As a Devils fan living in exile (in St. Louis, MO) I actually got to see my favorite team play in person for the first time in three years (thanks NHL!). I grew up in Fairfield County, CT and started watching Devils games in 1988 when we got basic cable and they would get bumped to SportsChannel America when they and the Islanders would play on the same night. I was (and still am) a NY Mets fan, and LOVED Gary Thorne on 1050 then 660 and so I started to watch...and got hooked. Anyway, thought I would pop over and list some thoughts from the game.
- While Zach Parise certainly played in the last game I saw in person (a 5-3 win over STL back in very early 2006), to see him in person now is really something. For his size, he really has no business doing the stuff he does, and his fortitude directly resulted in the tie-breaking goal in front. The toe-drag he put on two Blues to almost net a goal was something to see as well. At times, STL was double-teaming him even.
- After Parise scored the first goal, the defensive effort COMPLETELY went away. We were actually fortunate to not be down by more. 2nd period had a real nice effort though. I think we were certainly missing Colin White though, as it took me awhile to figure out that Jay Leach was out there.
- First time (obviously) to see Clemmensen in person, and I thought he did a nice job. Nothing spectacular, but he certainly controlled the game well after the two first period goals. And is it terrible to say that I like seeing him out there over Marty only because I like his goalie mask better? :-)
- Was pleased to see Salvador not only back on the ice, but to get booed/cheered when he got the assist on the 3rd goal.
- Good efforts from Langenbrunner and Gionta (FIVE shots)..was hoping Brian would get rewarded for the effort. Not much from Elias last night.
- Was hoping to see more from Zajac...did not have a good game last night as far as I could tell.
- Saw good effort out of the Madden/Rupp/Pandolpho, as Rupp did a nice job earning a penalty early on (which the Devils were not able to capitalize on) and then the good effort from all three resulting in the cushion we needed. At one point, they controlled the action deep in the Blues zone for some time. While it did not result in a goal, it did result in some very tired legs for STL.
- Speaking of the cushion, STL pulled their goalie with 2:30 to go and we got a little TOO fancy, made the extra pass and ended up not getting the empty-netter as Zubrus' shot was blocked. Karma is a bitch and almost bit us for that one.
- Not sure what happened on the 3rd Blues goal, but I do know Holik skated over to the bench and DESTROYED his stick at the gate...then got onto the bench and DESTROYED THE DESTRUCTION some more.
- A small thing on the Blues....TJ Oshie has some good jump...he could be a decent player for them. The Blues have some OK pieces, but are really banged up and Legace is not what he was last season when he carried them in the 1st half.
- Good crowd in STL last night...been to about 4 games this season here (usually get freebies) and this was the best showing of the season for them.
- A win is a win, but back to back roadies kinda sucks...let's hope they can close the (calendar) year with a win tonight!
Happy new year everyone!