Devils vs BUFFALO, Oct 28, 2009… Thoughts From Section 209!

Well you kinda had this feeling it was gonna be UGLY without Paul Martin in the lineup (am I going to trivialize the loss of Pandolfo? Probably… and he’s nowhere NEAR as important to this team…. I’d say on Elias, Zajac and Parise mean more to this team then Paul Martin… but Scott… you mean the goalie too right?? I point to last year’s record and scream NO!!)….. Damn weird too ain’t it that we ALWAYS seem to play them damn Sabres after a MAJOR injury…..though a few years ago I had my oldest niece (hey if Vince McManon can be a loving GRANDPA… can’t I be a loving and awesome uncle?? Hells yes I can!!)… was on the phone and yelled BUFFALO STINKS at a friend of mine before the Bills-Cowboys game… ahh… memories…. tonight the team played like a bunch of goddamn two year olds!!!

The Good:
— Yankee fever took over the building again… and honestly I like the place a lil emptier… it’s easier to get around and you can have more fun stretching out and enjoying the space!!!
— We called up “Lord Krang” Murphy (hey at least Murphy’s point shot on the power play makes it to the net *ahem*)… but we didn’t dress him… that’s a win right there (though with 24 minutes a game to be made up for… why not Eckford or Corrente?)
— The legend of Andy Greene GROWS even in defeat!!! Doc kinda paused and was like… really? …. hell he even called sir Andy’s goal “Pairse-ian!”
— Rob Niedermayer….. it just seems EVERY game he does one little…. hard to notice… but smart and slick as hell little play that does something good in each game…. and holy hell with as much hate I have for his brother and damn mother too…. and I was given a bad scouting report from some Stars fans…. he’s really changed my views!
— Rod Pelley…. damn he doesn’t do MUCH… but holy hell he can give you on LIFE ENDING body check a game… hey I have the bar set low… and there ain’t much good to talk about in this game….
— We had a POWER PLAY GOAL…. and more on THAT later…..
— it was good to see 208/209 FINALLY in the mood to make some noise tonight… but I’ll get to this later also……
— We got candy for showing up!!! Though I did give the candy away wanting no part of extra calories :p

the Bad:
— goaltending… someone wanna tell mb30, the season of giving is CHRISTMAS and NOT HALLOWEEN?? This game was over from the get-go when the goalie lets two gimmies in… and now of COURSE we’ll see him tonight *eyeroll* “gotta play out of the funk”…. well it’s been a goddamn MONTH and you’ve had THREE good games….. Hell a big difference in the game was Ryan Miller not only outplayed “our boy” but he made two or three BIG MOMENTUM KILLING SAVES that turned the play for them….*ahem*
— Brian Rolston… it’s funny I actually get happy when he hits the net now… but really… what the HELL are you doing out there? He’s the ONE guy who has the ability and track record to step up and be Elias in his absence… but we’re gettin NOTHIN from him….
— again as much as I loved the “Rod Pelley hit of the day”… if the 4th line wants to be a -2 in 7:00 of ice time… the fuck with them too……
— and nothing like an Obama-paranoid security staff being an extra pain in the ass and damn near Meadowlands like… I know my good ways in and out of the arena and wanted to use my no-line bathroom (no I am NOT telling you where it is… suck it!) and my little steps to the right to get out… but security REFUSES to let us know… Jesus Christ at least TELL US why I can’t go to the bathroom I’ve been using since the damn place was BUILT… what an annoying night all around…..

the funny:
— Poor Rob… he’s all happy and excited it’s his birthday… and we find out tonight… his celebrity co-birthday dude….. STEVE CANGELOSI… well Robert, you and the lil guy go have a helluva night, would ya’s????
— Ate in the Brick City Grill again, they re-did the upstairs…. gotta say it’s pretty nifty up there and yummy murder-burgers indeed!! But when you sit down at your table and open your menu and see NO MENU… you know you’re in for a bad night!
— so like I said before…. for as long as I’ve been a Devils fan and sitting in the noisy sections… when the Devils score a power play goal… it’s “1…. 2…… 3…. IT’S A POWER PLAY GOAL….. FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN!!” (oh no, the F-Bomb… what about the children?? Well how do you think they got here… mommy and daddy DID get it on at some times….)….we get a security guard to come up and YELL AT US FOR SAYING FUCK??? Really?? Seriously?? CMONNNN, this thing is a tired old tradition!! I mean what are we gonna say… it’s a POWER PLAY GOAL… MAKE LOVE YOU SAM ROSEN??? Good Lord that would be the gayest thing evvvveeerrrrrrr… hell I tried the edited line… and well it sucked on a Murphy-like level!
— Lindy Ruff calling timeout with 30 seconds left… I chuckled!
— ahhh… facebook commentary (always weird when it comes from one of the people sitting NEXT to me)
“Tammie Hamilton: dear tammie stop coming to home game you make us lose ? the entire new jersey devils” … no we don’t blame you Tammy… Tammie… both… neither??? We blame the aura of Murphy… it calls to you, it understands… it talks to thee!
— damn my phone and me slipping on the “A” button while carrying stuff to the seat… it leads to THIS:
“Amanda Schultz: Scott – the golden rule of tonight is – “If it’s in your pocket, lock it!” LOL Thanks for the very interesting phone call this evening. I am now enlightened! :)” …. I’m just glad it wasn’t a customer and it was someone who knows I’m an idiot and can deal and make fun of me for a whoopsie with the blackberry….
— and well a certain Ranger fan from a lesser blog wanted to get mentioned in here… but frankly like his team… the commentary wasn’t good enough!!

Even with no home games for a week… I ain’t done with ya’s yet…. got a month in review for your digesting… and for those who care I do write the NFL Week Preivews on facebook AND NJDevs…. it’s easy enough to find… and CMON… you know you can’t get enough of me 😀

Thoughts From Section 209…. Devils/Flyers, a home opener we shoulda left closed!

OMG!!!
OMG!!!
OMG!!!
I AM SO FREAKING OUT I WILL ACTUALLY SAY OH MY GOD!!!!
WE LOST THE HOME OPENER TO THE FLYERS… OH NO… babies are burning… dogs are getting humped by cats… the Cubs will win a World Series!!!!!!!

CALM THE FUCK DOWN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!
It was ONE GAME… and it’s gonna hurt people to hear this (but hey that is what I do, right?)… the Flyers are a BETTER team then we are… the Penguins… are a better team then we are (least right now)

Tonight’s Lines:
Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner
Rolston-Zubrus-Bergfors
Pandolfo (lord knows why…)-NiederMOMMY-Clarkson
Peters-Pelley-Halischuk

Oduya-Martin
White-Mottau
Salvador-Murphy

The Good:
— Well hats off to Bill for organizing that pre-game Bar Crawl all over Ironbound…. stir-fried abortion pizza aside, it was a hundred stars and we all had a FANTASTIC TIME… well till we hit the Arena Bar and we all scattered… that die hard U of Michigan fan doing the play by play on the MSU game on the phone was truly one of the funniest things I ever saw (well aside of me turning THAT pizza box into a Hell In A Cell Type foreign object… Gina took more head shots from it then Pacino did in Scarface :p)
— Rolston on the power play to avenge that horrific 5 on 3 in the first period…. and Langenbrunner on the short handed goal…. shame I didn’t feel like celebrating the goals cause they felt wasted and I’d rather save that for Monday now….
— Good loud and READY crowd… shame they got NOTHING to cheer for… grrrrr
— 2 points for the Zubbie monster!! Since he is like the 2ma mascot… gotta cheer for that… also Nick Bergfors getting an assist was nice….

The Bad:
— Well.. the game… the GOALTENDING for damn sure… like I said… there are teams WAY better then us now… so that means YOU
… mister REPUTATION GOALIE… GET OFF YOUR ASS AND ELEVATE TO BE THAT BEST GOALIE IN THE WORLD YOU DELUDE YOURSELF INTO THINKING YOU ARE… instead we get a vinatge Nabakov impressinon and MB30 shits the bed so much that HHH is gonna smell the leftovers during the main event tomorrow night!!!
— Oduya/Martin and White/Mottau?? How many coaches are going to fail with this top 4?? I love ya Jacques and you are wise… this is NOT the way my friend…..
— So we fire Cameron the shirt tossing fuckface… and can’t find ANYONE ELSE to embarrass themselves in our arena?? So we bring the walking pile of AIDS BACK? Least now it fit the goaltending effort :p
— that 5 on 3 for two minutes in the first period was one of the harshest most painful moments of GAME OVER hockey I ever sat through in October…. I’ve seen worse in April…..
— Ryan Murphy… you are NOT Andy Greene sir.. give him his spot back!!!!
— Speaking of minuses … Johnny Oduya a -3? oi to the VEY indeed…..

the Funny:
— Well besides the bar crawl of course :).. anyone who’s been following my football commentary… I’ve been using this analogy to describe how I feel as a Cowboys fan seeing Terrell Owens being the Buffalo Bills’ problem this year:
“It’s like you walk down the street… you see someone… aw shit it’s your ex… she gets closer and the closer she gets the more you realize she put on like 50 ponds… and the more you see it.. the better you feel”….well lo and behold … I did walk past an ex coming down the escalator… and well fuck my life… SHE PUT ON LIKE 50 POUNDS…I have to admit I did chuckle!!!
— BREAKING NEWS, an usher to be unnamed has revealed to me that a certain mister steve cangeolsi has certain issues and does not like to be informed or reminded of his lack of height..yes people, cang has a napolean complex!!!!!!! I am set for life!!! (and anyone who knows me … and why, I’m gonna beat this horse into the tiny little ground the dude stands on!!!)
— damn I almost forgot this… and I am glad I facebook shit to keep it in mind… seeing Jamie get ID-ed in bar number three…. FOR A COKE… that was funny but sad all in one as well
— Lil Nicky, you are STILL a star… and that under the radar “cuckoo” message… hundred stars and the lil fella did get it all right again!

Alright I think I put enough into this tonight… and it’s Hell in a Cell tomorrow… and then Hell with Ranger fans… maybe the shit stink will be GONE by then…….

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!
____

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.

_____
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

Game 5: Devils @ Hurricanes LIVECAP!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attention Devils:

WAKE UP!

Thanks.

-2 Man Advantage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8:36 PM: Zubbie outta the box.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8:03 PM: Holy crazy blocker save!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devils/Bolts (11/5)… Thoughts from Section 209

Before I start… for everyone I keep bumping into telling me stuff about this here… please keep it up… I am a complete whore and will totally pander to my audience… even if they sit in the wrong corner of the building 🙂

Anyway… just a reminder to those who don’t remember my CRASHER line days….I don’t do shootouts… I don’t acknowledge them… I am only grateful that they get me to my car faster… so I saw and left a bit annoyed at 3-3 tie, and I usually get to my car in enough time to hear the winner of the skills competition… so keep that in mind here (and yes I know he scored in the shootout.. I’m still blasting him tonight :p)

— Was a strange night for me… since I’ve been a fan of this team since 1993… I’ve really only, truly known ONE top goalie on this team and it’s #30 (on his back and please NO MORE on the mask)… and it’s going to be BIZARRE for a while to accept the AGE OF WEEKES… I don’t know how anyone else feels about this
— My pre-game laps are taking a life of their own now.. a dead arena got me 14 laps (yes that’s 3 1/2 miles folks)… and now people are getting into it… least the staff is… hey there was more staff then fans there… a few of them almost joined me… and the highlight (well besides the new cigar girl who replaces… well my favorite… who 14 times asked me if I wanted a cigar, not seeing how counter-productive that is to 14 laps around the concourse!)…. was also the City Girll people seeing me at about lap 12 and yelling YOU NEED THIS and throwing me a soda like a marathon runner… that’s just awesome stuff!

now.. on to the game stuffs…

— Pandolfo-Madden-Elias… oddly enough I tried this combo in NHL 09 this morning not knowing… and hell it worked there too…Elias has taken a step back yes… but he can hang with these guys and adds enough offense to make these guys dangerous again (hence the Pando goal.. more on that to come)
— Tampa is a BAD team folks… with all the offense.. LAST on the pp?? Wow the coaching of Melrose… cmon he took the job so he can pat young boys in the fanny (I even heard he’s so scared of Newark he moved the team outside the city… man up you greasy-goat-lover…. I annoyed two old people dropping Farooq-Bombs about Melrose… ah well!!)… and not to mention it would have been NICE to see the Devils D get more invovled since Tampa’s idea of defense is THROW ALL FIVE GUYS AROUND THE GOALIE AND HOPE ONE OF THEM GETS IT…Melrose may not make it till new year.. so we need to play them soon and often!! (I feel bad for Mike Smith… he deserves better then this group of stiffs in front of him!)
— God Jamie Langnebrunner was BAD tonight (yes he scored in the non-hockey part of the hockey game…. that’s as effective being a rookie and scoring a goal in Sutter’s eyes)… I think I even began calling his shot the LOGO-BUSTER… but it never actually got over the pads…
— Vrana: 7:31, Bergfors: 4:20… Langenbrunner: 21:10.. Least Elias, Madden, Salvador, Mottau and Oduya earned their obsence ice times tonight, Oduy in particular… he was the only D with some drive tonight (Salvador was good… the ppg by St Louis was being Langenbrunner was the Rated R-Tard who couldn’t cover EITHER point or get back to help in front)
— David Clarkson’s goal very well could be THE most important goal scored by a Devil this year… you can see it on the bench… you could feel it in the crowd… it kinda gave you the feeling.. YES WEEKES WE CAN!!!!
— Elias with a BEAUTY on the power play too… that was old school 2000 looking Elias there… we need more please Patrik!!!
— Pandolfo’s goal while HUGE was a comedy of defensive errors we are so used to seeing out of Brookbank (can we get Mark Fraser the hell up here please??)
— Colin White is our top offensive defenseman… like REALLY…oy!
— Gionta and Zubrus… were the awesome again tonight…TRADE THEM RIGHT NOW 1111!!!1111!!!! (yes that IS sarcasm :p)
— Kevin Weekes was again a hundred stars tonight the one thing we need not worry about on this team is goaltending (well until Clemmensen plays a game… but knowing this team Weekes will play every second till number 30 takes his cast off and leaves 209!)
— Crowd was kinda sterile tonight… but I guess we are getting used to #1 being #1
— all in all a gutty gritty effort to get to the skills competition… but here comes Detroit now… oy vey!!!

(and on a programming note… I do not go to home games on Football Sundays, my bartenders would find and hunt me down… so my next lovely thoughts will be for the Ranger game next week… and since I am whoring away again… anyone need a ticket for Nov 20 vs Florida?? I gots ones for sale!!!)

Devils @ Atlanta LIVECAP

9:44 PM: Brent Sutter: “Ankle sprain. He’ll be fine.” Uhhhhhh…yeah. Kay. Thanks, Brent, you’ve been quite informative.

9:41 PM: Alright, so no word on Rolston yet. If they say anything that actually means anything, I’ll post it up here. I’m expecting “lower body injury” (or possibly “head cold”) with no actual idea as to how long he’ll be out. If it’s different, I’ll let you know. If not, goodnight all!

9:24 PM: And, like the game itself, the first LiveCap of the season is in the books, it wasn’t pretty, but it happened. I’ll stick around a bit longer to see if we get an update on Rolston’s condition, but I’m not holding my breath…

9:22 PM: GAME! 1-0 Devils. It wasn’t pretty, the offensive production still sucks, the power play still sucks, but it’s a win nonetheless. Marty’s now 10 wins from tying Patrick Roy for most all-time by a goalie (11 from breaking the record), and six shutouts away from tying Terry Sawchuk for most shutouts of all-time., seven from breaking the record.

9:22 PM: BEAUTIFUL defensive play by Martin to prevent a shot on goal on the rush. Twenty seconds to go.

9:21 PM: Empty Thrasher net.

9:17 PM: Ice is tilting Atlanta’s way with two minutes to go. Meep.

9:15 PM: ANOTHER two-on-one featuring Jay Pandolfo, another non-shot-on-goal. At least no one crashed in a heap into the boards this time, though, so, y’know, take what we can get, yes?

9:13 PM: No updates on Rolston (what, you expected the Devils would reveal anything ever at any time?), but the replay reminds me a little Sidney Crosby’s crash into the boards last year that resulted in his high ankle sprain. Let’s hope that’s not the case here…

9:12 PM: Still 1-0, seven minutes to go in the game. Zubrus is now centering Elias and Gionta, so I guess the great line shake-up of the second period has ended. The 32 fans in attendance are chanting! It sounds impressive for 32 people.

9:09 PM: Rolston hit the boards after losing an edge, Chico says he needed help getting into the locker room because he couldn’t put much weight on his foot. Me no likey.

9:07 PM:Elias and Rolston two-on-one gets broken up, and after the play, Rolston is down and looks to be hurting…crap. Just…crap.

9:05 PM: Shorthanded two-on-one for Madden and Pando, Madden passes, and Pando fires it directly into Lehtonen’s pads. Another two-on-one, Elias and Pando, again nothing doing. But it’s chances, at least! …right?

9:04 PM: Atlanta’s on a power play and I have no idea why. Either I wasn’t paying attention or MSG didn’t think it was important to tell me. Neither would be surprising. Atlanta hits the pipe on the power play.

9:01 PM:Penalty kill’t. Big save by Marty (and then again possibly by Salvador’s backside) at the end of the Thrasher power play. Our power play may be awful, but at least the penalty kill’s holding up it’s end of the bargain…

8:58 PM: Paul Martin going off for a holding-the-stick penalty, Thrashers to the PP again.

8:55 PM: Marty with a save on Bogosian. Come to think of it, has Bogo scored yet in his pro career? Marty seems to like giving up first career goals…

8:52 PM: Third period’s on, goal credited to Rolston after all. Zubrus and Gionta on the assists.

8:35 PM: And that’s the end of period #2, 1-0 Devils. 20 shots on goal (I still refuse to believe that). Third period coming up soonish.

8:33 PM: The official announcement at the arena is giving the goal to Langenbrunner from Rolston and Zubrus. Lehtonen with a huge glove save on Elias keeps it a one-goal game.

8:31 PM: FINALLY! Rolston, let off the point at the power play, forces his way in front of the net and jams home his own rebound. Devils lead 1-0, Rolston notches his first of his second Devils go-round, and the Devils power play finally picks up another goal. Alllll right.

8:30 PM: Exelby takes the roughing penalty for his tackle of Langenbrunner, the ever-dangerous Devil power play takes the ice.

8:27 PM: Now it’s Rolston, Langenbrunner, and Zubrus. And hey, even a little scrummy-ness involving the Cap’n and Garnet Excelby. The most life I’ve seen tonight. The 32 fans in attendance even seemed to wake up.

8:26 PM: Rupp/Zajac/Parise? Really?

8:24 PM: Cangelosi just said the shots for the second are 13-5 Devils. I refuse to believe this. There is no way I’ve seen thirteen Devil shots on the night, let alone this period.

8:19 PM: Clarkson wraparound try! Gasp and shock, it’s not even close.

8:15 PM: Zubrus charging in on a three-on-one, opts to shoot…and misses the net entirely. Blast.

8:13 PM: I wonder how we managed to win two games so far this year considering I can’t recall ever actually scoring any goals…

8:06 PM: Hey hey, something interesting! Brodeur with a stop on the big blast by White (not Colin, Todd), leaves a huge rebound and manages to get in front of the follow-up shot as well. Stellar stop by Marty. The 32 fans in the building agree.

8:04 PM: I think Sutter’s futzing with the lines again. Clarkson was just out there with Holik and Rupp. Zubrus is centering Rolston and Elias at the moment as well.

8:01 PM: God, Lehtonen is leaving some juicy rebounds. However, in shades of last year, the Devils can’t do a damn thing about it. Penalty’s over, though. Devils have killed three of three of ’em tonight now.

8:00 PM: Okay, second period on, Devils still on the PK. A little bit more…something, this period? Anything? Please?

7:42 PM: Aaaaand that be the end of a very boring first period, scoreless after one. See you in seventeen for what can only be a more interesting second. I hope.

7:39 PM: Welp, least they killed that one. Holik gets booed by the 32 Atlanta fans in attendance tonight. Yet another Devils penalty coming up, Zajac for hooking. Less than a minute to go in the period.

7:36 PM: See, this is why I miss Doc. Cangelosi lied to me, it’s actually Atlanta on the power play, not so much the Devils.

7:34 PM: And just as one penalty expires, and new one commences. The Devils get their turn on the power play, again. So in two minutes, the score will still be zero-zero, again.

7:31 PM: And so Colin White goes off for interference. This game is rather boring. Sorry. Last year’s early-season game in Atlanta was all kinds of crazy. I miss that game. A little.

7:26 PM: Even Chico’s mentioning how few fans are in the building. And is also touting the Thrashers “Buy a ticket, eat all you want for free” sections deal. Chico Eats: HOTlanta Edition!

7:23 PM: How they managed to not get it in, I don’t have the slightest. Good pressure again, but once again, nothing doing as far as scoring. Devils PP is now 0-for-2 on the evening, and 1-for-13 on the year. Ouch.

7:22 PM: I say it every time the Devils play Atlanta, but DAMN the Thrashers have ugly jerseys.

7:20 PM: ‘nother penalty on the Thrashers, this one interference on David Clarkson. Don’t the Thrashers know they don’t have to interfere with David Clarkson, that he’s perfectly capable of stopping his own progress? Regardless, Devils PP again.

7:17 PM: You know, as a Devils fan, I should be used to empty arenas…and yet, I keep finding myself strangely drawn to the swaths of empty seats whenever the camera catches the stands. It’s almost hypnotizing.

7:15 PM: A nice chance in front for Pandolfo, who sends a backhander at the Atlanta goal with the speed of a honey-soaked tortoise. Sigh.

7:13 PM: Surprisingly strong on the puck deep in the zone, but Atlanta manages to clear each time. We’re not looking stellar tonight boys.

7:11 PM: Schneider with a puck-over-the-glass deal and the vaunted (ha!) Devils power play hits the ice. Oh boy oh boy.

7:09 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Atlanta. You wouldn’t know it from the crowd though. My goodness, and they say we don’t draw in Jersey. Hot damn.

7:01 PM: Oh dammit. First LiveCap of the year, and Doc’s sick. Sigh. Get well Doc. Other Devils news for tonight: Salmela’s hanging out in the press box tonight, and Andy Greene gets into his first game of the year. He’ll be paired with Johnny Oduya.

6:45 PM: What’s that coming over the hill? It it a LiveCap? It it a LiveCap? Ahhh musical references no one will get…see you in 15!

The Final Playbill

I thought it would be another day or two before we saw the roster but Christmas came a little early this year! The Devils have trimmed their roster down to twenty-three, and it looks a little something like this:

You may notice a few surprises such as Petr Vrana & Anssi Salmela grabbing roster spots. Vrana ousted Rod Pelley who was assigned to Lowell of the AHL. To me, Salmela isn’t exactly a surprise… after watching him play live on Long Island last week I had a strong feeling he had earned a spot on the big team — especially after his off-balance rocket that beat Joey MacDonald to put the Devils up 3-0. Salmela’s biggest Achilles seems to be his puck control at the point, but the issue seems to be cleaning up fast and shouldn’t even be a problem once the puck drops on Friday.

Speaking of Friday, the lines figure to look a little something like this:

– FORWARDS –

Elias – Rolston – Gionta
Parise – Zajac – Langenbrunner
Pandolfo – Madden – Clarkson
Rupp (Vrana?) – Holik – Zubrus

– DEFENSE –

White / Salmela
Mottau / Oduya
Martin / Salvador

Brodeur

I should also note that Fedor Fedorov has been placed on waivers. Apparently the Devils gave up on him and it’s not exactly a mystery as to why. The guy has a weak work ethic and that won’t carry you anywhere in this league, especially under Lou Lamoriello.

Although I can be quoted as saying that the team hasn’t done much to improve, I am ready to accept my helping of crow. After reviewing the roster and taking in a live pre-season game, I can see a noticeable difference in this years squad. They are bigger, faster, and a ton more aggressive than any team in recent history.

If pre-season was any indication, I think the Devils style this year will surprise many — players & fans alike.