Monthly Archives: December 2011
This past week was filled with great moments. Friday, the New Jersey Devils retired number 27 and then the team went on to win their 3rd straight game going 6-3 against Dallas. The team scored 18 goals this week beating Tampa, Florida, Dallas and Montreal. With that many goals scored we can choose a bunch of players for this weeks Player of the Week. However, we pulled what we thought were the three we should highlight.
Our captain, coming off POTW 12/4-12/11, had another great week scoring 3 goals and had 6 assists. Another great moment for the organization was Patrik Elias’s goals in Montreal where he broke the Devils All-Time Goal Scoring Record. This week he had 4 goals and 2 assists. With all the offense we can easily forget about our defensemen. This week we highlight Bryce Salvador because he had over 20 minutes of ice time in almost every game this week. He also made a glove save against Dallas that changed the game. He finished the week with 2 assists and a plus 8. As always, let us know if we left someone out by clicking OTHER.
When listening to the New Jersey Devils on WFAN 660 AM, you hear Matt Loughlin and Sherry Ross blurt out statistics with no hesitation at all. While these journalists are incredibly gifted at what they do, they have a little bit of help when it comes to the statistics. No, not the internet, but a man named JohnCarl Ziegler.
Ziegler graduated from St. John’s University in 2008, where he studied Sports Management. Hoping to one day become a broadcaster for the National Hockey League, Ziegler got his break when the New Jersey Devils were looking for a statistician to assist with radio broadcasts.
So what does it take to be a statistician for a NHL broadcast? Ziegler told me that organization and a good memory is key.
Each game day, Ziegler will write down everything he believes is key for the upcoming game for both teams, whether it’s an upcoming milestone, points streak, and even up-to-date stats on the players. He said he really likes looking at trends approaching the game as opposed to how a certain player has played his entire career versus a certain team. One example Ziegler told me was one game he noticed that Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov had four points within his last six games, and he felt this was an important stat to note because how often does Volchenkov have a hot streak like that.
Ziegler says he files away everything from every game just in case he needs to ever go back and check something over again, such as when a team returns to play the Devils at Prudential Center. He will pull out his folder and note what happened the last two times the teams faced each other at Prudential Center.
When it comes to obtaining certain information, Ziegler says he uses the Internet quite a bit, but really utilizes the media guide and his own memory. The media guide includes a lot of statistics, not only on present Devils players, but as well as previous seasons. This year, the New Jersey Devils didn’t print a media guide, but instead chose to use a digital version which is available on their website.
Not only do the media guide and the Internet help Ziegler when he needs to tell Matt Loughlin about an absurd statistic, but he depends on his own memory as well. Ziegler has been watching the Devils ever since he was a young child, and watches every game. And while he doesn’t know exact stats such as what the Devils record is on Tuesday games, he can tell you what the Devils record was in 1999-2000, and he credits it on the fact that he was there and able to witness it.
“There are a lot of times I’m very confident and I’ll just write it down without checking it because I know I’m 100% right, and I tell myself that I should really double check it, and I shouldn’t get too cocky, but I just know it’s right.”
Before he started working with the team, Ziegler attended every game he possibly could. His favorite memory as a fan occurred on June 9, 2003, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals (yeah, he told me the EXACT date). He was sitting in Section 103, Row 19, Seats 1 & 2. Not only was it a special moment for him because the Devils had won the Stanley Cup, but he realized that it had been two years to the day, that the Devils lost a Game 7 to the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals.
While working with the team, his favorite memory is his very first game during the 2006-2007 while he was still a junior in college. Being a fan, he had always dreamed of working for his favorite hockey team and now that he had the ability, he took it all in. About that game, Ziegler said, “Wow. So this is what it’s like. This is what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life? I like it!”
As with all jobs, being a statistician must get stressful right? According to Ziegler, wrong. Though he admits he has his moments where he zones out and watches the game while he should be getting the next statistic ready to be read over the airwaves, he is always in working, hockey mode 99.9% of the time and is stress-free 100% of the time.
Be sure to catch JohnCarl Ziegler’s statistic work during Devils home game broadcasts on WFAN 660 AM.
Last Friday, the Devils retired former captain Scott Niedermayer’s #27 into the rafters of the Prudential Center for “Niedermayer Night” as fans gathered to see the Devils take on the Dallas Stars. There was initially a little bit of controversy amongst fans and critics over whether or not Niedermayer was deserving of the honor, but anybody who watched the ceremony and highlights of his career as a Devil and knows his impressive resume can have little doubt that this was more than well deserved. And what a night it was!
For those of you that did not get to see the ceremony, you can view it here: http://bit.ly/uHJnUl
From a fan’s perspective, the whole evening was fun, exciting, and memorable. The entire place was decked out. Number 27 was everywhere, from the banners outside of the Rock to the boards at center ice inside the arena. Interviews and highlights of Niedermayer’s career were displayed on the jumbotron throughout the evening. Some of his stats were displayed in the rafters of the main concourse. Fans entering the building received a mini replica banner, and fans exiting the building received a numbered 8×10 collector’s card.
The energy inside the arena during the ceremony was intense. Fans were cheering, screaming, standing, whistling, chanting, and applauding when the banner was raised to the rafters. The sellout crowd was a big part of the excitement of the night, as everybody was respectful and gave Niedermayer his due credit. Even the staff at the Prudential Center seemed more friendly and happy than they usually are. There was just an air of excitement throughout the arena that everyone seemed to share.
The Devils went on to win 6-3 against the Stars, with a goal and 3 assists by captain Zach Parise. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night, and everybody went home with a giant smile on their face. It was one of my most fun-filled nights as a Devils fan, and the win helped seal it as one of my proudest memories as a Devils fan.
During his short but humble speech, Niedermayer reflected upon his time as a Devil and said, “These memories, I will cherish the rest of my life.” Likewise, Scotty. What was your favorite part about Niedermayer Night?
The New Jersey Devils held a news conference today with General Manager Lou Lamiorello and the man who is being honored tonight, Scott Niedermayer.
Niedermayer’s number 27 will join Ken Daneyko’s number 3, and Scott Stevens’ number 4 up in the rafters of Prudential Center tonight.
Niedermayer is excited about the night. During the news conference, he talked about how he tried not to think about it so much when he was nearing the end of his career with the Anaheim Ducks, “It seemed like it sure was a long ways away when I was across the country and not thinking about it a whole lot, but now that I’m here, I’m excited.”
Opening the news conference, Niedermayer thanked Lou Lamiorello for giving him the opportunity to play in New Jersey. He told the press despite owning a red & green Devils jersey as a kid, and knowing the names of the players on the team, he didn’t know much about New Jersey.
Niedermayer credits his skating ability as part of his success within the organization, and he credits Scott Stevens & Ken Daneyko, as well as other veteran defensemen, for teaching him and taking him under their wings. He also said it’s fitting that the first three retired numbers are the key defensemen from the 1995, 2000, and 2003 Stanley Cup teams. Niedermayer said defense was the strength back then, much like offense is the strength of the team now.
He said he felt spoiled that he won the Stanley Cup three times within his first 12 seasons of his career, but that winning the cup that first time was an amazing experience that he’d never forget. Winning the Cup with the Ducks in 2007, he said, almost duplicated that feeling because there were so many players who had never won it before such as Teemu Selanne and his brother, Rob Niedermayer.
To sum up his time in New Jersey, Niedermayer said that the most special moments were just being with his teammates. He named Daneyko, Stevens, Brodeur, and Doug Gilmour as those he was honored to have played with in New Jersey.
Is he nervous about tonight? “Hopefully I don’t mess up too many times or slip on the ice. So, if I don’t do that, it’s a success.”
Tonight the New Jersey Devils will raise Scott Niedermayer’s #27 into the rafters of the Prudential Center to join Scott Stevens and Ken Danekyo. The Devils Generals have a way we all can join in… with Facebook banners! We’ve got a tall one for your Facebook profile picture and a wide one for your Facebook timeline cover. Just click on the one you’d like to download, Right Click, Save Image As, and upload to your Facebook page to honor Niedermayer and celebrate #27 being the third number to be retired in New Jersey Devils history. Don’t forget to follow the Devils Generals on Facebook, too!
Originally posted in September, 2011.
Welcome to the rafters of Prudential Center, #27! On Friday December 16th, Scott Niedermayer’s #27 will join Scott Stevens’ #4 and Ken Daneyko’s #3 as the only numbers retired in franchise history. Scott was a key component of the New Jersey Devils’ success for over a decade, which culminated with four Stanley Cup Finals appearances (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003) and three Stanley Cup Championships (1995, 2000, 2003). Scott’s value to the franchise is undeniable and will never be forgotten.
Niedermayer will undoubtedly be remembered for his stellar skating and offensive production. In 2003-2004 Scott scored 14 goals and added 40 assists, for a total of a whopping 54 points. After the conclusion of the season, Scott was named the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as Defenseman of the Year, becoming the first Devil to do so. Scott has won everything there is to win in hockey. In 1991 he won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships as a member of Team Canada. In 1992 he won the Memorial Cup as a member of the Kamloops Blazers, and was named MVP. He won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003. Scott also won the Stanley Cup in 2007 as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, and won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. Scott won gold medals as a member of Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. He also was a member of the Team Canada squad that took gold in the 2004 World Championships, and a member of the 2004 World Cup winning Canada team. Forget “trophy case”, the Niedermayer household needs a trophy ROOM.
I am extremely excited about Scott’s jersey being retired, and will be in attendance at The Rock cheering loudly on the night of December 16. Please join me in applauding a true New Jersey Devils legend who has given so much to the organization.
What is your favorite Nieds’ moment?
It’s fitting that Zajac was voted as the best to wear #19, as he is expected to re-join the Devils lineup very soon.
Click here to take a look at Travis Zajac’s player profile that we posted back in May, on his birthday, before his torn achilles injury.
We will return next week with Best to Wear #20. Start thinking of who you will vote for, now.
New Jersey Devils (14-13-1, 29 points) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (12-15-2, 26 points)
7:00 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight will be the second of four matchups between the Lightning and the Devils this season, it will also be the second of two matchups played at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. The two teams last met on November 19 in Tampa with the Devils coming away with a 4-2 victory.
Taormina Looking to Make Most of Second Chance:
Matt Taormina made the Devils out of training camp last year and had three goals and two assists in the Devils’ first 17 games last season. He had appeared to be adapting to NHL play quickly. Then on November 14, 2010, teammate Mattias Tedenby fell on Taormina’s ankle during a practice session which eventually sidelined Taormina for the rest of the season.
Taormina rehabbed throughout the spring and summer and came into training camp, looking for a fresh start. However, a back injury caused Taormina to be sidelined for a week during training camp, which hurt his chances at making the roster. He started the season in Albany.
Now with Andy Greene sidelined for four weeks, and Anton Volchenkov listed as day-to-day, Taormina has gotten a second chance to prove that he belongs in the NHL. He had over 16 minutes of ice time in Saturday’s loss to Montreal, and even had some powerplay time.
Taormina practiced on Sunday with the second powerplay unit, and is expected to play on the unit tonight.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora - Elias (A) – Clarkson
Zubrus - Carter – Palmieri
Boulton – Sestito – Tedenby
Talinder – Fayne
Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Urbom
The Latest on the Tampa Bay Lightning:
In five games so far in the month of December, the Tampa Bay Lightning have come away with only two points out of a possible 10. In those five games, the Lightning have scored first four out of five. However, squandering an early lead has become a Bolt trademark. This was last seen on Saturday when Ryan Shannon gave the Lightning an early 1-0 lead over the Flyers, but the Broad Street Bullies scored three unanswered and never relinquished the lead.
The team is clearly hurting from the absence of all-star Martin St. Louis, who is out indefinitely with facial and nasal fractures after teammate Dominic Moore hit him with a puck during a pre-game skate two games ago.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher says the difference between last year’s Lightning team and this year’s is the fact that the Lightning are struggling on the man-advantage this season. The Bolts have a 14.7% powerplay success, which is still higher than the Devils; however, with the Devils 93.4% PK, the chances of the Lightning improving their PP tonight is slim to none.
Projected Lightning Lineup:
Malone – Stamkos (A) – Downie
Pyatt – Lecavalier (C) – Purcell
Thompson – Moore – Shannon
Jones – Hall – Tyrell
Hedman – Brewer (A)
Bergeron – Gilroy
Clark – Gervais