Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Leafs, 1/29/2009

Did anyone notice the Full Moon last night?? You should have…it set the tone for that game last night… weird shit was EVERYWHERE, 208/209 was a little too drunk and ran out of gas, and boy so have the Devils… the good news is they played Toronto and the Maple Leafs this year are simply known as “Chicken Soup for the Struggling Hockey Club’s Soul”… and on a FUCKING COLD night like last night, we all need a little Chicken Soup!!!

The Good:
— ZUBBIE!!!!!!!!!!! See why we didn’t pass the Zubbie Counter to anyone else (yes I’m looking at YOU Mike Jeckel!!), Jesus Christ that was his best game since that 5-point one vs Tampa MANY moons ago …..*sigh* I wish he could do that against non-lottery teams, but that could happen if he sticks with Parise and Zajac
— Zach Parise was hungry and attacking all over the place tonight… and DAMN he wanted that hat trick… it was like he realized he’s 12 goals behind Marleau and saw the awful Leafs as a chance to get back into it all at once!!!
— Patrick Davis!! He looks like he’s settling in
— I liked that Lemaire gave Bergfors a night off… he had totally hit the wall and needed a night to get his legs back… I think Niedermayer needs one or two of these two… and with Pelley back we can SPOT THE OLD FARTS ALSO!!!!

The Bad:
— Doc said it nicer then I would have… and I’ll give her credit for it:
** Deanna Tortorello Over “I’m pretty sure Doc just said this is Marty’s eleventy-second start.”
If Martin Brodeur is Canada’s No. 1 goalie in the Olympics next month, as everyone expects, the Devils will probably pay the price in March. Coach Jacques Lemaire said Friday he would have to rest Brodeur if the 37-year-old goalie plays a lot in Vancouver. “If he’s the man to go in all the way through the Olympics, I think we will have to give him some off time after,” Lemaire indicated. “Because that will be intense.”
So WHY THE HELL NOT START NOW??? Ever hear of PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE??? You don’t beat the horse until it fucking breaks!!! You rest the horse knowing it has a big practice tournament is coming in mid-Feburary… and the REAL EVENT comes in April… you have a VERY capable goalie, who will in theory be here AFTER MB30… PLAY HIM!!!!
— Speaking of bad decisions… it’s seems Lemaire has been a little Sutter-ized of late… starting Neids and Pando in overtime?? REALLY… the idea is to score goals, not let the group stiffer then an old folk’s home after a tragic Viagra accident out there!!!
Taking Zubbie off the Parise line (maybe thinking Zubrus needed to come back slow after missing you know.. most of the year and all)… but WAY too much of Nieds and Pando in the 3rd period too….PLAY THE KIDS please!! (nice to bitching they “only” got 8-10 minutes as opposed to the shift and a half under coach prune-face!)
— the defense… 2 goals in the last 5 minutes and COLTON ORR HAD A BREAKAWAY… let me say that again… COLTON ORR had a goddamn breakaway… I almost don’t blame mb30 for the goal he was probably stunned by it like I get when the random fat guy gets a take off and go breakaway amazed that no one can catch up to his rumblin and tumblin ass and stop him…..Mike Mottau was turning the puck over like it was out of style (but yet he was a +2, how??)… and like I was saying before the excessive ice time has guys playing over their head and it’s coming back to haunt them now… might be a good time to get Corrente, Eckord and Fraser some ice time up here and let some guys if not REST, then slow it down some…….

The Funny:
— ah, and where to begin… I think it’s become my new mission in life… I’m sick and tired of the douchey attitude from people in the lower sections where I’ve been going to watch warmups for FIFTEEN YEARS…. and until this year it’s NEVER been a big deal.. stand in a row, watch them warmup, get a feel for the team and LEAVE, your seats BLOW for a full game experience and I hate them… so fuck you I don’t want your seat…. but my God… EVERY game this year it’s attitude about their seats… don’t you have nachos to buy??? So I started standing in the aisle to not deal with it… and last night this rotten little midget who hates life (I swear he was Steve Cangelosi’s KILLER ACCOUNTANT, cause you know those little people hang out together)…. sends his mistake child in like a retard missile barreling and cutting through everyone and clips me in the knee (and I’m still aching from my hockey game last night, so I’m annoyed already), then his dad pushes through me and I snap… YOU KNOW AN EXCUSE ME ACTUALLY works….. he claims he said one, but then again those people in the emails from Nigeria claim I have 50 million sitting there for me….and then the lil accountant starts screaming and cursing at ME because I called him on his douche-ness, which pissed the guy behind me off cause now he’s dropping F bombs like he’s me on here :p….he tells me to go to my seat and I tell him loudly that I have EVERY right to be here cause I’m a season ticket holder and been doing this for FIFTEEN YEARS….and I ain’t going nowhere!!! The lil fella actually went to the usher and whined at her… and I told her … I ain’t going… and going I didn’t!!! Though on sheer principle I let EVERYONE in the area politely and with a smile leave the aisle and the section in front of me… ok on principle to further provel Cangeliosi and Goldberg’s #1 CPA that it was his idiocy that caused the whole thing…. fuck you one time a year person and I HOPE YOU DIE!!!
(talk about setting the tone eh??)
— Oh man was 209 a little extra drunk last night… and the full moon added to it I’d bet :p…. poor Pete… he’s got so drunk he got QUIET… that was a weird third period seeing him NOT yell and holler and pester Clutch all game… but hey he got Gustafsson AND Toskala’s names right…. good for him… he’s fucked on Sunday since the guy’s name is QUICK… he doesn’t do one syllable names well….gonna have to coach Dee on advising him since I’ll be here making food for the Royal Rumble!!
… the KILL chant was off all night too… first it was too fast, like an old record player on 44 instead of 33 (oh wait.. none of y’all know what a record IS… *sigh*)… then it got WAY TOO SLOW… in fact it was so slow it was at a Chris Benoit-level rhythm… what do I mean… a Kill so slow it takes all weekend to finish it off……
— …. going with the weird of last night…. when Parise (AAAAHHHHH) scored (and what a goal it was)… the dude behind me had a Stone Cold moment…. thumbs on the beer bottle… shakes them beer goes spewing EVERYWHERE… and yeah I got doused… but you know what… I thought about it… this shit washes off… he just wasted $16 on a beer bath… so he’s pissing more money away then I am…. so go him!!!!… and it set up a great line from mister Barry:
“Barry Meikle: Wow, he’s paying nearly as much per goal as the Rangers did on Gomez.” (since I did comment on it for the facebook thread)
— one last funny moment I got glimpse of….puck gets chipped out of play and pops some dude in the front row…. he’s wearing a Leafs jersey (sadly it was not our favorite accountant of DOOM)….and he’s wobbling… as he wobbles… I catch the number… he’s wearing a Gustafsson (whatever his name is) jersey…. I kinda sit and think…”shit that was the best save the big Swede made all night!”

…. So like I said… programming note… Scott’s gonna be HOME for Sunday’s game… so no thoughts about the Kings, well except for the fact that I fucking HATE the city of LA and I hope it dies!! But I do have a month in review to do soon… so Fret not … 2 man shall NOT go into a coma again this week…. and I’m open and willing to take suggestions on what you guys would like me to do to give Olympic Coverage??? Should we adopt a team??? (I say Sweden, no major Devils on the team, so we get rest and we let Lundqvst burn out his puffy padded self in the Olympics so the Rangers suck more, and the Devils get some NEEDED rest)….you guys read this crap… lemme know what ya want!!!!

NJ Devils Month in Review, December 2009!

What a month of December!!! 11-4 overall (and ok the Hawk game left a bad taste in your mouth, but don’t be spoiled bitches about it!!), the team is still atop the NHL… and hey… it’s all good… enjoy the goddamn ride and how fun December was! And yeah I know it’s a bit late (but hey with my track record compared to the rest f 2ma, I’m allowed some slack… and I’m not going to tonight’s game so you have this to read instead… it’s all good!!)

Forwards:
#9: Zach Parise-A (2g, 10a=12 pts,+2)
OH MY GOD PARISE ALMOST WENT THE WHOLE MONTH WITHOUT A GOAL!!!!! And look…. the world didn’t end, dogs and cats didn’t start having babies… I didn’t start speaking Spanish….. the Cowboys didn’t start winning in Decemeber…. oh… wait… they did :-) But in seriousness the best thing about Parise’s scoring funk… he NEVER stopped playing hard, getting chances (hell he still had 10 assists so someone got ten goals thanks to Zach)… and his body language and effort never sagged or dropped during the funk… that’s the sign of a good player! Hard work, consistent effort, it’s all good Zach!
Grade: B+

#19: Travis Zajac (2g, 5a=7 pts,+1)
Had some scoring troubles in the month too, but I’ll link those issues to Parise’s (since for the most they are linemates for life in jersey)….But you can also say that maybe Parise struggled too because Zajac was kinda eh in the month also…slumps do happen though, and the Devils were fortunate that the 3rd and 4th lines were GOOD this month (and it helped the team alot)…his level of play and intensity didn’t seem to match Zach’s though (but that’s expected and why Zach is the superstar on the team and why Zajac is just a good supporting piece)… he’ll be ok, and he’s already scored in January so it’s all good!
Grade: B-

#15: Jamie Langenbrunner-C (5g, 5a=10 pts,+1)
It’s a weird thing… and stats aren’t always everything (yes I’ll get shit for this with the first week he had in January. but this is DECEMBER’S month in review :p)…. he has nice offensive numbers, but there was a REASON he’s been pulled from Zajac and Parise… and down to the 3rd line… the wheels are not there and something seems off on his level of play… he reminds me of the top scorer on my Ford’s Cup team… he had great hands and could finish with anyone…. but man he didn’t do much else… maybe he’s playing through injury again I don’t know (he does too damn much of that and costs himself a month of good play to not sitting a few nights… I know that kinda stubborn, as anyone who saw me walking around like my leg fell off at Tuesday’s game)… there’s a reason me and my fellow 209ers have been tough on him all month…..
Grade: B-

#18: Nicklas Bergfors (7g, 3a=11pts,-5)
Love the offense and the skill and the confidence this kid shows on the ice each game… but you can tell from the -5 on why Lemaire dogs him about defense and learning both ends of the ice…. but in doing his main job in making most of up forget Brian Gionta (sorry your Lordship :p)….also showed he can skate and play with Parise and Zajac (hell his efforts are part of the reason Langenbrunner is no longer on that line)… not to mention that second in the league in rookie scoring is pretty damn good too… he’ll learn the rest of the game and Jacques’ will crack the whip as it’s needed to keep him in line!
Grade: B

#21: Rob Niedermayer (3g, 3a=6pts,-1)
Smart…crafty, does a lot of little plays still that you just look and see… DAMN I liked that… kinda spotty on faceoffs (some days it’s real good… other days it’s 15%..crikey! Not the fastest… or overly physical, but he still finds way to do the little things, and that ear-piercing NIEEDDDDMMMMAAAYYYYYEEEEERRRR to my left is always attention getting :P…..he’s been solid
Grade: B

#12: Brian Rolston (5g, 4a=9pts, +4)
Steady through the month, but hit the wall at the end (hell alot of the guys did… that was a ROUGH month of games)…. no points in his last 4 games is a bit of a downer…. and he’s back on a 27-goal pace after what was a slow start to the year for him….he kinda is what he is at this point, and the main thing…but there’s been too many games you forget he’s out there and with his shot, speed and pp time that can’t happen…..
Grade: B-

#20: Jay Pandolfo (1g, 3a=4pts,-5)
Ugh… of all the guys to come back and be healthy this is the one I wanted back the least…. I know I’ve been on Pando’s ass since he came into the league, but the good years are behind him…gets too much ice time (I don’t like or beleive in the defensive shadow role… that died with the lockout)
Grade: C-

#10: Rod Pelley (2g, 2a=4pts, +2)
The POWER OF PIST ROD PELLEY (ah, leave it to me to take moments of personal idiocy and make them into gold and eternal running commentary for life)… and four points in a MONTH?? I’d have been shocked to see that for the YEAR… he’s really growing comfortable in his role.. and he can lay some MONSTER hits for a 5’11” guy! I mean don’t get me wrong.. he’s still a 4th liner… but again with the lousy level of 4th liners and how the chicken-shit coaches of the past didn’t use them… it’s been a god send to see an effective 4th line, and it has been Pelley-Powered!!! (and people who know me love I loves me a good 4th line!)
Grade: A

#25: Andrew Peters (4 games, no points, +1, 15 PIM)
I’m sorry I don’t give a shit what he did the rest of the month, but when you ain’t played in 3 weeks and you get into a fight 16 seconds into the game and your jersey comes off YOU FAIL AND YOU SUCK SIR!
Grade: F (TIE YOUR FUCKING JERSEY DOUCHEBAG!!!)

#17: Ilkka Pikkarainen (11 games, 1g, 2a=3pts, +1)
Pikka-chu’s been decent this month too, and even the garbage way his first NHL goal was scored (PRICE WAS WRONG BITCH!!)… I see points on the 4th line and I get all excited! And add in the fact he was getting 8-10 minutes a night that shows the level of improved play here… and keep in mind the grade is for what his role is on the team, and he’s been good at what he does!
Grade: B

#11: Dean McAmmond (3g, 4a=7pts, +1)
Geesh, he was a -8 in the last 4 games, and the only non-minus game was a shutout :o…. damn), he slowed down a bit as the month went on (obviously :p)… but still… he’s been ok between Elias and Rolston, and he’s putting up John Madden-style numbers… hopefully the end of the month slip is just a rut and not the old fella crashing into the wall after only 6 weeks back in the NHL… he’ll adjust… I’d hope, though as old as he is, he ain’t THAT established in the NHL as much….something to worry and keep an eye on….
Grade: C

#28: Vladimir Zharkov (0g, 6a=6pts, +5)
Nifty little player, has nice flash… doesn’t get enough shots to the net yet… but he’s learning, played well with Elias and Rolston and that helps too….good guy to just plug in there and get a bit of offensive crafty in there….probably gone back to Lowell when this team gets healthy, but he’s got a good chance to be on this team next season and beyond (or a key piece in a playoff push type of trade)
Grade: B+
—————————————-

Defense:
#6: Andy Greene (2g, 9a=11pts, +2, 25:00 TOI)
What can I say about Andy that I haven’t already? 2nd in the East in scoring… plays damn near half the game… makes smart plays in one step back in his own end….mobile… and still growing as an NHL player… it’s been the best story about this year (yes in more ways then one <3 )… Andy could fix the economy, move continents and even get Michael Bay to write good movies!!! Need I say more????
Grade: A

#24: Bryce Salvador (2g, 0a=2pts, +2, 21:00 TOI)
As good and obvious as the Andy Greene Show has been… I think what gets really lost in that act is the fact that he's had a pretty damn good side kick in Salvador with him…. long gone are the days of people pissing and moaning that we got this guy for Cam Janssen (think about THAT for a second)… Bryce has done everything asked of him and been the steady compliment and rarely needed backup plan for Andy when he jumps into the offense…..
Grade: A

#2: Mark Fraser (1g, 1a=2pts, +7, 14:00 TOI)
He's been solid too…but protected… you can tell by his ice time and when the Devils are home, they take advantage of match-ups and keep Fraser off the ice when the big boys are out there…he's big, he takes the body….he could fight more, but I don't like defensemen fighting personally… he's coming along nicely!
Grade: B-

#5: Colin White (1g, 4a=5pts, +2, 23:30 TOI)
WHITE POWER!!! (it's my thing deal with it :p)… he's been good again this month, plays big ice time each game…. again when you don't notice Colin… it's good… and I didn't notice him much… and it's been a long time since you'd yell HOLY SHIT COLIN at him… so since less is more for Colin, I'm gonna say less about him and grade him more!
Grade: B+

#29: Johnny Oduya (1g, 0a=1pt, +5, 21:00 TOI)
ONE POINT?? Really?!?!?! Least his defense is getting better… and he's moving the puck again and better on defense… still you'd think the one guy who'd benefit from Lemaire like every one else… There's still much time to improve at least, and he did improve this month….
Grade: C-

#27: Mike Mottau (0g, 1a=1pt, -7, 26:00 TOI)
Looks like all the ice time is catching up with him a little bit here… his stats slipped (and look at that -7), and the plays… just not as good… been forced (again) to play over his head and it caught up a lil bit this month… he's still a useful player… but they pushed the gas pedal too far this month and it's running on empty…..
Grade: B+

#32: Matthew Corrente (5 games, no points, even, 10 PIM)
Much like Fraser was brought in sparingly, and allowed to get his feet wet… and in the NHL getting your feet wet playing defense is NOT an easy job… I liked the fighting (but again, more when he was playing forward)…. he was pretty well protected when possible….still truly hard to figure him out while he's still figuring it out… but he's been ok!
Grade: C+ (borderline incomplete)
——————————————-

Incompletes:
#7: Paul Martin-A… did not play all month
#23: David Clarkson (2 games played, no points,-2, 5 PIM)… came back and got hurt again *ugh*
#16: Matt Halischuk (2 games, no points, -2)
It's a damn shame, he just looked like he had gotten it on the NHL level and caught up with the game and the speed of the players on ice…he got sent down… grrrr… in a perfect world, he's in and Pando's out, we all know this ain't a perfect world though
#22: The man called PL^3….Hasn't played a game since Nov 4th… wow
#8: Danius Zubrus… also did not play in December

Goalies:
#30: mb30 (15 games: 10-4, 2.37 gaa, 3 So, 3a)
Well what can you say??? He's in mid-season form (and it IS mid-season so that makes sense :p)…. played too many games in the month but this is NOTHING NEW *sigh*…. I guess we're supposed to forget this is an Olympic Year and the fucker's gonna play 100 games BEFORE the playoffs… and trust me…I'm 37 also… the body DOES break down admit it or not…. dude needs some rest (and Dennis's been good when allowed to play, and I do mean allowed)… being benched after one bad period in his ONLY bad game in the month ain't enough… UNLEASH THE DENNIS!!!
Grade: A

#35: Jan Dennis (1 game, 1-0, 0.67 gaa)
Only got one chance to shine and hot damn he DID make the most of it when he did… came in for the Atlanta game at the same time that the Cowboys shocked the WORLD in New Orleans (what a great snowy night that was….)… I just give him a grade because it's so damn hard to sit there all the time and flip the switch and play when you win the lottery and get a damn start on this team!!
Grade: A

——————————————-

Coaching Staff:
What can you say about what Lemaire and company is doing with this team?? If the head coach is the conductor for a symphony then Jacques is crafting his greatest song ever here….The dealing with the injuries, the growth and development of the rookies… it really is the mother of all masterpieces…. the only knock I have on Jacques is that he's not letting Dennis play enough… but I can see why the way mb30 is pumping out A games each night…
Grade: A

Front Office:
… well there were no trades or major moves to really talk about… I mean there's not much need to… things just keep on keeping on!!!
Grade: A (but could be called Incomplete too)

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Thrashers, 12/28/2009

Howdy!! We’re back and alive again!! Hope y’all got good shit for whatever gift-bearing holiday you celebrated (well unless it was that crappy one from Seinfeld… no show was more overrated after all….)… but like the rest of us the players got back to work… and it looks like Zach Parise got some goal-scoring touch again under the tree, and a nice lil win against those Thrashers…. perfect way to start kicking off the “serious time” in hockey (and be honest… hockey doesn’t get important till the half way point… usually right when football ends)

the Good:
— Zach Parise….. AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! Welcome back!! 2 goals… the drought is over (and it wasn’t like he sulked or sucked during this drought … hell in fact he was playing just as good NOT scoring as when he was getting goals!), but still it’s damn good to see your best player get back on the goal chart (more so when you went to a customer yesterday who was a Ranger/Giant fan… and damn this Devil/Cowboy fan could NOT stop smirking at his misery :p… now he can’t sit there and scoff about the Devils TV guys “whining” that Parise wasn’t scoring… he wants whining he should watch a St.Louis, Pitt or AvsMonkeys game! And I of COURSE has to wish him and his Giants, the VERY best of luck in their future endeavors since they did not qualify for the playoffs this year… I’m such class and discretion eh?)…. to quote mister Andy Greene on facebook… GOOD DAY!
— Also seeing the White goal on TV again I’d SWEAR Zach tipped it…. he was robbed a hat trick!!!!! They don’t get prettier then that power play tuck-in on the sweet Elias pass!!!
— Welcome back David Clarkson!!!! His game itself was so/so… but he got a fight…a few minutes in… and it’s good to see the bodies starting to return (and see we have a team five lines deep… gonna need that)… the -2 not so good… but you get a pass the first few games as you get used to getting into active duty…..
— Johnny Oduya… he’s been shaky at best all year long… but last night he was noticeable in good ways, and he was playing Andy Greene-type minutes… good to see him using those wheels in the right way…..though PLEASE… don’t EVER punch again when Kovalchuk was covering the point (Colin White bailed your ass out on that one…)
— speaking of… WHITE POWER!!!!! It must always be said when Colin scores a goal!
— Big crowd tonight as the post-Christmas push is on with attendance… and man 216 was all pumped up tonight… what was that about?!?!?!?! And they got a damn good game… Atlanta came out with some pride and attitude after the Devils embarrassed them on the 19th toying with them and coming back from 3-0 and 4-1 down to whip their candy ass…. this game was nasty, physical and a TON of first period fights… damn I LOVED IT!!!

the Bad:
— Andrew Peters… you’re a fucking idiot!!!! What am I talking about?? You have three jobs on ice… play physical… FIGHT (which he did and well tonight I must say)… well he fought…he played physical… but the MORON DIDN’T TIE DOWN HIS JERSEY and got tossed from the game when it got pulled over his head in the fight…..so he plays 18 seconds and get kicked out of the game.. MORON!!!! Not the best way to get back on the ice after a month of sitting in the luxury seats in the halo!! And then to make it worse on him…. Clarkson showed him how to fight without a thirty second time delay!!! Though I think we all have a right to be jealous of him… he gets paid a FULL salary to play 18 seconds and get punched in the face… WRONG!!!
— Mark Fraser and Mike Mottau were a -2… you can give them a pass on the first goal because it was a Kovalchuk BOMB and the second goal was a little soft from mb30, but they won so I’m not hammering him for it… but that’s not exactly a defense pair that inspires confidence in life and one of the two is gonna be sitting if/when Paul Martin comes back
— OK the last minute of the game was SCARY, it felt Carolina-like… thankfully Atlanta ain’t that good yet… but there was some angst out there…..

the Funny:
— so we get Arlette for the National Anthem… YAY!!! But there was some dumbass that during the national anthem was standing up waving a Czech Flag up and down during the entire anthem!!?!?!?!!? Like really?? What the hell does the Anthem have to do with the Czech flag or nation!?!??!
— Andy Greene gets called for playing with a high stick on the power play “Andy wasn’t called for high sticking… the refs were overwhelmed with how amazing the stick play was and stopped play to admire it!!”
— Speaking of Andy… he had two wanna-be’s in front of us who thought THEY knew how to worship Andy!! First off they kept calling him ANDREW…. Andy NEVER lets you call him Andrew… he’s too modest asshats!! I don’t know if I should be mad, proud that his legend is growing…or jealous cause some other fag is steppin on MY MAN!!!!!!
— it was a weird night where there wasn’t that much funny to share and the game kinda took charge for ONCE… and we just enjoyed the damn game… mostly drama and Bayonne wise cracks… kept to a minimal level!!! Don’t worry I think Wednesday’s game is gonna have some topics of conversation… more so with my blast from the past coming out!!!

I STILL LIVE, I SWEAR!

The end of the college semester is always tough.  Especially the closer one gets to finally graduating (one semester left – if I’m lucky/good, I graduate exactly 10 years after getting the hell out of high school.  Sad, but fitting).

So sorry I haven’t posted much lately, but with a straight month ’til school starts up again (and about two months before it gets insane again), I’ll be back on a regular basis for awhile again.  Thanks so much for sticking with us.  And thanks to Scott for not letting the site fall into total abandoned disrepair.

I have only been paying slight attention to what’s been going on in the world of hockey.  Martin Brodeur broke another record, this one more meaningless than other recent ones (Games played?  Games started? Something like that.)  Zach Parise may very well never score a goal again.  Travis and Zach have split up, are seeing other people, but everyone knows they’ll be back together soon enough.

The BIG news, though…is that officially, at the end of play last night, the Devils were in first place.

First place in the Atlantic?  Well, yeah, but think bigger.

First place in the Eastern conference?  Keep going.  How about something like…

FIRST PLACE IN THE ENTIRE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE.

Yeah, this team is damn friggin’ good.

So tonight, the Devils look to extend that lead in the league against the perennial-doormats-turned-surprisingly-5th-place-in-the-East Atlanta Thrashers.  The last time the two teams played, I believe we were all in moderate freak-out mode, as the Thrashers thrashed (sorry, hack move, I know) the Devils at the Rock, the third game of a three consecutive home loses to start the season.  Needless to say, I’m a little less freaked out now, as is the rest of the fanbase.  And if you’re nitpicking over bad plays or poor shot selection or the team’s inability to make us proud by kicking ass in the situation that is our namesake, then go back and read the bolded print earlier in this post.

I would be moderately stunned if Martin Brodeur starts tonight, after starting about a zillion consecutive games and then flying to Hotlanta for today’s game.  I think THE Yann Danis deserves the start.  Of course, trying to guess when Marty sits is probably ridiculous anyways.  Edit: And yeah, apparently Marty’s starting again tonight.  Please join myself and the rest of the Devils fanbase in a loud cry of “WTF, I thought this was an Olympic year?!”

But, even if La Grenouille (remember, thus is Yann Danis’ nickname, so says I) does start, Brodeur will be on the ice tonight.  The Senators announced this morning that Mike Brodeur will get his NHL debut start this evening against the Minnesota Wild, who are probably in their own manner of freak out this afternoon after THIS happened.

Note to the NHL: The Senators are really into sabotage.  First seven Sabres get food poisoning after eating at a steakhouse in Ottawa, and now this?  Thankfully the Devils have already gotten through one game up there alive.

Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs. Sens, 12/18/2009

HAPPY [insert random gift giving holiday you believe in, just not that stupid Seinfeld “holiday”]TO YOU ALL!!!!
… T’was the last home game before Christmas and all through the Rock… Empty Seats were a-smiling, discounted seats went unfilled throughout….(ok I’m done with the bad poetry)….. though the way the Devils just KEEP WINNING now, it almost is kinda poetic… and some days, things just go your way…. well unless your poor cousin of a fake cousin Rob (he does need a better nickname), and you gotta deal with drunk phonies at work, but I guess when your a bouncer… retard customers are more better then an empty bar right? *smack*… can’t keep focus… it’s been too many home games this month… SORRIE!!!!!!!!

the Good:
— Man when luck smiles on you like this game did… the Salvador goal, mb30 with the gift turnover point blank on the empty net and it rolls off the stick… you just KNOW you’re winning in this one….it’s good to be good AND lucky some nights!!
— the 4th line was damn good again tonight…. and with players talking about players coming back soon… these guys need to add something and be useful in the 8-10 minutes they get a night… and they’re doing that… and getting lucky bounces… the POWER OF PELLEY compels the scoresheet… guess no PIST PELLEY for us!
— Brian Rolston is showing signs of jump (this is of course compared to Langenbrunner who I was skating better then in the practice rink after the game)… and another game with a goal…..OMG, you mean NJDevs is gonna need a new kicking toy???
— You know… if you don’t look at the score sheet, you’d almost not realize the massive scoring funk that Zach Parise is in (9 games without a goal)….how many teams in the league can win without their guy being the guy?? (FYI Zach had a great first period and two breakaways… he just needs to keep at it… he’ll be fine)… and speaking of this….12 different Devils had a point tonight… that’s how you get it done!
— Funny side note…. last 6 games lil Nicky been there he’s had to cover his ears for a IT’S POWER PLAY GOAL… FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN… the one game the parents leave him home… no power play goal…. see this is a lesson to all parents… bad language is good for 9 year olds :-)
— *sigh* I should mention mb30’s games played record right?? I know I bag on him and I will hate that mask until it is burnt to a crisp in our next game with the Minnesota Wild (now that’s squeezing a reference in!)…I’m kinda amazed the games played for a goalie is that low, When Gordie Howe has the other record at 1767 (no wonder MB plays so much…he wants that record too :p)…but to play 1031 games, you need to play 70 games a year for 15 years…. so damn that is a lotta hockey… I just wish he’d play 5-10 LESS games a year still…..then he could start chasing that Patrick Roy PLAYOFF record eh???
— and speaking of being taken for granted… I think 2man-nation has taken for granted that I do this after each home game.. y’all got quiet lately… if it wasn’t for this… you’d still have a pre-season preview on the front page kids :p

the Bad:
— Nic Bergfors… actually it’s kinda ironic, as Pierre McGuire was raving about him in the Buffalo/Toronto game (Center Ice replays FTW… speaking of… go you tube the goals Toskala let in this game if you wanna see comedically bad goaltending!)… so anyway, as PIERRE! was talking about Calder Candidates…he mentioned the top 2… 3rd he mentioned Bergfors… and he’s talking about how great he’s been in New Jersey…. go figure at the same time, Jacques cuts and snips his ice time and he was kinda iffy, 9:26 of ice, -1 and no shots on goal in his last two games….but he is a rookie and still what…. second… third in the rookie scoring… it’s all good, Jacques’ ain’t gonna pull a Sutter on this kid!
— Jamie Langenbrunner …. yeah he scored (but that was ALL ANDY :p)…he still sucks at the point (case in point his goal was scored down low).. he still looks kinda slow at times… and after he got called for that late penalty… the CAPTAIN OF THE TEAM CAN NOT HAVE A TEMPER TANTRUM ON ICE and take ANOTHER penalty (he’s lucky Alfredsson bit on it)… that’s NOT leadership and a sulking Captain is NOT an acceptable thing…. I know he’s only keeping the C warm for Parise… but still….gotta lead by example, the two guys before you would not have done that (and honestly Stevens would have killed him with the FIRST HIT :p)
— you know… random side note as I watch “NHL on the Fly”… can the NHL make ONE commerical that is not rip your eyes out annoying??? The Center Ice one makes my eyes bleed and I want to rip my spleen out for the shop.nhl.com one too… yeah really we really need to know that Cindy Crosby jerseys are for sale on nhl.com…. suck it NHL and get a real PR guy!!!

the Funny:
— Scott Mackie: So Arlette does Canadian national anthem in french…nice touch, and it sounded really awesome… however as the song goes on, she then sings “god keep our land” part …idiot down the row to our right then yells “YOU CAN HAVE IT!!!”… I turn and look, because frankly it’s disrespectful and it annoys me… I love our foreign hockey loving countries (and working on one that ain’t :p) so I’m ticked… and then I see the SAME IDIOT IS WEARING A BRODUER JERSEY…. I think I yelled out, “Hey retard you know the GUY ON YOUR JERSEY IS CANADIAN RIGHT”… not to mention I never got shitting on the anthem… when you PAY MONEY to see a hockey game 58% of the damn lead is from CANADIA!!! It just pisses me off :p
— now for those who don’t know Brian… you just sit back and accept the fact that Mister Paolercio eats like a pregnant woman on crack bitching and craving for both… and on occasion he eats gross shit in public (case in point he put WHIPPED CREAM on his pizza at my birthday party… ewww)…. so when I get this text message, shocked not I was…….
Brian Paolercio: I was dipping sour patch kids in mustard when Rolston scored. Let’s see if that helps again in the o-zone.
… all I can say back is one day he’s gonna knock up that fiancee of his and he’s gonna mock her food cravings and I don’t wanna be around to see that
— Jane sat with us tonight… this is a good thing, because when she sits with us and Colin White makes a good play I can tell WHITE POWER on the top of my lungs, cause she does too…. and having a black lady yell WHITE POWER with you… just makes it funny again… so take that and shove it in your perfectly made BEST SANDWICH EVER OLD LADY!!!!
— McAmmond gets called for hooking… lil Nicky looks around and goes….”But he’s not a hooker”…. he’s 9… it’s cute, accept this!!

the ANDY:
(yes we’re trying not to run this puppy into the ground, but JESUS… that pass was so good even Langs had to finish it off… it was damned near Parise-ian!)
— Doug Mecca: Andy Greene could stop a snowstorm if he wanted to
** Steve LaFlamme: Andy Greene isnt scared of the snow!
** Scott Mackie: Andy Greene can skate over snow and slush..with a STICK!!! (if you don’t know the reference go youtube the new PS3 commercials, they’re as amazing as the game system!)
** Steve LaFlamme: Who are you kidding, he touches the snow and it melts for him so he never HAS to skate over it
** Scott Mackie: So in essence andy skates on water ?
** Steve LaFlamme: In the Bible, Jesus turned water into wine. But then Andy Greene turned that wine into beer.
— Steve LaFlamme: Andy Greene and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.
** Chris McCabe: MOHAWK GRENADE MOTHAFUCKAH!!!!!!!!

NJ Devils Month in Review, November 2009

With all the injuries and players coming in and out of the lineup this year, the Devils STILL went 9-3… Good God…think about that…. It’s even crazier when you realize the 3 losses were in a ROW… it was a very good month in New Jersey which is a shame, I write better angry… but it does make the month in reviews come off the keyboard a little faster this way!!!

Forwards:
#9 Zach Parise: A (9g, 7a, +11)
Almost averaged a GOAL a game for the month… that’s sick… he’s going to stomp on last year’s stats and has a legit chance again to break 100 points and re-write the Devils record books offensively… his hockey smarts and presence and knowing where to be is there as much as ever and even more so Lemaire is putting him in a position to win each and every time… and really I can’t say anything bad about him… though I do miss the Parise girls yelling and screaming and making him into a one man Jonas Brothers :p
Grade: A+

#15 Jamie Langenbrunner: C (3g, 11a, +4)
It’s weird with Jamie… his play is eh, he seems slower this year and he looks like he’s losing a step… but yet he’s on pace for his best offensive year ever…. He’s been fortunate to be on the two most productive lines on the team… and I will admit his skill is adding to the success of those lines… but really on his own… he kinda seems not so good… and he does his thing in the skills competitions, but we don’t watch those in the month in review so they are a non-factor in my evaluations….and no matter what you see or think of his play… 14 points in 12 games is above and beyond the expected call of duty for him…. So maybe I’m just seeing it wrong… but hell if it ain’t broke, don’t make em ride the bikes to fix it right???
Grade: A

#19 Travis Zajac (1g, 10a, +8)
Only one goal?? I guess he’s riding Parise’s coattails eh?? That’s not a bad thing though…. Travis does it all on this team… faceoffs, pk, power play… physical….he’s one of the most important players on the team and he is getting a point a night and no longer can Cangelosi get him confused with Shanny… though… BERGFORS…. *sigh… 19 Steve….*…. ZAJAC… SCCCAAAWWRRREEE, is still kinda epic!! I need to make my own funny here cause Travis is like HHH… he’s that damn good!!
Grade: A

#18 Niclas Bergfors (4g, 6a, +2)
Solid… improving… and doing his job in replacing Brian Gionta’s stats… this is a good thing….Lemaire is riding him and pushing him to be better and he’s responding.. funny how that works better then 2:32 of ice time a game isn’t it??? I like what I’m seeing and he too is growing into a legit player… and a better match speed and skill wise for Parise and Zajac for Langenbrunner…and he’s only 22… it’s nice to see our prospects start to prosper!!! And not be delegated to Andrew Peters level of ice time!
Grade: A

#23 David Clarkson (4g, 2a, -2, 19 PIM)
The offense was down this month, but he’s also been bounced all over the place… one time with Parise and Zajac (I like)… one time with Pelley and Halischuk (I not likey as much)….he’s fighting a bit too much for my likes… we need his PRODUCTION and not his FISTS… and he gets a break because he was hurt… but I expect a little bit better then this when we get him back post-olympics (most likely)
Grade: B- (torn between that and C+)

#12 Brian Rolston (6g, 3a, +1, 41 Shots on Goal)
I added the shots on goal stat, just because he has a rep for being mister Rip Em Wide… and his month was spotty, but he seems to have a niche with Elias and it’s starting to pay off for the team and his own statistics, the speed isn’t the same as it used to be but the shot and more important the CONFIDENCE in the shot (14 shots in his last two games) is showing up… and if Rolston can keep hitting the net (and he’s shown he can this year)… good things will happen for him, his linemates and especially the power play on this game… not a GREAT month, but he’s not dragging them down either… hell if he sat in 208 I might even walk over and say HEY to him (or something like that… ok, that’s a joke for Rob… whatever)…. He’s been alright, which for his second stint with the team is almost damn good…
Grade: B-

#26 Patrik Elias: A (3g, 7a, +3, 10 games)
It took him a few games to get his legs (understandable)… and then figure out who ha was going to be playing with (and it’s weird, it’s a grumpy old men line, but it’s WORKING with Langs and Rolston)…and he’s back to a point a game again and really what else can you ask for? Yes you’d like to see more goals… but we’re scoring and we have two top lines again with the Parise and Elias line carrying the mail each and every night while the rest of the team gets healthy and if this keeps up… we might even be more fun to watch and less smoke and mirrors! Welcome back Patrik!!
Grade: A

#8 Dainius Zubrus (0g, 1a, even)
Wow… I know he’s not supposed to score and his main function is to make time and space for people… but holy shit you gotta get more then ONE ASSIST if you’re doing you’re job right and I like Zubbie and all and I hate kicking a guy when he’s down an injured (now there are certain girls I like kicking regardless of position…. But whatever :p)….he’s gotta be better then THIS…. CMON ZUBBIE!!!!
Grade: C- (I hate, hating our mascot!)

#10 Rod Pelley (0g, 1a, -1, 10 PIM, 10 games, 7.5 mins/game)
ROD PELLEY MAD… ROD PELLEY SMASH!!! ROD PELLEY FIGHT!! Rod Pelley get benched for rookie defenseman playing forward…..well whatever pissed him off he had his best game as a Devil (well minus the double high stick moment of awesome of course!)….I threw in the average ice time, because as a spare forward it was kinda telling… the Devils could use a 4th line that eats some minutes and it doesn’t do that when Pelley’s been on it… I need to see more then one good game out of him (this means you too Andrew Peters) to be convinced he’s worth a shit, but I won’t hate him as much as Rob does ever (he just has eyes for Sestito…. We understand… really), Rod’s not been God… or Zod… more like Clod this year with the team… this month… no different…
Grade: D

#16: Matt Halischuk (1g, 1a, even, approx 11 mins/game)
Like Mark Fraser below is also earning more ice time from the coaching staff and is starting to get used to parking himself in front of the net (GOOD THING) and he’s adjusting to the speed of the game at the NHL level … hell he even looks like he BELONGS now on the team and taking regular shifts (again it shows on the ice time and no stat shows more what the staff thinks of you then the minutes you get to play… and thank God Sutter’s not here… he’d get 3 shifts a night and not be allowed to grow up on the ice like he’s been doing)…so I’ll go easy on him, I think the points and the contributions are gonna go nowhere but up and he might even be on the big club all year at this point… something I did not expect a month ago….
Grade: B (mostly for the improvement in play)

#11 Dean McAmmond (0g, 1a, even, approx 15 ½ mins/game)
It’s still weird seeing him wear #11 because he looks and skates like John Madden from way up…. Hell he’s been Madden-esque with his numbers, ice time and effort… which is amazing for a dude who was on the street or TGIFriday’s or something a month ago…he’s been a nice stop-gap type player as we try to get this team healthy and he will likely bump Rod Pelley back to obscurity even more when this team gets healthy (boy that should really get us UBER-MAD ROD PELLEY!!!)….he’s been ok since called into duty… so I’ll give him an OK grade with a small curve based on the speed of getting game ready…
Grade: C+

#17 Ilkka Pikkarainen (0g, 1a, even, 6 games played, 7 mins/game)
Wow, the best thing I can say about him is he’s keeping the tradition of Devils forwards wearing #17 SUCKING BADLY (and yes I mean you too Petr Suckora in there :p)…I don’t see this magic thing he adds to the lineup…. The only thing I think it can be is it keeps Peters OUT of the lineup… that ain’t good enough… HEY…YOU SUCK!!!!
Grade: F

#14 Tim Sestito (0g, 1a, -2, approx 12 mins/game, 9 games played)
SESTITO SANTANNNNNAAAAA!! ARRIBA!!! (hell the nickname alone should get him more playing time!!) He’s been ok too… he shows a bit more jump and offensive hope then Rod Pelley, but that’s like being a bigger scoring threat then Jay Pandolfo, or being smarter then the Blonde Wonder…he’s only 25 and it’s his first year in the system and I’d like to see if he can be a project down the road…. But at least better then Pelley is more gooder enougher to get in the line up now and see what he’s got, this may be a case of “the girl you don’t know looking better then the girl you do know and are sick of her being around” though…. Time will tell, eh?
Grade: C-

#25 Andrew Peters (no points, -4, 16 PIM, approx 6 mins/game, 10 games)
Has had ONE good game all season… that Ottawa game when he looked like Mike Peluso and choked a bitch OUT with that body check… aside of that… he hits marginally, he fights once in a blue moon, he adds no offense and skates like a seven year old boy in his first hockey camp…. And if I want that level of unreliability in my life I can BBM her and ask for that level of ineptitude I don’t need it on the ice!! YOU FAIL SIR!
Grade: F

Defense:
#6: Andy Greene (2g, 7a, +2, approx 28 mins/game)
OH ANDY!!! My has your legend grown… and I mean even beyond our love for you on facebook (and mine to an unhealthy level :p)….but what can you say… Martin and Oduya go down and you turn into Nick Lidstrom! Power play, penalty kill…. End to end… My Andy does it ALL <3…. He’s worth “coming out of the closet” for… and he’s really been the focus of 90% of the fun on 2man all year long!! THANK YOU ANDY!!! The only thing he’s not done is fix the economy and made international visits easier… but I hear he’s working on it during off-days!
Grade: A+

#24 Bryce Salvador (0g, 3a, +4, approx 25 mins/game)
As good as Andy’s been…. Salvador’s contributions have been just as important and he’s been as essential a player as anyone on this team…. Does everything but the power play, and adding a pinch of offense…but I blame that on Andy too!!! I don’t think you could expect or get any more from him then you’re getting… and it’s what this team badly needed now!
Grade: A

#5 Colin White (1g, 2a, +2, approx 20 mins/game)
He’s been what you expect from him… a bit physical (but staying out the box)…. Plays a lot smarter… making big plays…. And just enough offense to keep ya honest, the best thing you can say about a guy like White is you don’t notice him… and Whitey’s been the good kinda invisible… and I say it again… WHITE POWER!!!
Grade: A

#28 Cory Murphy (2g, 1a, -2, approx 9 mins/game, 7 games played)
OK, he’s not the smoldering bag of AIDS we portrayed him as…. But THEY SAT ANDY FOR HIM!! There is a price to pay for that goddamit!!!!! He got better his second time around and the “if Murphy scores a pp goal then Rob has to buy Anna a Murphy jersey” bit was totally golden and may have saved him in our cranky, bitter eyes! Sit not a top 6 D on any real team… least we know we can spot him from time to time and not have to hide in the corner as much anymore and save the bad pp offense for our own Lord Krang…..Still that all aside, I’d not cry if he doesn’t play a game more in the NHL this year
Grade: C

#27 Mike Mottau (1g, 1a, +5, approx 25 mins/game)
Solid, steady… and reliable… in a year of so much scramble and disjoint all around it’s nice to know Mottau’s been fairly reliable and you don’t worry about him in the ice shift after shift… and in a season when the top 4 has morphed into Greene, Salvador, White and Mottau you NEED nig minutes from all of them… he’s certainly held up his end!!
Grade: A

#2 Mark Fraser (no points, +1, approx 13 mins/game)
One good sign for Fraser was that his minutes were going UP by month’s end, which means the coaches felt better and more secure in putting him out there…. He’s still the first guy sent down when this team is at full strength, but he’s been pretty good in his second stint with the team and you don’t want to crawl and hide in the “Murphy” position when he’s been on the ice, I wish the Devils tracked hits on their site, I think he’d have a few… but he’s been not a liability on the ice and that’s really all you can ask from him, a nice solid depth defenseman on a team that needs some extra good bodies this year….
Grade: B-

Incompletes:
#21 Rob Niedermayer (1 game played in November)
#20 Jay Pandolfo (DNP in November)
#7 Paul Martin (DNP in November)
#28 Tyler Eckford (0g, 1a, approx 7 mins/game, 3 games in November)
#29 Johnny Oduya (DNP in November)
#22 Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (1 game in November)
#32 Matthew Corrente (no points, even, approx 10 mins/game, 4 games in November)

Nothing really much to say about these guys, though I think Eckford and Corrente can play in this league and it still sucks that PL^3 is below Peters on the goon chart…..

Goalies:
#30 mb30 (8-3, 18 goals allowed, 94 sv %, 1.63 approx gaa)
WOW… damn.. mid-season form… I’ll admit it… he’s been good… and he’s also mister one goal allowed a game… it’s like that wide receiver who gets tackled at the one all the time almost (then again, I don’t care about the shutout record and I found the minutes played record almost a reward for all the seasons he’s played too many game)… and I’m not gonna go crazy kissing his ass til he does some shit in the playoffs… sorry that’s just me and I won’t let my still displeasure totally blind me (and ok it helps that I made up with the person who’s fail his reminded me of but whatever :p)….all bets are off when income taxes are paid… but till then… he’s been good… I’ll deal :p
Grade: A

#35 Yann Danis (2 games, 1-0, 3.00 gaa, 87.8%)
As always the backup goalie is so hard to judge…. I mean yeah he got pulled in his only second appearance in the month, but those goals were HARDLY his fault (two deflections and a ridiculous bounce that came in front and got stuffed home…. I don’t think anyone was stopping THOSE)…it’s hard an unfair to judge the guy in that little time… but I’ll play Meatloaf here and say two outta three ain’t bad on the season…
Grade: B

Coaching Staff:
What can you say that I didn’t in the intro?? You can point to Lemaire, Stevens, et company… and see the improvements in Bergfors, Zajac, Greene, Salvador, Fraser, Clarkson… even rookies like Eckford, Corrente and Zharkov can step in and not be 3 minutes a game fodder…even the vets like Langenbrunner are thriving in this new system and Jacques even seems to have Rolston and Zubrus on the right track and all this with HALF THE TEAM on injured reserve… what the hell else can be said?? WE WERE WRONG JACQUES AND WE’RE SORRIE!!!!
Grade: A+

Lemaire touts success of 6-on-5 offense

NEWARK, N.J. — Jacques Lemaire’s radical new 6-on-5 approach to offense is paying dividends early and the New Jersey Devils coach says it won’t be long before other teams begin mimicking his strategy, much like the neutral zone trap in the 1990s.

“I’m amazed no one thought of it earlier,” Lemaire said ahead of Monday night’s game with the Philadelphia Flyers. “Six skaters on the ice at a time. It’s so simple and effective. It’s overpowering.”

The Devils will be vying to tie a league record 10th straight road win to start the season Monday and are riding an 8-game winning streak overall, which Lemaire largely attributes to having more players on the ice than his opposition at any given time.

Lemaire acknowledged that there have been some growing pains to playing the unorthodox style of hockey. The Devils have taken a league leading 647 too many men on the ice bench minors just 18 games into the season.

“Yea, the refs, they don’t really know what to do with it. They’ll come around though,” Lemaire said. “That’s what happens with every new idea though. Soon everyone will be doing it. If that happens, I might have to start throwing another goalie out there. Maybe send Arlette out to sing during penalty kills. There’s a lot of options with this.”

Devils leading scorer Zach Parise said it was tough to get used to a new system and a new coach, but believes the players have really bought into the system.

“It was weird at first,” Parise said. “At first, if you were the extra guy, Jacques would have you kind of hang back near the bench and act like you were talking to [Devils backup goaltender Yann] Danis, you know like you didn’t even realize you were on the ice. Then when the refs weren’t looking we’d just act like we’d been there the whole time.”

The Devils will skate without Patrick Elias on Monday, who is still nursing a bottle over the fact that Martin Brodeur didn’t invite him on his private jet to Lou Lamoriello’s Hall of Fame Induction. Additonally, center Travis Zajac will miss at least six months after farting without leaning and tearing both his MCL and ACLs, further compounding the team’s injury woes.

The team also put out a press release Sunday stating that the ban on Patricia Greuter, who has been repeatedly caught attempting to swap Martin Broduer’s MB30 mask for his old one, remains in effect and have asked Devils fans who see her near any games to report her whereabouts immediately.

Editor’s note: On the off chance anyone took this seriously..don’t. It’s fake. Get a sense of humor.

NJ Devils Month in Review October 2009

One month in the books already??? Wow… Where does the time go?? 5 home games to rant about already…. but now I get to talk
about the games they actually won eh?? 8-4 start with no Patrik Elias and a mish-mosh D corps and 4th line… the NHL’s regular
season Juggernaut rolls on!! (I swear the Devils are the NHL’s version of the Indianpolis Colts…)… and the year is young, even if the
writer ain’t!

Forwards:
#9: Zach Parise-A
AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! (sorry you can’t say Parise without screaming like you’re front row in a Jonas Brothers concert), but what
the hell else can you say about him?? He’s consistent… plays every night… he’s over a point a game again and showing last year
was no fluke and we should come to expect elite level stats and results out of him each and every year… and all of this without
Elias around to take some of the scoring burden off of him… and even MORE when the bottom 15 guys on this roster COMBINED
have less points then Zach… that’s frightening… and it just goes to show how GOOD Parise is!
Grade: A+

#19: Travis Zajac
Travis HAS ARRIVED!! This month has been the true breakout and emergence of this kid as not only our top center, but the guy
Lemaire puts you with when he wants to get you going… faceoffs, special teams… offense… defense, the kid just does it all
too!! THIS IS WHY YOU SHOW PATIENCE WITH YOUNG PLAYERS and let them grow up in front of your eyes… when you get the
right guy it’s a special thing when they do grow up!!! He’s on the verge of cracking that plateau from very good to borderline elite
player…. and it’s been fun to watch!!!
Grade: A

#23: David Clarkson
Another guy who’s growing up before our eyes (he still needs a nice nasty scar though dammit)… 9 points and 20 PIMs… it’s a
good balance for him, though I’d rather see more offense and less fights….he’s also been a bit stuck in the shuffle with no real
line to stay on and get comfortable with, but it’s hard to get on him about it… look at the centers on this team (I still want to
see him play more with Rolston because Rolston played his best with him last year… I’ll save that for Rolston)… I like the 6 assists…
it means the toe-drag/wraparound specialist is DEAD and now he’s getting closer and closer to a complete player and his stats this
month were actually Patrik Elias-like.. another good sign for now and beyond… good month kid!!!
Grade: A

#15: Jamie Langenbrunner-C
He’s been decent enough… and certainly not bad enough to bash… (Jesus he’s shot % is 6.4 though…)… I expect more then
2 goals a month from the Captain… and no I don’t give a shit what he does in shootouts, they’re NOT hockey I won’t watch
them, and they don’t even count on the stat sheet!), his shortie against the Flyers was a beauty… but that penalty shot try
was the ugly 9way to go making the same FAIL move twice… in a row too…), he’s not the fastest of starters, but with this team
as thin as it is now… they’re gonna need more from the Captain, though an assist every other game is good production… and I
have more players to bash later then he….
Grade: B- (needs more goals)

#18: Nicklas Bergfors
Not a bad rookie month for the kid (I know he’s been on the team before, but that didn’t count… see Halischuk later on this)…
his two goals were big ones… and the bar isn’t set as high with him as the people he is ranking with among team leaders in
offense, though a 41 point pace is a welcome start (and you’d HAVE to think those numbers will go up when #26 returns)…
he’s shooting lots…. a sign of confidence (he is 3rd on the team in shots) and I have to say I’ve been pleased with his results
so far! (God damn I wish this team had a #2 center)
Grade: B

#21: Rob Niedermayer
I have to admit he’s been a pleasant suprise to me (in a team in my life I don’t get many happy shocks :p)… he’s slick, he’s
crafty he does a ton of little things that you notice and go… hey that was pretty damn smart… unlike his whipped little brother
he stands up to crazy mama Nieds… I can never find that damn faceoff stats… but I don’t think he’s been too good on those…
but he’s been better then advertised (hell again with the #2 center but if we had one he’d be like awesome!)
Grade: B

#8: Danius Zubrus
ZUBBIE!!!!!!!!!! He’s been better this year… he clears out space… he owns the puck… he does they dirty work (hell there’s a
reason he’s been between Parise and Langs this year)…and if you’re going to only score two goals, better make one a game
winner on the Rangers, and the other one won the Boston game too… call it a crap goal if you want… but you still gotta BE
THERE and able to finish the play! One of many guys who’s been vastly better under Lemaire then under Calgary’s cure for
Insomnia! And you actually almost believe this guy’s turned it around and can get it done! Another feel good guy on a team
that should ne nowhere near as good as it’s been!
Grade: B+

#12: Brian Rolston
Oh boy… this been not so good…2 goals.. WHAT?? 2 assists…. WHATTTT!?!?!?!? This was supposed to be the guy who was
gonna take the slack for Elias being out… this was supposed to be the guy who was begging for Lemaire since he thrived under
him…. ok, I’ll give him that he keeps firing over 4 shots a game at the goalie he’s gonna get better results even off rebound
goals (this is why I would like to see him with Clarkson to pick up some trash points)…at least rip ‘em wide Rolston is hitting
the damn net though… but still… the numbers ain’t so good and he HAS to be better (especially with so many younger… and
dare I play the salary cap card of saying CHEAPER…. players coming of age on this team)… it’s only October though, so we’ll try
to be hopeful he gets his shit on right…but it’s NOT there yet…
Grade: D

#20: Jay Pandolfo
Well he’s not been too awful has he? He’s not setting the world on fire…. and is it coincidence that the pk got better when he
went down?? Hard to tell Doesn’t do very much… but he was decent enough with Lil Niedermommy…. eh, he’s just not one of
the kinda guys I think this team needs anymore…. Veteran presence… really?? I don’t know… we really don’t have anything
better that’s NHL ready… that’s a backhanded compliment eh?? I won’t kill him but I ain’t singing his song either….
Grade: C

#10: Rod Pelley
When you average about 10 minutes a night and you’re a -5… that’s not good…. when you’re there for faceoffs and penalty
killing… that’s not good … it’s really sad that the only good thing I can say about him is I am pleasantly shocked that he’s good
for one hit a night! His faceoffs suck… but go figure he has a power play assist (on that Bergfors goal… life is funny)… but this
is the #1 reason we let John Madden go?!?!?! That’s sad…. couldn’t we have just said because he’s old and a douchebag, really??
Rod thou are NOT god sir!!
Grade: D

#25: Andrew Peters
…oh boy… a key member of the “Pretty Poor Players” 4th line… dude can’t skate… he doesn’t hit or fight much, but at least
he’s “only” a -1, we have guys on the 4th line that are much worser… limited ice time… and even more limited results… I don’t
see much of what he brings to the table, aside of keeping Clarkson from having to fight people…..
Grade: D (I have no expectations of him so he’s not even worth failing!)

#16: Matt Halischuk
Not ready for the NHL yet and it kinda showed (he was as lost as Bergfors was last year… but at least Jacques LETS HIM PLAY…
fuck you again Sutter) Didn’t really show much… had one nifty shot that was about it…. we’re gonna go easy on him though
cause he’s a baby and wasn’t ready to play with men yet, and was forced in there dude to the Elias injury….
Grade: INCOMPLETE

#17: Ilkka Pikkarainen
Eight minutes a game and he’s a -4?!?!?!?! OI VEY!!! (no I’m not making fun of Jewish people so DON’T START!!!) I mean I know
he’s new to the NHL and all but for Christ’s sake… YOU’RE TWENTY EIGHT YEARS OLD… IT’S TIME TO GROW UP A LITTLE (oh
boy I need to walk away from the computer and have some coffee after that one :p)…. anyway… I’m still not getting a good
feel on him, seems to be a 28-year old thing :p…. but so far… not so good, and 8 games is enough to start bashing… maybe
it’s time to change your hair color or something…something needs changing….
Grade: D (I could be a real asshole and say DD, but then I’m pushing it :p)

#22: The man called PL^3
Six games…. ZERO fights… but only a -1… not much ice time either… haven’t noticed him hitting as much as I’d like…
Personally I like the kid and want him in the enforcer role… but he’s gotta drop some damn gloves and whip some candy ass!!!
The Cowboys have (Miles) Austin 3:16, so why can’t PL^3 be out there Layeth the Smacketh Downeth?? CMON PL^3!!!!!!!
Grade: D

——————————————-

Defense:
#6: Andy Greene
Talk about a feel good story!! I stuck behind this kid and believed in him more then Johnny Oduya (remember that fight two-man
folk??)… though three points is a sorry stat to be leading the Devils in defensive scoring… the kid is a winning machine and each
time they ask him to step up he’s ANSWERED the call this month!!!! And now the Greene MACHINE is getting 20 minutes of ice a
night (due to injuries)… but man if he keeps this up, the Devils defense gets a LOT better… and we never lose on the road :p
Grade: A+++++ (he’s my boy now, deal with it!!)

#24: Bryce Salvador
Heh, he has 3 assists too…. I did not realize that!! But Bryce also has been pretty good this year! Veteran player with a defined
role under Lemaire, seems to have had a resurgence that looked lost under Coach Grumpy (yes I have many names for Mister
Sutter)… sticks up for his teammates… fights, makes plays amd is going to be a MUCH more important player then expected a
month ago with the injuries on the D… VERY good first month!
Grade: A

#7: Paul Martin-A
Has stepped up his offensive game… was all over the ice before his injury and he’s one of the most irreplaceable guys on the
team (even though it’s not showing in the wins and losses do NOT underestimate how important #7, and his 24 minutes of ice
time is to this team)… I do think the offense is going to come with the way he was playing…it’s just a matter of time… and
him getting back on the ice in the next 3-5 weeks
Grade: A

#2: Mark Fraser
One thing I always try to teach newer Devil fans or people I am getting into hockey….”the forward
who wears #17 sucks (yes I include Suckora in that list)… and the defender who wears #2 is bad (and
good Lord that goes all the way back to Slava Fetsiov), but Fraser’s been pretty decent (playing with
the MIGHTY Andy Greene helps)… and he’s been limited in his minutes which has been wise too… let
him get his feet wet… when he first broke into this team like 3-4 years ago, I liked his hitting game…
he’s not doing that, but he’s got a little offense and he’s not been Cory Murphy-bad either… I’ll call that
a semi-win from the kid….I also believe in this coaching staff to be patient and smart enough to let this
kid grown and not let him get Petr Vrana’ed
Grade: C+

#5: Colin White
He’s been solid… not taking penalties, killing penalties… and he’s a hard guy to really rate because
he’s best when you forget he’s there… and he’s been forgettable (and that is praise), and since less
is more is his game… I’m gonna say more by saying less about him! Good job so far!
Grade: B+

#29: Johnny Oduya
How in the blue hell does he NOT have a point yet?? Geesh… that’s not good… needless to say he’s
kinda struggled mighty this year….the -5 kinda reflects on that too… he’s hurt now, but we’ll see
what happens when he comes back… in a way the time off might be a blessing… let him get his head
back… just is that the timing is kinda bad on it since his offense (when he starts having some) is gonna
be needed more then ever!
Grade: F (yeah he’s been that bad)

#28: Cory Murphy
Was flat out AWFUL in his first three games and was directly responsible for two losses…. oddly
enough some time off and Andy Greene made him better in his fourth game… he’s gonna need to
add some offensive numbers (I do seem to harp on that but when Zach Parise has more points then
THE ENTIRE DEFENSE… it’s a problem!) to be worth it to this team…. and yeah he had 3 BAD
games… but it’s only a 4 game body of work… we’re watching you and we’re not happy…. but you
get a pass this month… and maybe this month alone…
Grade: INCOMPLETE (and yes some of my hate was an Andy Greene denial!)

#27: Mike Mottau
Has made a lot of good, smart and aware plays this season…. still doesn’t have the wheels… but he
has the smarts and with Scott Stevens preaching position and timing … he’s been better this year….
still would like even an accidental assist or two from him… but he’s been decent enough and he’s not
hurting the team, with the D as depleted as it is… that’s a good thing to have there… a nice solid
player who can chomp down some minutes!
Grade: B+

——————————————-

Goalies:
#30: mb30
Oh boy… this is a tough one… six BAD games… three good games and two okay games…. that’s
not gonna cut it for the guy who’s supposed to be the constant (and hell shouldn’t you be driven by
some other irrelevant regular season stat again?)…I guess we can call it a slow start, you can’t peg it
on injuries since he was better when players started dropping like flies….maybe it’s just a slow start…
but hey I don’t make excuses I just blast em for not performing :p… it always causes a shit-storm…
but what the hell he’s not been good….15th in save %, 7th in GAA, it ain’t awe-inspiring either….
Grade: C

#35: Jan Dennis
I loved his effort in his one game… it’s not easy to come off the bench cold once a month and do
what he did! He didn’t have to lunge or make OH SHIT plays… the team got comfortable with him in
net FAST… and he didn’t make any mistakes!! This guy could be a find and might be the first guy this
team turns too when the big guy with the ego goes to future endeavors and beyond…. and you know
me… I love the backup goalie ’cause we NEVER see enough of them!!!
Grade: A

——————————————-

Coaching Staff:
I’ve been sitting on this all month because I was saving it for here…. tripe sideways drop passes at
the blue line?? Paul Martin behind the other team’s net making plays?? mb30 out and playing the puck
again??? (I had thought under Sutter it was just our goalie was getting old and wanted to conserve
energy… but now he’s out and playing “closet defenseman” yet again…. guess it tells much about
the second most famous quitter in my life in the last year)…. the results speak for themselves… and
look at the improvement in Travis Zajac, Andy Greene, and even our beloved Zubbie man!!! I was
against this for I thought we’d be in trap-central, but I NEVER doubted the man’s hockey mind and
KNOWING of the game… and that’s proven to be a VERY good thing for the Devils… hats off to ya
Jacques.. you’ve been 5 stars this year!!! 24th on the power play (7/46, 15.2%) and 11th on the pk
(35/43, 81.4%-though this is improved)… these need to get better
Grade: A+

Front Office:
… well they raised my ticket prices… I frown on this :p….let’s see…. I don’t mind Madden and Gio
being gone… Bergfors is coming along… Robbie Niedermommy’s been a FIND I must say… Pika-chu’s
been eh, Andrew Peters sucks, and the next generation of kids ain’t ready yet… I kinda wish Lou could
have gotten one more stop-gap player for a season or two to keep the NHL spots warm while the kids
season and develop…..
Grade: C-

Well okay… back into that writing again… more bad language and Thoughts from 209 to ensue on Wednesday!!!!

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

NJ Devils 2008-2009 Season in Review!

Damn… it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these eh?? Last time I did this, Scott Clemmensen was still playing Shane Falco… the team was still up and coming… and damn… it was a while ago… but now with the regular season FINALLY over, time to take a look back at the wildest and more fun-est season EVER that I can remember as a fan of pro sports!!

Forwards:
#9 (LW) Zach Parise:
AAAAAAAHHHHH… PARISSSEEEE!!! Something about this kid makes you jump up and down like a little girl, ya know?? I mean we had all these records come and go this year and this kid’s season came OUT OF NOWHERE… and it was the second most fun thing about this year….3rd best season offensively ever (in goals and points) and emerged as the most dangerous offensive player on the team… slowed down a bit in the end when Elias was out and teams can really key on him… but his hockey smarts and timing are still there and he knows where and WHEN to be at the right place and that’s not going away!!
Grade: A

#26 (LW) Patrik Elias-A
78 points in 77 games… hey that’s pretty good… and like I said above when he wasn’t there, the Parise line really suffered… broke the all-time points record, broke 30 goals again, and seemed to elevate Gionta and Zubrus’ games at times too…not as dangerous as he used to be but he’s a helluva good second threat (and him and Parise are scary on the power play and 4 on 4 situations)
Grade: A-

#14 (RW) Brian Gionta:
20 goals, a bit disappointing, but I’ll take 40 assists though (means someone was scoring them… enough of them were Elias and even the king of the Zubbie-counter)… didn’t get to the front of the net as much as you’d like, doesn’t set up the play much… but still finds a way to contribute… ugh… god he’s a pain in the ass to figure out… he did well but not as expected… agh, I’m psycho-babbling, 5th on the team in scoring and a +12, you’d have signed on for that in September… so I’ll say he did ok!
Grade: B

#19 (Center) Travis Zajac:
One of many career highs on this team, and a HUGE sign on the upside on the future of this team…4th in the NHL in +/-…2nd on the team in faceoffs… and oh yeah.. one hellva year in offense (4th on the team with 62 points, and one of the 5-20 goal scorers on the team)… the third year truly was the charm for this center! The best part is he can really improve and get BETTER (playing with Parise helps too)
Grade: B+

#11 (Center) John Madden-A
7 goals?? -7 ?? Eeeekkkk… not the best way to go into a contract year (though if he goes BONZO GONZO in the playoffs it all goes out the window)… still decent on faceoffs and not brutally terrible on the penalty kill, but not dominant… has a 4th line role on this team, but at WAY less money… really needs to erase a miserable season with a good playoff… IF he has it in him…
Grade: C-

#8 (LW) Danius Zubrus:
Eh… he does the little things, but you’d like some more of the big things if he’s gonna play on the 2nd line with Elias and all… 15 goals is nice…25 helpers is OKAY, but it’s not great… hell it’s not even second line worthy, but it’s the best place for him and in it’s own kinda way… it sorta works… take out the fact that 4 of those goals were in one game and it’s pretty shitty actually (more so that it was Tampa)… again a lot can be forgotten in the playoffs… but until then it’s been kinda a bit less then average… that makes this grade easy…
Grade: C

#15 (RW) Jamie Langenbrunner-C
Horrible first month… but since then became the standard of consistent and reliable (probably should have sat some games to heal up)… but when he got on track he was DAMN good… another guy with career highs, handled the C just fine and did everything you asked of him and sometimes too much!
Grade: A

#23 (RW) David Clarkson:
He’s been getting more steady and reliable game in and game out… he’s cutting out the fancy shit (thank god) and sticking to a straight-nose kick ass, take names and get his face in the shit like he SHOULD be doing!! He still fights, and pretty well… so good job Clarkie!! Gives Power Forward a pat on the head… and hell… a cupcake!!!
Grade: A

#20 (LW) Jay Pandolfo:
5 goals… 5 assists and a -12?? That’s just not gonna cut it… the mistake contract from excessive loyalty for years of service…. Sometimes that’s just not a good idea… this was one of those cases…. He gets a lucky goal filling in with Elias and him Madden and Shanny look tolerable for one game and it’s a Pando-love-fest?? I don’t get it….really he can’t be in the long term plans of this team and this year was BRUTAL… unlike Madden I can’t see a step up playoff run in him
Grade: F

#18 (RW): Brendan Shanahan:
14 points in 34 games is a tolerable amount for him, though he seriously gets too much ice time (killing penalties at his age and lack of speed… not good), he’s still got the smarts, and the savvy… but the speed is long long gone and 15 minutes a game is WAY too much!
Grade: C

#17 (LW/C) Mike Rupp:
He’s been better at what he is… he’s not useless on the ice and he DID put up nine points and even 3 goals, his fighting is better, the boxing lessons did help his overall althelticism, and he’s not painfully retarded to watch stumble on the ice… for the enforcer-type… he’s decent enough (hell after last year this is a GLOWING review!)
Grade: C+

#25 (LW) The man simply known as PL^3 (cause I hate typing his name!)
Eh, he is what is he is…. He can skate, and maul people… he fights and has very little else…hell I don’t know if we saw enough of him to rate him fully…
Grade: Incomplete

#12 (LW/C) Brian Rolston:
Tough guy to rate this year because half his season is a wash-out from the ankle injury (and yes it takes THAT long to come back from the high ankle sprain)… and if you look at his stats 15/17 and a +2 is a decent enough half-season.. not really suited to be a center anymore (and personally I think he’s been best with Madden and Clarkson)… and free agents always suck the first year you get them (look at the improvement in Zubrus in year 2)….. so you almost want to throw away the first season sometimes….
Grade: C+ (another guy who can make up for a lot in the playoffs)

#16 (Center) Bobby Holik:
Eck… a minor penalty… a smarky post-game comment and a goal or two by accident (holy shit he had FOUR goals??)… really high faceoff % aside… he’s kinda sucked this year… the snarl leads to dumb penalties and at his age no way in hell is he gonna learn!
I didn’t expect a LOT… ok I expected 10 goals which WAS a lot after all :p… the best thing you can about ol’NoGoalik… at least the coach had the sense to bench him by season’s end!
Grade: D-

Defense:
#7 Paul Martin:
Emerged as a borderline elite defenseman this season.. hell the only thing keeping him from all-star level is the fact his offense is a step behind where it needs be (33 points is about 10-12 points away from being what a true top-tier defenseman puts up)…. Makes his defensive partner better regardless of who (I still hate him and Oduya as a tandem, wastes all our speed defenders at once)… but you’d have to look hard and far to say bad things about #7 this year!
Grade: A

#27 Mike Mottau:
Slow, but steady (seems to be the way with this team ain’t it?)… plays well with White… but good god that’s two cinder blocks on ice.. least Mottau’s skating is a bit better then last year (and so is White), 15 points is a solid contribution and the +24 is a function of playing with White and the team’s mojo this year… but I can’t blame success on him now can I?
Grade: B

#5 Colin White:
Best year of his career as a Devil, offensively… the team’s record sucked with out him, the penalties are cut down… so are the fights.. but you don’t bring a one-eyed guy to an ass-kicking contest, right?? Colin is everything you can expect and hope for him to be for a minute eating-defender… I just wish he had a partner with superior wheels….
Grade: A

#29 Johnny Oduya:
His offense picked up nicely when he got paired with Martin (they let the reigns off of him at that point and the goal scoring picked up nicely… including some game-winning gems) and he really grew into a nice steady solid top 4 defenseman now, a true find off the old scrap pile after all.
Grade: A-

#24 Bryce Salvador:
Good start… not-so-good finish (didn’t exactly click with Havelid after all)… a lot of what I am about to say about Havelid, it just didn’t work with the two of them (I’d love to see him and Oduya still, and maybe Havelid with Mottau perhaps)… nothing really much to say about him… he’s a good hockey player and he does “hockey player” things ya know? I’ll even out a B start and a D finish….
Grade: C

#28 Niclas Havelid:
4 assists and -2 as a Devil…. More evidence on him NOT clicking with Salvador (but yet as much as I love our coach… damn he is stubborn on not fixing the blazing holes in the defensive pairings)… I don’t think it’s his fault… he plays ok enough… he doesn’t suck out there… he just doesn’t click with his partner, and the coaches don’t want to mess with the rest of the D-pairings.. better or worse….
Grade: C-

#28 (version 2) Jay Leach:
Decent enough depth defenseman… unless he’s filling in for White or Martin.. scraps a little… doesn’t add offense… but he’s not gonna be expected to be… he’s alright enough in his role… I can’t bash this guy
Grade: C

#6 Andy Greene:
Heh… one of the most complained about Devils on the internets! I think the kid has the goods but it takes time for defensemen to grown and mature… he’s coming along good enough… started the season with a bit of offensive tear, but not so much after that… also got a bit lost in the shuffle when he came back … he’s not as awful as he’s made out to be *cough cough-NJ Devs-cough cough*
Grade: C+

Goaltending:
#35 Scott Clemmensen:
The sole reason behind the best feel-good story I ever followed in a sports team! No it wasn’t pretty…hell I admit it was downright scary at times!.. but 25-13-1, 2.39 gaa kinda speaks for itself doesn’t it? One career saved… and not only a regular season trivia question made…. But hell a new quasi-legend is born! Hell NO ONE saw this coming this year either (like I mentioned with Parise’s insane season)… long live the Devils version of Shane Falco!!!
Grade: A

#1 Kevin Weekes:
The definition of TEAM player… classic guy who sits and takes the shit that was dished on him without a WORD of complaint and a smile always on his face… got thrown into MANY no-win and under the bus situations this season… and no he didn’t come up big and make miracles out of them… but he did his damndest with them… and then even the hockey Gods shit on him and he takes a shot to the knee… I weep for the WEEKES!!!!
But like I said… he gets this grade on outlook on life at least!
Grade: A

#30 Martin Brodeur:
Seemingly allergic to the Rangers now.. Sean Avery or not…was good before the injury… and came back ON FIRE until the record that I care not about was passed (I mean it was nice to be there and all… but it’s still a regular season thing)… eh, I’m so farooqing torn on mb30 this year, and I guess he hit the wall on his post-injury comeback, so I guess I’ll go easy on him….
Grade: B +

Coaching:
They win… that’s a plus… the forward lines (least the top ones) stayed the same… some of the defense pairings are still a mess… and the special teams are special Ed more then anything… but hey the defense was 4th in the NHL, and 5- 20 goal scorers… it’s not a terrible job… and Sutter IS learning in his time in the NHL… definitely seems like a keeper….
Grade: B

Front Office:
I liked the Havelid deal… but it doesn’t seem to be working out… I liked the off-season signings… but it seems like mixed results at best… it’s so hard to tell with this team because teams that Lou builds are built for NOW and beyond… the draft picks and young players have been pretty good (Zajac, Parise, etc.) and the home-grown guys are good enough… but again … it all begins NOW
Grade: INCOMPLETE