….picked a helluva night to be playing hockey eh???

…. so as I was out re-proving myself to a bunch of hockey loving fools in Morristown…. I get the news of a little trade….

ANSSI SALMELA IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

… errrr…. yeah…. right!!!

Well I played good in goal at least 🙂

(I know I know, I’m just putting it off now)

and by now you ALL know the details anyway, so now the Devils have the most dynamic Russian born right handed shot winger this side of Ovechkin in the league… THIS IS GOOD….though to remind some people of the crap I heard today before hand…

“Lou never makes this kinda trade….”
You guys forget Doug Gilmour?? Maybe that Moginly guy rings a bell…. maybe trading for Richer and Lemieux don’t count either anymore?? The reason the Devils ain’t made this kinda trade in like…. a decade… they DIDN’T HAVE THE PROSPECTS TO DEAL (Even giving them Oduya, and in the NHL Bergfors… looks like that Parise/Bergie sandwich my friend was hoping on is gonna have to wait now…)… the cup board needed to be refilled before Lou could cook up a deal… pretty simple….

“what about him walking at the end of the year??”
Kovalchuk (and damn me I gotta add his name to the spell check now) said he wants to WIN… so lets let him do some WINNING here, and I am talking a serious playoff run … and maybe those contract demands shrink (or he signs a one-year cheapie deal like Hossa did in the Detroit to try at it again)

“wow… we’re kinda good now… again… huh??”
Umm… yeah!!! When you can roll out a top 6 of:
Parise-Zajac-Langs
Elias-Zubrus-Kovy
and have Rolston and Clarkson on the 3rd line…. yeah that’s damn good…. and buckle in… looks like we may be riding his horse through May this year (for once)…. it’s gonna be fun tomorrow night ain’t it???

Thoughts From Section 209…. Devils/Flyers, a home opener we shoulda left closed!

OMG!!!
OMG!!!
OMG!!!
I AM SO FREAKING OUT I WILL ACTUALLY SAY OH MY GOD!!!!
WE LOST THE HOME OPENER TO THE FLYERS… OH NO… babies are burning… dogs are getting humped by cats… the Cubs will win a World Series!!!!!!!

CALM THE FUCK DOWN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!
It was ONE GAME… and it’s gonna hurt people to hear this (but hey that is what I do, right?)… the Flyers are a BETTER team then we are… the Penguins… are a better team then we are (least right now)

Tonight’s Lines:
Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner
Rolston-Zubrus-Bergfors
Pandolfo (lord knows why…)-NiederMOMMY-Clarkson
Peters-Pelley-Halischuk

Oduya-Martin
White-Mottau
Salvador-Murphy

The Good:
— Well hats off to Bill for organizing that pre-game Bar Crawl all over Ironbound…. stir-fried abortion pizza aside, it was a hundred stars and we all had a FANTASTIC TIME… well till we hit the Arena Bar and we all scattered… that die hard U of Michigan fan doing the play by play on the MSU game on the phone was truly one of the funniest things I ever saw (well aside of me turning THAT pizza box into a Hell In A Cell Type foreign object… Gina took more head shots from it then Pacino did in Scarface :p)
— Rolston on the power play to avenge that horrific 5 on 3 in the first period…. and Langenbrunner on the short handed goal…. shame I didn’t feel like celebrating the goals cause they felt wasted and I’d rather save that for Monday now….
— Good loud and READY crowd… shame they got NOTHING to cheer for… grrrrr
— 2 points for the Zubbie monster!! Since he is like the 2ma mascot… gotta cheer for that… also Nick Bergfors getting an assist was nice….

The Bad:
— Well.. the game… the GOALTENDING for damn sure… like I said… there are teams WAY better then us now… so that means YOU
… mister REPUTATION GOALIE… GET OFF YOUR ASS AND ELEVATE TO BE THAT BEST GOALIE IN THE WORLD YOU DELUDE YOURSELF INTO THINKING YOU ARE… instead we get a vinatge Nabakov impressinon and MB30 shits the bed so much that HHH is gonna smell the leftovers during the main event tomorrow night!!!
— Oduya/Martin and White/Mottau?? How many coaches are going to fail with this top 4?? I love ya Jacques and you are wise… this is NOT the way my friend…..
— So we fire Cameron the shirt tossing fuckface… and can’t find ANYONE ELSE to embarrass themselves in our arena?? So we bring the walking pile of AIDS BACK? Least now it fit the goaltending effort :p
— that 5 on 3 for two minutes in the first period was one of the harshest most painful moments of GAME OVER hockey I ever sat through in October…. I’ve seen worse in April…..
— Ryan Murphy… you are NOT Andy Greene sir.. give him his spot back!!!!
— Speaking of minuses … Johnny Oduya a -3? oi to the VEY indeed…..

the Funny:
— Well besides the bar crawl of course :).. anyone who’s been following my football commentary… I’ve been using this analogy to describe how I feel as a Cowboys fan seeing Terrell Owens being the Buffalo Bills’ problem this year:
“It’s like you walk down the street… you see someone… aw shit it’s your ex… she gets closer and the closer she gets the more you realize she put on like 50 ponds… and the more you see it.. the better you feel”….well lo and behold … I did walk past an ex coming down the escalator… and well fuck my life… SHE PUT ON LIKE 50 POUNDS…I have to admit I did chuckle!!!
— BREAKING NEWS, an usher to be unnamed has revealed to me that a certain mister steve cangeolsi has certain issues and does not like to be informed or reminded of his lack of height..yes people, cang has a napolean complex!!!!!!! I am set for life!!! (and anyone who knows me … and why, I’m gonna beat this horse into the tiny little ground the dude stands on!!!)
— damn I almost forgot this… and I am glad I facebook shit to keep it in mind… seeing Jamie get ID-ed in bar number three…. FOR A COKE… that was funny but sad all in one as well
— Lil Nicky, you are STILL a star… and that under the radar “cuckoo” message… hundred stars and the lil fella did get it all right again!

Alright I think I put enough into this tonight… and it’s Hell in a Cell tomorrow… and then Hell with Ranger fans… maybe the shit stink will be GONE by then…….

Thoughts from Section 209…. Devils… Islanders…. last practice game!!

Hey… ARE WE ALIVE OUT THERE??? YES WE ARE!!!!!

Thank God…. I wasn’t ready for hockey when I saw the pre-season games on the schedule (my body clock wasn’t ready to admit October was here and I like enjoying my first few weeks of football too ya know)…. but 3 practice games in… I’m kinda ready to go here…. Gotta warn ya Devil Fans…this year’s gonna be a little different… when you look and you watch the players on this team… yeah the wingers are pretty good…. but the centers (asides of the Zajac’s)… are pretty NOT SO GOOD…. and the answer was Robbie Niedermommy??? Oiiiiii, this team is gonna work hard and press and attack and get chances… but the finish may be fini on this team… basically it’s gonna come down to IF the Parise line is hopping, the Devils will be fine (least till Elias gets back)… so little disclaimer on this season aside… let’s get to the game last night!!

the lines:
Parise-Zajac-Langs, Rolston-Niedermommy-Clarkson
Shanny-Zubrus-Bergfros, Peters-Pelley-PL^3
— the first line is a given and did have two goals, the second line did get the pp goal, but again this was about #21 getting his game legs, the 3rd line didn’t click very good, but they showed you a flash on the 4th goal (I kinda like Zubie better with Rolston and Clarkson)… the 4th line…Pelley is Pelley… Peters kinda sucks… but hot damn PL^3 hit EVERYTHING in sight and there was 2-3 shift he was just a HUMAN WRECKING BALL OUT THERE…. if he brings that energy and contact, he’s gotta play more!!!

Martin-Oduya, White-Mottau, Salvador-Murphy (*argh*, I really hate our D like this)
— Martin had a few oopsies… but as a whole the D played pretty good

MB30 (cause you know he’s GOTTA play all the practice games too)
— his performance is irrelevant to me until the season is on the line :p

the Good:
— 4 goals!!! The Parise goal was some awesome garbage sniffing, after Langs got ROBBED on a beauty one time feed via Zajac….by the time you went SHIT he got ROBBED…. you had to yell SCWAR!!!
Rolston scored on a weird slow curveball knuckler on the power play as he cut into the slot…..Zajac again from ten feet away as Parise lobbed the pass in front NHL 09-style… and Bergfors fed Shanny on a beauty pass that Shanny peppered the one timer that might have damaged the net!!!
— FIGHTS!!!!!!! The main reason you go to pre-season games is you KNOW one of the games is gonna be the dry run for the fighters… and this game delivered… 5 fights, 3 WWE theme songs (gotta get you ready for HELL…. IN A CELL… on Sunday, yes we will be there… no there will not be a thoughts from Section 107 :p)
— this game was a lot more fun and enjoyable to watch once they kicked it into gear in the second period… I’ll be the first to admit the Flyer game was a snore…. this game gave you more hope that this is a playoff team (and I never doubted that)
— I do love that now after each win the ushers high five you and yell YEAH DEVILS… as opposed to the dump in the Swamp that they’re just like ok… game over get the fuck out of the building :p

the Bad:
— Holy shit they took a LOT of penalties… it’s almost like they were busy looking for expert NFL picks with a Sportsbook. And both goals allowed were on the power play….and one was on a 5 on 3 when Robbie Need-that-mommy took a BRUTAL trip (I think)….seconds after a lazy Bergfors holding penalty…..I should cut Robbie some slack, six days ago he was sending resumes to UPS and McFood places everywhere… so he does need to get into game shape…..
— Ah Rod Pelley… I know it’s not his game… and if he gets 10 points (more so with the fist heavy wingers he has)…..it’s going to be a good season for him… but when the islanders cough it up and you get a clean run and look at Roloson and all you can do is unload the Logo-Buster slapper…. all you can do is groan and think of some of your hockey playing friends who do the same 🙂

the Funny:
— the first thing I said during warmups…HOLY SHIT Robbie looks like Scott Niedermommy, kinda skates like him too… without that pesky speed thing…. but he’s a boy down the middle which is BADLY needed
— Islander player turns to fight peters….drops his stick and gloves and is all ready to…..he just forgot to tell peters who already stumbled away! (comment from facebook friend listening to game on the radio…. see if you comment on my FB status and it amuses me I might add ya :p) lol Sherry Ross said it was originally Pelley whom Reckless challenged, and then she said Reckless was half naked because he dropped his gloves/stick…. my comeback….Scott Mackie…. Ah its just been a hundred years since ol’sherry saw a penis :p… FYI… 90 seconds later the fight happened and I wish it had been one of those drunken evenings that you may have been lucky enough to forger and NOT text the other person to find out what you didn’t wanna know……
— One extra great thing about an empty pre-season arena is you get to hear GEMS like Murphy YELLING at the ref… FUCK YOU THAT’S NOT ICING… from all the way up in the cheapest of seats!!!

Well that’s a wrap!! I’m ready to go, the team seems ready to go… CMON BAR CRAWL!!! See ya’s Saturday (and don’t expect my thoughts from till I wake up on Sunday… Saturday’s gonna be a mess!!!!)

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

Thoughts from Section 209….Devils/Wild 3/20/2009

One mere section over from Section Two-Oh-Ten (hey I said it I’ll take my shit for it :p)… well at least for now… there’s gonna be some bitching about THAT in a minute… and it just seemed like just another night in the office for the Devils… and an impromptu 2ma reunion in the section too!!!!!

the Good:
— after a first period that was coma-like… Jesus was mb30 in a ZONE last night… willing that game to shutout 101, well once Lemaire gave up and started playing offense
— the penalty killing… yeah the refs got a little too into the “College Basketball chant” coming from 209 and kept calling penalties to see how long they could keep it going… but a 7 for 7.. what can you ask for!!
— It’s amazing how now a bad game for Parise is “only 2 assists” and the record watch is now at 7 goals and 9 points with 11 games to play (not to mention 13 points from a 100-point season… and NO ONE saw this coming this year!)
— then again this team’s offense as a whole is stupid good this year… Parise over 40… Elias at 30 goals
.. Langenbrunner and Zajac over 20 and Gionta, Zubrus and Clarkson close to the 20 mark (not like all of them will get it… but hell, anything is possible with this team… well except reasonable prices up high :p)
— and speaking of… Paul Martin’s diving keep and then shot to the net which lead to Elias breaking the 30-goal mark… as gorgeous a goal as you’ll see with your own eyes!!

the Bad:
— Well my mood was set well before I got to the game tonight, I saw it on NJDevs this morning… and I got the thing in the mail to make it WORSE… now come this time of year when you get a package from the Devils I was like.. ohhh… playoff tix are here… oh no no no NO…. what did I get in the mail you ask??

“Please note your invoice reflects the new pricing for the 2009-10 season….If you PAY IN FULL by April 17th, you will receive your 2008-09 season ticket price of $22 per game, pay in FULL by April 17, or three monthly installments in April, May and June” (yeah you know when the second PLAYOFF invoice kicks in)

yes they give you a bunch of shit like a BBQ and a meet and greet… but you know what I’ll take NONE of that and keep my fucking prices!!!

(and oh yeah, your parking got jacked $3.50 a game too)… more of this to come after a VERY angry phone call on Monday to the Devils front office!!
…. and in case ya cared… my options if they continue this donkey-fuck…
1. move to 208…. 2. I’ll be taking road trips and fuck that arena ever sees my money again!
— Also… by the Way… the Wild fucking SUCK too… thank God I was pissed off and ranting… that first period was TERRIBLE!!!

the Funny:
— Well trying to tell poor Jamie on the phone I was on the 208/209 side of the section with people wondering why she needed a phone to hear me at that point (when I get loud and people don’t hear me I get confused… I ain’t used to it)… and of course the 5-time slip of saying I’m not on the 2-oh-10 side… ah well… it was amusing!
— AS we all know we have some fine young draft picks up and coming in section 208/209 (well if THEY don’t get priced out of the fucking building!)… we have the biggest star of the lot in Little Nicky… and the ever-famous Beer Plinko Kid
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCIupHdUuVM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erSN2IogQjs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNwRqPH4-s4 … for reference!) …. Beer plinko kid’s dad buys his boys’ ice cream (I could spend days ranting on the price for a family of 4 in the building)… he goes to his kids and goes “Hey you guys better enjoy this… you ain’t getting nothing else here tonight”…. so I turn and go “Better eat it slow guys”…. lil Nicky picking up his game in superstar mode turns and starts chanting “EAT IT SLOW … EAT IT SLOW …. EAT IT SLOW!!” If I ever fool a woman into being crazy enough to let me have a kid with her… I want a lil Nicky dammit!!!!! (not to mention the same 6-year old giving grief to the guy who couldn’t change his own tire on this car!)

–I might have more later… I’m still pissed that in the middle of a magic amazing season like this I get donkey-punched and blindside like that… and anyone who knows anything about me… when I get attacked in my crease… someone gets fucked up!!!!

Devils @ Canadians LIVECAP!

9:45 PM: I’m going to call it a night, boys and girls.  A great evening all around.  Thanks for checking us out tonight, goodnight!

9:43 PM: Patrik Elias with a goal and an assist ties John MacLean for the career lead in points as a Devil.  Jamie Langenbrunner ties his career high for goals in a season.  Brian Rolston earns his 300th career goal.  Martin Brodeur notches career win #551.  What.  A.  Night.

9:41 PM: Three stars – Elias, Patrice Briesbois (who played in his 1,000th career game tonight and skated over to congratulate Brodeur while out as the second star), and, of course, Marty.

9:40 PM: The Canadians fans are standing for Marty – they went from booing their team to cheering Marty as the clock ran out.  Beautiful.  Beautiful.

9:39 PM: GAME!  Martin Brodeur has tied Patrick Roy for the all-time wins record!

9:37 PM: Last minute of the game…if you live in New Jersey and don’t have them yet, I’d advise picking up your tickets to the game on Tuesday night right about now while there’s still some good deals out there!

9:36 PM: Two minutes…Halak still in net for the Canadians.  Devils aren’t even giving them a chance to pull him if they wanted to.

9:35 PM: FORTY-FIVE shots on goal for the Devils so far tonight, versus 22 for the Habs.

9:34 PM: Fans are booing the Canadians now…so much for the possibility of their cheering Marty, at least so far.  To be fair, the Canadians have looked really bad for the last ten minutes or so.  Three minutes left.

9:33 PM: Four minutes to go…

9:28 PM: Bobby Holik doing what Bobby Holiks do best – no, not taking bad penalties, but getting physical with the goaltender.  Which, I guess could constitute a penalty, but not in this case.

9:25 PM: CAPTAINBRUNNER!  Beautiful wrist shot after backing away from the slot and it’s 3-1 Devils.  Langenbrunner ties his career high for goals, and all but one of the big milestones I mentioned at the beginning of this LiveCap have come to fruition, and the fourth one is about six minutes from being a reality as well.

9:24 PM: BIG HIT by Mike Rupp!  Pacioretty, with his head down, is knocked loopy by Rupp between the circles.

9:23 PM: I’d really, really like this game to be over.  My tummy hurts.

9:20 PM: Ten to go in the period.  It’s been kinda slow since the first, eh?

9:17 PM: Clarkaround!  Of course it doesn’t go, and a quick whistle puts an end to any rebound chance.

9:12 PM: DAMN!  Two-on-one for Zajac/Parise but a beautiful defensive play by Briesbois puts an end to that before Zajac can shoot or pass.  Nice play by Patrice.

9:11 PM: 34 shots on goal for the Devils so far, and it’s still only 2-1.  Halak’s been pretty damn good.  Dammit.

9:08 PM: Man oh man, if Marty does tie the record tonight, he will have definitely earned it.  Good couple of chances for Les Habs on the power play, all stood up by Senor Brodeur.

9:07 PM: One minute down in the Canadians PP.

9:04 PM: Ooooo, more chippy-ness following a Bryce Salvador over-the-glass delay of game penalty.  Nothing more comes of it and Salvador is the only one to sit in the box.  Canadians to a PP.

9:01 PM: Third period on!

8:44 PM: Aaaand that’s the end of two.  Score remains 2-1 and I will see you, if you’re still out there, in the third.

8:43 PM: Ouch.  Zajac gets smushed behind the Canadians net.  He’s okay though.  Crazy sustained pressure by the Devils in the Canadians zone.

8:39 PM: Ah, Josh Gorges held someone, that was the Canadians penalty.  As for our power play – some chances, no goals.  Halak’s pretty good about his rebound control.  Power play is over, three minutes to go in the second.

8:38 PM: Huh.  We come back from commercial to be on a power play, but I wasn’t really paying attention so I don’t know why.  I’ll take it, though!

8:36 PM: I dislike Halak.  He’s playing pretty well tonight, which disappoints me greatly.  Didn’t he get the memo that it’s Marty’s night?  Jackass.

8:34 PM: Things getting chippy.  Clarkson in the middle, of course.  Before that was Rupp getting cranky with some Canadians.  Also of course.

8:31 PM: Habs with some serious pressure on Marty and in the Devil end for the first time tonight.

8:29 PM: Canadians fans cheer wildly for the most mundane of bringing-the-puck-up-the-ice plays.

8:23 PM: Wow, the replays of those two stops showed they were even more awesome than they originally appeared.  He kicks one out with a leg behind his body, then blocks the other with his shoulder while falling down.  Hot diggity!

8:20 PM: Marty with a couple of big stops!  Wait, they’re actually going to make him WORK to tie the record?  I thought this was an arranged marriage type situation?!

8:18 PM: This Shanahan-Zubrus-Clarkson line – I like the cut of it’s jib.  Another thing I like?  That little WRAT promo angling for disenfranchised former K-Rock listeners.  Shame most K-Rock listeners can’t pick up The Rat.

8:16 PM: That was funky.  Somehow Parise wound up in the Canadians net, wiping out Halak in the process.  No penalty on young Zachary, however, much to the chagrin of the Canadians faithful.

8:13 PM: This power play, not so great.  PP time is up and the teams skate five aside.  Also, I kinda like these retro Canadians jerseys.  At least they’re not the barbershop jersey from earlier this season/way early in the Canadian’s existence.

8:12 PM: Oh yeaaaah, we’re still on a power play!  Usually that “oh yeaaaah” realization only happens when we’re killing a penalty to start a period.

8:12 PM: We back, yo.

7:53 PM: ‘nother Canadians penalty, another delay of game penalty, this one on Markov.  Period ends with the Devils on the PP – 1:47 of PP time to start the second when we get back.  14-7 Devils by way of shots on goal, 2-1 Devils by way of score, and I will see you in seventeen minutes.

7:52 PM: Clarkson wants to wraparound so badly.  He’s been thinking it at least twice tonight, only to be stopped before he even really got started.

7:48 PM: Oh jeez, Marty gets bodychecked by Alex Tanguay.  It was definitely a penalty, but Marty sure made it look good, too.  Hah.  Devils again to the PP – fourth time already tonight.  Two minutes to go in the period.

7:47 PM: Patrick Roy’s in the building.  Hooray, I guess.

7:44 PM: I can’t believe I didn’t notice this immediately – Patty Elias gets the assist on the Rolston goal, tying him with Johnny Mac for the all-time lead in points as a Devil!  ‘grats PATTY too!

7:40 PM: The ice-level microphones are working quite well tonight.  You could hear Kostopoulos’…uhm…”complaints” about his last penalty loud and clear, same with the ref yelling “NO HIGH STICK NO!” when Patrik Elias tipped the puck into the zone just then.  This amuses me.

7:37 PM: Dang.  Tomas Plekanec with a goal.  2-1 Devils now, and the shutout counter ain’t gonna change tonight.  Sad.

7:35 PM: WHOA!  Rolston with a dump-in, blocked down by the defender right back to Rolston, who blasts it by Halak!  That’ll be Rolston’s 300th of his career (‘grats Rollie!) and it’s 2-0 New Jersey.

7:33 PM: ‘nother Canadians penalty – silly Tom Kostopoulos, you don’t have to hold Mike Mottau to slow him down!

7:31 PM: Madden shorthanded breakaway – misses wide.  Okay, maybe his hand WAS amputated, without the aid of hospital-grade painkillers.

7:30 PM: Komisarek outtathabox for Montreal, one minute of penalty-kill time.  Also, Mad Dog’s back out, so I guess his hand didn’t have to be amputated.  Or it did and he’s hepped up on Pecosets.

7:26 PM: Aw dang.  Gionta with a holding-the-stick penalty.  Four-on-four for a minute, then Canadians to the PP.

7:24 PM: GOAL!  Patrik Elias with a BLAST and the Devils with a 2 MAN ADVANTAGE goal!  1-0 Devils, Elias with his 700th point as a Devil, one shy of Johnny Mac’s record, and we’re still on a power play for 1:45ish.

7:23 PM: Devils to the 2 MAN ADVANTAGE!  Someone from Montreal flips the puck over the glass and the Devils get the 2MA for, oh, 7 seconds.

7:22 PM: Good pressure, bad staying-on-feet skills.  Zajac takes a tumble in the offensive zone.

7:20 PM: Langenbrunner to Parise, who’s sliding on his butt directly into the goalpost.  Luckily, sliding on his butt was the result of a Tom Kostopoulos hold, and the Devils to a PP.

7:19 PM: John Madden takes a shot off the hand and heads to the bench.  Man up, Madden.  Man up.

7:17 PM: I’m moderately disappointed that the game’s been on for two minutes and we haven’t scored yet.

7:15 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Montreal!

7:09 PM: Les Habs are continuing their 100th year celebration by wearing another old jersey, one that is primarily white.  Which means the Devils are wearing their home reds.  Works for me, the way they’ve been playing at home lately.

7:02 PM: Need MORE proof that tonight’s gonna be a huge historic event?  Check out who’s roaming in the comments section!  Hiya P!

7:00 PM: Obviously, the big one:  With a Devils victory, Martin Brodeur ties Patrick Roy’s record of 551 career wins.  Other possibilities:  With two points, Patrik Elias can tie John MacLean’s record for career points as a Devil.  With a goal, Jamie Langenbrunner will top his career high for goals in a season.  Also, Brian Rolston’s next goal will give him 300 on his career.  Finally, Kevin Weekes is two chapters shy of finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, completing his quest to finish the series while the rest of the team plays hockey games.

6:47 PM: There’s something historic in the air this evening.  Some kind of record could be tied tonight.  Actually numerous milestones can be attained – I’ll run it down in a bit.  LiveCap coming – let me know you’re out there!

Thoughts from Section 209…. Devils/Rangers 2/9/2009

Damn kids, that was almost TOO easy wasn’t it??? Don’t get me wrong it was fun, it was great, it was badly needed after the 24 hours leading up to it (you get a 1am call that your pregnant sister is in the hospital… she turned out to be ok at least, was just scary, and then have to cover for a co-worker who’s father died, and you’re already worn out… least that game was wonderful therapy!)…. but it kinda felt a bit …. one-sided didn’t it?

the Good:
— if you had told me at my first pre-season game that Scott Clemmensen would be shutting out the Rangers in February, and done it in this way, I’d have slapped you and told you to put the PS-3 down :p… guess this kinda kills my “well his play dropped when they announced Marty’s return” theory… unless he was reading this… it HAS happened before to my writings… hrrmm… (not that he was really truly tested past the 1st period)
— Bobby Holik (no penalties tonight!!!) a game-winning goal against the team paying most of his salary still… and assisted by the guy they didn’t want and the one they wish they had… I call that… fitting 🙂
— not to mention watching Zajac and the Shanny hold off the Rangers behind sir puffy-pads one on FOUR all by themself… and then Shanny drawing the penalty… oh that was the awesome
— seeing the real Scott Gomez (and his only scoresheet entry being on the penalty box) in Ranger blue has been DELIGHTFUL… 5 more years to go right?? (not to mention Gomez’s pissy fits all night on Zubrus, who must have kept saying… hey I’m more productive at a third the price… can I borrow some money??
— no knock on Jay Leach, but each and every time Colin White comes back into the lineup this team gets better… and another night… another 2 goal effort out of Zach Parise (back up to top 5 scoring in the NHL) and playing as good hockey as ANYONE in the league….still feels weird to say that about a DEVIL

the Bad:
— Mike Rupp… GLASS JAW FATALITY…. you did get knocked da fuccckkkkk ouutttttt!!! Guess even the most desperate in Ranger-land can cling on to that one
— This may come off as wrong… but damn were the Rangers dead in the water or what?? You kinda saw it… they GAVE UP mid-second period (basically after the first goal)… and it kinda took out a lot of the fun….I mean it’s always nice to pound them like cheap veal (I do remember the great 19!!! 19!! Chant after 19 games unbeaten in a row on them)… but holy shit you kinda want the team you want to beat to put an EFFORT in and play back some don’t ya?? They remind me of how emotionless and dead in the water the NY Jets were with Brett Favre mailing it in last December.. case in point I was texting my Ranger fan buddy in the expensive seats about this:
“Dude where’s the effort”
“This has been this team all year.. no scoring… no effort they don’t care”
“Hey at least it’s not 10-2”
“It’s still the second period… just watch”
“Damn, well at least Parise can pad his stats then!”
It kinda wasn’t even fun at this point!
— So Dallas puts a 10-spot on them… and all we can do is 3?? CMON OFFENSE!!! (seriously I think the Devils fed off the dead-effort from the boring-trapping Rangers and seriously took the foot off the gas content to embarrass them via Clemmensen-shutout and no other way)

the Funny:
(and oh was there funny tonight!)
— Maybe one of the best moments was during the 3rd period…. standard yelling from behind us….
HEY LUNDQVST.. YOU SUCK…..AND I HOPE YOU DIIIIIEEEEEE
… then out of the blue… the 4 year old to my left jumps up…..
AND I HOPE YOU GET THE FLLLUUUUUU!!!!! (them 209ers, we raise good eggs!!!)
— Also sidenote to Bill (he who bought one of the 2 tickets I had up for grabs last night)… I know you wanted to sit on the steps because we scored twice in the 2nd period… but when two attractive beer chugging girls want to thank you for letting them sit in the seats…. GO WITH IT, thank them… and TALK TO THEM… geesh (dude was lucky I was there to save the moment and keep them entertained…. they told me so… hell by game’s end they asked me to spot them some lovely RANGERS SUCK confetti to throw back on me!!! Speaking of…pics of the confetti mess soon to be put on facebook!)… though… it was kinda WRONG of me to let those girls sit in his seat… while he was buying me a thank you for the seat beer… but asshole is something I do well ain’t it??
— the only thing missing last night was a THANK YOU RENNEY chant (which would have been amazing!)
— Devils Power Play goal!!! And I’m getting texts… IT’S A POWER PLAY GOAL… FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN… ahh goodness!!!
— hey I’m SURE others in attendance have their stories…. share them dammit!!!!

Thoughts from Section 209…Devils/Caps.. 2/3/2009

Well it was due to happen one of these nights… 8 in a row is pretty good, and you can’t win them ALL right? So as annoyed as you can be about the effort and the game… and the goaltending was… not so good… but we’ll get to that as we get going here….

the non-hockey:
— OK, we know it was dumb and he’s not a hall of fame player, but hey he was a relevant piece of the 1994 debacle…but really.. if you’re a Ranger Fan WHY ARE YOU IN THE ARENA TONIGHT??? WHY WHY WHY?? You should be paying your $1500 a seat, to see Mark Messier speak for 3 hours, Christopher Reeve brought back from the dead (was that offensive?? GOOD!!), the Stanley Cup skated around for the millionth time… and now even the 1994 Cup footage is COLORIZED!! (for you young folk back in the early days of TV, it was broadcast in black and white and this is a way of saying it’s OLD)
… but fear not Ranger Fans… DOUG LIDSTER NIGHT IS COMING!!!
— Speaking of disgraceful acts so as I was sitting there watching warm-ups.. a puck in got caught in the nets on a dump-in…so it sits there for like 5-10 minutes (ok evil Scott was waiting for a body check in warm-ups to drop the puck on the guy’s head)… and all of a sudden this dude runs down the section.. jumps on the seats… practically uses the guy’s son as a stepstool grabs the puck and runs the hell back up the steps… for what?? A WARMUP PUCK?? The dam thing don’t even have a LOGO on it…way to go 45-year old virgin.. more rubber you’ll never use elsewhere!!!!
— I also gotta add the 209 wisecrack of the night too… the guy behind me is the standard “mister makes the bad jokes guy” that you feed off of and re-crack his jokes to save them… and he had a gem last night… the Caps get pp#2 and he decides to yell at the Caps fan in the Redskin jersey… talk about confused…the dude with no shirt and THE GREAT 8 in marker on his back (I mean we like Zubrus and all but CMONNNNNN)… so he yells out
“HOW DO YOU LIKE OUR STIMULUS PACKAGE”
she raises her middle finger and points it at him
I just go back “GUESS YOU’RE NOT GETTING STIMULATED ENOUGH”
she did not move or gesture all game after :p

the Good:
— OK, who else got the feeling when we scored and made it 3-1, that it was “here we go again”….
— Alex Ovechkin was pretty much quiet all game… that’s a good sign and reminder of Devils teams of old… shut down the big name…and alot of this of all people goes to Mike Mottau
— Jamie Langenbrunner… only ONE goal.. TRADE HIM NOW!!!!!!
HE’S COOLING OFF OH NOOOOO!!!!

the Bad:
— this team was DEAD and lifeless in the first period… but again you can’t give 110%, 100% of the time no matter what the NHL Network commercial says :p
— the goaltending… MY GOD… 3 of 4 goals were stoppable and two were BAD… and for God’s sake… can ya play Weekes more then ONCE A MONTH PLEASE??? Shane Falco needed a night off!! I know Feb 26 is coming and the other guy’s gonna come in and as long as he stops 50% of his shots he’ll be in net… but STILL… UNLEASH THE WEEKES!!!!

— there’s not really a whole lot to say here that wasn’t hit up in the damn live-cap aside from game rantings and stuff, and if you can get really really angry about a team winning 8 of it’s last 9… it’s time for therapy… and decaf… yeah lots of decaf!!!!!!

Thoughts from Section 209 ….Devils… Penguins… Dec 10!

Well that was fun wasn’t it??? (Feels like I ain’t been to the damn place in MONTHS… and all the staff looked different, and a double boo-hiss on the choice of cigar girls tonight, hey I gotta bitch about something right??)… I could sit and complain on how we go a damn near MONTH without a game and then 3 in 4 nights?? (and the crowd was VERY late arriving tonight….kinda took a while to feel “back”)

And to be honest I think tonight’s game was maybe the most gratifying win I’ve seen this team have in the new arena!! So lots to be happy about here…

    the Good:

— Damn I missed this place and the wacky stuff I get from my lapping the place, and the free lil cups of soda (even though I am trying to give up soda, but whatever.. free is free!)
— The Devils basically kicked in… out worked… out hustled and ran the damn Penguins all over the place (hence the warm feeling in the belly much like the perfect serving of your most awesome meal!)
— the comedic timing in the CROSBY SUCKS and PARISE’S BETTER chants and then Crosby going bat-shit and trying to Pedigree Gionta on the ice (shame Gio’s not a wrestling fan, he’d know you go back body drop to stop the Pedigree :p)
— Putting the Parise or Zubrus lines on Crosby and girls allowed US to control the puck and spin pretty circles around them and KEPT THE PUCK AWAY FROM THEM a good amount of the game and this is one MAJOR coaching adjustment (and from hints Sutter’s been saying since he’s been here one he’s always wanted) that you can NOT argue about ever!
— Bobby Holik hit every goddamn thing in sight that wasn’t wearing referee stripes and it was an amazing effort (I counted six hits alone in the first two periods)… the big nasty bastard is BACK!!
— Colin White… excellent game AGAIN… and TWO ASSISTS!!!!! (remember kids it IS ok to jump up and yell WHITE POWER when Colin makes a play!!)

    the Bad:

— Yes I do love this hockey team (obviously)… thankfully it’s not as obsessive and compulsive as it was in the old CRASHER Line days (re: not human and no wonder it took only psycho girls to date me)…. and yes I enjoy going to the games… but my main objective each time I go to a Devils game… I GO TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE GAME with the friends I am making in Section 209…lately said other people in the section are bitching and complaining about this… whatever… but like I said as much as I follow what goes on in every game (damned if I could write this if I didn’t??) … I take shit for the fact I’m not afraid to go off topic to achieve my main goal… enjoy myself for the 2-3 hours I am there… have some fun.. laugh and forget about all the other mass bullshit in my life now, am I a bad fan?? I doubt it… do I take the games lightly… I should… it’s FOR FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT… and I just wanted to get that peeve off my chest (and it’s not like exactly 209 is bringing it’s A-Game every night either)
— If Martin Brodeur ever got as lucky as Scott Clemmensen got tonight (posts… missed nets all that crazy stuf)… no one would EVER score on him…. but hey luck is better then good sometimes….
— Madden and Pandolfo again kinda looked LOST… at best… not a pretty night for the former heart of the Devils strategy, and one of my favorite players in Madden….
— Bryce Salvador… OUCH… right in the face (though it was funny to see mister “hey why don’t you quit yapping and watch the game wonder why it was a penalty till I told him it was a wrist shot to the face and a non-penalization, unless you hit Crosby :P)
— the 5-forward power play look, while it was decent tonight.. scares the LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME!

Back at it in 48 hours… and don’t forget to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me if ya see me Friday or Saturday (I want my birthday attention for a RARE Devils home birthday game on Saturday!)

NJ Devils Month in Review: November 2008

Well this was a different month in New Jersey… for the first time ever in my time as Devils fan, I’m not screaming about Martin Brodeur playing too much… or pretty much at ALL….Injuries, second stringers… crazy stuff… but it’s made for a fun month and a fascinating look into future life without Martin Brodeur, and what this team will be like….

Forwards:
#9 (LW) Zach Parise:
On pace to challenge Patrik Elias’ all time single season points record still… 6 goals and 7 assists in 13 games… and it feels like he COOLED OFF… tells you how GOOD October was… again proving himself as this team’s best, most dangerous and consistent player… can’t say a damn thing bad about Zach Parise again….
Grade: A

#14 (RW) Brian Gionta:
Looks at home (finally) with Elias and Zubrus, and while not the focal point of the Devils offense a VERY important secondary line which makes this team dangerous… and yeah they’re feasting on bad teams, but so what this is what the Devils NEED to do to stay in the playoff hunt while the team gets healthy… 13 points in 13 games and also 7 goals… a scorer is scoring and a +6… nothing to complain about here (BUT OH MY GOD HE’S SECOND ON THE TEAM IN SCORING… TRADE HIM NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!! Morons…), give Gio credit (or call it contract year greed… whatever… he GETS it this year and is doing well)
Grade: A

#19 (Center) Travis Zajac:
Is holding up his end as the team’s top center (well anyone who plays with Parise is our top whatever…steady on faceoffs too (no game under 40% this month)… solid on both ends… and doing his own on puck possession… maybe you’d like a few more points, but he’s not dragging down Parise which is all you ask for on this line… scoring some nice goals too!
Grade: B+

#26 (LW) Patrik Elias-A
17 points in 13 games… multiple players on a point a game ratio or HIGHER?? On the NJ Devils?? CMON OFFENSE!!! Really if you have a complaint about Elias’ game this month… you have mental issues… his level of performance this month was A-Line level good… and you can’t knock ANYTHING here! (it sucks when they all do well… I do my best work when I can get angry… what the hell can I complain about here?)
Grade: A+

#11 (Center) John Madden-A
Injury causality number 2003 this year… I’m not buying in the “well the penalty kill got better without him” theory…. The quality of power play got worse and this team as a whole is improving each game it seems… but 4 assists, a -3 against the Caps (not to mention NO ONE covering the best player in hockey by the side of the net with 2 seconds left)… he’s just becoming a faceoff specialist now more then top-end defensive forward… hopefully having Holik back will allow the Devils to share the defensive responsibilities, and take the load off of Madden
Grade: C (again, not good… but he doesn’t suck either, the lack of offense is bad)

#8 (LW) Danius Zubrus:
OK, so what he scored all four of his goals in the month in one game?? Look what his linemates are doing!! He makes space and he controls the puck for them….the 7 assists kinda show that effort too…faceoffs were ok too, not great, but not his main worry now) and I know personally feel more confident that good things will happen with number 8 out there… possession, control and chemistry with his linemates…. That’s all good things, while the stats may not show up on the scoreboard (and still he’s fourth on the team… and he IS on pace for 56 points, flirting with a career high when he was with that Ovenchicken dude), he’s become a quality depth players!
Grade: A

#15 (RW) Jamie Langenbrunner-C
Still getting too much ice time, but he seems to be 100% healthy (which wasn’t the case last month)… only one goal… but 8 assists and maybe the funniest damn thing I ever saw on that 5 on 3 pp with the Islanders where both defenders lose sticks and then Jamie blasts the poor bastard with a slapper leaving the dude limping and a virtual 5 on 1 moment as Martin scored!! (I still chuckle at that!)… hopefully once the damn minutes get back to the 17 minute range (that means HURRY BACK Rolston and Holik)… he should get even better, though he had a good, but not great month
Grade: B+

#23 (RW) David Clarkson:
He’s still… “eh” to me… seems that he can be SO much better then he is (explains why the coach has such a hard-on for him… then again he’s not from Europe)… 3 goals and 2 helpers… not awful for the 3rd 4th line type he is…but still not overly impressive either… should get some more pp time in front to just get his damn hands dirty raising hell in front, but that doesn’t seem to be our way (but SHOULDN’T it be Sutter hockey).. only two fights in the month also….one of the few forwards who could be better…..
Grade: C-

#20 (LW) Jay Pandolfo:
Two goals and an assist for ol’stonehands…least he was even for the month, and now with Madden out has even LESS of a role on this team… it’s starting to look like resiging him was a loyalty driven mistake, but we’ll see as the season goes on, another guy getting WAY too much ice time for his role (I know he’s supposed to be the shutdown forward, but he’s not doing that so well)….I’ve just not been overly impressed… if we were losing more I’m sure this would be angrier…..
Grade: C-

#22 (LW) Petr Vrana:
Who? 1:38… 2:34… 5:33… 4:07… 3:34…6:03… 4:58… 4:14…. 7:31… 7:11…8:33
How the hell can I judge this guy??
Grade: INCOMPLETE (thanks Sutter!)

#17 (LW/C) Mike Rupp:
What the hell was Sutter thinking trying to have him fill in for Madden last week??? Oh yeah.. he’s big, skates and North American… that makes him a diety here….two goals and an assist for the month… that will probably be a season for him there…. He’s fine in the 5-9 minute role on the 4th line… give him more then that… and it’s yeech time! Please just keep this stiff to a MINIMUM and I’ll be ok!
Grade: C-

#18 Nicklas Bergfors:
Has good speed, and seems like he can be a useful player on this team…again though caught in the idiot notion that young players can only play on the 4th line, and not even being thought about in a useful role and it’s a damn shame…and one of the coach’s biggest problems… the old boy’s club trash will be less annoying when we have a full team, but in this transition time of needing to be a more offensive team, it’s criminal that the team’s top two prospects are donkeyfucked before they even get out of the box!
Grade: INCOMPLETE

#21 Barry Tallackson:
Again, not giving a ton of ice time to impress… but he’s been in the bigs before and that seems to be his standard M.O…. just never seems to be overwhelming… or show the flash or hope that say Vrana or Bergfors offers… but he’s big and from the US *sigh*
Grade: INCOMPLETE

Defense:
#7 Paul Martin:
No coincidence that this team started winning… and scoring… when Martin got healthy, he’s so key to the defense… he eats minutes and makes Salvador better and adding 4 points in 8 games is acceptable offense on top of playing at a high level for 20-26 minutes a night as needed!
Grade: A-

#27 Mike Mottau:
Joke suspension aside… oh he hit a guy and the guy gets hurt so the NHL HAS to overreact and suspend the guy… ah whatever (can I do that and not invoke the spirit of Aaron Asham… oh wait.. he had no spirit….) He’s been decent again this month in his proper role as a 3rd pair defender…little offense… +5 on the month, good ice time… again nice steady and can’t complain!
Grade: B

#5 Colin White:
Colin the one-eyed wonder….+6 on the month… wow…again, like Mottau when not asked to play a top role, he’s tolerable for what he is.. will still make stupid mistakes and so on, but that’s just something you need to live with, he’s not tradable…. Or would any team WANT him at his price… so for what you get…yeah he’s okay…. And that translates into as expected….
Grade: C

#29 Johnny Oduya:
One goal… NINE assists.. now we’re talking!!! Oduya has stepped up with Andy Greene out of the line up (though the game winner was a funny level of botch and not to mention his FUBARed quasi-breakaway in the same game).. seems to have the speed and ability to help Colin White fix his mistakes, which is also important… looks like he could be a key “X-factor” guy who can make a difference and someone who you don’t really want to account for on the other team….hopefully it keeps up as the level of opponent rises this month
Grade: B+

#24 Bryce Salvador:
Didn’t seem to have too good a month, but was without Paul Martin for half of it which doesn’t help (-3 without Martin)… minimal offense, and can’t really do much to make up for it when he makes mistakes… I still like the guy but wasn’t the best month for him in red and white
Grade: C

#28 (D) Anssi Salmela:
MONSTER shot from the blueline (he’s going to score eventually you’d think) +2 on the month is good… and somehow this team has grown a nice set of mobile, younger defenders who can skate, play and add some offense and he’s an example of this… like seeing a bunch of games with multiple shots … means the blast is getting through to the goalie… which is never a negative, this kid’s gonna be a keeper… and when Andy Greene comes back there’s gonna be some decisions to float around here…..maybe not 100% ready for primetime yet… but DAMN this kid has an upside!
Grade: B-

#2 (D-RW) Sheldon Brookbank:
I don’t get how a stiff defenseman gets put on the Devils top line as a FORWARD… but hey that’s Sutter-hockey, I guess… more suited to be that physical winger on the 4th line where the things he can’t do on defense are not an issue, but still it’s unthinkable that he’s higher on the depth chart then Vrana and Bergfors (yes I know and understand he fills a role of 4th line toughie… but holy shit he’s not that good)… just look at his ice time… and results… it’s nothing special….and the on-ice looks ain’t much better… serviceable utility player though…..
Grade: D

Goaltending:
#35 Scott Clemmensen:
How in the bloody blue hell did this guy become our #1 goalie?!?!? This is a sad scary situation….yeah he’s 4-3, but he’s been no better then Weekes except for the fact that he can move the puck a little… this guy’s a career AHL guy for a REASON…but hey whatever… I guess we’re stuck with this… it’s gonna be scary when the bubble bursts on him… he’s been ok, but the big boys are coming on the schedule….guess we’ll find out.. but I kinda cringe each time there’s a shot on goal…..
Grade: B-

#1 Kevin Weekes:
I don’t understand this team… they sign Weekes to be a door opener last season because Brodeur refuses to sit, but he’s the insurance policy JUST IN CASE Marty went down they had a solid guy to hold the fort, and what does he get?? Garbage time in the Brodeur injury game… thrown to the wolves against Buffalo (20 shots in a period… yeah the team was shell shocked from hearing about Marty’s long term injury status)… assaulted by the Red Wings… and thrown under the bus for ONE BAD GOAL in the Ranger game? The rest was a HIDEOUS display of a team skating with its head cut off…. Frankly it’s bullshit and I think Weekes got an absurdly raw deal from this team and I’d not blame him for saying fuck off and never come back after this year….he gets a WEEK and he’s tossed under the bus for Clemmensen?!?!?!? 2.87 gaa and 90 sv % is not awful….I kinda really feel for the dude he deserves SO MUCH better then he got….
Grade: B+ (for being such a damn trooper!)

Coaching:
Same garbage with not playing the rookies enough… a miserable job of penalty killing (77% killed) and not much better on the power play (14%), but the team is starting to adjust and opening up the offense (though they seemed to crawl back into the old defensive shell… MISERABLE effort with the Penguins… and letting Florida tie that game at 2 was a pathetic effort to sit on a lead), but 12-10 with this roster is a nice job at this point… but I have a LOT of concerns still here….this team is still adjusting and he barely had a full roster for a week till players began to drop like dominoes… (part of me wonders if he practices them too hard and it’s adding to the fragility, but I have no proof on this)…We’ll see in the future… much like Clemmensieve… I worry about this coach and I’m erring on the more negative side…..
Grade: C