Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Penguins: 12/30/2009

Wow…. the last recap of 2009….(and sadly the end of the “REALLY??? …. in 2009???” comeback…. *sigh* we’ll miss you, but not the jean shorts that inspired them…..)….and what better way to end a decade, then a game like THIS??? Playoff crowd, semi-playoff atmosphere….playoff intensity on the ice… damn it gets ya excited for April doesn’t it??? And oh yeah.. ANOTHER SHUTOUT for those smug douche Pitt announcers to call right… ahhh it’s all good!!!!!

the Good:
— Before I start here (and yes this counts as good)… my friend Rob runs a charity hockey tournament in Woodbridge, NJ.. usually about every six months… and game 1 was today (my team won, and yes this is half the reason I am mentioning it)… and it is a good cause… so if you’re not doing anything tomorrow about 12:30… stop by… heckle… boo… cheer… just DONATE and do whatever the hell ya want… there’s a chance our little Winter Classic, may have some SNOW late in the 3rd Period has all the information…. come see me chase the all-time wins record (and try to lower the lowest GAA in the event’s history.. and pad my goalie scoring stats!)
— NO ANDREW PETERS!!! Instead of skating laps he should be made to tie jerseys down until his hands bleed!!!!! At least he admitted his own idiocy tonight!!!
— it’s funny, Jacques Lemaire bags on Nick Bergfors… and when he does, the fan base FREAKS OUT in fear that Lemaire is gonna “Brent Sutter” the kid… and well NO… there’s no exercise bikes involved, and Lemaire has the faith in his teachings to LET his rookies get REAL ICE TIME… and you know.. he like does that thing called COACHING and GETS THE MOST FROM HIS PLAYERS… and every time he bags on Bergofrs, the kid ANSWERS AND PERFORMS… so again, get off Jacques’ nuts… he shits more about hockey then you know in your little life!! (and 20 minutes of ice time, and he was awesome with Zajac and Parise)
— mb30.. holy shit were you GOOD tonight…. as the game got going more… SO DID YOU… and I bag on you… but this one was most credit worthy (and so was the slash at Rupp’s ankles!!), I just hope this playoff-like effort shows up for a long playoff run, one more time… (please… I might even use your name again!)
— ONE minor penalty taken and it was at the end of the game… that’s a good thing and discipline is HUGE when you play a team that can kill you on the pp like they can (I don’t care what their stats are I do NOT want to be the team that wakes them up and fixes them!)
— Oh Roderick Pelley… how we have a love/hate with you (and ok it’s hilarious to bag on Rob who hates him because he has Sesitito-envy)…. I was going to comment on him tonight… but our Lordship of Krang NAILED this one… so I let her speak:
Poor Pelley… i know he sucks, but he tries so hard and his heart is in the right place. AND he know how to dress himself! Zharky and Clarky have to go SOMEWHERE, and do you want Pelley and Pandolfo on the ice at the same time? hey, i say just enjoy the amusement from the line. Pelley gets a little more practice at center (and with some good players to support him), and it’s not like that’ll be a line for very long anyway! we may never see it again, in fact! (we kinda put this in the GOOD section so he doesn’t GET PIST at us and board us!)

the Bad:
— well I gotta say it… no matter how retarded good Brent Johnson was (and he WAS tonight)…. you HAVE to get more then one fluke goal past him in the game… that’s a kinda worrisome sight….
— Patrik Elias… is he hurt??? He seems slow out there…. is something else wrong?? He DID get 17 minutes tonight… but no shots and he just looked slow and kinda dead out there… something to be worried about… Elias and Rolston are gonna be needed to take the scoring pressure off the top line when the big Silver Cup Tournament begins in April….
— the power play stunk and ANOTHER 5 on 3 was wasted (you know the league knows your pp sucks when they put Cyndy Crosby in the damn box to put you up 5 on 3 and let the Golden Brat cry in the box for 2:00)
— *sigh* Clarkson got hurt again dammit…..Devils right wing David Clarkson reinjured his fractured right leg in tonight’s 2-0 over Pittsburgh and did not accompany the team to Chicago for Thursday’s game, a source said. Instead, Clarkson is to have his leg examined again by team doctors Thursday in New Jersey. Tonight’s game was just his second game back after missing 13 contests with a fractured right fibula. He was injured initially when he blocked a shot by Boston’s Zdeno Chara on Nov. 27.

the Funny:
— Well I had a unique group with me tonight… her Lordship as she does for all Wednesday Games….. Returning again “cover your eyes so Bergfors and Parise can score” aka Tasha (and man it was fun to yell all game long… GO TO THE BATHROOM, we need a Bergfors goal… yes I know he scored tonight… but someone was stuck on the escalator and never saw the puck hit the net… hell I had the row behind her cheering for it :)… and my 3rd… one of the people who’s known me the longest…holy shit was there in 1995 when the old CRASHER Line took off…. yeup… ex-fiancee #2 (and to be honest each and every one of you over her a debt of gratitude for getting me the HELL away from the first one :p)… and again she deserves credit…for an opposing team fan she got NO SHIT from the section….I guess a little coach purse incident kinda squashed that…..but still it’s kinda odd to hear the Beyonce song “single girls”… when you’re sitting with a girl you DID put a ring on it with :p
— Now for a little facebook, stream of conscious conversation……
** Me: Clarkaround sighting!!!
** Kristyn Holleran: how many times has the Clarkaround actually worked lol
** Me: How many goals does Clarkson have? Divide by two for toe-drags!
** Kristyn Holleran: i really dislike mike rupp
** Me: I like rupp, now that he’s in the other jersey!
** Chris McCabe: I like Rupp simply because he can score a hat trick against the Rangers….
** Kristyn Holleran: i’m just bitter than he was useless with us and is now 4th in the NHLfor shot % lol
** Me: Playing with 87 and 71 will do that :p
** Barry Meikle: Of course by useless you mean, scored the 2003 Cup winning goal. Good enough for me.
** Me: Dude if ya wanna be a one game wonder
THAT was the game of choice!
— and I’d be a fool to leave out Pete serenading Clutch to some creepy kinda love song (and even his voice failed him in the try), and not to mention the near-riot cause Pete stepped on a $900 coach-bag (allegedly)… one thing I learned this year… if you’re dumb and whipped enough to buy a girl THAT kinda stupid expensive gift… well then you better be all ready to pump yer fist and go all Guido Beach to defend that bag (really, you coulda had season tickets for THAT much)… but really… treat it like an autographed jersey of your favorite player… DON’T bring it to the hockey game… really, you’re just asking for some idiot to spill beer on it (and then you get stuck in the middle of the fight… and oi vey… whatta mess!!)

Man it was a good, but scattered night… and one more time… CLOSE YOUR EYES TASHA WE NEED A GOAL!!! (some people are just NOT team players I tell ya :p)… fun times… fun times… Everyone have a GREAT and smart New Year!! Back at you with a month in Review probably on Saturday!!!!

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.


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.

Pre-Pre Season Rookie Camp Scrimmage… Thoughts from.. ahhh, wherever the hell I was sitting…

Now I know summer time filler ain’t my thing, but this worked out PERFECTLY…. a Friday Night i was in and fell asleep before 4am…. a new coach… new outlook on life… and time to put the miserable feelings and hatred and anger (not like my personal life mirrored the way the Devils season went… oh no no no no :p)…. Season tickets are all but paid (I got kinda lucky, a customer’s entire network took a shit… and hey it paid the STH bill… I love IT!)… and it’s time to start letting ALL (and I do mean ALL) the miserable feelings and hatred go to the wayside and get re-vamped on life and Devils hockey!!!

So before I start, I’ve answered it a million times, and lemme steal my mystery friend’s FAQ section:

— Scott: Aren’t you freaking out because the Devils lost all those players and didn’t sign no one??
NO… in fact the opposite… I’m jacked up about it… those guys took us as far as they would go, and it’s time to pass the torch as it was from Richer/Lemieux/MacLean and Driver…. and then to Elias/Stevens/Niedermommy… and NOW it’s FINALLY time… it’s time for this THIRD generation of Devils talent (Zajac/Parise/Martin… soon to be Corrente, Eckford, Bergfors and Tedneby) to GET THE HELL OUT THERE and make THEIR mark on Devils hockey now and forever!!!! And that’s just awesome to me… this is how you WIN in the NHL… you maximize your cheap talent… surround it with GOOD talent… keep the team kinda young and enhance your core!!!

— But Scott, what if the rookies suck??
… and the vets didn’t?? How many times did Gionta shoot it right into the logo… or Madden not that accurate… and Mister NoGoalik was just a FORCE the second time around right??? I’ll take a young guy who will improve and has UPSIDE over an old fart ready to fall off the cliff ANYDAY!!

— so, Scott are you past your hatred of Martin Brodeur yet??
… no… fuck him… mb30 still pisses me off and it’s the ONLY thing I like about Lemaire being here (well aside his teaching ability)… he’s the only coach who made our prick “superstar” sit his ass on some pine!

Anyway… before this becomes a 500-page tangent… Let’s get to today’s goodness!!
Instead of the good the bad and the funny, I think I’ll take it player by player and add some overall comments too:

62: Mattias Tedenby:
HOLY SHIT was he a man amongst boys today (if you’re on my facebook and if not dammit why not??) you saw me RAVING about him left right and sideways!! The kid is FAST as anything… he’s always making moves (I don’t think there was one shift where he didn’t beat a player one on one and do something with it).. he didn’t score today but he didn’t NEED to… he was the best damned guy on the ice today BY FAR!! I think he gets a legit shot in training camp… I know he was playing lesser talent, but he had the LOOK, the moves, the feel and the swagger of an NHL-Ready player today!

10: Rod Pelley:
Bleech… didn’t do much, but then again… I don’t expect much from him….
he’s been pretty much handed a spot on the roster… so be it….
Facebook status comment: “rod pelley is the new pandolfo”

52: Nick Palmeri:
Me and Rob kept commenting on how much he was dragging the Tedenby line down today… slow… plodding… stone hands all over the place… our luck he plays good defense and makes the team… given it’s ONE GAME and anyone can suck on any given day… but that today was also Pandolf-ian, I don’t think he lasts long in camp

34: Matt Corrente:
Did not play shoulder injury… that bummed me… i was gonna focus on him as much as the “MagicSwede” as we named #62 today

51: PL^3… also looked like you’d expect…threw some hits… raised some hell… ran a goalie (I still get mad when goalies don’t jump up and attempt murder like I would….) had a nice two stuff and tip play in front of the far nets from us and tried to lobby like hell for the goal…. but was not meant to be!!!

Jeff Frazee:
Looked pretty good even in the losing effort (well aside from the penalty shot… he got deke-man-willied to hell on that one) and was the best of the three goalies today… no clue which one was Long and which was Felice… goalies are not worthy of numbers it seems 🙁

50: Matt Halishcuk…scored.. was in front of the net alot and did a LOT of good things today… I liked what I saw of him and he’s gonna get a two fingered serious look in camp for sure!!

66: Derek Rodwell… of the guys I knew nothing about, our 5th round pick impressed the HELL out of me… good size… good hands… plays a bit nasty and scored a penalty shot goal… he’s a guy to keep an eye on…..

Didn’t really notice our Russians in Zharkov or Vasyunov (though he did have a nice point blank chance to ice it late and blew it!), Jacob Josefson looked overwhelmed and not ready yet, which is ok too… and there was one fight which I am uploading on the youtube as I type this!!!

(1-0) Eckford.. jumped into the slot and ripped a wrister clean over the goalie… pretty stuff!
(1-1) Cormier… stuffed home a rebound on Frazee off the near post
(2-1, white) Halischuk… a sweet move in front where he was given WAY too much time… waits.. looks… dekes.. TOP SHELF… you get served!! (team white’s D was not so hot at best)
(2-2) Eric Castonguay is ALL ALONE in front again and rips one of BOTH POSTS and somehow in the net… he was this close to blowing it… which would have probably gotten him a roster spot!
(3-2, black) Derek Rodwell…. who like I said before was impressive… penalty shot goal… to be youtubed ASAP
(3-3) Griner… a long wrister from the point…hits goalie (not frazee) in the shoulder, then off the stick and in…yeah Chico he’s gonna want that save back :p
(4-3)Mcintrye a penalty shot goal that can only be called UBER-POWNAGE!! Video to follow (in lieu of penalty calls they get penalty shots)

Most of the Devils staff and higher-ups were there… saw Stevens on one team… saw Lou and Terreri… and Sergei Brylin too!! (poor Sarge… he looked like he just woke up and had a WICKED hangover too :p)

How’s that for a lil piece of October in July???
Once the videos are all up… I’ll let ya know… or just keep an eye on

Bye Bye Brent…thanks for the almost…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinions kids??