will be reminded of that over the next month or so. For instance, the group is definitely younger. Vrana is much more favorable to have in the lineup than Sergei Brylin; and on the same side of things I’d rather have Leblond playing over Aaron Asham. (Leblond has been called up to fill in for Holik for Wednesday’s game vs. Dallas.) Are they going to be easy replacements for Holik & Rolston? No. Hell No. But I think they will fit in nicely with the mold of the team and continue to help do the little things right. After all, that’s what has gotten this team to where they are now.

    At one point or another, every team in the NHL will be going through a scenario similar to this. There will be other star-players that will go down and other rookies will get their shots with the big boys. I guess a positive to take out of this would be the fact that we’re only five games into the season, we have a .800 winning percentage, and six of the next seven will be home games for New Jersey. Not to mention the upcoming opposition hasn’t exactly been making much noise thus far.

    The next several weeks will be very telling of the dynamic and character of this year’s New Jersey Devils. I’m tempted to watch with my hands half-covering my eyes, like it’s a badly-written television drama.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is… Don’t hit that panic button just yet. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the way the team will perform in the absence of Rolston & Frankenstein.

    If, two weeks from now, all hope seems to be lost…just be happy it’s not the last week of March.