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.

Numbers, Signings, & Ugly Thirds.

Over the last few weeks or so there have been a few tidbits worth updating about but I haven’t gotten around to it until now. For those of you who haven’t already discovered that knowledge is power through some other news source, it’s time to play a little catch-up, 2manadvantage style!

– NUMBERS GAME –

With the return of veterans Brian Rolston & Bobby Holik coupled with the departure of Sergei Brylin, There has been some rare number-swapping rippling through the Devils current roster. Holik will indeed regain his old # 16 that he wore during his first go-round with New Jersey. Dainius Zubrus gave up the number for Bobby and will don #8 for the rest of his tenure with the Devils. It should be noted that this change will in no way, shape or form, have any effect whatsoever on the (dare I say) world famous “Zubbie Counter“.

Sheldon Brookbank will sport the #28 previously worn by Brian Rafalski after giving his old #8 to Zubrus. Brian Rolston will carry over his #12 from Minnesota, as Sergei Brylin’s #18 will be taken over by rookie Niklas Bergfors.

– ROD PELLEY RETURNS, KEVIN CORMIER ACQUIRED –

In under-the-radar news, Rod Pelley has in fact been re-signed by the Devils. The deal is 2 years with a cap hit of $550,000 per season. In addition to signing Pelley, Lou Lamoriello made a small ripple on the trade market, sending Sean Zimmerman to Phoenix in exchange for Patrice Cormier’s older and bad-assier brother Kevin Cormier. If my memory serves me right, the Devils brother-total now stands at 4. (the Giontas, Pandolfos, Parises, & Cormiers.)

In my opinion, Lou can sign as many brothers as he wants as long he doesn’t shift his attention west… Vancouver in particular.

Wait, nevermind. I said brothers, not sisters

– THIRDS HAVE (unfortunately) RETURNED –

It seems that even RBK couldn’t keep the third jersey away from the game. Unfortunately there will be a return of the cash-grabs this season. Some teams have already released their designs, while other mock-ups are being rendered by fans based on provided descriptions. You can check out some of the MOCK-UP JERSEYS here.

– TIME CHANGE –

The Rangers/Devils pre-season game scheduled for next Saturday, Sept. 27th @ MSG has been moved up from a 2pm start to a 1pm start.

That is all.

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Pre-season starts in just 6 days, folks! Who’s ready for a live-cap?!