Category Archives: The Rock
As I’m sure you’ve all heard, the New Jersey Devils will be hosting the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30. What does this mean for the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey area? What is different about this year’s draft? Who’s projected to be drafted first, and who will the Devils draft? Let’s take a look, shall we?
If you’ve ever been to The Prudential Center for a Devils home game, I bet you didn’t just read that sentence. You heard that loud and clear in your head, in the voice of the one and only Kevin Clark! He has been our PA Announcer since 2007, and the job couldn’t have gone to a more enthusiastic and dedicated man.
Like many people, Kevin played sports when he was growing up. When it became evident he was not going to become a professional athlete, he wanted to find other ways to stay involved in sports. So, he did some announcing for his local football team, and began a career as a sports artist. In 1999, while doing artwork for the (now defunct) New Jersey Cardinals, he noticed an opening for PA Announcer on their website. He applied for the job and the team gave him a shot! For two seasons, Kevin took the two hour drive to and from his home to their games. His professional career was off to a great start.
For the first time since their exciting 7-game series in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the New Jersey Devils (14-11-6) will square off against the Florida Panthers (9-16-6) at the Prudential Center Saturday evening. The Devils will look to continue their strong performance, after a commanding 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, while the Florida Panthers will look to add to a current 2-game winning streak as they claw their way back into the Eastern Conference standings.
Three Stars of the Game:
3rd Star: Andrei Loktionov (1 G, 1 A)
2nd Star: Johan Hedberg (2 GA, 23 Saves)
1st Star: Adam Henrique (2 G, 1 A)
The Devils (13-9-5) picked up their 30th and 31st points of the season against an old rival, the Philadelphia Flyers (12-15-1), in the first half of a home-and-home series. The win gives the Devils their first consecutive wins since ending their 5-game winning streak in mid-February, and is the first time the Devils scored more than 3 goals since they last played the Flyers on February 15.
Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
Radio: WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
The Devils (10-8-5) are desperate for a win, as they face-off against the Buffalo Sabres (9-13-2) for the second time in less than a week. Last Saturday, the Devils fell to the Sabres 4-3 in a shootout, in a game that featured a fair amount of trash-talking from both sides, most prominent being Adam Henrique and Ryan Miller jawing after the shootout. The Devils will look for revenge at the Prudential Center on Thursday night, but more importantly, will be looking to end their recent 6-game skid (0-5-1) and avoid their first 7-game losing streak since 1986.
Game Time: 7:00 PM
Radio: 660 WFAN AM, 101.9 FM
For the second time this season, the New Jersey Devils (10-7-5) will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning (9-12-1) at the Prudential Center, their first meeting being a 4-2 win for Jersey’s Team, with goals coming from Henrique, Kovalchuk, Greene, and Elias. Both teams will be playing their second game in as many nights, with the Devils coming off of a 4-2 loss in Toronto, and Tampa Bay coming off a 4-3 loss against the Penguins. The last time these teams met, the Devils were in the middle of their 5-game winning streak, while the Lightning were in the middle of what would be a 6-game losing streak.
Start Time: 7:00 PM
Radio: WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
Your New Jersey Devils (8-1-3) will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1) Tuesday evening for the first of three times this season, and is the only time Carolina will visit The Rock this season. The Devils are coming off of a massively successful weekend, sweeping a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning both games 3-1. The Hurricanes are coming off of a 6-4 victory against the New York Islanders Monday evening and are looking to put some more distance between them and the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning for the Southeast Division lead.
Start Time: 1:00 PM
TV: NHLN-US, MSG+
Radio: WFAN 600 AM, 101.9 FM
As the state of New Jersey braces for what will probably be the worst snow storm of the year, the New Jersey Devils (6-1-3) are preparing for what could be one of their most important weekends of the shortened season. Saturday afternoon, the Devils will play the first game of a home-and-home series against their Division Rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins (8-3-0). The Devils enter the game winning their last three, most recently a convincing 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins have won their past five games, consisting of wins against the Rangers, Devils, Islanders, and the Capitals twice.
New Jersey Devils:
One of the key factors to the Devils three-game winning streak is obviously the team’s strong penalty kill. The Devils have killed off all 16 penalties called against them in those three games, with Kovalchuk even scoring a short-handed goal against the Lightning. While averaging over 5 penalties a game is not where the Devils want to be, being able to kill those penalties is a huge boost of confidence for the team. After giving up 3 power-play goals against the Islanders last week, the Devils really started being more aggressive on their penalty kills, pressuring the offense to make mistakes. On top of that, the Devils goaltending has been superb as of late. Hedberg posted a shutout against the Islanders, and Marty let in three goals in his previous two outings, making some truly stellar stops in both games. After 10 games, the Devils are only averaging 2.1 goals against, tied for 5th in the NHL.
What is there to say about the Penguins that hasn’t already been said? Their offense has been as lethal as ever this season, and the Penguins have one of the best goalie pairs in the NHL. Marc-Andre Fleury (5-2-0, 2.38 GAA, 0.909 Sv%) is looking to erase all memories of his terrible performance during last season’s playoffs, and Tomas Vokoun (3-1-0, 2.08 GAA, 0.927 Sv%) has played spectacularly when filling in for Fleury. The Penguins are currently averaging 3.46 goals per game, tied for second with the Chicago Blackhawks, trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning (4.20).
What to Watch For
Martin Brodeur will start career game number 1,200 Saturday afternoon, yet another milestone in the massive book Marty has written through his career. With the way Marty has been playing lately, I wouldn’t worry about last week’s performance getting to him. Marty’s made a career out of bouncing back from tough losses, and he’s put on a clinic in his past 2 starts. Look for Marty to continue his strong play and for the defense to continue supporting him. While the Devils penalty-kill has been strong, the Devils will want to stay out of the box more, but don’t expect them to play more conservative because of this. The offense has been clicking as of late, with Clarkson (7) leading the team in goals, and tied with Elias for the team lead in points with 13.
The Penguins offense will be fueled by the usual suspects: Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, and Neal. Look for them to test Marty early and often, trying to break through and have another high-scoring game against the future Hall-of-Famer. Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to get the start against Marty on Saturday afternoon. While the Penguins are sporting one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, don’t expect that to intimidate the Devils. After all, they held the #1 team in the league (Tampa Bay) to just two goals on Thursday.
With the Central/North New Jersey area currently being pounded by winter storm Nemo, don’t expect a sell-out crowd at the Prudential Center tomorrow. Who knows, maybe this generation will get a chance to have their own 334 Club. Regardless, expect Devils fans to show up ready for a good game.
Before I became involved with the organization as a Devil’s Army General, I really didn’t think much about the behind the scenes aspects of running a hockey club. You see the players and coaches on the bench, you can watch the Zamboni crew between periods, you hear about general manager’s making roster changes, and maybe even the owner or president will pop in and out of TV broadcasts and press releases. The truth is there is an unbelievable amount of people behind the scenes, often doing the work of even more people that I never even imagined as a fan.