Tag: 2008-09 devils postgame

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Fun Facts about Last Night's Win

Tom Gulitti has put together a list of interesting facts about last night's win. (And he has this one from a prior post: Brodeur has only come in for relief 12 times in his career - his first since 1998) Here's the most important one: The Devils clinch the Atlantic with a win tonight and a Flyers loss. Make it happen, Devils! (Oh, and go Sens!)

Quickie Thought: Devils battle Blues, Go to the Net and Win

As always, link goes to the NHL.com recap. The Blues played a very tough, fiesty game of hockey. Much of the game was shift after shift with players battling for the puck. Lots of credit goes to the Blues to finding and capitalizing on opportunities to score three goals: Brad Boyes' on the rebound, TJ Oshie (who definitely was fired up and had a great game) setting up David Backes, and Alexander Steen slamming home a rebound late. Only the Devils won their fair share of battles and despite getting out shot a bit (26 to 31), the Devils made chances happen by going to the net. Zach Parise earned a brace and personified the team's effort tonight - he was filled with speed and fighting spirit. He also caught Manny Legace twice between his legs for both goals: one being a strong shot in the first period, the other just by banging home a backhand in front of the crease. The other two goals were earned also by taking it strong to the slot. Brian Rolston went to the net and slammed home a rebound from a David Clarkson shot past a prone Legace. Jay Pandolfo went to the net and struck gold by re-directing a Mike Rupp pass into the net on Legace's flank. Poor Legace! And, lo and behold, that was the game winner. Go the net, and you can find yourself some goals - that was true for both teams. Parise was clearly the Devils' best player on the ice and he helped give the Devils 2 more points. Last point for now: Bryce Salvador had a strong game overall. He played 20:32, got an assist on Parise's second goal, and layed out 4 big hits on the Blues. Again, thank you to the St. Louis organization for trading him away so cheaply.

Quickie Thought: Devils get it done with a better game

As always, link goes to the NHL.com recap. This game was much better than last night's overall. Both teams weren't as cautious, and the Devils definitely improved in getting shots on net (17 in the first period!), getting scoring chances, and in their forecheck. The Devils were great at battling for the puck, the best examples resulting in the last Devils goal: Brian Rolston charges down to negate an icing call and provides the pressure that led to the puck going to David Clarkson. Clarkson charges the net, the puck is loose, and Rolston is right there to put it in for his first goal since his injury. Clarkson had an even better moment, stripping Nathan Paetsch from the puck, fighting him off, and driving to the net to slide it through Ryan Miller's legs. regardless, the Devils did very well overall. Giving up a goal right after scoring twice isn't a good sign, neither are some of the penalties they took. But the Devils' effort and great improvement on offense and on their forecheck is worthy of praise. Now the Devils come home to take on Ottawa.

Quickie Thought: Seriously, Rolston, a slapshot?

Link, as always, goes to the NHL.com recap. And this was definitely the night of sore legs, sore feet, and beaten sticks. The Devils blocked 18 shots, the Leafs blocked 21, and neither team got too many clean chances on net. Mike Rupp opened up the game with a slick shot on net from a Jeff Finger giveaway; and Justin Williams shot a fantastic shot to take a lead. But a floater off of Zach Parise's visor tied it up; and the game remained equalized in the battle of thwarted offense. While things opened up in overtime, it wasn't enough and it went to a shootout. Jason Blake scored a highlight of the month reel goal on a spin-o-rama that beat Clemmensen clean. Brian Rolston responded with a slapshot and so the Devils got 1 instead of 2. Can't dwell on it now, they got to go to Buffalo tomorrow.

Quickie Thought: Devils played for 15 in a 60 minute game

The Devils' four game winning streak was broken by the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2. Link goes to the NHL.com recap. The biggest problem the Devils had was that they only looked to play well - or even strive to want to play well - for only a part of each period. The second period is a great example, where Elias tied it up and Holik gave them a lead. Yet, shortly after the Holik goal, the Devils either were too tired or too uninterested in making offensive rushes after a defensive stop. And late in the game, when trying to salvage it, the Devils just couldn't take/find an open shot. The Sabres played better as the game went on, being absolutely lethal on the power play and pounding home loose pucks when necessary (Vanek). Wasn't really Weekes' fault on 3 of those 4 goals against. But the Devils were too flat to do much of anything after it became 3-2. And so the streak ends with a whimper.

Quickie Thought: REVENGE IS OURS!

Link goes to the NHL.com recap and what a game that was. Pittsburgh is likely sitting there wondering how could they have missed so many glorious chances (including a WIDE OPEN NET in the second); only to leave the Devils to take advantage in the second half of the game. Sidney Crosby in particular was frustrated by the Devils defense and some bad bounces. You know he is when he's throwing Brian Gionta down and keeping him there with a clinch. Scott Clemmensen was excellent and he's continuing to roll on as the starting goaltender for the Devils. Bryce Salvador picked up 2 assists to go with some steady play. Despite getting hit hard in the face in the third period, he appears to be OK according to Gulitti - which is excellent news. Lastly, I want to say Dainius Zubrus flicking his wrist after scoring his goal from the half-boards was sweet. I need to find a video of that stat. Overall, good performance, great result; bring on hockey's answer to Chelsea FC!

Quickie Thought: 4 for 5 from the Road

As always, link is for the NHL recap. I have three quick thoughts. 1) You don't need a big, high scoring game or a game with fights to have great hockey. This was a up-and-down, intense affair between two teams who have played well. Tonight's game was definitive proof that low scoring games can be and are often exciting. 2) Scott Clemmensen was excellent and he's playing very well. I don't care what he did last season, he is the #1 goalie right now. He has earned that after his performance tonight. 3) Zach Parise got the set-up from Patrik Elias this time in overtime; and it made all the difference. A legit penalty led to a winning goal in OT to cap off a successful road trip. Sweetness.

Quickie Thought: Elias hero of the night

Well, I didn't see the game yet; but I'm happy to see the results. Let's just say I'm real interested in seeing how Elias pulled this one off, in addition to the returns of Madden and Rolston (he did play).

Quickie Thought: Well, It Ended in Pittsburgh

Link goes to the NHL.com recap. Anyway, what I feared would happen did. Granted, it was in a game where puck possession was constantly fought for and traded back and forth. The difference being the Penguins had the better of chances in putting them into the net, whereas they stood fast when the Devils picked it up. It's why Mike Rupp's wonder-shot was the only one that got through. It's also why Sidney Crosby scored his three goals with relative ease with respect to Scott Clemmensen. And, of course, Crosby assisted on Petr Sykora's power play goal - given where he was, it was so easy, even a caveman could score it. Yeah, Crosby's an elite talent. And the Devils couldn't put up enough sustained pressure on offense to turn things around. Now they'll have 4 days to think about it before Philly on 12/4.

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