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!!!!

News galore!

Today, my friends, is a big day in Devils fandom.  Something that hasn’t happened all season is about to happen.

Yep, user-generated ZubbieCounters!  (What, you were thinking something else?)

Oh, and that Elias dude is playing in tonight’s game or something.

Let’s get to it:

Patrik Elias makes his season debut tonight after missing the first thirteen games of the season with various surgical repairs.  Dude’s gotta be bionic now.  Welcome back Patty, we miss-ed you and your super groin (wait, that didn’t sound right).

Elias’ return means someone has to be a healthy scratch tonight, right?  WRONG!  It means someone else joins the rank of the Ouchies club.  Rob Niedermeyer this time.  He has the ever-ubiquitous Upper Body Injury and won’t play at all this weekend.  PLcubed looks like he loses the “Goon of the Game” contest to Andrew Peters and will therefore be tonight’s Goon in a Suit.

Enough news for ya?  TOO BAD, HERE’S MORE!  Jay Leach was put on re-entry waivers yesterday.  Which means, right around…now, the Devils should be finding out if he is available to play against the Islanders tonight of if the team is on the hook for half of his salary while he goes and plays for someone else.  If he survives re-entries, will he play tonight?  Who knows.  Who comes out if he does play?  Also uncertain.

Edit 12:49 PM: French language site RDS seems to suggest that Jay Leach was claimed off waivers by Montreal.  I’m not certain as my ability to speak French is limited to being able to say “Yes, it is a book”.  Two years of high school French and it doesn’t help me when I need it!  Anyway, it looks like Jay Leach is heading north of the border, with the Devils on the hook for half of his salary.  That sucks.

Edit 12:53 PM: TSN claims the same thing.  In English, this time.  See ya, Leacher.

One this is certain, though.  It won’t be Andy Greene who comes out of the lineup, because as the league is finding out, ANDY GREENE = WINS.  As Scott mentioned awhile back, has there ever been a guy go from healthy scratch to Chara-like minutes quicker than our own Greene Monster?  I think not.

And I almost forgot (though I don’t know how)…YANN DANIS STARTS IN NET TONIGHT!  La Grenouille himself (don’t ask) gets the nod between the pipes to play his former team, the Islanders.  Let’s hope he’s better for us against the Isles than he was with the Isles.  If he plays like he did against the Bruins, he’ll be golden.

Alright then, we got Elias, Niedermeyer, the Goon race, Andy Greene = Wins, Yann Danis…did I forget something?

Ah, right.

ZUBBIECOUNTER30 USER GENERATED CONTENT!

Some really good ones came in for this most recent goal.  I laughed.  Louder than I should have at 2 in the morning.  Other people in my house weren’t too happy.  So you might wanna refrain from reading the rest of this post unless it’s an hour of the day in which your family or roommates are awake.  Fair warning.

The first one comes from Richard H.  It’s incredibly clever.  (Get it, 30 Rock?  Zubbie’s 30th?  The Rock?)

zubbiecounter30-Richard H

Pop culture baby.  Best way to our collective hearts.

Next up comes a Zubmission from a Mr. Aaron B.  It doesn’t look like much, but it’s indicative of another surefire way to get your Zubmission on our site:  Take a photo yourself.  See, Mr. Aaron was at the game in Boston where Zubbie scored his 30th, and snapped this quickie photo just after Zubbie broke most of the arena’s collective hearts.

zubbiecounter30-Aaron B

That 2 in the 2-1 score?  That’s thanks to the Dainiusaur.

The final two Zubmissions come from ZubbieCounterContest veterans.  Kevin B. actually sent in three hilarious Zubmissions because he couldn’t pick just one.  It was hard for me to pick one, but I think this one was a hair better than the other two.  Made me laugh pretty loud, anyway.

zubbiecounter30-Kevin B

Poor Zach.  Being separated from his BFF Travis Zajac was clearly traumatic.

And finally, we come to Jon C’s Zubmission.  Look, I mentioned before that an instant way into our hearts is a pop culture reference, and this one is possibly the ultimate pop culture reference of the last few months.  Frankly, I’m mad at myself for not having expected it before it came in.  2MA readers, I present to you via Jon C…Interrupting Kanye:

zubbiecounter30-Jon C

That’s almost criminal how good it is.  Thanks Jon, Kevin, Aaron, and Richard for the awesome entries.  God I can’t wait ’til Zubbie nets another goal.  (Also, don’t forget, voting for the ZubbieCounterContest continues on the main page until November 14th, or until Zubbie pots #33.  Whichever happens first.  Probably the former.)

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.

F&!$ it, I’m pressing it.

Angry?  Yep.

Embarrassed?  You betcha.

Scared?  Try friggin’ petrified.

Thanks, Devils.  Just thanks.

I’d love to give some sort of insight, but I’ve missed the last few games (night classes – a curse and a blessing, apparently).  I’m kind of happy I didn’t see anything but the last three minutes of tonight’s game.

Scratch that, I’m kind of mad I subjected myself to the last three minutes, knowing full well what the score was.

Sigh.

This team was supposed to be too good for the annual March swoon.  Too many veterans, too many guys who know how to win, all of that.  What the hell is happening, then?

The part that annoys/frustrates/scares me the most is the clear parallel between last year’s late-season falter and this year’s.  See:  Big losing streak, lack of goal scoring, disappearance of defense, big ass-whuppin’ from the Penguins.  My poor heart won’t be able to take losing to the Rangers in round one of the playoffs again.

Speaking of the playoffs, you realize they haven’t won a single game since clinching a playoff spot, right?  A playoff spot that was clinched on a day off, with another team losing, rather than on the ice with the Devils winning.

This is no way to go into the playoffs.  Things have to be turned around, and it rests on two men:  Brent Sutter and Jamie Langenbrunner.

Brent Sutter is at least making the appearance of trying.  Being pissy about the Rangers loss, being pissy about Patrik Elias not playing tonight, freaking out at the end of the second period tonight (or so I’m told).  The man’s showing more pulse than he has in two years with this team.  But you do have to wonder if he knows what to do to get this team in playoff mode.  Once is an abberation, twice is the beginning of a pattern.  In this case, a very frightening pattern.

But what of Captainbrunner?  Now’s his chance to really make his salt as a captain, to really show what he’s made of.  You hear me, Jamie?  TAKE CONTROL.  Jamie Langenbrunner is not Scott Stevens, nor should he try to be – however, it’s time for the current captain to truly and finally make this team his, the way the teams of the 90s and early 2000s were truly Scotty’s.

After all, if the captain can’t step it up in a time of crisis, how can we expect anyone else to?

Later, Vish.

The Devils seem to be poised to open training camp with a plethora of mediocre defensemen ready to patrol the blueline, but today the weeding has begun… Vitaly Vishnevski has become the first blueline-casualty as he has been placed on Waivers.

I can’t say I’m surprised, it seemed like Vish was constantly lost when on the ice last season, and often found himself a healthy scratch. His biggest fault in my eyes was constantly taking himself out of position because he was looking to lay a big hit. It’s been his Achilles ever since he was drafted (Anaheim/1998).

Well, there’s a spot open on the blueline – which will definitely make training camp that much more exciting.

Did this move open the door for Matt Corrente… ?