Devils Team Report (Yahoo! Sports)

There's a big game taking place Thursday night at the Rock in Newark.

The Devils against the Islanders.

No. 29 in the NHL standings against No. 30.

This is big.

The Devils lost again Tuesday night, in Washington, and remained two points ahead of the Isles for that 29th spot. The Islanders, however, have three games in hand and could move into a tie for 29th with a home upset of the Lightning on Wednesday night.

Regardless, No. 29 will be on the line when these two New York-area rivals get together in the opener of the Devils' four-game homestand.

The Devils' latest losing streak has reached three games, during which they have scored three goals and allowed 15.

Erat scores 2 to lead Predators past Devils 3-1 (The Canadian Press)

NEWARK, N.J. - Martin Erat is finally hitting his best stride for the Nashville Predators.

Kovalchuk scores 2 as Devils top Coyotes (The Canadian Press)

NEWARK, N.J. - Ilya Kovalchuk sensed something different about the New Jersey Devils before they faced the Phoenix Coyotes.

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Lez Habbies, 1/22/2009

Well that wasn’t pretty to watch but it was DAMN FUN to attend…. I gotta say the passion and noise of the Montreal fans that come down to see them play in Jersey… ever since we moved to Newark, these games have been AWESOME… yeah it brings out the worst in the drunken stupid… but that’s gonna happen anyway (I mean yelling Canada sucks… booing their national anthem?? CMON!!!! I’d say we’re better then that …. but most of us ain’t… you’d think the least you’d do is sing your OWN damn anthem *sigh*… but then again these are the same people that “lost” their Eli Manning jerseys and “Mark Sanchez jerseys fell off the truck and into their laps”…. I can rant for days about THIS… but it’s not the place for it….all I’ll say is I have a bunch of real good friends (some of them actually read this)… and I’d love to say good luck and be happy for them… but damned if I can do… and yeah it’s kinda because of the same idiot type fan that like to yell CANADA SUCKS while wearing an mb30 jersey… see I got back on topic :)… and I do have a lot of fun things to get to…..

the Good:
— Mark Fraser… again stood up and fought… and this one energized the building and the TEAM (damn shame he dinged up his hand in doing it… which is why he left the ice)…. but him turning and smacking D’Agostini in the face with the elbow pad was 100-stars awesome!! (it did lead to a nice crack of… oh yeah… you don’t need Laraque with a fighter like THAT on this team :p )
— Even though the game was over late into it.. the young guys kept going and played hard (a lot of teams will coast and not play in the last few minutes when the game is clearly over like this one was)… but the Devils and noticeably the kids: Zharkov, Bergfors and Palmeri of note kept playing and getting some good shots and chances… I kinda liked the feisty!
— Jamie Langenbrunner …. I bag on him alot… but damn… 8 shots and the nice breakout pass that fed Parise (who did have an epic move on the goal)… that was good stuff…..

the Bad:
— this is something that has been annoying the shit out of me all season long… it used to be, and it’s been this way ever since I started going to games back in 1992… you go down… you watch warmups… never a problem…. and it was all good… now this year, those people come to their seats and have bitch fits about their seats and being in them… it’s annoying… but really… I don’t want your fucking seat, these seats BLOW when the game starts… I just wanna watch the warmups… so settle down princess I’ll be outta here in 18:00!!
— This team looked TIRED again…. very tired, White and Mottau were sloppy, Rob Niedermayer looked disinterested (a rare thing on a Devils team ever)… I’d say Pando was tired and off… but his job and role have been useless since the lockout ended (the “shutdown forward” is more a dinosaur role then the hockey goon with lead in his skates and foil on his fists)
— … and not to mention… the absurdly long laundry list of guys on the injured list (and Paul Martin get the hell healthy!!) it’s really starting to show… the guys who had stepped up (Andy Greene for one)… now seem outta gas… and guys like Oduya just haven’t gotten it this year… it’s not good now…
— the PSE&G powerplay has failed the Devils much like the PSE&G technology has failed the building (and my fellow Jersey folk know the shit job they do on a day to day basis anyway…)
— Speaking of… now would be a wonderful time for Brian Rolston to step up and earn his contract instead of mooching off Patrik Elias when he’s healthy… trust me… I know a LOT about life-sucking mooches…. you were mister “oh Lemaire is the best thing for this team”… well get the fuck out there and DO IT, 1 shot and a -2 in 19:00 is NOT getting it done!

the Funny:
— So were watching warmups and me and Dee are trying to find Andy…and we can’t! it takes a minute of checking the ice to see if we can find him… we look and look….Oh wait he’s next to Pandolfo… That explains it, the light of Andy is drowned out by the darkness known as jay pandolfo! (seems fitting the way Pando is playing… and thank God Andy’s on D and they can keep him as far from the Pando-black hole as possible!)
** Steve LaFlamme Andry Greene=JEsus Jay Pandolfo=Satan
** Scott Mackie HAIL SATAN!!!
— I didn’t know how to react to the three really… and I mean REALLY… two fingered and 4 sandwich kinda FAT dudes who sat in 208… wearing BRUINS jerseys… I mean really… yeah you wanna be random douchebag on the road I get it…. but there’s a small level of respect and yeah I’ve worn Devils jerseys to random LA and Dallas games in their arena (but LA fans are idiot scum anyway and the hell with them… and I saw 20 games in Dallas with my time and relationships there I was almost part of the section)… ya just don’t do it!!! You wouldn’t wear a Devils jersey to a Ranger/Flyer or Islander game would ya?? Well maybe you would, and then you suck too!!
— All that aside we were doomed from second one of this game:
“HEY PRICE… YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!”
“Hey dummy, Price ain’t playing???”
“He’s NOT… well….. he STILL SUCKS… um Scott… who’s the goalie???”
(poor Pete he can’t remember single-syllable goalie names)
— the Gomez/Gionta reaction (and we’re gonna have more on this) was pretty hilarious… for the wrestling fans they’ll get this one… Scott Gomez was clearly John Cena… when Cena punches the fans boo (somehow it became cool to hate Cena and the idiots all jumped on like sheep trying to be cool with the rest of the idiot mob)… so Gomez gets the puck and it’s BOOOOOO…. he passes to Gionta… and it was like when the guy would hit Cena back… and it was YAAAAYYY… so Gomez/Cena… BOOOOO…. Gionta/opponent… YYAAAYYYY.. all game long… it amused me muchly (hell it was more fun then the ENTIRE Hell in a Cell PPV there)
and one more Gio comment from Rob from TV at home: “side note gio looks like a child molestor with his goatee people above 5’5 should be the only ones allowed to grow facial hair”… thank God I’m 5’7” :p
— this made me smile so I added it:
** “Rob Tonnesen doc said the puck off the omiprescent stick of greene ? ”
— So there was a two-minute sequence when we all thought Gionta had scored that it was a softie (it was a sick deflection and it was too fast to see from my seats… and we were having so much fun with the Habs fans… you guys ROCKED in 209 last night handshakes and all from us…. so we missed a lot of things… but anyway… so we think Gionta scores… and we all turn and STARE at her Lordship since we ALL gotta see how she’s reacting to this… she kinda stares…. and waits…. off comes the BC Gionta jersey and chokeslammed to the floor… but WAIT… she’s a Gionta DEVILS jersey under it… she tries the “but it’s about the TEAM in front”…and the look back shows the FAIL of the comment…. off comes the jersey… CHOKESLAM ahoy!!! I wish we had a camera and could have iso-ed her all game along… that shit was hilarious, and worth the price of admission alone!!!!

I can’t complain too much about this game… it was FUN and that’s the fucking POINT right??? A good time was had and the injuries are catching up to this team… and it looks like we get Denis tonight for the Islanders game… hope you guys enjoyed it from wherever you sat!!

Thoughts from Section 20… eerr… 300, Devils AT Sabres, Dec 7, 2009!

Welcome to 2 Man History!!!! No no no, not the shutout record :p… Hells no not that… we’ll get to that!! Welcome to the first ROAD version of the keeping-this-site-alive sorta commentary on the Devils games I go to live…..it’s been a while since i saw NHL hockey live outside the friendly halls of Newark (no Andrew that Islanders game last year don’t count!)….hell in fact it was that first weekend in January of 2007, thet lead to a “you went out WITH THAT” girl getting a football tossed at her head :p… anyway, that was then and this is certainly NOW…. BUFFALO STINKS!!! And now we got proof!!

the Arena:
— Let me say this… the HSBC ARENA is flat out BEAUTIFUL!!! It has great sidelines… the arena is well-designed… it pays great tribute to the team as you walk in you see EVERYTHING… it’s perfectly designed, the concourse is way unique and takes pride in their team, their players and their history (as jaded as it is)… this is definitely one of the top 5 arenas I’ve been too in my 19 traveled too! I will DEFINITELY be coming back here again!!! (My top 5 I believe is now: Columbus, New Jersey, Phoenix, Toronto and then Buffalo… I culd be wrong and need to think of this better when the asthma headache goes away)
— the sight-line was a little… vertical…. I admit… but it was an excellent place to see hockey from, the Blue color-scheme was awesome
— if you are thinking of seeing a game up here… bring some thermals but GO… it’s a 5-star stop!!!!
— (and of course for more details on my trip… facebook me!!!)

The Good:
— I do really need to thank Melissa and her family for putting up with me this weekend and beyond… and my asthma-induced temper tantrum during that Cowboys debacle on Sunday… this has been quite honestly maybe the best and most stress (and drama)-free vacation I’ve had in a long time and I need to thank them for this… even if they may never read this thank you……
— Well obviously when your goaltender ties the record for the most regular season shutouts of all time… yeah he’s GOTTA be the lead comment right?? Though typical Buffalo douchery….”Sawchuck didn’t wear a mask…” I heard that about 15 times… and i’m sorry… him being TOO STUPID to wear one doesn’t lessen it… he also had no video scouting, less players in the league, a lighter schedule and the average hockey player NOW is way better and capable then they were back then SO SUCK IT and accept the fact you live in the city of fails!!!
— Johnny Oduya looks to be back and in his last year’s form with his effort in the last two games back from injury… hell that time off was maybe the best thing for him it seems….
— Vladimir Zharkov…. I was kinda annoyed that Halischuk got sent down (I thought he was improving and showing he belonged here…)… but now Zharkov is adding points to his resume (and playing time with Elias)… and if he keeps scoring Lou and Jacques look like GOD DAMN GENIUSES again!
— Colin White again a very quiet night and you look up and it’s a +2 night… I’m just saying….
— I was really getting on people’s nerves with the KILL….. KILL…. KILL…KILL!! Chant during Buffalo power plays, hell they coulda scored and shut me up right??? (so I ran it up a little and did it during the last 90 seconds of the game!)
— Zach Parise was buzzing all game long… it’s like he went to score ten points tonight so he could goad Miller all Olympics long about it eh? Was kinda fitting since our room was “909” in the hotel… and it lead to a Lord Krang snarl:
** Lord Krang “Our”?? As in yours and Andy’s??
See, Andy is so good he gets his own hotel room even though he hasn’t yet met the requirements in the CBA to be roommate-less, opening the way for him to share his hotel room with you!
(now let this fuel speculation indeed that the person behind the “Andy Greene” facebook page is an obscure Buffalo sports fan in Youngsville, PA 😉 )

The Bad:
— IT’S FUCKING COLD AND SNOWING OUT HERE… ok that’s bad for me and all I care about :p
— We’re getting spoiled by andy and his genius if it’s almost a bad night that he only had three nifty plays and assist and was “only even” in 25 miniutes played…. i expected more when I come 400 miles to see ya!!!
— USA hockey takes collective gasp as Montador runs over his own goalie!!! that was a pretty big scare this close to Olympic time….
— the only thing bad about this game I can think of is that Buffalo laid down much like Brett Favre did for Michael Strahan long long ago for another record that was of minimal interest :p

the funny:
— and oh boy we got a LOT here… I made some friends really quick in this game…. hell we even traded Chris Benoit jokes!!
Our new friendship began when they yelled “BORING TRAP DEVILS!!” I reminded them that the Rangers trapped more and somehow Jacques made us into an offensive powerhouse :o… and they returned the favor by telling me that Tim Connolly has a habit and liking to pee on girls after dates…. WHAT??!??!
— and see I wasn’t the only one expecting the irony of mb30 waiting till I travel to the frozen tundra to see him tie that shutout record:
** Brian Paolercio: Since you’re there, Scott, make sure you let the Sabres know that scoring on Marty is easier than kicking
a field goal. Marty will have his precious shutout record in no time. 😛
— I had a bit of a loud cough, but i had to be careful with it… didn’t want Buffalo nation to think I was making some kinda “choke” reference…. damn I needed a Tennesse Titans jersey eh??? Though speaking of painful Buffalo moments in sports history… with 19 seconds left, they stop the play on a Parise goal, and replay it… I turn and yell (some angry fans were annoying me with the Sawchuck comment)… “HEY LOOK THAT REPLAY’S ABOUT TEN YEARS LATE AIN’T IT??”,,,, douche chills ensued :p
** Tammie Hamilton: You need to do more road trips 🙂
(obviously she’s right… anyone wanna start paying for it?? I bring wins like Andy does 😀 )
— Second Intermission…..Random fan yells at me DEVILS SUCK
“Not tonight we don’t
“Well who looked better the game before??… See More
“Well who won cups?? Hell one better who kept brett hull OUT of the crease in the finals??
….Don’t bring rocks to a gun fight boy!!

Well it’s been a GREAT TRIP… off to a random bar for a bit… and then back home and back to normal by Wednesday!!

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Caps, Nov 14, 2009

You know… it’s funny… I think I’ve grown up… a LOT in the last few years (say what you want and I know you will)… and in that time maybe a little bit, I’ve redefined what being a sports fan is to me … Yeah seeing your team win (regardless of sport)… yeah that’s awesome… but you know what really the best part of being a REAL sports fan… it’s about sitting in the same place with them all and enjoying it… I’ve been real lucky this year…. my little 209 army is growing… and boy we have a FOCUS NOW… simply put… the GREATNESS of Andy Greene…. we have a church and it meets 41 times a year in Newark… COME WORSHIP at the Altar of the GREENE MACHINE!!!! (all that and the Devils 1000th win as a franchise… nice little achievement!!)

the Good:
— the power play… I can barely remember a time when the Devils pp was good for a GOAL A GAME like it’s been the last few weeks… that’s scary good, and hell… always fun to yell EARMUFFS…. FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN!!!!!!!!!!
— Bounce-back… yeah they were down two and looked dead at the start of the game… and yeah they’d come back under Sutter even… but with Sutter it was “beat the vets into the ground” hockey… now it’s Murphy (more on him in the funny), Halischuk.. hell even Colin White with the “seeing eye goal” too… it’s a DIFFERENT… hell BETTER way to come back in a hockey game!! (and this team will benefit greatly from the young guys getting into the mix and REALLY adding to this team!)
— Tim Sestito… you’ve been initiated… thanks to Rob marking out over his assist…. it’s SESTITO SANTANA!! ARRRRIBAA!!!!
— Cory Murphy… yes even you have been saved by the Church of Greene!!! And poor Rob… he made his GF a bet that if Cory Murphy scored a pp goal… he’d buy her his jersey… he assists on the pp goal… and scores at even strength… I say he still owes her one!! Hell when he scored I chanted… HEY…. YOU’RE FUCKED and pointed at him the whole time…. it was funny!
hell even…. Lord Krang *Plays taps for rob*
— I’ll even break the ice and say… mb30 was actually pretty… GOOD… tonight… saw my first HOLY SHIT save of the year… hell other small miracles in life happened… had to throw the Ego a bone eh??

the Bad:
— ZUBBIE COUNTER DENIED… booo on you Colin White!!!!!
— well the first 5 minutes were just HARSH… but once they got past that….
— Holy Shit…. Andrew Peters is so bad he scratches himself when he plays NHL ’10!!
— I really got nothing else here… well aside of no ANDY’S BETTER chant aimed at the clearly lesser of the Green’s!!!
— all the Peanut Butter Poti comments at Tom Poti made me DAMN HUNGRY for a Peanut Butter sandwich…. if I had any in the house!

the Funny:
— Well I had a bad day today before getting to the game… work was slow (and worse.. on a Saturday…) I felt like hell… and I’m wrapping up my second computer job… it’s 430…. I’m ready to go once the AVG installs… THE DUDE PULLS OUT THE PLUG ON THE SURGE PROTECTOR and damn near outs the WHOLE OFFICE *sigh*… least he slipped me $20 and I was out the door by 5!
— I’m all at the game… all relaxed… ate my nachos… all ready for warmups… and then this:
I get stuck with the most complete and total moron by me in warmups:
First he goes “I’m gonna throw this beer on the caps when they come out”…um how are you going to do that from the zamboni entrance??
And then he calls ovechkin as big a pussy as crosby?? Really take your god hoodie and get the fuck out of my arena!!… or better sent out to Anaheim to root for the pond scum as he tries to make more stupid bragger comments to the girl with him (it was so seriously bad I typed out on my phone to the girl next to me “I don’t mean to be rude or a jerk, but this guy could possibly be the stupidest guy on the planet and I want to hurt him!!”… she laughed 😀
— Got my Andy Greene jersey from the NHL Store in the mail on Friday… yay… the problem is this lil “fatass” lost too much weight and the XL Jersey is kinda… gigantic…. and it’s more like I have an Andy Greene SNUGGIE…. more then a damn jersey… but I guess our Andy is snuggie-worthy!!!
— the “Jose… Joseeeeeee” chant at Theodore

(****NEW****) the Andy Greene Section of WORSHIP!!!!:
— Scott Mackie: Andy Greene did not miss that puck, it was part of a grander play that none of us mortals can understand!!
— Scott Mackie: Wow what a pass breakup and block by Greene!!
Rob: is it me or is greene the 2nd coming of Jesus?
No, jesus was the pre-cum of andy sir!!
— Lord Krang: hey, Andy Greene is go great, he even makes his teammates do the impossible. see Murphy, Colin white tonight
— Tammie Hamilton…the caps pbp says the mike green and Andy Greene are not related just so you know………..
** Lord Krang…because the e for excellent at the end of Andy’s name didn’t already tip us off to that…
** Scott Mackie: I think we can all admire having an extra “E” in my life had benefited me again ?
** Tammie Hamilton like tammiE 😉 lol
** Lord Krang i ? this thread
** Scott Mackie…Soooo I was about to make a jets joke, rob’s friend paul goes “hey no talk of pain when andy greene is on the ice”….kick/wham breakaway goal…
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH PARISE!!!!
(Funny how the more homage we paid to the Greene machine the more the WHOLE TEAM was scoring!!)
— Scott Mackie “Andy Greene won the 2005 stanley cup…by himself!!”
And again we make an awesome Greene joke and we score
That’s awesome!!!!!
(see, living proof, thank you facebook!!)
— Josh Burnett: yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i shall fear no evil, for Andy Greene bat the living shit out of it. (we scored again FYI)
— Scott Mackie: Andy Greene is so good that he gets a plus one on pp goals!!!
— Lord Krang Official stats so far: Andy Greene, 0 assists, +3. Mike Green, 2 assists, -1
(Andy Greene is so much better we need not chant, we KNOW)

Well there ya go… damn that was fun again… thanks to all who helped add to the greatness of Andy Green… mass is over… you may now face-check in peace!!!

Why don’t you take a seat?

It sucks to be a Devils fan if you have a fat ass.

…what, too blunt?

I apologize.

Let’s be frank here though. The round buns of many Devils fans far and wide (pun partially intended) are wedged between a Rock and a, well, plastic seat.

What the heck am I saying?

Oh, the seats are too cramped!

Or so says the organization and its fans, as Black ‘n Red has outright refused to pay $1.2-million to the Michigan-based seating company Irwin Seating.

Buggers filed a lawsuit against the Devils!

As reported by John Brennan over at NorthJersey.com, New Jersey ain’t payin’ ’cause Irwin Seating “failed to perform its obligations in accordance with the (January 2007) agreement.”

Ouch.

Common complaints across the Rock range from cramped, narrow seats to lack of cupholders (as previously promised, of course). The small seats make for very little arm and leg room between patrons. And forget about it if you’re a bit thicker — there ain’t much space for that derriere.

Some fans also argue the seats to be “too low,” making the sightlines a bit less than favorable. Granted, it won’t be as hard to spot Devils players next season with the departure of four-foot tall Brian Gionta, but STILL! Actually being able to see the game is always a plus, right?

So, what happens? Do we beg for Devils fans to enroll in Jenny Craig or should we unleash the wrath of a couple Newark thugs on Irwin Seating?

I kind of want to vote for the latter. If nothing else, it would at least be funny.

This will probably make your brain hurt.

So here we sit, on the brink of the 2009 playoffs.  Y’know,  the playoffs the Devils had no business being in after the events of November 1st, 2008 – the awkward-looking elbow injury heard ’round the world.

With one more game left in the regular season, the Devils are locked into the number three seed, having clinched the Atlantic Division championship by way of the Flyers loss to the Rangers (or the win over the Senators if you refuse to believe that any Rangers win could help us).  The only mystery left is who will be shipping up to Newark come Wednesday or Thursday.

There’s only three possibilities – The Carolina Hurricanes (whom the Devils face in the regular season finale at The Rock tomorrow), the Philadelphia Flyers (who travel to Long Island then finish off their season at home against the Rangers), or the Penguins (in Montreal Saturday night for their final game).

All three teams sit at 97 points, and will finish fourth, fifth, and sixth in the division when all is said and done.  Obviously, we get the team finishing sixth while the other two get each other in the first round.

So, here comes the fun part:  How can this all break down?  Who will the Devils get in the first round?  Let’s have a look-see (make sure you’ve got some coffee handy, this is gonna be a doozy):

We’ll start out slow and easy.  If the Devils cannot beat the Hurricanes tomorrow, they cannot face the Hurricanes in the playoffs, regardless of what happens with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. And let’s face it, if we lose to the Hurricanes tomorrow, they’ll have swept the season series, and it’s probably a good thing we’d be avoiding them in the first round.

Philly needs to gain three of four points to guarantee themselves the number four seed and home ice in the first round, guaranteeing the Devils a first round date with either the ‘Canes or the, uh, ‘Guins.

Now to make things slightly more interesting:  If the Flyers manage to lose in regulation both to the Islanders and the Rangers, we get Philly in the first round. We also get Philly in the first if all three teams finish with the same number of points OR if Philly earns only one point while Carolina and Pittsburgh earn at least one each.  Unlikely, yes, but stranger things have happened.

If all three teams win all of their remaining games, we’d get Pittsburgh in the first round (as previously mentioned, this would also happen if the Penguins and Hurricanes win and the Flyers gain three of four points as well).

Now we get to fun part:

If Philly wins out, we beat Carolina Saturday (regulation or otherwise), and Pittsburgh beats Montreal, we get the Hurricanes.  Other ways the Devils can play the Hurricanes in round one: Flyers gain two of four, Pittsburgh gains two, and the Hurricanes lose to the Devils (regulation or otherwise); Philly gains two, Pittsburgh gains one, Carolina loses to NJ in regulation.

The Devils will catch a first round date with Sidney Crosby and all the NBC cameras money can buy IF: All three teams earn the maximum number of points; Philly earns a minimum of three, Carolina earns at least a point, and the Penguins earn exactly one point; Philly earns two, Carolina earns a minimum of one point, and the Penguins earn exactly one point; Philly and Carolina earn exactly one point and the Penguins earn exactly zero points; Philly earns exactly one point, Carolina earns a maximum of one point, and Pittsburgh earns zilch.

Got it?  Good, there’s a test tomorrow.

So who should we be rooting for, and to do what?  I wish it was that simple.  All three teams scare me a little, honestly:  Carolina because we have yet to solve them this season, Philly because it would be an intense, hard-hitting rivalry series, and Pittsburgh because they have scary-good talent and the black-and-white stripes on their side.

For purely selfish reasons, I will say that I personally hope the Devils avoid Pittsburgh in the first round, because I like MSG+’s coverage more than NBC and Versus, and there’s no chance in hell a series featuring Sidney Crosby doesn’t get at least two nationally televised games.

Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter who the Devils get in the first round, it’s going to be a tough series no matter what.  The way the boys in red n’ black have been playing lately, there are no cupcake opponents from here on out.  Ultimately, it’s up to the Devils to take care of Carolina at The Rock on Saturday, head into the playoffs having won four of five games, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

Oh, and if there really is a possibility of the Devils opening the postseason with home games on Thursday AND Friday as has been rumored (rather than Wednesday/Friday or Thursday/Saturday), well then, I hope we face whatever team prevents that.  Yeah.

I Just Couldn’t Resist.

Clearly, I need not remind you that updates around here have been few and far between this off-season. So given the fact that I am suffering from a writer’s block that could easily be mistaken for the after-effects of a lobotomy, you could imagine how I reacted when I read this.

It was too good to be true… just the thing I needed to get myself going!

But where oh where do I begin?? Maybe I should compliment the author on his prodigious use of the English language and befitting grammar. Perhaps I could chalk his argument up to the rose-tinted glasses he so blatantly dons. Tempting? Yes. However, doing so is far too pellucid. That being the case, allow me to generalize my rebuttal: Michael M. Ramos, you are a cretin.

use it, don't abuse it!

I should have halted my eyes when I realized that the opening argument against New Jersey was the ol’ “Mickey Mouse” comment. (Although I can’t blame the poor chap, it was either that or the infamous attendance crack…). Granted that 1983-84 season was dismal… but since tallying 7 Division Titles, 4 Conference Championships, 3 Stanley Cups, and a four-year winning streak over the New York Rangers, I think it’s time to put that comment to bed, eh? If those credentials make the Devils a “Mickey Mouse” franchise, then the New York Rangers should be branded as the NHL equivalent of John Holmes with Erectile Dysfunction — nothing more than a marquee name that can’t live up to the glitz and glamor.

As if citing a 25-year-old Wayne Gretzky faux-pas wasn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with the Barry Melrose factor. First of all… the words “Barry” and “Melrose” are meant to be used solely in conjunction with “pompous ass” at all times. Yes, Mr. Melrose did make a comment to the effect of “Don’t carry your wallet with you when visiting Newark“. But how convenient of you, Michael, to conveniently forget to mention the part about Barry admitting, after the fact, that he had never even been to Prudential Center and thusly accepted a tour of the city from Mayor Corey Booker that he thoroughly enjoyed. I guess it’s fitting you find his words worthwhile.

On a somewhat related note, the “closing” of Prudential Center this summer that you refer to was merely due to technicalities because of documents not being turned in on time, not for “endangering the lives of all those who attend.”

Wow…all this, and we haven’t even hit the ice yet!

Now, I cannot sit here and say to you with a straight face that I am not disappointed by watching the likes of Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski, and Scott Gomez leave the team after such memorable moments. What I can say to you, is that they (with the exception of Niedermayer) left for a big paycheck elsewhere. I would rather have a group of guys that are willing to compete fiercely every shift for a shot at glory than have a roster full of Scott Gomez’s that feel they deserve a $10 million paycheck for 13 goals. While I admit that Lou Lamoriello hasn’t exactly struck gold in the FA market since the lockout, and I won’t sit here and feed you some bullsh!t about me liking Vlad Malakhov, I will point out how you graciously opted to ignore the addition of Brian Rolston not even a month ago. Not a wise move. Not a wise move at all.

Others like Grant Marshall, Brad Lukowich, and Richard Matvichuk were victims of the new Salary-Cap era, not roster eviscerations. Speaking of the Salary Cap, I’d be a little worried if I were you, Mr. Ramos, as it seems that the Rangers have over $145 million combined tied up in 5 players until the 2013-2014 season. Not to mention The Rangers will be paying Bobby Holik even more than we are this season, and he’ll be playing for US! What were you saying about ludicrous signings? 2002 wasn’t that long ago.

It’s obvious that down in Lowell things haven’t been all roses, but saying that the team is filled with “old AHL players without any chance to make it to the NHL” is a little much… I mean, you did just sign Aaron Voros didn’t you?? Delving further into the minor leagues, I’d like to point out that the Trenton Devils of the ECHL will not be kicked out of their building… it is nothing more than a rumor. And a weak one at that.

Allow me to end this with some blogger-to-blogger advice… An article meant to ridicule a rival that is devoid of facts and supporting arguments is about as effective as a mesh condom. The next time you are going to write a whole bunch of smack, it might be a good idea to at least do your homework.