Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Preds, 2/12/2010

Hey folks… no I didn’t fall into the abyss like the rest of the staff did :p… I had a REALLY bad… umm… “digestive situation”… wasn’t much fun, but of course I got all better for work… and then the damn snow hit… so that was another mess… and my thoughts from Apartment A-1 would have been a more angry rant about the only fan noise being that idiot “Ranjahs suck” chant on TV… so anyway… all is well…. all is good… and it’s the damn Olympic Break… though we were given hats tonight, and a good chunk of us didn’t leave with them… more on that later!!!

The Good:
— WE DIDN’T BLOW A TWO GOAL LEAD…. hooray!!!!!! In fact this game was a massive 500 pound gorilla off their back and the liberation to it I can only compared to losing a 5’11” blonde gorilla right before my birthday 🙂
— Jacques Lemaire…. yeah he’s been dealt a crappy deck with this team and the injuries… and he overplays the vets… but HE FINALLY did it and got a message across… Jay Pandolfo sat out tonight… healthy scratch!! THANK GOD, no longer is it ok to shoot pucks right into the logo… no more will be matching lines and putting tpye-2 viagra level stiffs on the ice when it matters!! We have GOOD YOUNG PLAYERS WHO NEED TO DEVELOP, and sitting dead wood for young legs is what we NEED to do more of now!
— Kovalchuk…. I mean yeah I’ve seen him when Atlanta would play us… but you don’t really WATCH HIM…. Jesus Christ I think he’s got the hardest in-game shot in this team’s HISTORY…. when he clanked that post in the first period… Tammie heard it… on the escalator…. on the other side of the building :p…. when he hit that defenseman in the HELMET with it… he damn sure FELT IT (during the next PP Ilya went back to the dude… and I have no idea if he apologized or in his best Ivan Drago voice went “next time I must break you”)… and then of course… the goal…. and go figure I was just bragging about the power of my WEEKES jersey winning me another Super Bowl box this year… and kick.. wham… GOAL!!!! (I wanted to get a HEY… KOVAL-CHUK over the YOU SUCK… but it didn’t get there!)
— Hell all the big names we need to score…. scored tonight!!! And it’s a POWER PLAY GOAL… fuck you Sam Rosen!! (and arena security too :p ), Murphy and Fraser got good minutes and I REALLY liked what I saw from Corrente on the RW… like another converted defense-person (oh that will piss her off)…. he did really good… he got his shit dirty… he HIT PEOPLE… and he showed some real promise as a RW… and replacing Pando… the bar was set low….

the Bad:
— Jason Arnott was a -3… oh wait… everyone forgot about him and hell he was damn near invisible on the ice, thank God too… the reunion tour HAS to stop and I don’t want that mess back in Jersey :p
— Brian Rolston played 1/4 of the game and the only reason you’d know it is his time on ice….
— Poor Zharkov… he’s snakebitten again…. we just don’t like our Russian Wings in Jersey….

the Funny:
— I was being vague and message sending today (so was my mp3 player) and after having Freebird come up three times on the device today (and then the Micro SD card is gone… weird)… I decided to post the lyrics for reasons only known to me… and this starts a whole bitch-fight essentially, and anyone who knows me…. they know how much and WHY I hate country music…. so now they’re all like… well that’s a country song, and I’ll be double damned if:
A. them get away with it (I’ll stab myself… or worse.. watch a Ranger game….. before liking country music, country music SOUTHERN ROCK)
B. Let them have the last word
C. Listen to the Who over them!!!!
— so it started in warmups (though amazing I didn’t have ONE incident with a self-deluded bag of balls bothering me during warmups… yay!)… Patrik Elias WIPES OUT… I wanted to call it a header but I get yelled at by the soccer nation…..and I just panic… all I do is yell OH NO, DON’T YOU BE HURT PATRIK WE NEED YOU NOW DAMMIT!!!! Thankfully he was ok and my cursing fit was only for the amusement of a few!
— Ah, our lovely Pete moments of the night… though his pesty friendship with dear Clutch is strained (oh let him yell at you… the options are brutal)…. but as always… he asks me the goalie’s name it gets ugly:
“Hey Scott what’s the goalie’s name?”
“Rinne….”
“HEY WEINER YOU SUCK!!!”
— Josh Burnett (on our 5 on 3 FAILS):
“Well thank god the whole we-can’t-score-on-a-2-man-advantage thing held true, or the we-can’t-hold-a-2-0-lead thing
would be in play.” … and we only blew a one goal lead and still won!!!
— Gotta love a fan base so desperate for offense that when Kovie FINALLY did score… and we as a TEAM scored three goals… hats come flying on the ice… um no guys, slow down there… I was actually half amused (and like Josh)… half stunned by the dumb of it… her lordship goes into a curse filled tirade over and over again YOU FUCKING MORONS STOP IT BEFORE WE GET A FUCKING PENALTY (I swear it was like watching a game with Pat Burns!)… screaming and raving like crazy to the point it annoyed the guy in front of us with his three kids (really the fuck bomb was dropped more times now then any weapon used in Iraq… accept this and don’t get me started on the fucked philosophy of this country where we can show horrific acts of hate and violence all the time and it’s ok .. BUT OH MY GOD HE SAID A NAUGHTY WORD and the world’s supposed to end… fuck you.. lighten up, the WORD means NOTHING unless YOU empower it!)

…. and just when she stops ranting… Goomba steals the rant… but nooooo we don’t complain about him using it… because we’re a pussy and he could hurt you… douche bag!!!

Well I know it ain’t much but it was a lot of fun… and don’t worry… I’ll be doing some kinda thoughts and maybe even an Olympic Preview as we go get all Kurt Angle and GET OLYMPIC for the next few weeks…. stick with me… it’ll be fun, I guarantee it!!!!

Poor David Clarkson…

Poor, poor David Clarkson.

And poor us as well.

That’s why you stand up and face a Zdeno Chara slapshot head-on rather than wimping out and turning sideways.  Of course, I say this behind a laptop, and not on ice staring down the barrel of a 100 MPH slapshot from the guy who broke Al MacInnis’ fastest shot record last year.

Ouch.

So add Clarkson to the infirmary list for the Devils.  Y’know, the list that already includes our beloved Dainius Zubrus.  And Jay Pandolfo.  And Rob Niedermayer.  And Johnny Oduya.  And Paul Martin.

Know what list is growing just as fast as the injured list?  The rookies list.  Add Vladimir Zharkov to a list of rookies or first-year NHLers already containing Niklas Bergfors, Pierre-Luc Letourneu-Leblond, Matt Halischuk, Matt Corrente, Tyler Eckford (who’s on his way to Lowell right now), Illka Pikkarainen, Mark Fraser, and Tim Sestito.  Guess we’re no longer one of the oldest squads in the NHL, eh?  Small victories, my friends, small victories.

Zharkov was leading the baby Devils in scoring before getting called up, and according to the ever-awesome TG, will be skating on a line with Dean McAmmond and Matt Halischuk.

Seriously gang, read that again:  Our third line – the Devils traditional strength – is two rookies and Dean Mc-friggin-Ammond.  The injuries have gotten so bad, we’re using our training camp roster.  It’s a wonder Trenton and Lowell can even field teams at this point.

So now it’s Devils/Islanders in about a half hour.  Unfortunately, no LiveCap on my end this afternoon gang.  I’ll make sure to have another one happen soon, and I’ll also make sure to let you know well ahead of time when it happens.  In the meantime, enjoy your New Jersey Lowell Devils taking on the Islanders this afternoon.

Wait, the Sabres are good?

So who’d have thought that this stretch of games against the Rangers, Penguins, and Sabres would prove to be an early-season measuring stick?  I mean, Penguins, of course.  Rangers & Penguins?  Okay, maybe.  But where the HELL did the Sabres come from?

The Sabres sit at 6-1-1 coming into tonight’s game at The Rock.  This means that the Devils last three opponents will have had a total of FIVE combined losses on the season before the Devils got their hands on ’em.

The win over the Penguins Saturday night was costly, however.  As you may know by now, both Paul Martin and Jay Pandolfo will be out 4-6 weeks due to seperate arm owies.  While Super Jay has been having a great year so far, he’s somewhat replacable in the lineup (Matt Halischuk probably gets regular playing time now).  But Paul Martin?  His loss could suck.  It could suck a lot.

I mean, because Paul Martin’s out, the Devils called up Cory Murphy.  THAT’S how much the loss of Martin sucks.  Granted, Murph was called up as a seventh defenseman, and won’t be in the lineup tonight, but still.  Our D-corps is pretty banged up in the early going, with Mike Mottau coming back from injury and Colin White and Bryce Salvador both puck magnets.  Factor in Johnny Oduya being less amazing than he has been, and our defense is basically Andy Greene and a buncha scrubs.  Lucky for us, Andy Greene = Wins.

The Devils are 5-0 on the road, which kind of sucks because tonight’s a home game.  In the friendly confines of Newark, New Jersey, the team is 1-3.  And the one win came against a surprisingly bad Carolina team.  That’s…not so good.  A win tonight, however, and all early-season home struggles are forgiven.

Come back here post-game for a Scott Mackie-style post-game recap!  Also, I’m not going to PROMISE it, but there’s gonna be a LiveCap coming eventually.  I haven’t forgotten, I just tend to be in class during the games.  I’ll set one up soon and let you, the loyal 2MA reader, know well in advance.  It’ll be a little party, it will!

Mmmm, Victory

Tastes good, don’t it?

That’s a win, kiddies.  That’s a WIN.  Walk into the building of the defending Stanley Cup champions and deliver a good old crotch-stomping to the tune of a 4-1 victory.  Beautiful.

(Side note:  Does anyone else get the feeling that Marty would be pushing 200 shutouts if Chico wasn’t one of our announcers?)

Anyhoo.  Stellar game.  The Devils are now 5-0 on the road (yet 1-3 at home.  Gotta fix that.).  The Penguins came in riding a SEVEN game win streak, and the win was only their second loss on the year.  The first was to the Coyotes.  True story.

Let’s discuss goal scoring for a moment:  Mark Fraser not only notches his first NHL goal, but also the first goal by a Devils defenseman all year.  Bergfors goes from slumping to a hot stick in two games, potting his second in as many games.  Zajac and Parise hook up for a goal and assist each, clearly trying to prove to Lemaire that BFFs on the same line should never be broken up.

The only downsides to this game:  Both Jay Pandolfo and Paul Martin go down with unspecified injuries.  And some might argue the former may not be much of a downside (sorry Super Jay).

Edit 10:47 PM: Tom Gulitti reports that Paul Martin may have a broken forearm and that Jay Pandolfo’s right shoulder popped from the socket on a hit from behind by Mike Rupp.  Both could potentially be lost for awhile.  That could suck.

So the Devils come home to rest and relax for a few days before taking on the Sabres at The Rock on Wednesday.  A good game to head home to.

Scott Stevens, was that you? (A half-cap, if you will)

11:53 PM ET: A bittersweet moment, but we must give congratulations to Richard H. as he has taken home the 2MA t-shirt. Thanks to all who entered!
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10:10 PM ET: What a waste. Season over.

10:08 PM ET:
…and that’s that. Staal fires one past Marty with just seconds left. You’ve gotta be kidding me.

10:07 PM ET:
Devils with the timeout. I’m not sure my heart can handle this.

10:06 PM ET:
Well, we have a minute left. Please do not break my heart, New Jersey.

10:05 PM ET:
DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT.  Tied game.

10:01 PM ET:
Marty with a purty glove save on Rod Brind’amour. Do I need to bust out the You Go Girl picture? I think I do. Ever since that crap goal Brodeur gave up early in the first, he’s been on FI-YAH.

9:57 PM ET:
Two-on-one, Madden and Whitey. That’s almost as good as a Colin White penalty shot.

9:51 PM ET:
Martin Brodeur is a pretty darn good goalie. Just sayin’. He’s keepin’ the lead for the Devils right now.

9:51 PM ET:
Cam Ward is a pretty darn good goalie. Just sayin’. He’s keepin’ the Canes in it right now.

9:47 PM ET:
Madden with the game on his stick, can’t quite get it high enough on Ward. Consequently, Tuomo Ruutu gets absolutely reamed by Patty Elias. This has not been Ruutu’s night.

9:47 PM ET:
GOOD KILL GOOD KILL GOOD KILL

9:46 PM ET:
MARTIN BRODEUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11ONE!1

9:45 PM ET:
Captain-brunner takes a bad penalty…no good. This is a huge kill here. DO IT.

9:38 PM ET:
Madden and Pandolfo on a two-on-one? Wow, I’m having serious flashbacks here.

9:33 PM ET:
So, yeah, normally the Rangers Suck chants annoy the heck outta me, but there’s something so divine about hearing 17,625 fans mocking the failed season of the Blueshirts in unison.

Loves it.

9:32 PM ET:
HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN? Elias, you’re fired.

9:29 PM ET:
Let us all take a moment bow our heads in silence for the Rangers’ 2009 season. Rest in Peace, New York. Rest in Peace.

…Nelson, I need to borrow your laugh right here.

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9:15 PM ET: Oh, and thanks to everyone who entered the 2MA t-shirt contest! Winner will be announced at the conclusion of tonight’s contest!
_____

9:13 PM ET: And we’re done with two! Devils with an additional buck-twenty left on the power play going into the third period.  I need a drink.

9:11 PM ET: Atta-boy, Zachy. Good to see Parise back on the ice immediately after getting his cheek ripped open.

9:08 PM ET:
Okay, I was totally kidding about, you know, any injury to Zach Parise. Poor pretty boy takes a stick to the face, draws blood and we’re on a four-minute man advantage. Make Gleason and the Canes pay Black ‘n Red!

9:04 PM ET:
GOOD KILL GOOD KILL GOOD KILL

9:02 PM ET:
I’m going to punch Zach Parise in the knee. Keep your stick down holmes! ‘Nother penalty kill for the Devils. Gotta stop taking the penalties.

9:00 PM ET:
GOOD KILL GOOD KILL GOOD KILL

8:56 PM ET:
If Facebook had a Does Not Like button, I’d click it for that play. BAD PENALTY CALL for flip’s sakes! Two-man advantage for the wrong team. Huge kill coming up. DO IT BOYZ! ‘Kay, maybe Facebook has taken over my life too.

Speaking of, add us on Facebook! …ah crap. Addicted.

8:50 PM ET: YUS!! POWER PLAY GOAL SUCKAS! 3-2 NEW JERSEY! What a PLAY by Brian Gionta! Amazing awareness, throws it over to Brian Rolston who *gasp* FINALLY GETS A GOAL! Oh my GOSH it’s like it was in the stars…

8:48 PM ET:
Solid shift by Black ‘n Red results in another pee-pee. If I don’t get my power play goal, I’m going to cry.

8:37 PM ET:
Uh…defense? Hello? Tied game. That power play goal would have been lovely, eh? Whatever, Ray Whitney is stupid.

8:36 PM ET:
Why does our power play suck so much?

8:34 PM ET:
Huge pee-pee! …uh…that sounds wrong. I WANT A POWER PLAY GOAL DARN IT.

8:33 PM:
‘Kay, Brendan Shanahan is awesome. Solid two-way play tonight by the 75893-year-old forward.

8:15 PM: PS Jay Pandolfo can grow a playoff beard like no one’s business. Shades of Scott Niedermayer anyone? …lies. That man came out of the womb with a full, furry, fantastic beard.

8:14 PM: Shaky start, solid ending. Good period overall. I like when the defense doesn’t completely suck. I also like when Captain-brunner looks like his old self.

KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING

8:03 PM: I LOVE JAY PANDOLFO.
_____

Holy…Johnny O-flippin-duya!

That was the hit of the playoffs right there ladies ‘n gents. I’m pretty sure poor Tuomo is still shakin’ in his skates right now…if he even remembers what skates after that boomer of an open ice hit.

KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING
KEEP IT GOING

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.

Devils/Tampa Bay 4-3-2009….thoughts from Section 209

Well I told ya it wasn’t going to be pretty (it NEVER IS when you play in this kinda funk and you come out of it), but hey this is the way things go back to “normal” and things come back on track… add some ironies, and here we go!!!

(one small update too…I will hit a Devils season in review next weekend after the Carolina game… seems silly to do one with 2 weeks to go… and based on playoff run a lengthy playoffs in review should be on the slate too)

The Good:
— SCORING!!! Welcome back to the scoresheet:
Brendnan Shanahan (if this turn-around leads to the long playoff run I expect still from this team you can thank this man’s penalty shot… to be you-tubed later… for the start of it)
Jay Pandolfo… never could an ugly wobbling shot be so pretty
ZACH PARISE…. AAAAHHHHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! (5 goals and 6 points in 5 games is NOT out of the question to see Parise still set some recrods despite the late game skid… hell it could happen tonight it Patrick Lalame plays 🙂 )… good to see him back in the goal scoring column, they need him now more then ever with Elias still out…..
— We had a goalie go down with an unknown injury and there was NO SHIRT-TOSSING RETARD SWEATING AND THROWING SHIRTS AT FANS… THEY ACTUALLY LEARNED… hooray!!!!
— THEY WON… and the ship seems righted again… finally!!!!

the Bad:
— POOR KEVIN WEEKS!!! Yes I feel for the guy… fucker finally gets a game and yeah the first goal was kinda *ugh* (I think Salvador did get a piece of it)… but he plays well after …. and then one bad shot to the knee… and while some people are saying it was karma to let mb30 play on his little night… I think I could stop 7 of 10 shots on the NHL Level, even after 3 games in 6 nights myself…..
— Penalty killing… still not so good…. the power play looked and moved the puck a LOT better… confidence is a good thing… but I hope it wasn’t just because of opponent
— Even the crowd for the most felt out of sync and kinda drifting in this game… yeah they picked it up after Pando’s weird goal, but it wasn’t a golden night for anyone all around….

— Floor hockey + Paddle down goaltending + concrete floor == one SORE AS SHIT WRIST the day after…. and ensuing lame masturbation jokes :p

the Funny:
— Hey at least as a goalie… when I throw the stick blindly at the puck…. it’s actually going in net… and dammit I hit the puck (maybe one of the coolest looking non-saves I ever made!)
— Lil Nicky, yelling to find out about Wimpy was pretty damn funny… good to see our #1 draft pick back from his suspension for “academic reasons” (I have to wonder why we all get penalized for our lil star’s own misdoings….)… but when you’re in a funk even the fans can act the same… it kinda happened last night… not the best of night for crowd noise… maybe we’re saving it for tonight and ye olde Sun Tavern!!! (no who am I kidding.. they’re all going to see Pat the David Clarkson clone….speaking of… I’m fucked if he don’t work tonight eh??)… not to mention the reaction from the lil guy when his sister screamed something right next to him from bullhorn to eardrum…. a WTF look from a kid that in theory don’t know what the F the F stands for!! (I only say this cause his dad reads this… the rest of us KNOW he knows all the cool bad words!)
— Well not a hockey thing… but if you’re a wrestling fan and you ever want to disturb your friends (this one is fun trust me)… if you ever watch a Chris Benoit match again … when he goes to chop someone in the corner… yell DANIEL… *crack*… DANIEL!!! Each time he chops yell it angrier and angrier…. I guarantee you will disturb the living shit out of your friends (and damn it’s fun!!)

See ya all tonight at Sun Tavern… oh this should be fun!!!!!!!!

MARTY’S BETTER!

This is it children.  It’s been a long time.  Painfully long.  I think I speak for most Devil fans when I say, I’ve been counting down the days.  Waiting, hoping, wishing.  And now the day is finally upon us.  The man is back on the ice.  The myth.  The one simply known as Martin.

Yes gang, Paul Martin returns to the ice for New Jersey tonight when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at the Rock, after missing four games with an undisclosed “upper body injury.”  Wait, what? …You thought I was talking about someone else?

Oh, right, Martin Brodeur’s back tonight too.  Man, sucks to be Paul Martin, huh?

Tonight’s game will actually be the first since mid-OCTOBER that the Devils can say that they’ve had a full, 100% injury-free lineup.  Brendan Shanahan and Bryce Salvador will both be in the lineup after obtaining numerous owies over the course of the recent woebegotten roadtrip that we will now forget ever happened.  I guess Florida, Tampa, and Islander players just don’t like B.S. (get it?).

So, with a full lineup, some people are going to have to make their way over to the healthy scratch list, and surprisingly, Jay Pandolfo ain’t one of ‘em!  Super Jay’s in tonight’s lineup.  In his place in the press box is a (presumably) not-very-happy Mike Rupp.  Jay Leach also sits tonight.  Anssi Salmela was sent back to Lowell the other day with Mr. Scott Clemmensen, who may or may not have seen his last days in a Devils sweater this season – we’ll know the answer to that a little better in about six days.

So with Marty back, the biggest question, of course, is “is he ready?”  Judging from his responses in various interviews over the last few days, I’d have to say that he is.  I would hope he, Brent Sutter, Lou, and everyone involved in the organization realize that he’s coming off major surgery and the first extended injury break of his career and that caution is the key.  I don’t think they’d be stupid enough to allow Marty to dictate when he returns, which makes me feel that yes, he’s ready for NHL-level action today.

Once he’s back, Marty may want to play every day, but it will be imperative that Weekes (and maybe Clemmensen) get some time in to spell #30.  The first test of that will be this weekend, two games against teams in the thick of the playoff race on back-to-back AFTERNOONS.  If Marty plays both of them, I may pop a blood vessel in my frontal lobe.  Kevin Weekes should be playing Saturday, period, and with apologies to those who bought tickets already.

But, that’s another worry for another day.  Tonight, we sit back and enjoy the return of a Hall-of-Famer.  The timing couldn’t be better to get his feet wet, either:  Four days off before this game, against the worst team in the Western Conference.  The Avalanche, while still in the playoff race out west – it’s rather bunched up at the bottom of the conference – are also coming into New Jersey in the midst of a ridiculously long road trip.  Marty should be getting a cupcake team tonight to start his big return (no fat jokes, please).

As a programming note, for those who can’t be there tonight, the MSG network was kind enough to switch this game from MSG+2 to regular old MSG+.  You know what this means – HIGH DEF HOCKEY!  Sucks if you’re an Islander fan tonight.  As usual.

And of course, when one comes back, you lose another.  We’ll miss you ’round these parts, Patty.  Hopefully you’ll be around enough to lend some incite from the land of thick pizza and funny shaped buildings.  Also, I love the full circle-ness of your two big posts this season, covering Marty’s injury in the days after it happened, and now saying goodbye the day he comes back.  Well played, Miss Greuter, well played.  I think I speak for myself, Joe, Steve, Scott and 2MA fans worldwide when I say, this place just won’t be quite the same without ya.  Godspeed in the Windy City P!

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!

Devils Versus Docile Bears

Tonight’s a big’un.  The Boston Bruins, they of the best record in all the land, make their way to Newark this eve to take on the Devils, they of the nine-wins-in-eleven-games hot streak.  One of those wins came against this very same Bruins team (in Boston, no less).

For the Devils, expect to see Mike Rupp back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s victory over the Isles.  The Devils say it was a sinus issue, I say it was a bruised ego after getting knocked silly by Colton Orr in a fight Monday night.  Either way, I expect Rupp will be looking for blood, preferably not his own.

Rupp’s return means that Jay Pandolfo sits in the press box again tonight.  Super Jay wasn’t bad in Wednesday’s tilt, but “not bad” doesn’t seem good enough.  Poor Super Jay.

Scott Clemmensen gets the nod in net after sitting Wednesday in favor of Kevin Weekes.  But this is not all that shocking.

On the opposite side of the rink, the Bruins are coming off a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Tuesday night’s much-balleyhoo’d face-off of conference leaders – the Bruins first loss all season by more than two goals.  The Bruins are also the NHL’s best road team, having lost only five times in regulation away from TD Banknorth Garden.  This one ain’t gonna be easy, folks.

Scott’s at tonight’s game, so I’m sure you’ll see one of his Thoughts from Section 209’s later tonight or early tomorrow.  I’ll hopefully be catching at least some of tonight’s game and may have something up as well.

Before I go, however, I’d like to extend my sincerest condolences on behalf of all of us at 2MA to the friends and families of those killed in the Continental Airlines Flight 3407, which crashed in Buffalo.  The flight originated at Newark Airport and it seems like a good number of NJ residents were aboard the plane.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.