Monthly Archives: November 2011

Game Preview – Game 23: Your New Jersey Devils @ Colorado Avalanche

New Jersey Devils vs Colorado Avalanche

New Jersey Devils
 
(12-9-1, 25 points) @ Colorado Avalanche (10-13-1, 21 points)
9:30 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

This will be the first of two matchups between the Avalanche and the Devils this season. They will play again on March 15, 2012 in New Jersey. Last year, in their one and only meeting of the season on October 15, 2010, the Avalanche won 3-2.

Did Parise Kick it In?:

The Devils seemed to have tied the game against the New York Islanders with two seconds left on Saturday, but the NHL War Room had a different opinion.

There is no question that Zach Parise directed the puck in off of his skate, but was it a distinct kicking motion? NHL Rule 49.2 states that if the puck is deflected in off the skate, it will count as a goal, but if the puck is propelled in by a distinct kicking motion, it will not be a legitimate goal. I was always under the impression that a distinct kicking motion was a pendulum, back to front, motion.

Evidently, Parise’s skate going to the right and making contact with the puck was enough for the NHL to declare it a distinct kicking motion, but listen to this:

In the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, Jay Pandolfo performed almost the same exact move as Parise. Originally the goal was waived off, unlike Parise’s which was called a goal. After going to Toronto to review the goal, the NHL said it was a goal because there was no DISTINCT kicking motion.

Clearly, most Devils fans believe it should’ve been a goal, but to quote head coach Peter DeBoer, “You live with it, and you move on.” 

Against the Avalanche:

All-time the Devils are 30-26-9-0 when playing the Avalanche/Nordiques and 12-16-4-0 when playing in Colorado/Quebec.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Avalanche with 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) in 17 games played.

Zach Parise, has played in 5 career games against the Avalanche and has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in those games.

Martin Brodeur is 16-7-6  in his career against the Avalanche with a 2.22 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen

Tallinder - Fayne
Salvador – Larson
Volchenkov – Fraser

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Avalanche Having Hard Time Winning at Home:

Currently the Avalanche find themselves in midst of a eight-game homestand. So far on this homestand, the Avalanche find themselves with only two wins, with three games left. Also, in their last three losses, the Avalanche scored only two goals

On the bright side, the Avalanche’s number one goalie, Semyon Varlamov is starting to come around. The former Capitals goaltender struggled in the beginning of the season with his new squad, but Varlamov has only allowed a pair of goals in each of his past three starts. 

Projected Avalanche Lineup:

Duchene – Stastny – Hejduk
Landeskog – O’Reilly – Winnik
McLeod – Galiardi – Jones
Porter – McClement – Kobasew

Quincey – O’Brien
Hejda – Wilson
Hunwick – O’Byrne

Varlamov
Giguere 


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Player of the Week – 11/21-11/28

The Devils finished a busy four game stint, winning two and losing two. New Jersey had some great hockey this week, including a shoot out win over Columbus. It was tough to pick who to put in the poll this week, but we narrowed it down to the three we thought deserved it most. Think someone else did better? Click OTHER and let us know who!

Game Preview – Game 21: Your New Jersey Devils vs New York Islanders

New Jersey Devils vs New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils (11-8-1, 23 points) vs New York Islanders (5-10-4, 14 points)
3:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Today’s black Friday matchup will see the Devils and Islanders meet for the first of six meetings this season, as well as the first game of a home-and-home series. The Devils won the season series last year, 4-2-0. Two of those four wins came in overtime.

Devils vs Blue Jackets Recap:

On Wednesday, the Devils hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center and were able to secure their seventh win in 10 games.

Dainius Zubrus scored the only Devils goal in regulation, and Ilya Kovalchuk & Zach Parise scored in the shootout to give the Devils their 11th win of the season. Last year, the Devils didn’t get win number 11 until game 42 of the season.

Martin Brodeur also kept the Devils in the game by making 35 saves on the night.

The Devils, now 11-8-1 on the season, are now tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with cross-Hudson rivals, the New York Rangers.

Palmieri sent to Albany (AHL):

Yesterday was not a Happy Thanksgiving for Nick Palmieri who was informed that he was being sent to the Albany Devils of the AHL.

Palmieri’s play this season has not been up to par with his play last season. Last season, Palmieri had nine goals, eight assists and a plus-9 in 43 games.

So far this season, Palmieri only has three goals, three assists and is a minus-5 in 19 games played.

Palmieri didn’t play Monday against the Panthers and played just over eight minutes on the fourth line in the Devils win over Columbus Wednesday.

Palmieri’s demotion comes when Eric Boulton is also in Albany on a conditioning stint. It also means that Mattias Tedenby can expect some more ice-time as he still looks for his first goal of the season.

Against the Islanders:

All-time the Devils are 74-80-20-1 when playing the Islanders and 29-47-12-0 when playing at the Nassau Coliseum.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Islanders with 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 71 games played.

Zach Parise has 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 36 career games against the Islanders.

Johan Hedberg is 6-6-2 in his career against the Islanders with a 3.02 GAA

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Pelley - Sestito – Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Brodeur

——————–

Islanders’ Bad Luck Continues:

The New York Islanders found themselves down 1-0 early to the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night, but were able to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead.

However, a subpar performance from goaltender Rick DiPietro saw the Flyers tie the game and win it in overtime.

The Islanders find themselves on a three game losing streak, and have dropped the last 13 of 16. 

Random Islanders Stats:

The Islanders have given up a goal on their opponent’s first shot of the game in each of their last two games and a total of five times this season. They are 0-3-2 when this happens this season.

The Islanders are 4-1-2 when scoring first and 1-9-2 when allowing the game’s first goal.

To coincide with the Devils’ third period problems, the Isles have been outscored 15-1 in the final frame over their last seven games, including three empty net goals. So far this season, the Islanders have been outscored 26-8 in the third period.

Projected Islanders Lineup:

Moulson – Tavares – Parenteau
Grabner – Nielsen – Okposo
Martin – Bailey – Niederreiter
Haley – Reasoner – Ullstrom

Streit – Staios
Macdonald – Hamonic
Mottau – Jurcina

Montoya
DiPietro

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Travis Zajac Cleared by Doctors: Will Return Soon

Travis ZajacTravis Zajac skated on his own last week after being cleared by doctors and appears to be making progress with his surgically repaired achilles tendon.  Though Zajac said skating was easier than walking earlier this year, getting back on the ice a big step toward seeing the top-line center on the ice for the first time.

Lou Lamoriello seemed pleased with Zajac’s progress according to NHL.com.

“Travis has been released by the doctors and is in town and skated [Tuesday and Wednesday] and will continue to do that for the next week and a half to two weeks,” Lamoriello said. “If everything is on schedule as it has been, he’ll start practicing with the team in two weeks. Everything to this point has been exactly the way the doctors predicted it would be, and it feels good…”

If everything going “exactly how doctors predicted it would be” isn’t “status quo”, I don’t know what is.  If he practices in two weeks and conditions for a few more, he’s on track for a return in 2011.

The Devils need their top center as soon as possible.  Aside from the chemistry developed with Zach Parise over the last few years, Zajac gives the Devils depth up the middle.  With Jacob Josefson out with a broken collar bone, the Devils have been experimenting with Parise and Patrik Elias playing center.  Zajac will give the Devils offense stability.

Patrik Elias leads the team with a point-per-game pace, 8 goals and 11 assists.  The next closest Devils have 11 each.  In two complete seasons from 2008 to 2010 Travis Zajac scored 129 points for platoff Devils teams.

Zajac broke Ken Daneyko’s team record for consecutive game’s played before missing the start of this season but otherwise, last year was certainly a bit of a down season.  The New Jersey iron-man was without Zach Parise.  In a new system, with a new coach and more wins, Zajac should see more success when he returns.

Player of the Week Winner: David Clarkson

David Clarkson, Player of the WeekCongratulations to David Clarkson as he won this week’s Player of the Week voted on by the fans. David Clarkson scored in three consecutive games on the road. His first of those three games came as a power play goal in the second period against Boston. Clarkson scored in the third period against Buffalo and again on a PPG against Tampa Bay to help secure the Devils second win on that five game road trip.  Clarkson also posted an assist on Elias PPG against the Lightning.

Clarkson deserves the player of the week as those three goals have put him second on the team in goal scoring. He is now tied with Zubrus with seven goals.

Don’t forget to check in on Monday to vote for Player of the Week 11/21-11/27.

Game Preview – Game 20: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Your New Jersey Devils!

New Jersey Devils vs Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
 
(10-8-1, 21 points) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (5-13-2, 12 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the first and only time this season that the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets will meet. Last season, they met on March 20 in Columbus in which the Devils won 3-0 to secure Martin Brodeur’s 115th career shutout.

Devils vs Blue Jackets Recap:

The Devils were able to score three goals in under four minutes to give themselves a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission. The team look great. But, a 3-0 lead is always said to be the worst lead in hockey.

It proved to be true, as the Panthers scored two goals in each the second and third period. Tomas Fleischmann‘s goal with 2:03 left in the third period proved to be the difference.

The Devils wrapped up their five game road trip with a 3-2 record.

Devils Injury Updates:

Anton Volchenkov (facial laceration) missed most of Monday’s game against Florida, but will play tonight.

Eric Boulton (non-displaced fracture in right hand) has been assigned to Albany (AHL) for conditioning purposes.

Tim Sestito has been recalled from Albany (AHL).

Travis Zajac (torn Achilles tendon) has been cleared by doctors, and is expected to practice with the team in two weeks.

Jacob Josefson (broken clavicle) is still recovering and isn’t expected back until March.

Against the Blue Jackets:

All-time the Devils are 7-2-2-0 when playing the Blue Jackets and 3-0-1-0 when playing in New Jersey.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Blue Jacketswith 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 10 games played.

Ilya Kovalchuk, however, has the most career points against the Blue Jackets with 11 points  (3 goals, 8 assists) in nine games played. Kovalchuk is also two points away from notching his 100th career point as a New Jersey Devil.

Martin Brodeur is 6-2-2-0 in his career against the Blue Jackets with a 2.17 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Palmieri - Carter – Clarkson
Tedenby - Sestito – Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Columbus Coming off Back-to-Back Wins:

The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves last in the NHL standings with a 5-13-2 record. However, they have momentum they need coming into tonight’s game.

The Jackets beat the Flames Monday night, 4-1, and now have back-t0-back wins for the first time in 42 games, stretching back to February 2010. Luckily for them, this stretch wasn’t close to the NHL record for games played without back-to-back victories, which is 173 set by the Washington Capitals from the 1974-75 season to the 1976-77 season.

The team hopes these wins, will jump-start the team’s offense and defense, and get them out of the slump they are currently in.

Blue Jackets and Devils Stats and Tidbits:

While David Vyborny has the most career points, all-time, as a Blue Jackets against New Jersey, seven points (3 goals, 4 assists), Vinny Prospal has the most career points among active Blue Jackets with 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 50 games played.

The last trade between these two clubs happened back in 2003 when the Devils acquired Grant Marshall for a 2004 Conditional Draft Pick.

Curtis Sanford is expected to start between the pipes tonight for the Blue Jackets. He has a career record of 0-1-0 against the Devils with a 3.57 GAA.


Projected Blue Jackets Lineup:

Nash – Carter – Umberger
Prospal – Letestu – Johansen
Vermette – Pahlsson – Dorsett
Calvert – MacKenzie – Boll

Tyutin – Nikitin
Methot – Wisniewski
Moore – Clitsome

Sanford
Mason

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