Dearest Patricia,

While we thank you for returning Patrik Elias safely, your continued lurking has the players concerned.

Zach Parise hasn’t been scoring (today doesn’t really count), Colin White fled the team in fear and Bobby Holik hasn’t been able to make a single Geico promotional appearance in more than a month.

While we promise to leave it all on the ice this week, we will only do so if you agree to leave your creepy mccreeperson behavior out of our facilities.

Supremely awesome,

The New Jersey Devils

Devils/Tampa Bay 4-3-2009….thoughts from Section 209

Well I told ya it wasn’t going to be pretty (it NEVER IS when you play in this kinda funk and you come out of it), but hey this is the way things go back to “normal” and things come back on track… add some ironies, and here we go!!!

(one small update too…I will hit a Devils season in review next weekend after the Carolina game… seems silly to do one with 2 weeks to go… and based on playoff run a lengthy playoffs in review should be on the slate too)

The Good:
— SCORING!!! Welcome back to the scoresheet:
Brendnan Shanahan (if this turn-around leads to the long playoff run I expect still from this team you can thank this man’s penalty shot… to be you-tubed later… for the start of it)
Jay Pandolfo… never could an ugly wobbling shot be so pretty
ZACH PARISE…. AAAAHHHHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! (5 goals and 6 points in 5 games is NOT out of the question to see Parise still set some recrods despite the late game skid… hell it could happen tonight it Patrick Lalame plays 🙂 )… good to see him back in the goal scoring column, they need him now more then ever with Elias still out…..
— We had a goalie go down with an unknown injury and there was NO SHIRT-TOSSING RETARD SWEATING AND THROWING SHIRTS AT FANS… THEY ACTUALLY LEARNED… hooray!!!!
— THEY WON… and the ship seems righted again… finally!!!!

the Bad:
— POOR KEVIN WEEKS!!! Yes I feel for the guy… fucker finally gets a game and yeah the first goal was kinda *ugh* (I think Salvador did get a piece of it)… but he plays well after …. and then one bad shot to the knee… and while some people are saying it was karma to let mb30 play on his little night… I think I could stop 7 of 10 shots on the NHL Level, even after 3 games in 6 nights myself…..
— Penalty killing… still not so good…. the power play looked and moved the puck a LOT better… confidence is a good thing… but I hope it wasn’t just because of opponent
— Even the crowd for the most felt out of sync and kinda drifting in this game… yeah they picked it up after Pando’s weird goal, but it wasn’t a golden night for anyone all around….

— Floor hockey + Paddle down goaltending + concrete floor == one SORE AS SHIT WRIST the day after…. and ensuing lame masturbation jokes :p

the Funny:
— Hey at least as a goalie… when I throw the stick blindly at the puck…. it’s actually going in net… and dammit I hit the puck (maybe one of the coolest looking non-saves I ever made!)
— Lil Nicky, yelling to find out about Wimpy was pretty damn funny… good to see our #1 draft pick back from his suspension for “academic reasons” (I have to wonder why we all get penalized for our lil star’s own misdoings….)… but when you’re in a funk even the fans can act the same… it kinda happened last night… not the best of night for crowd noise… maybe we’re saving it for tonight and ye olde Sun Tavern!!! (no who am I kidding.. they’re all going to see Pat the David Clarkson clone….speaking of… I’m fucked if he don’t work tonight eh??)… not to mention the reaction from the lil guy when his sister screamed something right next to him from bullhorn to eardrum…. a WTF look from a kid that in theory don’t know what the F the F stands for!! (I only say this cause his dad reads this… the rest of us KNOW he knows all the cool bad words!)
— Well not a hockey thing… but if you’re a wrestling fan and you ever want to disturb your friends (this one is fun trust me)… if you ever watch a Chris Benoit match again … when he goes to chop someone in the corner… yell DANIEL… *crack*… DANIEL!!! Each time he chops yell it angrier and angrier…. I guarantee you will disturb the living shit out of your friends (and damn it’s fun!!)

See ya all tonight at Sun Tavern… oh this should be fun!!!!!!!!

Hurricanes @ Devils SORTA-CAP!

9:29 PM: Game over.  I can’t believe this, I thought this team was too good this year for the annual March swoon, but…I don’t know.  2-1 Hurricanes.  Good thing I only did a half-assed Cap tonight.  Goodnight.

9:28 PM: 10 seconds left, Devils on the offensive zone faceoff.

9:26 PM: Less than a minute to go and the Devils pull the goalie.  That missed penalty is brutal, Langs right next to the Carolina net in a goalmouth scramble.  Just brutal.  Timeout Devils.

9:24 PM: Scramble in the goal month and we can’t buy a penalty, despite Captainbrunner getting his feet taken out from under him.  I think that’s probably the end of the game for us now.

9:22 PM: Oh for eff’s sake.  Rutuu pounds home a rebound and it’s 2-1 Hurricanes.  C’mon now, this is sad.

9:21 PM: Paul Martin takes some sort of penalty.  Hooking, I guess.  Four minutes left in the game.  Gulp.

9:15 PM: Goddammit.  Clarkson can’t clear it, and eventually Samsonov bangs home a rebound.  1-1 game, and we can stop holding our collective breath for shutout 102 now.  Sad.

9:08 PM: If Zubbie’s name was Scott Stevens, there would have been a Hurricane on the ice that you’d need a ShamWow to mop up.  Alas, Zubbie ain’t Scotty, and the open ice hit didn’t even knock the other guy down.

9:00 PM: Mike Rupp takes a high sticking penalty.  Rats.

8:55 PM: That woulda been a nice breakaway if anyone but Bobby Holik were the one sprung on it.  Instead of being a breakaway, though, it became more of a one-on-two slapshot-into-the-goalie’s-crest type deal.  Sigh.

8:36 PM: Second period, over.  Remains 1-0 Devils.  Decent period, nothing great, but not god-awful, either.  CRAZY saves on each end of the ice.  Zach should be at goal #43 if not for a crazy shortstop like dive by Cam Ward, while a pair of ho-hum-just-another-wicked-insane-Marty-glove-save keeps it a slim Devils lead heading into the third.

8:25 PM: Marty with another stellar save and then a bunch of scrummy stuff in front of the net.  Some guy named Convoy and Colin White get angry at each other, and MSG+ catches them yelling at each other from their respective penalty boxes.  Funny as hell.   Also, PIERRE CHAMPIOUX SIGHTING!

8:18 PM: Dammit Cam Ward, don’t you know you’re not supposed to make stops like that on Zach Parise?  Goaltender’s duel tonight for sure, sick save for sick save.

8:14 PM: I think Zubbie is protesting the 27 Dresses picture.  Between last night and that trip…jebus Zubbie, have a sense of humor, man.  Also, flat out ridiculous save by Marty.  RI-FRIGGIN-DICULOUS.

7:43 PM: Welp, that Elias goal certainly woke me up.  Perhaps I was being unfair on this game because of my own mental state.  It wasn’t that bad, and they seemed to wake up a bit as the game went on.  Only one penalty called, against the Devils, but that’s still an improvement over the last few games.  Big hit by Patty Elias late in the period, knocking Babchuk over, which is cool by me.  Devils lead 1-0 after one.

7:38 PM: Ooooooooh!  Odd-man rush, Madden dashes in as a decoy while Gionta passes to a trailing Elias and we gots ourselves a lead!  1-0 Devils.

7:34 PM: Spoke too soon, Niclas Havelid held someone.  Great.

7:30 PM: Maybe it’s because I’M tired, but the team looks terribly tired tonight.  Marty’s bobbling pucks, passes are off the mark.  No penalties yet, at least.

7:16 PM: See?  It’s a good thing I’m only Sorta-Capping this thing.  Slow start so far.

7:09 PM: Puck’s on the ice.  Doc’s intro was…weird.

6:32 PM (Pre-game): I know what you’re thinking…”Sorta-Cap?!”  Let’s just put it this way – I don’t feel particularly well this evening.  It’s been an exhausting week.  I’m not sure I have the ability to give you a good, insightful, funny-type LiveCap.  But I also don’t wanna just, y’know, do nothing.  We’ve been doing nothing ’round here too much lately.  So, the Sorta-Cap.  I’ll update after each period and occasionally when the fancy strikes.  And if, at some point I disappear, avenge my death.  (Or I fell asleep.  Whichever.  You can still avenge me, though.)

One away from greatness?

It’s been a tough season for Mr. Martin Brodeur.

Taken out by a bum elbow, “MB30” had to take a back seat to witness his boys claw back from the pits of adversity and skate towards one of the NHL’s best records this season.

Yeah, Marty ain’t used to that.

We’re talking about a netminder who plays 8593 contests out of an 82 game season here. It surely could not have been easy.

Fast forward to March, where the three-time Cup winner is now one win away from shattering Patrick Rooooooooooooy’s record of 551 career wins.

Fancy.

It wasn’t easy, sure, but Marty’s almost there. He has his shot, Tuesday, against the surging Chicago Blackhawks. Cue dramatic orchestra music here.

…wait, what? The Hawks are good this year?

This really is a weird season.

Anyway, the stage is set and the leading roles have been assigned. Starring for the Devils, of course, Brodeur along with his comrades Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, and Jamie Langenbrunner. For the Hawks? Eh, who really cares. It’s Marty’s night, right?

Nine million years in this league, it’s his time to shine, his time to show us what he’s really made of, yadda yadda yadda.

…oh…no. I think all the Vezinas, 40-plus win seasons, and Stanley Cups already proved to us that Marty is the man.

So when Marty laces ’em up and settles in between the pipes on Tuesday, forget about the numbers and records. We don’t need 552 wins to tell us something we don’t already know.

#30 already is the best.

Thoughts from Section 209…. Devils vs Mickey Mouse Club, 3/12/09!

Well that was a fun little beat down last night wasn’t it?? kinda what the doctor ordered!! And anytime we can shit on Wayne Gretzky for 2+ hours and be RIGHT… it’s all good!!!

the Good:
— Zach Parise in 14 seconds… and it’s over?? Holy Shit even Todd lasted longer :p
— all 4 lines scored, nice to see this team flex it’s depth!!
— mb30 had to WORK some in the 3rd period (it was like Gretzky had bet the over and had to work to get the 6.5 over/under!)… but again the last game goal was annoying (Clemmy scared the shit out of me but his only reward this year seems the Jennings Trophy and as much as I HATE regular-season awards I wanna see mb30 go up there and have to thank Clemmy for being the reason we got this!)
— Bryce Salvador… great all around game (seems to be liking like with Havelid) and he was ROBBED of the 3rd star last night!
— oh the fights were 5-stars tonight… a LOUD and clear message… DO NOT FUCK WITH THE TIME HONORED TRADITION OF FIGHTING IN THE NHL!!!!!!!!!!!

the Bad:
— Brett Russo and our National Anthem… it’s like almost as bad as letting Wayne Gretzky be a hockey coach!!! (that team should be WAY better then 14th, admit it!)
— not too much… taking it easy after scoring 2 goals on 3 shots and letting the Mouseketters get back in the game off a power play goal… mere annoyance!
— umm… feel bad for the girl who brought the WE BELIEVE IN WEEKES sign… poor kid… never again :p
— my laps have sped up to the point around the arena that the bored to death vendors think I am somehow cheating because I can walk a quarter mile in 3 minute 30??

the Funny:
— and was there!!! Changing the chant from PHOENIX SUCKS… to GRETZKY SUCKS (my little moment of fun and boy was it amusing!!!)
— as per 209 tradition… Pete gets nice and sauced before each game and likes to heckle the other team’s goalie…. but he’s sauced so tough names like… AULD… becaome hard for him… so it’s usually… hey Scott… who’s the goalie??? he asks me tonight… and I’m like… fuck…. ummm… I don’t know!!!!!
So he pauses for a second (this has never happened in my 2 seasons of going….)

“HEY GOALIE YOU SUCK SO BAD EVEN SCOTT DOESN’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!”

(you knew it was a matter of time before I jumped into other things besides wanting to see $2000 a night shirt tossing douche boy die painfully!!!)

I think called him Torchbag once too???
— and of course… the old 99 heckling…. all osrts of goodness came out…
mouse ears…..”Mickey Mouse song fests with angry Gretzky comments”
“HEY GRETZKY YOU SUCK AND I HOPE YOU BET ON YOUR OWN TEAM!!!!”
… and of course the 3rd period serenade of “It’s a small world after all”… that was nice!!

man I hope that arrogant prick really hates coming to our building!!!! 🙂
— and what’s scarier is with the NJDevs Bar Crawl and St. Patty’s day… oh … my… god is Tuesday gonna be a cluster fuck!!!!! (can’t wait!!)

Thoughts From Section 209… Devils/Flames: 3/10/2009

Hey, I’m still alive (and I know… I skipped a month in review)…. to coin the NHL Network commercial I’m dealing with “non-hockey related issues” (yes only 5 people really only know what the hell I am talking about but I feel bad enough I’m dragging them into my stuff (especially the one who didn’t know what she was in for, without naming her name)… so I’ll spare the rest of you… just feel better in knowing I write better when angry, so at the very worst the readers win :p)… and I was gonna do a thoughts from 214, but that game sucked as bad as that shithole arena in Long Island!! So anyway… I live… I function… I rant!!!!

the Good:
— One shortie, one power play (FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN!) and one even strength goal…. that’s balance!
— MB30 bounces back nice from the fiasco in Long Island
— Shanny, Rolston and Havelid on the scoresheet… depth and scoring is gonna take us far come Tax Time….
— Zach Parise… AAAAAHHHHHH (apparently I do this for any hockey player I cheer for who wears #9, boy or girl :p)…. one step closer to re-writing Devils history… 9 goals to tie and I think it’s 18 points (I have to leave for work soon and I want breakfast so i am not looking it up)… to re-write them all!! And you have to love the constant persistence of that line and NEVER quitting on a play!!
— Mike Keenan being Mike Keenan and randomly pulling Kipper (who unlike Nabby when he came here did NOT disappoint…. I like to watch Calgary, San jose and Dallas when we ain’t playing)…. so we get to make bad Macarena jokes at the random Flames backup-jobber OF DOOM!!!!

the Bad:
— Bad first Period… but I admit I was in as much of a fog as the team then so it was ok!
— that goal with 9/10 of a second left… yeah they don’t matter in the long run… but I have a sick wanting to see Clemmensen win the Jennings Trophy and those goals kinda hurt that!!!
— Getting texted by an over-ly dramatic ex-209er who INSISTS on telling us all she’s coming to a game on the 28th… but sitting on the OTHER SIDE OF THE BUILDING… man I’m tempted to sell my tickets that game *eyeroll*, the more you get away from high school the more life becomes it!
— trying to decide which tastes worse…. cold popcorn or period-old chicken fingers and fries… I’ll leave it at … I ate the damn fries in the second period…yeech, thank God for Sun Tavern post-game (even when Pat forgets to put in my order for the potato skins then blames the kitchen for burning them… least I got a free shot o’Jack from it!!)

the Funny:
— The contest people came up to Section 208 tonight to give away a DVD gift set with some T-Shirts and one of the funniest non-summer movies of last year (yes I’m a movie geek what the hell do you think I do all Summer….WWE 24/7 and movies!!)…so if anyone who got the Role Models Prize Pack would love to donate their copy of the movie to their favorite recapper… PLEASE!!!!! 🙂
Anyway…. so they are setting up…. the go to row 5 I think… whatever… the row is half empty… people see what is going on… they JUMP LEAP and RACE to all the empty seats… CMON FREE STUFF (people hopping on seats like steps was hilarity!)…. and they get ready for it… Sammy starts a PICK B chant for the what we assums is upcoming trivia question…. and of course the normal 209+ Section hijinks ensue… they go to the segment… you can’t even HEAR the PA system…. all you hear is CHOOSE B …. CHOOSE B…. the blond lady is like fuck this… here’s your prize packs I’m outta here… and we will NEVER get free stuff again… GOOD JOB GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— the Dion Phaneuf razzing was kinda funny too….. more so when I fed him the Celine Dion obvious line and hearing drunken karaoke babbling of their hearts will go on…. niceeee!

Thoughts From Section 209, Weekend of 2/28 and 3/1/2009!

Ah I had to say something about this nice little weekend of hockey we had here (though I still contest whoever thought it was a neat idea to have back to back home matinee games on a Saturday and Sunday… he should be pistol-whipped to a near-death state… or be forced into a Weekes-like exile!!) … but when lack of sleep is all you got to bitch about…. it’s a hell of a weekend!!!

The Good:
— Me thinks Andy Greene had one HELL of a game on Sunday here (I’ve been talking about to the Greene-Machine to people I trust the hockey knowledge about…. and to be honest, people give Greene a lot of shit because he’s an average player on what looks like a VERY special team, and people don’t get it! Lyle Odelein…. HE was a bad Devil…. Ken Klee…. BAD DEVIL…. Kevin Dean… BAD DEVIL… Phil Housely… HORRID Devil…. Andy Greene… you’re ok buddy!!!!)
— MB30… what can I say… he was FINALLY tested in the Flyers game and came up big, more so in the 3rd period… and boy did he shut up the Phailure Phans en MASSE, I did like the WHY SO QUIET chant too!)… I still would have felt better if Weekes had played on Saturday… i’m paranoid… deal with it!
— 2 games and a 10-2 win margin… yeah we likey!!
— Zach Parise… man the MVParise wagon is GROWING, and those Zajac and Langenbrunner guys are pretty good too!!
— Power play and pk clicking… defense… offense… goaltending… this team seriously has it all! it’s scary to think how far this team CAN go this year…..hell even attendance is awesome (too many people in the place for MY liking :p)

the Bad:
— Cameron the shirt tossing pile of AIDS is not only still alive but it was tossing shirts on Saturday and I will not be happy until it dies savagely! (OH MY GOD I just found we pay it $2000 a game FOR THIS… fuck meeeeee)
— There was an awful lot of players falling on that blue line all weekend… I’d almost swear they greased that bastard up for the game!

the Funny:
Some highlights from the weekend:
— One of the 209ers decided to buy a ton of dollar hot dogs and share them with the section… and he did… and in mocking the 40-year old shirt tossing pedophile, he was tossing hot dogs across the section… which was awesome… until he hit an unsuspecting 8 year old in the face with one… ah screw it… it was hilarious!!!
— “The Wheels on your house goes round n round…. round n round… round n round… the wheels on your house go round n round….all the daytime long!” Ahhh… it’s been a while!
— Good God there was so much insanity and I’m kinda winded (and have a month in review to write on my snow day I’ll just say show up at Sun Tavern in Roselle Park on Tuesday Night and just JOIN IN!!!)

Thoughs from Section 209…. Devils/Avs, 2/26/2009

It’s funny how the more things change… the more they stay the same isn’t it??? For the first time in what feels like forever, the Devils are at 100% full-strength… and kinda just took it out on the Avalanche essentially (and entertainingly) toying with them all game…. it’s 7 years late… but oh well… can’t bitch too much tonight!! And yeah there was an important injury return or two tonight…..

— I had to start with this here because I wasn’t sure where to put it since it’s neither good nor bad nor funny …. so it goes first…. comments on the return of MB30 (and get used to it I will not call him by his name as long as he wears that damn mask which is not only ugly and silly looking but it will drive me INSANE until it’s burned in a fit of roid rage… wait that’s baseball players…. taking off the team logo and putting your own stupid logo is the classic “I am more important then the team thing” (guess the hockey Gods showed him this year :p)…. and it just annoys me… but i’m good at being annoyed)… yeah he looked good and played well… was hardly tested… hell Zach Parise had the best save of the night…. and it was nice to see MB30 get the big pop from the crowd on his return… but geeezeeeee… you’d think this team was the 8-9 seed and fighting for their playoff lives instead of a-top of the conference….

And I guess this leads to part 2 of my whole MB30 time here…. I was kinda worried about this… and in a few ways… kinda sad he’s back… I know… you just spit out your coffee… but here let me explain and no matter how blind an MB30 backer you may be… admit it… the 4 months without him have been FUN and about this ENTIRE TEAM… and not some guy chasing an empty regular season record that NO ONE cares about (well two of them if you count shutouts)…. each night was kinda fun an unpredictable… and it’s why this year has been the most fun I’ve ever sat through as an observing fan… and I guess I’m just bummed out the ride is over… it’s like the teacher is back in the classroom and it’s time to get serious, ya know?

the Good:
— this was the most alive I’ve seen the crowd in the building for a non-Ranger game in a long long long time, and that was kinda good to see people come back to life (and any night you have a 20 minute chant about T-Cells…. it’s fun!!)
— Paul Martin was back too and didn’t seem to skip a beat, hell he even had two assists!
— Zach Parise had a sick game… the goal of the night… the save of the night and kept the play alive in that 2 minute sequence where Zajac FINALLY scored (it looked like an NHL 09 shift where you just keep shooting until there is no surrender!!) MVParise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Elias and Gionta also both looked pretty sharp tonight and it was nice to see Patrik get in the goal column again… if those two top lines are going come tax time, this team is going to be a MAJOR force in the NHL Playoffs
— so now MB30 has a 4 month shutout string eh?? *heh*
— blinking and see 1-0 Rangers, become 2-1 Panthers… I admit I *LOL*-ed a tiny bit!

the Bad:
— Man Colorado is a dreadful team… no life… no effort… less goaltending, some of that was the Devils buzzsawing them
— ummm… it’s kinda hard to find something else out there to bitch about in this one, penalty killing was perfect, power play clicked…. 4 goals, Elias scored… well you can say that the 3rd and 4th lines were kinda
quiet and Holik was not-so-good… but then you’re just pissing on the MB30-party…

the Funny:
— on my way to arena some silly person trying to scam money from people by asking for bus-far since “his brother never came to pick him up”…. I feel the need now to carry a sign “HOCKEY FAN CARRIES NO CASH” just to keep that kinda crap to a minimal level.. and besides… I never DO carry cash (well unless the people I sell my extra tickets to actually pay me that night!)… my poor debit card looks more used and beat up then any level of Sean Avery sloppy seconds… heh an Avery joke in MB30-reunion night….
— as I was walking my laps before the game I saw some fan who looked JUST LIKE Bobby Holik (well just a lot younger and skinnier… poor bastard… well unless it’s his kid… then he’s justa rich, ugly bastard :p)
— I do always get a kick out of some stuck-up hockey mom getting pissy at the over the top and way drunken commentary from our section (and like I said… 209 was ALIVE tonight)… but this silly mom… it’s ok for your 4 year old kid to say that Scott Gomez loves the cock (and he’s in the right place for it… well unless the NHL goes to San Francisco)… but yet you get upset and cover the kids’ ears when they make a silly joke about “T-Cells….. but who’s buying”… CMON HOCKEY-MOM!!!! Parents are weird I tell ya!

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!!!!

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