NJ Devils Month in Review, November 2009

With all the injuries and players coming in and out of the lineup this year, the Devils STILL went 9-3… Good God…think about that…. It’s even crazier when you realize the 3 losses were in a ROW… it was a very good month in New Jersey which is a shame, I write better angry… but it does make the month in reviews come off the keyboard a little faster this way!!!

Forwards:
#9 Zach Parise: A (9g, 7a, +11)
Almost averaged a GOAL a game for the month… that’s sick… he’s going to stomp on last year’s stats and has a legit chance again to break 100 points and re-write the Devils record books offensively… his hockey smarts and presence and knowing where to be is there as much as ever and even more so Lemaire is putting him in a position to win each and every time… and really I can’t say anything bad about him… though I do miss the Parise girls yelling and screaming and making him into a one man Jonas Brothers :p
Grade: A+

#15 Jamie Langenbrunner: C (3g, 11a, +4)
It’s weird with Jamie… his play is eh, he seems slower this year and he looks like he’s losing a step… but yet he’s on pace for his best offensive year ever…. He’s been fortunate to be on the two most productive lines on the team… and I will admit his skill is adding to the success of those lines… but really on his own… he kinda seems not so good… and he does his thing in the skills competitions, but we don’t watch those in the month in review so they are a non-factor in my evaluations….and no matter what you see or think of his play… 14 points in 12 games is above and beyond the expected call of duty for him…. So maybe I’m just seeing it wrong… but hell if it ain’t broke, don’t make em ride the bikes to fix it right???
Grade: A

#19 Travis Zajac (1g, 10a, +8)
Only one goal?? I guess he’s riding Parise’s coattails eh?? That’s not a bad thing though…. Travis does it all on this team… faceoffs, pk, power play… physical….he’s one of the most important players on the team and he is getting a point a night and no longer can Cangelosi get him confused with Shanny… though… BERGFORS…. *sigh… 19 Steve….*…. ZAJAC… SCCCAAAWWRRREEE, is still kinda epic!! I need to make my own funny here cause Travis is like HHH… he’s that damn good!!
Grade: A

#18 Niclas Bergfors (4g, 6a, +2)
Solid… improving… and doing his job in replacing Brian Gionta’s stats… this is a good thing….Lemaire is riding him and pushing him to be better and he’s responding.. funny how that works better then 2:32 of ice time a game isn’t it??? I like what I’m seeing and he too is growing into a legit player… and a better match speed and skill wise for Parise and Zajac for Langenbrunner…and he’s only 22… it’s nice to see our prospects start to prosper!!! And not be delegated to Andrew Peters level of ice time!
Grade: A

#23 David Clarkson (4g, 2a, -2, 19 PIM)
The offense was down this month, but he’s also been bounced all over the place… one time with Parise and Zajac (I like)… one time with Pelley and Halischuk (I not likey as much)….he’s fighting a bit too much for my likes… we need his PRODUCTION and not his FISTS… and he gets a break because he was hurt… but I expect a little bit better then this when we get him back post-olympics (most likely)
Grade: B- (torn between that and C+)

#12 Brian Rolston (6g, 3a, +1, 41 Shots on Goal)
I added the shots on goal stat, just because he has a rep for being mister Rip Em Wide… and his month was spotty, but he seems to have a niche with Elias and it’s starting to pay off for the team and his own statistics, the speed isn’t the same as it used to be but the shot and more important the CONFIDENCE in the shot (14 shots in his last two games) is showing up… and if Rolston can keep hitting the net (and he’s shown he can this year)… good things will happen for him, his linemates and especially the power play on this game… not a GREAT month, but he’s not dragging them down either… hell if he sat in 208 I might even walk over and say HEY to him (or something like that… ok, that’s a joke for Rob… whatever)…. He’s been alright, which for his second stint with the team is almost damn good…
Grade: B-

#26 Patrik Elias: A (3g, 7a, +3, 10 games)
It took him a few games to get his legs (understandable)… and then figure out who ha was going to be playing with (and it’s weird, it’s a grumpy old men line, but it’s WORKING with Langs and Rolston)…and he’s back to a point a game again and really what else can you ask for? Yes you’d like to see more goals… but we’re scoring and we have two top lines again with the Parise and Elias line carrying the mail each and every night while the rest of the team gets healthy and if this keeps up… we might even be more fun to watch and less smoke and mirrors! Welcome back Patrik!!
Grade: A

#8 Dainius Zubrus (0g, 1a, even)
Wow… I know he’s not supposed to score and his main function is to make time and space for people… but holy shit you gotta get more then ONE ASSIST if you’re doing you’re job right and I like Zubbie and all and I hate kicking a guy when he’s down an injured (now there are certain girls I like kicking regardless of position…. But whatever :p)….he’s gotta be better then THIS…. CMON ZUBBIE!!!!
Grade: C- (I hate, hating our mascot!)

#10 Rod Pelley (0g, 1a, -1, 10 PIM, 10 games, 7.5 mins/game)
ROD PELLEY MAD… ROD PELLEY SMASH!!! ROD PELLEY FIGHT!! Rod Pelley get benched for rookie defenseman playing forward…..well whatever pissed him off he had his best game as a Devil (well minus the double high stick moment of awesome of course!)….I threw in the average ice time, because as a spare forward it was kinda telling… the Devils could use a 4th line that eats some minutes and it doesn’t do that when Pelley’s been on it… I need to see more then one good game out of him (this means you too Andrew Peters) to be convinced he’s worth a shit, but I won’t hate him as much as Rob does ever (he just has eyes for Sestito…. We understand… really), Rod’s not been God… or Zod… more like Clod this year with the team… this month… no different…
Grade: D

#16: Matt Halischuk (1g, 1a, even, approx 11 mins/game)
Like Mark Fraser below is also earning more ice time from the coaching staff and is starting to get used to parking himself in front of the net (GOOD THING) and he’s adjusting to the speed of the game at the NHL level … hell he even looks like he BELONGS now on the team and taking regular shifts (again it shows on the ice time and no stat shows more what the staff thinks of you then the minutes you get to play… and thank God Sutter’s not here… he’d get 3 shifts a night and not be allowed to grow up on the ice like he’s been doing)…so I’ll go easy on him, I think the points and the contributions are gonna go nowhere but up and he might even be on the big club all year at this point… something I did not expect a month ago….
Grade: B (mostly for the improvement in play)

#11 Dean McAmmond (0g, 1a, even, approx 15 ½ mins/game)
It’s still weird seeing him wear #11 because he looks and skates like John Madden from way up…. Hell he’s been Madden-esque with his numbers, ice time and effort… which is amazing for a dude who was on the street or TGIFriday’s or something a month ago…he’s been a nice stop-gap type player as we try to get this team healthy and he will likely bump Rod Pelley back to obscurity even more when this team gets healthy (boy that should really get us UBER-MAD ROD PELLEY!!!)….he’s been ok since called into duty… so I’ll give him an OK grade with a small curve based on the speed of getting game ready…
Grade: C+

#17 Ilkka Pikkarainen (0g, 1a, even, 6 games played, 7 mins/game)
Wow, the best thing I can say about him is he’s keeping the tradition of Devils forwards wearing #17 SUCKING BADLY (and yes I mean you too Petr Suckora in there :p)…I don’t see this magic thing he adds to the lineup…. The only thing I think it can be is it keeps Peters OUT of the lineup… that ain’t good enough… HEY…YOU SUCK!!!!
Grade: F

#14 Tim Sestito (0g, 1a, -2, approx 12 mins/game, 9 games played)
SESTITO SANTANNNNNAAAAA!! ARRIBA!!! (hell the nickname alone should get him more playing time!!) He’s been ok too… he shows a bit more jump and offensive hope then Rod Pelley, but that’s like being a bigger scoring threat then Jay Pandolfo, or being smarter then the Blonde Wonder…he’s only 25 and it’s his first year in the system and I’d like to see if he can be a project down the road…. But at least better then Pelley is more gooder enougher to get in the line up now and see what he’s got, this may be a case of “the girl you don’t know looking better then the girl you do know and are sick of her being around” though…. Time will tell, eh?
Grade: C-

#25 Andrew Peters (no points, -4, 16 PIM, approx 6 mins/game, 10 games)
Has had ONE good game all season… that Ottawa game when he looked like Mike Peluso and choked a bitch OUT with that body check… aside of that… he hits marginally, he fights once in a blue moon, he adds no offense and skates like a seven year old boy in his first hockey camp…. And if I want that level of unreliability in my life I can BBM her and ask for that level of ineptitude I don’t need it on the ice!! YOU FAIL SIR!
Grade: F

Defense:
#6: Andy Greene (2g, 7a, +2, approx 28 mins/game)
OH ANDY!!! My has your legend grown… and I mean even beyond our love for you on facebook (and mine to an unhealthy level :p)….but what can you say… Martin and Oduya go down and you turn into Nick Lidstrom! Power play, penalty kill…. End to end… My Andy does it ALL <3…. He’s worth “coming out of the closet” for… and he’s really been the focus of 90% of the fun on 2man all year long!! THANK YOU ANDY!!! The only thing he’s not done is fix the economy and made international visits easier… but I hear he’s working on it during off-days!
Grade: A+

#24 Bryce Salvador (0g, 3a, +4, approx 25 mins/game)
As good as Andy’s been…. Salvador’s contributions have been just as important and he’s been as essential a player as anyone on this team…. Does everything but the power play, and adding a pinch of offense…but I blame that on Andy too!!! I don’t think you could expect or get any more from him then you’re getting… and it’s what this team badly needed now!
Grade: A

#5 Colin White (1g, 2a, +2, approx 20 mins/game)
He’s been what you expect from him… a bit physical (but staying out the box)…. Plays a lot smarter… making big plays…. And just enough offense to keep ya honest, the best thing you can say about a guy like White is you don’t notice him… and Whitey’s been the good kinda invisible… and I say it again… WHITE POWER!!!
Grade: A

#28 Cory Murphy (2g, 1a, -2, approx 9 mins/game, 7 games played)
OK, he’s not the smoldering bag of AIDS we portrayed him as…. But THEY SAT ANDY FOR HIM!! There is a price to pay for that goddamit!!!!! He got better his second time around and the “if Murphy scores a pp goal then Rob has to buy Anna a Murphy jersey” bit was totally golden and may have saved him in our cranky, bitter eyes! Sit not a top 6 D on any real team… least we know we can spot him from time to time and not have to hide in the corner as much anymore and save the bad pp offense for our own Lord Krang…..Still that all aside, I’d not cry if he doesn’t play a game more in the NHL this year
Grade: C

#27 Mike Mottau (1g, 1a, +5, approx 25 mins/game)
Solid, steady… and reliable… in a year of so much scramble and disjoint all around it’s nice to know Mottau’s been fairly reliable and you don’t worry about him in the ice shift after shift… and in a season when the top 4 has morphed into Greene, Salvador, White and Mottau you NEED nig minutes from all of them… he’s certainly held up his end!!
Grade: A

#2 Mark Fraser (no points, +1, approx 13 mins/game)
One good sign for Fraser was that his minutes were going UP by month’s end, which means the coaches felt better and more secure in putting him out there…. He’s still the first guy sent down when this team is at full strength, but he’s been pretty good in his second stint with the team and you don’t want to crawl and hide in the “Murphy” position when he’s been on the ice, I wish the Devils tracked hits on their site, I think he’d have a few… but he’s been not a liability on the ice and that’s really all you can ask from him, a nice solid depth defenseman on a team that needs some extra good bodies this year….
Grade: B-

Incompletes:
#21 Rob Niedermayer (1 game played in November)
#20 Jay Pandolfo (DNP in November)
#7 Paul Martin (DNP in November)
#28 Tyler Eckford (0g, 1a, approx 7 mins/game, 3 games in November)
#29 Johnny Oduya (DNP in November)
#22 Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (1 game in November)
#32 Matthew Corrente (no points, even, approx 10 mins/game, 4 games in November)

Nothing really much to say about these guys, though I think Eckford and Corrente can play in this league and it still sucks that PL^3 is below Peters on the goon chart…..

Goalies:
#30 mb30 (8-3, 18 goals allowed, 94 sv %, 1.63 approx gaa)
WOW… damn.. mid-season form… I’ll admit it… he’s been good… and he’s also mister one goal allowed a game… it’s like that wide receiver who gets tackled at the one all the time almost (then again, I don’t care about the shutout record and I found the minutes played record almost a reward for all the seasons he’s played too many game)… and I’m not gonna go crazy kissing his ass til he does some shit in the playoffs… sorry that’s just me and I won’t let my still displeasure totally blind me (and ok it helps that I made up with the person who’s fail his reminded me of but whatever :p)….all bets are off when income taxes are paid… but till then… he’s been good… I’ll deal :p
Grade: A

#35 Yann Danis (2 games, 1-0, 3.00 gaa, 87.8%)
As always the backup goalie is so hard to judge…. I mean yeah he got pulled in his only second appearance in the month, but those goals were HARDLY his fault (two deflections and a ridiculous bounce that came in front and got stuffed home…. I don’t think anyone was stopping THOSE)…it’s hard an unfair to judge the guy in that little time… but I’ll play Meatloaf here and say two outta three ain’t bad on the season…
Grade: B

Coaching Staff:
What can you say that I didn’t in the intro?? You can point to Lemaire, Stevens, et company… and see the improvements in Bergfors, Zajac, Greene, Salvador, Fraser, Clarkson… even rookies like Eckford, Corrente and Zharkov can step in and not be 3 minutes a game fodder…even the vets like Langenbrunner are thriving in this new system and Jacques even seems to have Rolston and Zubrus on the right track and all this with HALF THE TEAM on injured reserve… what the hell else can be said?? WE WERE WRONG JACQUES AND WE’RE SORRIE!!!!
Grade: A+

Thoughts from Section 209, Devils/Hawks…Records and St. Patrik’s Day!

Good God… it’s funny how on a team based on TEAM, to even set all time records as a TEAM….
10 in a row at home…. record!!
Parise steps closer and closer to Devils Team History with 2 more assists…..
Patrik Elias is now the Devils All-Time Leading Scorer…..
… and oh yeah mb30 passes Patrick Roy to be the NHL Winningest Regular Season Goalie ever
(and did I even mention an insane bar crawl before the game???)

So much to get to here!!!

The Good:
— that crowd…. hot shit…everyone in the house (well minus one since that douchey Commissioner was in the arena!) was all over the place and it was a party on the level of game 7 in 2003… EVERYONE was into this game… the place was electric, and you KNEW the special-ness even if you were the most retarded of sports fans (or the guy in charge of the league!)
— I’m gonna take that one step further… I’ve been going to a lot of games over the years… I’ve sat with a lot of people… and done my share of going to games solo as well…. but over all the years and all the people I’ve gone to games with/wanted to leave on the side of the road/ all that kinda stuff… I seriously think with the rotation of people I go to games with now… it’s the most awesome group of people I’ve ever enjoyed going out with and doing stuff around… and I don’t thank you guys for it… so I am now!! It means the world to me to FINALLY be able to have peeps to share this stuff with WHO GET IT as handily as I do!! (that’s what this is all about ain’t it??)
— the fitting irony of passing John MacLean’s record against Chicago, who against MacLean did score his most famous of goals…. very fitting!
— Video of Elias and MB30… coming soon to: http://www.youtube.com/crashliner (not to mention pics are up on my facebook AND myspace)
— The RANGERS SUCK chants were kept to a damn minimum tonight… and THANK GOD… this was a night about the DEVILS and NHL HISTORY… not a night to flex your inferiority complex!
— Jamie Langenbrunner telling mb30 to take a lap and enjoy it while his teammates cut the net off the posts for him (and in fitting irony the first guy to start snipping was poor Weekes!)

the Bad:
— Well I kinda missed the first Hawks goal getting all the videos of Patrik setting history… and then the second goal kinda gave you an OH SHIT moment of making it 3-2… but it did make the end celebration even more important (AND THANK YOU HOCKEY GODS FOR NOT MAKING THIS GAME A FUCKING SHOOTOUT!!)
— Colin White got hurt… it sounds minor… but it’s a blip in the radar you kinda don’t want now… not like Jay Leach and Andy Greene can’t fill in…. but they’re NOT on WHITE POWER’s level

the Funny:
— well the pre-game bar crawl OBVIOUSLY…. that was greatness in many levels (well until I look at my debit card statement later :p)…. Soda Bread… drunks trying to find the next bar (not to mention people trying to cross Broad Street without even looking at the damn traffic light!)
— the guy in front of us making some dumb gay comment to his friend across the row… and I got annoyed and flagged him for obsessive metro-sexuality… and boy did he take offense to it!! He launches into some tirade about it… that to be honest the crowd had DROWNED OUT… so I just have this annoying, whiny sexually confused idiot babbling… and all I see is like the kids on those old Charlie Brown specials and we’re trying hard to NOT laugh in his face for it!!!
— Little Miss Mike Peluso to my right doing her best impression of said Mikey… “Coach… I can’t take the shift!!” (was that subtle and ambiguous enough??)

enough of my stuff… go ahead guys…. add your moments too!!!!

Devils Vs. Sharks LIVECAP!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4:02 PM: We be back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts from Section 209… Devils/Kings 2/7/2009

(Good God I gotta do one of these things every other day for the next week… eeeppp!!) So where to start last night??? OK so it was a DUD effort all around in a lot of places… but be honest… going into this weekend if you were told they’d win 2 out of 3 and NOT lose to the Rangers you’d be pole-dancing or something silly like that… so CALM DOWN, they can’t win them all or play 110% all 100% of the time (yes I love those damn commercials!)

the Good:
— Close-enough-to-a-Sellout-game-to-annoy-me-walking-the-concourse against the “who cares” LA Kings… no matter what goofy promotion was going on (and yes as cool and fitting a promotion as the heart awareness thing is… it got downright creepy to read the survivior stories as I was eating the restaurant, also a side note for people not seeing me walk laps… when you do an hour of step aerobics on your Wii Fit that afternoon you kinda skip the arena laps :p)
— Despite not scoring, the Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner still had a heck of a game and was the best line all day (OMG YOU SAID SOMEONE PLAYED WELL AND DIDN’T SCORE A GOAL…. talk about my biggest peeve in hockey… when people in the media pick the 3 stars of the game by going down the stat sheet.. CMON LAZY JOURNALISM!!!)
— Jay Leach did not look like a guy who’s not played in a month and they need to find ways to spot him into the lineup… he’s a solid contributor (Sutter even praised him in the post-game which I listen to on my epic 15 minute drive home)
— I could go either way on this one… but I’m gonna call it a “Good” that Sutter upped and benched Holik/Shanny and Rupp after Holik’s standard bad penalty… kinda sends a message if the hitting line is not hitting, they ain’t playing… they were pretty soft tonight

the Bad:
— Puck night idea:
So I walk in at like 5:40, I get up the steps and I see a BIG line hidden in the corner… I see one of my 209-people there…”what’s this for?” … oh it’s the puck thing??? Look at the line… FUCK THAT… it’s not worth it… boy was I right?? Letting people hoard the pucks and only bringing 500… even when the Devils get it right they get it wrong still!!!
— this game felt like it was two weeks long… hell it was about as painfully long as waiting for the government to give you something you’ve been waiting for since like… October? :p
— The team kinda threw their hands up and said OK WE LOSE… once the Zubrus goal was disallowed (how the hell do you distinctly kick a puck when you’re getting knocked on your ass??)
— I’ve noticed a DISTINCT drop in Scott Clemmensen’s play since they announced Brodeur’s return date… is this coincidence… probably not, the guy sees midnight coming and the Cinderella ball is ending….. not to mention how simply OWNED he got on the penalty shot (in a tiny bit of defense… no one knew this was coming… we went from the sopey stick shuffle thing… to WAIT… PENALTY SHOT… we all knew a goal was coming… well except that few that thought Clemmensen was a shootout goalie specialist back in 2006… no really there were people that thought this!! So … Kevin Weekes on Monday??
— the officiating… I HATE bitching about calls live, because if you think you can see the game better from the second to last row in the building better then the guys on the ice whose job it is… well then you are the greatest deluded egomaniac on the planet… enjoy!! But still it was …. well… kinda spotty (this too is a tread across sports, the NFL officiating was as BAD as I can ever remember it also… even them pro rassling refs… how come they never see the guy’s foot on the ropes!!! :p)

the Funny:
— My Favorite 209 chant of the night….
“HEY WHAT TIME IS IT????
“IT’S TEN TO TWO!!!!!!!!!” (it’s funnier when people around you don’t get it!)
— we’re already loading up on Rangers Suck confetti for Monday!
— the EAT A SALAD chant at the obligatory redhead Ranger fan who sat near 209, be honest what else can a Ranger fan cheer for on this weekend?? But we gotta be nice to the guy…. after all mommy only lets him out of the basement once a week before his 10pm curfew and he chose to come here (and nothing is more nasty then a fat guy in a shirt showing a bit too much belly!)
— sadly there was not too much in the funny department… all the side activities and the long feel of the game killed most of the fun

Devils/Rangers… 12/12… Thoughts from Section 209!!!

Oh my God, where to start with THIS one?!??! Talk about all the way up and then way back down and to come all the way up again!!! Not the way ya wanna start your 36th birthday trying to run to the therapist to get some xanax! but anyway… so much to get to …..

the GOOD:
— 8 goals on Hernik the PuffyPads (my new name from tonight)… did we get 8 on the Queen ALL LAST YEAR?? I don’t think we did… good to see the Fraud be revealed (though if I was a Ranger fan, well besides having my wrists slit long ago, I’d wonder why the hell he wasn’t pulled at 5-1)

— IT’S A SHORTHANDED GOAL…. fuck you Sam Rosen…. times TWO!!!!

— Was good to finally hear the MAJORITY of the fans in the building stuff the idiot minority….

— 9 for 9 AND a +2 on the penalty kill?? that’s kinda hot in an almost sexual way!

— ya blow a 5-1 lead…but score 11 seconds after you blow the lead?I haven’t jumped that high out of my seat since Jeff Friesen in 2003 (talk about a goal that saved my week and put my birthday back to tolerable levels!)

— Good God even Bobby OneBrow got an assist tonight!

–Brian Gionta… 4 point night “and the Rangers have lost their defense” (and goaltending too Mister Rosen… go call your 4th string football game on FOX!)

the Bad:

— Scott Clemmensieve kinda lived up to the name I was kinda giving him … well cause it was working… but if you know goaltending and you watch it enough you saw this implosion pending (least the other guy was WORSE again!)

— BLOW A 5-1 LEAD.. WHAT THE FUCK GUYS!!! That was bad… this team can NOT sit back and hold on to a lead… EVER…. IT DOES NOT WORK!

— the 5 forward power play MUST go… Rolston looked pathetic trying to play D…

— …. come to think of it Rolston didn’t look much good at all….

— come to think of it the rest aside of goalteniding and Rolston was pretty darned acceptable to even good!!

the non-hockey:
— Seriously… I know you’re scum and douches… but Ranger fans SHUT UP DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM be quiet and respect said country that lets you be the scum sucking fuckface douche you are!!!

— thanks to route 22 for the damn flood in the right lane that killed my whole pre-game walkarounds!! (and that goes double to the Devils resturant staff for hanging up on me trying to reserve a seat for tonight for our mutual birthday thing… all I did was ask… well what happened to my season ticket holder priority…. I expect no less from this franchise :p)

— but the post-game “skate in the practice rink” the Devils offered… 5 stars!! But things to keep in mind…if you rent skates make sure they are SHARP (mine weren’t)… don’t be that moron in the Drury jersey who can’t take two steps without falling on his ass constantly (though it was funny as hell and facebook pics to follow!!!)
— and yes it is kick ass to skate on the Devils practice rink :)…made for some good pre-birthday enjoyment!

Hot damn I’m tired, still kinda numb… and not even sure at what the hell I saw…. the WTF moment of the DECADE to be SURE!!! (and one last side note, happy birthday to Mindy too and thanks for getting my head outta my as during this one when it needed it!!)

Devils… Panthers (11/20/2008)… Thoughts from Section 209

(God I can’t believe November is almost done, the NFL is in Week 12… and my birthday is coming… good God the older you get.. the FASTER it goes… really….)

It was nice to actually SEE THIS TEAM WIN A GAME (and hockey played as God, or whatever being you crawl into the corner and beg for more goals from, intended it played)… and actually play kinda well…..
This one had all the feelings and makings of an “aw shit they’re gonna lay an egg here” moment… but it never happened… that first period was pure comatose… neither team wanted to be there… the team was blah, because the place seemed lifeless… the place was lifeless because the quality on ice was bad and it was an ugly cycle!

But it’s kinda funny how things woke up in the second period… two moments of fluke shots (and well me just randomly screaming at Hassan to get the Farooq outta my seat during the intermission… I let them move me out of my seat for the opener and I HATED IT)…but anyway… that only set the pace for one of those great moments in section 209 history!!

We have a habit of booing the late showers (well some of them) just to give them grief and to be punctual! So anyway… I wanted to step it up for the 2nd period… so here he is walking up the steps… 2 beers in hand all ready for some Devils hockey… I curl up a napkin and all I am thinking is… oh god.. .hit the chest… be Jamie Langenbrunner…. right into the logo…the chest, not the beer… hit the logo…. so OF COURSE… I throw the napkin and the damn shot is SO PERFECT it doesn’t even hit the plastic cup part of the beer and just splashes in perfect like a Michael Jordan shot on the Knicks 🙂

(and just to bring it back to the Devils… they took one shot in the second too and it counted just as much!! :p)

At least it was a nice, solid pounding on a crappy, well BAD, Panthers team (though making Scott Clemmensen look like Mary Brodeur was usually what WE do to backup goalies… was nice to see that and going 1 for 1 on shots in the second period happen!)… the Third Period was pretty decent too!

The Good:
— Elias-Zubrus-Gionta….. this line is producing and big time!!! (nice to see Patrik getting going too)
— the MOVE Paul Martin put on for his goal… HOLY SHIT (it’s funny how guys who’s jerseys I wear seem to do amazing when I wear them to games… quick someone get me a White Langenbrunner!)
— I’m not big on cheerleaders… but DAMN these dancing girls we have now… yum!!!
— Scott Clemmensen did play well (I am not taking anything away from him but I am still annoyed at the bullshit way Weekes has been tossed under the bus) and I can’t imagine why I like my Section Chanting my name! 🙂
— JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER DOWN TO REASONABLE MINUTES… hooray!
— the 5 year old kid on his birthday leading the 209 chant in the last minute (and I tell you EVERYONE got into this one!)

the Bad:
— getting dominated in play by this crappy Panthers team… that’s just bad!!
— you could say the attendance and the flat crowd, but the crowd energy was siphoned from the lack of play on the ice (and I really don’t give a shit about attendance numbers i find it BETTER to have a small crowd… you know I can like.. um… DO STUFF in the arena like harass the crazies and stuff)… and you gotta figure… beat up team… AHL jobber as your goalie… and the Florida Panthers… yeah that’s as hot a ticket as Rutgers Football :p

So anyway not really a LOT to say here… so might as well save it for tomorrow… after all IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT (and what the hell ELSE do I have to do right??)