Devils/Islanders (Nov 21)….. Thoughts from Section 209!

Damn.. I just did this a day ago :p (it’s not like anyone had much to say about it… guess it’s hard to comment when they WIN eh?)… pretty darn good win against a lesser team (I told you there is a lot more suck in the East then the Devils… amazing how people can’t see past the wise-ass, and see there is HOCKEY TRUTH in there too, I get that alot in my section because GOD FORBID my goal at a hockey game is ENJOY MYSELF right??)

Sadly I’m kinda short on pre-game banter… it takes more then 24 hours to re-charge pre-game wackiness… the cigar girls were sick of me and I only got one free soda for my lap motivation… ah well, least no one did Batman songs… or that weird moment…”Hey I’m a friend of Lynn’s… errr we like broke up in Feburary” (awwkkkwwwaaaarrrrddddddddddddd)… so anyway this game was fun… sooo

the Good:
— The Crowd was into it (a few too many people here for my like) and I don’t hate the Islanders… in fact.. I feel nothing but apathy for them and like I said when they came into our row and they booed them… Hey I’ve BEEN to their building… I’d come here too!!!
— the offense has COME TO LIFE (Lord knows how), but it’s good to see Elias and Clarkson and Salvador and Martin (2 games in a row) getting on the damn scoreboard!
— ZACH PARISE… OMMMMMGGGGGG… AAHHHHHH!!!! THREE ASSISTSSSSSSSS!!! (ok you need to be near 209 for that one :p)
— Langenbrunner also with the 3 helpers, he’s very quietly FIXING shit!
— Weekes was solid and nice to see him off mothballs… didn’t make any big saves but with the Islanders you shouldn’t have to!
— the Devils are starting to dominate play in chunks and entire periods of play… maybe this team is “getting Sutter hockey” (or the damn coach is figuring out his team!)
— MIKE MOTTAU 3:16 SAYS I JUST LINDROS-ED YOUR ASS!! WHAT A HIT!! (and ensusing fight, again proving how flamingly homosexual the instaigator rule is)
— Brian Gionta… short guy… shorter goal (had to do it once)… again good to see him come to life with Elias and Zubrus
— that 5 on 3 was the most hilarious thing I think I’ve ever seen…. the whole damn team was collapsed to under the faceoff dot… shot shot miss shot shot miss… Parise missed the layup… but Witt lost his stick making that kick save (I swear the Islanders D had more saves then the goalie), then Langenbrunner damn near breaks the other D-s shin with that bomb… and FINALLY Martin finished it off in a near 2:00 of comic gold!!!
— Paul Martin had SIX SHOTS… and it’s no coincidence this team got going with the best defenseman on the team starting to look borderline all-star out there!

the Bad:
— How the hell come we could never support Brodeur with all this offense on the stiff Islanders?
— no Madden… and Barry Tallackson… blah.. nice story but now they need a linemate with heart problems to finish off the combo of him and Mike Rupp (if you think that was improper you missed my baby seals jokes in 209 tonight!)
— Rupp/Pandolfo/Clarkson?? EEEEPPPPP… that needs to change!
— that pitiful attempt at the wave from 208 to about 212 all 3rd period…. LAME!!! I even got texted about it like it was my damn fault people suck in 213 and beyond!
— Petr Vrana ON THE PP!?!?!? (and still 4:04 of ice time *sigh*)

Hold On To Your Horns.

So the boys have completed their first road trip of the season and are returning home with a very respectable 4-1-0 record. The trend thus far seems to be thousands of shots on goal with minimal results on the scoreboard, but apparently that’s all that’s been needed. Marty has been Marty, and the D has been…well, the D. You know — giving us the occasional coronary every now and then, nothing out of the ordinary.

Oh, right — and we’ve lost Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston. Yup, Both of them. Rolston probably for a month or two.

I really don’t know what to make of this situation. It’s kind of funny — in a cosmic sort of way. Ya know, we bring back two veterans from the past and instantly our team is somewhat of a threat again. We get all amped up about it, and now they’re both sidelined less than three weeks into the season. On the other hand, there’s the fact that neither one of them has really had much of an impact on the outcome of the first five games, aside from Rolston’s game-winner in Atlanta.

As a Devils fan, I almost feel contractually obligated to round up my fellow fans and organize a cult-like mass suicide. But, for some reason or another, I’m still optimistic that the favorable results will continue. (Maybe that’s you-know-who’s way of telling me to stop drinking.)

This year’s Black & Red squad is a deeper one than last year’s, and I think we will be reminded of that over the next month or so. For instance, the group is definitely younger. Vrana is much more favorable to have in the lineup than Sergei Brylin; and on the same side of things I’d rather have Leblond playing over Aaron Asham. (Leblond has been called up to fill in for Holik for Wednesday’s game vs. Dallas.) Are they going to be easy replacements for Holik & Rolston? No. Hell No. But I think they will fit in nicely with the mold of the team and continue to help do the little things right. After all, that’s what has gotten this team to where they are now.

At one point or another, every team in the NHL will be going through a scenario similar to this. There will be other star-players that will go down and other rookies will get their shots with the big boys. I guess a positive to take out of this would be the fact that we’re only five games into the season, we have a .800 winning percentage, and six of the next seven will be home games for New Jersey. Not to mention the upcoming opposition hasn’t exactly been making much noise thus far.

The next several weeks will be very telling of the dynamic and character of this year’s New Jersey Devils. I’m tempted to watch with my hands half-covering my eyes, like it’s a badly-written television drama.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… Don’t hit that panic button just yet. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the way the team will perform in the absence of Rolston & Frankenstein.

If, two weeks from now, all hope seems to be lost…just be happy it’s not the last week of March.