Devils @ Stars LIVECAP!

10:48 PM: Oh, the ZubbieCounterContest, of course.  A big congrats to Kristyn, who’s 27th Goal As A Devil “27 Dresses” Zubbie picture just edged out Kevin B.’s 26th Goal As A Devil Zubmission.  Kristyn, get a hold of us at zubbiecounter at gmail dot com and we’ll get your unidentified swag in the mail.  Congratulations!  Goodnight everyone.

10:46 PM: Okay, I’m all kinds of frustrated right now.  The site doesn’t wanna load, the Devils won’t wanna win, I give up.  Stars win, 5-3.  First LiveCap of the season = total failure.  Maybe I’ll see about doing one next weekend.

9:53 PM: Patty Elias has two assists on the night, playing primarily at center.  I have to admit, Zubbie’s probably not putting up any points in that role.

9:52 PM: Third period on…let’s hope the website holds up!

9:37 PM: Okay, there’s some issues with WordPress right now apparently.  The website won’t load on a regular basis.  The score is now 3-2 Stars, with Brian Rolston scoring on a slapshot on the power play about halfway through the period (Tyler Eckford picks up his first career NHL point with a secondary assist on the goal).  Second period is now over, and hopefully I’ll be back for a third period LiveCap, I hope.  If the website chooses to load properly.  If this little note even makes it to publication….

9:11 PM: Apparently Nelson Muntz laughing means we’re going back to the penalty kill.  Travis Zajac is off for tripping.  Our penalty kill has not been stellar tonight.  Gulp.

9:06 PM: Ott just pushed Andy Greene quite rudely.  YOU DON’T PUSH ANDY GREENE.  Andy Greene will remember Ott’s number, and one evening, when Ott least expects it…BAM!  He goes Greene.

9:05 PM: Okay, as much as I like him, THE Yann Danis is just not making the stops Marty’s made so far this period.  He got three strong ones on one sequence there and fought ’em all off.  We’ve a chance in this yet.

9:01 PM: Good stop by Marty (uhh, our Marty, not their’s) to start off his relief appearance.

9:00 PM: Game back on, and interestingly, Martin Brodeur is in net.  THE Yann Danis cannot be pleased.

8:43 PM: Aaaaaand, period over.  I’m gonna go get a stiff drink.  Hopefully the second period proves better.

8:42 PM: One minute left in the period.  Thank god.

8:41 PM: Okay, I hope it wasn’t that important.  Power play, not successful.  Sigh.

8:39 PM: Barch to the box for Dallas, Devils to the PP.  Is it safe to say it’s somewhat important that they score a goal on this power play?  I think it is.

8:37 PM: …BANANA SHPEEL?  Really, Cirque du Soleil?  Really?

8:34 PM: Dammit.  Robidas takes a feed and pops one behind Danis, 3-1 Stars on another power play goal.  I don’t want to write off this game already, but scoring four goals is not something this team is primed to do on a regular basis.

8:33 PM: I would be enjoying this game a lot more if it were in high def.  Also, if we were doing as well in the last 14 minutes was we did in the first.

8:31 PM: Tyler Eckford is not making a good first impression.  Penalty the other night, ‘nother penalty tonight.  Stars back to the power play, they scored on their first one.

8:27 PM: Elias/Rolston/Langenbrunner is one of the lines.  You know our team is getting old when Patrik Elias is the spring chicken of the line.

8:24 PM: I feel so bad for Matt Corrente.  It’s gotta be rough being a defenseman and playing forward in your first career game.  He’s wearing number 32, by the way, which looks so weird on a Devils jersey these days.

8:21 PM: Dammit.  I sat Riberio on my fantasy team, hoping we’d shut him down.  He scored, it’s 2-1 Stars, and I don’t even earn fantasy hockey points for it.  WEAK!

8:20 PM: Clarkson goes to the box and feels shame, y’know.  Hooking and all, shameful business.  Devils go to the PK.

8:17 PM: Ooof, BIG rebound off the pads of THE Yann Danis.  Zajac with some good backchecking to prevent an easy goal.  Clarkson about to get a penalty…eventually…if we ever touch the puck again…

8:16 PM: Morrow’s out of the box, Devils power play only gets one shot on goal.

8:15 PM: I am way out of LiveCapping shape.  Sorry.

8:13 PM: Matt Corrente, the young defenseman, makes his NHL debut…as a forward on his first shift.  This is gonna be an interesting game.  Brendan Morrow takes a penalty and the Devils hit the power play.

8:12 PM: Well it didn’t take long to give it back either.  Stephane Robidas with a sinking shot that was probably tipped, and it’s a 1-1 tie.

8:10 PM: That didn’t take long at all.  Assist to Mottau, and possibly someone else too.

8:09 PM: WHAT?!?!  BRIAN ROLSTON…ON A BREAKAWAY…WITH A GOAL?! 1-0 Devils!

8:08 PM: The puck, she hits the ice in Dallas.  Game on, baby.

8:05 PM: Anyone else sick of the Nissan Altima “Love Hurts” commercial yet?  (Side note:  Still not sick of the “The Most Interesting Man In The World” Dos Equis commercials.)

8:02 PM: OH YEAH!  THE Yann Danis is in net tonight!  This could be fun!  La Grenouille!

7:56 PM: So Zubbie’s out (I don’t know what this blog would do if we hadn’t found a second mascot in Andy Greene).  Pelley’s scratched (and not happy about it).  The Devils are dressing seven defensemen: Greene, White, Mottau, Salvador, Fraser, Eckford, and Corrente).

7:46 PM: Why is it that every time I LiveCap, we’re on MSG+2×7/28-(-12)=?

7:45 PM: Okay, so.  I know there’s some stuff I’ve been not doing.  Namely, naming a winner in the ZubbieCounterContest.  I’ll do that at the END of tonight’s game, in this very LiveCap.  That’s what’s called “enticement to stay with me and enjoy the LiveCap.”  (Okay, so you can read it whenever you want, but still.)

7:43 PM: Ha!  I like how they showed a Rod Pelley hit when talking about the Olympics.  That’s as close as you’re ever getting, Roderick.

7:41 PM: OMG2MALIVECAP!  Sorry it’s taken so long to make this happen, but I’m actually sitting in my room, on my computer, at the time of a Devils game, so why the hell not?  Put on a pot of coffee (light & sweet for me, thanks) and join me, will you?

Oh, there you are, hockey!

Game night.  Devils/Rangers.  Let’s see if Marty can, y’know, win a game at the Garden for a change.  It’s only been TWO AND A HALF YEARS.

2MA will probably be on radio silence this evening (but you expected that, right?  We’re the flakiest bunch of flakes who ever flaked in from flaketown).  I’ll miss the beginning portion of this game due to my damned continued schooling.  Might try to get up a post-game analysis-type thing afterwards though, so stop in around midnight (or tomorrow, if you need your beauty rest).

The pertinent info for tonight:  Brodeur in net (a-duh), Pikkachu and PLcubed in the press box, Peters and Halischuk on the ice.  Everything else as it was last game (yes, likely including Zubrus centering Parise and Langenbrunner to start…god help us all.  Though at least we don’t have to change the name ZZPop).

See y’all at some point after the game.  Oh, and wish me luck on my midterm.  Gonna need it.

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?

Bye Bye Brent…thanks for the almost…

Least for once a coach left on his own terms and didn’t get shitcanned right before the playoffs…. (maybe that would have been good this time eh??)

Here’s your link and since it’s on the internets it must be true right??

So once again the Devils quest for the guy behind the bench to lead the ship maybe possibly out of the first round for once???

Lots to think about here… and let’s see since I suck at news reporting and I’m better at retelling things… I should stick with it…

The good of the Brent Era:
— forechecking and attack hockey was brought to the Devils and it actually did WORK for the most… no more is this team team defense first, second, third and forth.. thank God… cause that shit don’t work no more in the NHL
— THIS TEAM WON 50 GAMES WITHOUT MB30 AS THE STARTING GOALIE… think about that.. find me another coach in this FRANCHISE’S history that can claim that

The bad of the Brent Era:
— the reversion to the chicken-shit hockey in the playoffs… and not to mention two seriously painful first round losses
— the inability to bring and develop any quality rookies on this team.. throughout the years the Devils usually add in one or two quality rookies and they contribute to the team.. this did not happen under Sutter (now is this a knock on the quality young players in the system… maybe?)
— no trips beyond the first round… so is good still not good enough when better is expected?? Or is the bar officially starting to lower in NJ?

What’s next??
— Jacques Lemaire?? Oh GOD NO… talk about a step backward…
— Peter Laviolette?? Could be … but doesn’t seem like a “Lou guy” which adds to his appeal now….
— Ted Nolan?? Again a pipe dream…
— John MacLean… seems likely, but there’s a reason he’s been passed by so many times before….

Personally I have NO clue who I wanna see coach… I hope to hell it’s not some retread or “defensive guru” guy… we were going in the right way and we MUST keep in this direction to be successful in the post-lockout NHL.

Opinions kids??

Oh yeah.

I kinda forgot I have to keep writing even when my heart’s been ripped from it’s cage un-anesthetically.  Whoopsie.

Well, actually, that’s not true.  I didn’t forget, it’s just that losing in the first round of the playoffs usually coincides with the end of the college semester, and this one was a doozy.

So please accept my apologies for disappearing since Game 6.  I did not commit suicide, nor am I lost adrift on a raft in the ocean, talking to a hockey puck painted in my blood to look like Johnny Oduya.

There hasn’t been much on the news front as far as Devil-land is concerned.  After a first round defeat like that, I guess everyone’s entitled to sick back and lick their wounds awhile.

I have finally had the strength to put on second round playoff hockey games occasionally.  I have not, however, found the strength to get emotionally involved in them.  I guess I’d like to see Chicago and Washington advance, which means I probably just cursed them both.  I’d least like to see a Ducks/Hurricanes matchup, which means – yep, book it.

Anyhoo, I’m wrapping up this hastily-put-together-and-not-at-all-thought-out-post with promises of awesomeness to come:  We still need to get ZubbieCounterContest voting underway (let’s say late May/early June), Draft Day preparations (I’m going to actually try to research some of the young’uns the Devils might consider drafting this year, if time allows!), and of course – Free Agency Signing Happy Fun Time & Box Social.  God help us this year.

Game 5: Devils @ Hurricanes LIVECAP!

10:02 PM: I’m goin’ to bed.  I think none of us are all that shocked that this series is gonna go seven.  My heart might not make in ’til Tuesday night.  G’night gang.

10:00 PM: Game 7 is Tuesday night at The Rock.  Let’s just pretend like tonight didn’t happen.  Game 7 is all that matters now, and despite how tonight’s game looked, these two teams are still amazingly evenly matched.

9:59 PM: And that’s it.  4-0.  I’m sick to death of 4-0 games this year.

9:58 PM: Gionta can’t stuff it home with a little room in front – one minute left in the game.

9:56 PM: The Devils are playing without a fourth line right now – apparently both Rupp and Clarkson earned 10 minute misconducts in that little scrum before.  Only Gleason picked up one for Carolina.

9:55 PM: Three minutes left in this humiliation of a hockey game.

9:51 PM: And another blatant penalty, this one a trip via Brian Rolston.  Guys, I agreed to LiveCap this game, which means I HAVE to watch it.  At least stop taking boneheaded penalties while I’m still forced to pay attention!

9:49 PM: Shorthanded three-on-two but Shanny can’t bury the puck.  One goal would be nice at least…

9:47 PM: Somehow in the fight, the Hurricanes wound up with a power play.  Great.  Rupp took the extra two for roughing.

9:44 PM: Hey, a sign of life!  Clarkson pulls Gleason out of a scrum and after a bit of hugging, they finally give us a full-fledged fight.  Hey, it worked for the Penguins.  Problem is, Clarkson waited one goal and one period too many.

9:39 PM: Jussi Jokinen, 4-0.  Marty had no chance, of course.  Sigh.

9:37 PM: Someone on TV wasn’t happy.  Dunno if it was a fan or player, but someone yelled pretty loudly “HEY!  WHAT THE F&$% WAS THAT?!”  Immediately afterwards, Madden’s off for roughing.  A long 5-on-3 for the Hurricanes, and if you don’t have ’em yet, I’d go pick up your game 7 tickets right about now.

9:36 PM: Travis Zajac with a pretty obvious hook.  11:30 left in the third.  Bad timing, Trav.  Bad timing.

9:35 PM: Even our chances aren’t actual chances – Shanahan has Ward out of position but can’t get a shot away through the Hurricane defense.

9:32 PM: So, how ’bout them Mets?  …seriously?  8-1?  To the NATIONALS?  Ugh.  I got nothin’.

9:27 PM: That was pretty indicative of how this game’s been going:  Andy Greene with a nice run up ice, all by his lonesome, chips it past a defender at the blue line, chases after it…and trips and falls into a massive heap over a random ‘Cane.

9:24 PM: Well, here goes nothin’.  Third period on.

9:06 PM: And the second period is over.  Thank god.  3-0 Hurricanes.  Book your game seven tickets now kids, there isn’t even a hint that the Devils can come back from this one a la Tuesday night.

9:02 PM: A few seconds of serious offensive flurry in front of Cam Ward, but nothing doing.  BAH!

8:59 PM: The response is not as immediate as it was Tuesday night.

8:55 PM: I’m gonna try something.  It worked last time:

Attention Devils:

WAKE UP!

Thanks.

-2 Man Advantage.

8:52 PM: I was really hoping there wouldn’t be a game seven, because dammit, I have stuff to do Tuesday night that I’m gonna have to cancel in favor of going to The Rock.

8:48 PM: Hey hey, a shot on goal!  Stopped by Cam Ward, but at least there was a shot within the area of the red pipes, that might have gone into the net had there not be a human being standing in front of it.

8:44 PM: I give up.  AWFUL two-on-one and Marty’s just left out to dry.  3-0, Staal’s goal again.  I really don’t feel like watching this game anymore at this point.

8:41 PM: Shots on goal currently sits at 22-5 in favor of Carolina.  THAT should tell you who’s bothered to show up in Raleigh this evening.

8:38 PM: …dammit.  2-0 Hurricanes, Staal.  Dammit dammit dammit.

8:37 PM: The Devils just cannot make it to any loose pucks.  It’s scary how much better the Hurricanes look right now.

8:36 PM: Zubbie outta the box.

8:35 PM: ‘Canes gotta be up to eight or nine shots on just two power plays so far tonight.  Meep.

8:33 PM: Not the love I was speaking of.  Zubbie takes a retaliatory roughing call and it’s Carolina to the PP.

8:32 PM: Second period on.  C’mon Unseen Hand, a little love, eh?

8:14 PM: And that’ll do it for period one.  Devils start with a two-second power play to start the second period.  Shots on goal:  Carolina 15, New Jersey 4.  Oof.

8:12 PM: Uhm, guys…we ARE on the power play…That means that, well, the puck should be in the offensive zone and controlled by you the majority of the time.

8:11 PM: NICE sliding breakup of the two-on-one by Mike Mottau, then Zubbie draws a tripping penalty via Pitkanen with about two minutes left in the first.

8:10 PM: I hear it’s hot in Raleigh today – it sure is hot here – and it shows in terms of ice quality.  Or it could also be us sucking.  That’s possible.

8:08 PM: On a happier note, I’m watching this game in HD for a  change!

8:07 PM: Aaand that’s why I don’t get my hopes up.  Not a bad power play per se, but nothing to show for it nonetheless.

8:05 PM: Pitkanen hooks Gionta and we’re on the (PSE&G) Power Play.  I’d get excited if I thought we had a chance to score.

8:04 PM: Or crossbar.  Possibly holy crazy crossbar save.

8:03 PM: Holy crazy blocker save!

7:59 PM: And when I say that they’re not trying, I of course am not including Marty.  This game would be 4-0 without him right now.

7:58 PM: I understand that it’s hard to match desperation when a team’s got it’s back to the wall, but jeez, trying a little would be nice.

7:54 PM: DAMMIT!  Ray Whitney finally cracks Marty, batting a puck out of mid-air baseball-style.  1-0 Hurricanes, and perhaps more telling, 12-1 shots in the Hurricanes favor, and I refuse to believe the fact that we actually have a shot on goal.

7:51 PM: Penalty kill’d.  Thankfully, and not for lack of trying on Carolina’s end.  Eleven and a half left in the period.

7:48 PM: Oh jebus.  Pandolfo loses his stick during the PP, as does Marty, with chances galore for the ‘Canes, but STILL we finally manage to clear.  Oh man this is gonna be a crazy game, just like every other one this series before it.

7:46 PM: Well the Hurricanes sure realize that this could be their last game.  And the fans sure realize that this could be their last game as well.  Mike Rupp does not realize this, apparently, and takes a holding penalty on Jussi Jokinen.

7:45 PM: Oh, right, no Doc tonight.  Blast.

7:43 PM: I got stuck at work, but I am here now.  Langs back in, Holik’s a scratch, Greene’s still in, still no Salvador, game in 2 minutes old, no score yet.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

Thoughts From Section 209…. Devils/Canes Round 5!!

Holy Shit I’m still exhausted from this one… and I’m sure I ain’t the only one…. You could feel it in the air, you could hear it in the fans… you DAMN WELL SAW IT ON THE ICE… My God that was one of the most intense, hard played… passitionate…. energetic and flat out fucking ANGRY hockey games I think I’ve ever seen in my life… so much to say but still pushing the exhaustion aside and the coffee down my throat… here… we … go!!

the Good:
— I don’t do this often (cause let’s be honest you don’t read this to see me kiss ass to the opposition, I leave that to Chico Resch :p)… but Cam Ward played ONE HELL OF A GAME LAST NIGHT and I wanted to get that out of the way… he was just as sick tonight (though I did love the attending media shitting on Ward and not naming him one of the three stars of the night!!)… and if that puffypadded douche across the Hudson made that glove save on Parise, Sam Rosen would STILL be creaming his pants!
— ANDY GREENE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What can I say?? Hearing the thousands….. AND THOUSANDS… chant his name all night long!! (ok that’s a bit much but the whole car ride home was ANDY GREENE … ANDY GREENE… ANDY GREENE… given some of that was to drown out the audio cancer known as the Ducks radio announcers)… kid got put in and do what kids do in the playoffs… played the game of his DAMN LIFE… now this isn’t a knock on Salvador (I think he’s interchangeable with Havelid on this)… but putting Greene with either one of them makes them and that pairing better!! If Andy keeps playing like THIS it matters not how healthy Salvador is, GREENE MUST PLAY!!! (and I expect to have a #6 jersey by the fall!)
— oh MB30… I’ve been hard on you… and I will be again, I know this…. but good sir… you got woken up with that lame call in game 4 (for the record I would have ruled no penalty, but no goal)… it FIRED YOU UP… it MOTIVATED YOU… and it MADE YOU ANGRY!!! And NO ONE wants to see mb30 angry!!!! (well I do for 13 more games!)
— David Clarkson…ever since you got called up and started seeing regular ice time… I’ve been a bit harsh on you too… I expected more…. I saw it in you… I even kinda passed the torch to you… I saw Randy McKay, Version 2.0 in you… and now it’s starting to come to life… you raised hell, you were on Cam Ward like a fucking hemorrhoid, you stood there… ok you dove and flopped some… but you also DELIVERED in front of the net when it mattered the most!
— Man I even left out the biggest and best thing about tonight… THAT CROWD!!! Oh my god… loud, intense, PASSION FILLED FANS SCREAMING THEIR BALLS OFF (or girly parts too :p) … ALL GAME LONG (though I have to admit… my PMS this time of year is crazy… seeing Mindy all but reach over and pick that girl up and DEMAND she stand up for the last 4 minutes of the game…. that was 5-stars… like I said in the car… it was like watching me, but female at work… I got a kick out of it!!

the Bad:
— well you ain’t gonna win many games scoring on one goal in 48 shots… but fuck it!!! I don’t think we may EVER see both goalies play this well (except maybe that classic game 5 in the 2000 Finals, where I defy you to find two goalies do it better!)
— Colin White had a moment of PURE STUPID in the 3rd period where he chased and chased till he got called for it, he’s just DAMN LUCKY mb30 was in a “I WILL NOT LOSE” mode tonight!!
— Clarkson as good and big a game as he had… only 6:32 of ice time?? Eh?? I know Holik and Rupp suck, but still.. it’s time to give him some time with Parise and Zajac too then… this kid HAS to be out there more!
— One goalie gets body splashed upon… the other one gets baseball slid into… one goalie gets some back… and HE gets called for a penalty?? WTF!??! Maybe as a violent goalie I should not be one to bitch… but if you are gonna let the goalies get pounded like VEAL you DAMN WELL BETTER let them get some back (and given the goalie who got called got his at the end of the game!)
— Brian Gionta… lose that damn playoff beard… it just looks silly!!! It’s no Jay Pandolfo “Afro on the Chin” for sure!!

the Funny:
— to be honest there wasn’t alot…. this was all about the game tonight… but still… this was worth it!!!
(though I wonder if I keep making Andrew Speed Racer jokes in here will he get cranky and reply, or just realize I am giving him shit about his claim to fame just like I do with anyone else, and more so when you join the Section 209 EXPERIENCE!)
— We did have a good pre-game moment… Mindy brought her Brian Gionta BC Jersey to the game and had a moment of puck bunny… kinda (it’s ok it’s the playoffs…. she’s allowed!!) holding and waving her jersey on the boards… a couple of guys looked at it and got… here comes John Madden… looks at the jersey… looks up and goes WHAT THE FUCK… and you can see his mouth moving it too…. always loved that about Madden… the dude is mister fucking cerebral!!!
— One good little story was the dope in 208 with the PuffyPadded Douche jersey…. while he sat there and took his grief and wasn’t an assclown about it… he did get some in the second intermission… Lil Nicky’s sister (Maggie, right?? it’s hard to remember her name since Nicky is the Super Star of the two… don’t worry I do the same with my nieces… and I badly want to keep lobbying my sister to let Bella meet lil Nicky… yeah she’s four but she can hang with him… hell I allow them to date in like 12 years from now :p)… anyway… Maggie walks up to the Ranger Fan with one of the RANGERS SUCK bumper stickers her mom makes and sells (well worth the $5 people… go get one when you’re by 208!)… and offers it to him as a peace offering…. quite funny!!!!
— Also in the funny note was lil Nicky’s dance to the music that MIGHT just end up on You Tube this afternoon!!
— I can’t remember the play but just being able to yell… ZACH PARISE SPINNING NO LOOK BACKHAND PASS OF AWESOME THROUGH THE LEGS …. of DOOOOOMMMMMMM… was worth the re-mention!!

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.

Tonight’s game, in picture form

In 2 Man Advantage’s on-going effort to be like everyone else and go green(e), I offer you the following recap of the Devils 3-0 victory over the Rangers at The Rock, comprised entirely of recycled pictures.

(Don’t forget, ZubbieCounterContest Zubmissions are still being accepted until 6 PM Eastern tomorrow!  Send us ZubbieCounter updates or god will kill kittens.  Seriously.  Save the kittens!)

First goal:

Second and third goals:

Shutout:

Message to the Rangers:

NJ Devils Month in Review: November 2008

Well this was a different month in New Jersey… for the first time ever in my time as Devils fan, I’m not screaming about Martin Brodeur playing too much… or pretty much at ALL….Injuries, second stringers… crazy stuff… but it’s made for a fun month and a fascinating look into future life without Martin Brodeur, and what this team will be like….

Forwards:
#9 (LW) Zach Parise:
On pace to challenge Patrik Elias’ all time single season points record still… 6 goals and 7 assists in 13 games… and it feels like he COOLED OFF… tells you how GOOD October was… again proving himself as this team’s best, most dangerous and consistent player… can’t say a damn thing bad about Zach Parise again….
Grade: A

#14 (RW) Brian Gionta:
Looks at home (finally) with Elias and Zubrus, and while not the focal point of the Devils offense a VERY important secondary line which makes this team dangerous… and yeah they’re feasting on bad teams, but so what this is what the Devils NEED to do to stay in the playoff hunt while the team gets healthy… 13 points in 13 games and also 7 goals… a scorer is scoring and a +6… nothing to complain about here (BUT OH MY GOD HE’S SECOND ON THE TEAM IN SCORING… TRADE HIM NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!! Morons…), give Gio credit (or call it contract year greed… whatever… he GETS it this year and is doing well)
Grade: A

#19 (Center) Travis Zajac:
Is holding up his end as the team’s top center (well anyone who plays with Parise is our top whatever…steady on faceoffs too (no game under 40% this month)… solid on both ends… and doing his own on puck possession… maybe you’d like a few more points, but he’s not dragging down Parise which is all you ask for on this line… scoring some nice goals too!
Grade: B+

#26 (LW) Patrik Elias-A
17 points in 13 games… multiple players on a point a game ratio or HIGHER?? On the NJ Devils?? CMON OFFENSE!!! Really if you have a complaint about Elias’ game this month… you have mental issues… his level of performance this month was A-Line level good… and you can’t knock ANYTHING here! (it sucks when they all do well… I do my best work when I can get angry… what the hell can I complain about here?)
Grade: A+

#11 (Center) John Madden-A
Injury causality number 2003 this year… I’m not buying in the “well the penalty kill got better without him” theory…. The quality of power play got worse and this team as a whole is improving each game it seems… but 4 assists, a -3 against the Caps (not to mention NO ONE covering the best player in hockey by the side of the net with 2 seconds left)… he’s just becoming a faceoff specialist now more then top-end defensive forward… hopefully having Holik back will allow the Devils to share the defensive responsibilities, and take the load off of Madden
Grade: C (again, not good… but he doesn’t suck either, the lack of offense is bad)

#8 (LW) Danius Zubrus:
OK, so what he scored all four of his goals in the month in one game?? Look what his linemates are doing!! He makes space and he controls the puck for them….the 7 assists kinda show that effort too…faceoffs were ok too, not great, but not his main worry now) and I know personally feel more confident that good things will happen with number 8 out there… possession, control and chemistry with his linemates…. That’s all good things, while the stats may not show up on the scoreboard (and still he’s fourth on the team… and he IS on pace for 56 points, flirting with a career high when he was with that Ovenchicken dude), he’s become a quality depth players!
Grade: A

#15 (RW) Jamie Langenbrunner-C
Still getting too much ice time, but he seems to be 100% healthy (which wasn’t the case last month)… only one goal… but 8 assists and maybe the funniest damn thing I ever saw on that 5 on 3 pp with the Islanders where both defenders lose sticks and then Jamie blasts the poor bastard with a slapper leaving the dude limping and a virtual 5 on 1 moment as Martin scored!! (I still chuckle at that!)… hopefully once the damn minutes get back to the 17 minute range (that means HURRY BACK Rolston and Holik)… he should get even better, though he had a good, but not great month
Grade: B+

#23 (RW) David Clarkson:
He’s still… “eh” to me… seems that he can be SO much better then he is (explains why the coach has such a hard-on for him… then again he’s not from Europe)… 3 goals and 2 helpers… not awful for the 3rd 4th line type he is…but still not overly impressive either… should get some more pp time in front to just get his damn hands dirty raising hell in front, but that doesn’t seem to be our way (but SHOULDN’T it be Sutter hockey).. only two fights in the month also….one of the few forwards who could be better…..
Grade: C-

#20 (LW) Jay Pandolfo:
Two goals and an assist for ol’stonehands…least he was even for the month, and now with Madden out has even LESS of a role on this team… it’s starting to look like resiging him was a loyalty driven mistake, but we’ll see as the season goes on, another guy getting WAY too much ice time for his role (I know he’s supposed to be the shutdown forward, but he’s not doing that so well)….I’ve just not been overly impressed… if we were losing more I’m sure this would be angrier…..
Grade: C-

#22 (LW) Petr Vrana:
Who? 1:38… 2:34… 5:33… 4:07… 3:34…6:03… 4:58… 4:14…. 7:31… 7:11…8:33
How the hell can I judge this guy??
Grade: INCOMPLETE (thanks Sutter!)

#17 (LW/C) Mike Rupp:
What the hell was Sutter thinking trying to have him fill in for Madden last week??? Oh yeah.. he’s big, skates and North American… that makes him a diety here….two goals and an assist for the month… that will probably be a season for him there…. He’s fine in the 5-9 minute role on the 4th line… give him more then that… and it’s yeech time! Please just keep this stiff to a MINIMUM and I’ll be ok!
Grade: C-

#18 Nicklas Bergfors:
Has good speed, and seems like he can be a useful player on this team…again though caught in the idiot notion that young players can only play on the 4th line, and not even being thought about in a useful role and it’s a damn shame…and one of the coach’s biggest problems… the old boy’s club trash will be less annoying when we have a full team, but in this transition time of needing to be a more offensive team, it’s criminal that the team’s top two prospects are donkeyfucked before they even get out of the box!
Grade: INCOMPLETE

#21 Barry Tallackson:
Again, not giving a ton of ice time to impress… but he’s been in the bigs before and that seems to be his standard M.O…. just never seems to be overwhelming… or show the flash or hope that say Vrana or Bergfors offers… but he’s big and from the US *sigh*
Grade: INCOMPLETE

Defense:
#7 Paul Martin:
No coincidence that this team started winning… and scoring… when Martin got healthy, he’s so key to the defense… he eats minutes and makes Salvador better and adding 4 points in 8 games is acceptable offense on top of playing at a high level for 20-26 minutes a night as needed!
Grade: A-

#27 Mike Mottau:
Joke suspension aside… oh he hit a guy and the guy gets hurt so the NHL HAS to overreact and suspend the guy… ah whatever (can I do that and not invoke the spirit of Aaron Asham… oh wait.. he had no spirit….) He’s been decent again this month in his proper role as a 3rd pair defender…little offense… +5 on the month, good ice time… again nice steady and can’t complain!
Grade: B

#5 Colin White:
Colin the one-eyed wonder….+6 on the month… wow…again, like Mottau when not asked to play a top role, he’s tolerable for what he is.. will still make stupid mistakes and so on, but that’s just something you need to live with, he’s not tradable…. Or would any team WANT him at his price… so for what you get…yeah he’s okay…. And that translates into as expected….
Grade: C

#29 Johnny Oduya:
One goal… NINE assists.. now we’re talking!!! Oduya has stepped up with Andy Greene out of the line up (though the game winner was a funny level of botch and not to mention his FUBARed quasi-breakaway in the same game).. seems to have the speed and ability to help Colin White fix his mistakes, which is also important… looks like he could be a key “X-factor” guy who can make a difference and someone who you don’t really want to account for on the other team….hopefully it keeps up as the level of opponent rises this month
Grade: B+

#24 Bryce Salvador:
Didn’t seem to have too good a month, but was without Paul Martin for half of it which doesn’t help (-3 without Martin)… minimal offense, and can’t really do much to make up for it when he makes mistakes… I still like the guy but wasn’t the best month for him in red and white
Grade: C

#28 (D) Anssi Salmela:
MONSTER shot from the blueline (he’s going to score eventually you’d think) +2 on the month is good… and somehow this team has grown a nice set of mobile, younger defenders who can skate, play and add some offense and he’s an example of this… like seeing a bunch of games with multiple shots … means the blast is getting through to the goalie… which is never a negative, this kid’s gonna be a keeper… and when Andy Greene comes back there’s gonna be some decisions to float around here…..maybe not 100% ready for primetime yet… but DAMN this kid has an upside!
Grade: B-

#2 (D-RW) Sheldon Brookbank:
I don’t get how a stiff defenseman gets put on the Devils top line as a FORWARD… but hey that’s Sutter-hockey, I guess… more suited to be that physical winger on the 4th line where the things he can’t do on defense are not an issue, but still it’s unthinkable that he’s higher on the depth chart then Vrana and Bergfors (yes I know and understand he fills a role of 4th line toughie… but holy shit he’s not that good)… just look at his ice time… and results… it’s nothing special….and the on-ice looks ain’t much better… serviceable utility player though…..
Grade: D

Goaltending:
#35 Scott Clemmensen:
How in the bloody blue hell did this guy become our #1 goalie?!?!? This is a sad scary situation….yeah he’s 4-3, but he’s been no better then Weekes except for the fact that he can move the puck a little… this guy’s a career AHL guy for a REASON…but hey whatever… I guess we’re stuck with this… it’s gonna be scary when the bubble bursts on him… he’s been ok, but the big boys are coming on the schedule….guess we’ll find out.. but I kinda cringe each time there’s a shot on goal…..
Grade: B-

#1 Kevin Weekes:
I don’t understand this team… they sign Weekes to be a door opener last season because Brodeur refuses to sit, but he’s the insurance policy JUST IN CASE Marty went down they had a solid guy to hold the fort, and what does he get?? Garbage time in the Brodeur injury game… thrown to the wolves against Buffalo (20 shots in a period… yeah the team was shell shocked from hearing about Marty’s long term injury status)… assaulted by the Red Wings… and thrown under the bus for ONE BAD GOAL in the Ranger game? The rest was a HIDEOUS display of a team skating with its head cut off…. Frankly it’s bullshit and I think Weekes got an absurdly raw deal from this team and I’d not blame him for saying fuck off and never come back after this year….he gets a WEEK and he’s tossed under the bus for Clemmensen?!?!?!? 2.87 gaa and 90 sv % is not awful….I kinda really feel for the dude he deserves SO MUCH better then he got….
Grade: B+ (for being such a damn trooper!)

Coaching:
Same garbage with not playing the rookies enough… a miserable job of penalty killing (77% killed) and not much better on the power play (14%), but the team is starting to adjust and opening up the offense (though they seemed to crawl back into the old defensive shell… MISERABLE effort with the Penguins… and letting Florida tie that game at 2 was a pathetic effort to sit on a lead), but 12-10 with this roster is a nice job at this point… but I have a LOT of concerns still here….this team is still adjusting and he barely had a full roster for a week till players began to drop like dominoes… (part of me wonders if he practices them too hard and it’s adding to the fragility, but I have no proof on this)…We’ll see in the future… much like Clemmensieve… I worry about this coach and I’m erring on the more negative side…..
Grade: C