Saturday, November 11, 2006


Game: Florida @ Devils

The Florida Panthers (6-7-3) come to the Continental Airlines Arena to take on the New Jersey Devils (9-5-1).

Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 660 AM, WFAN

The Devils have won their last 3 games and are at the top of the Atlantic Division despite being oh so terrible on offense. I'll watch the Devils-Chicago game later this weekend, but all accounts state that it was lucky the Devils beat the then-7-game-losing streaking Blackhawks in a shootout (how is that for a pathetic sentence).

Rich Chere's post game article in the Star Ledger notes that Patrik Elias is in a slump, requesting to coach Julien not to be in the top 3 for the shootout. I hope he breaks his slump soon, I don't know what it is. Recently, he's looked good at doing it all except for, well, putting the puck in the net or making a play to put it in the net. He's snake-bit, what more can I say?

Johnny Oduya got his first NHL point in the game and Mike Rupp got his first goal of the season against Chicago. Good for them.

Yesterday, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record notes that the Devils were short a skater against Chicago due to Erik Rasmussen's sore thigh from Tuesday and cap problems. Odd of Lou not to call up somebody. Mark Everson in today's NY Post suggests that very low salary cap space the Devils have is a big deal. It is a big deal as they'll need to clear space when David Hale is ready after his conditioning stint in Lowell (noted in the two linked columns). More space will needed to be cleared for the return of Richard Matvichuk later this season. What IS the Devils' cap, you wonder? Well, over at HF Boards, global moderator Irish Blues (once I get his real name, I'll credit him or her later) has compiled cap figures for each player and each team on his website here. I don't know of any other salary cap resources for each NHL team, so if his or her figures are right, the Devils are in a very tight spot. No one plays in the NHL fo $90k.

In more positive news, according to the George Richards' blog of the Miami Herald about the Florida Panters the NHL has released their All-Star Ballots today. There are five Devils: Martin Brodeur, Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez, and for the first time ever, Brian Gionta. Right now, only Brodeur and maaaaybe Rafalski deserve to be in the All Star game based on their play thus far. But there's still a ways to go until January.

Anyway, the Panthers aren't playing so well. They won one of their last six games, blowing a 2 goal lead to the Buffaslug Sabres and losing 5-4 in OT on Thomas Vanek's power play goal. The last time the Panthers won in the Continental Airlines Arena was waaaay back on October 22, 2003. The Devils may have trouble scoring, but if they score first and play strong defense (especially against their leading scorer Olli Jokinen), they should go en route to their fourth straight win. My predicted lines are as follows, assuming Gomez and Fahey are unable to go and Rasmussen will play (haven't seen any forwards called up from Lowell):





QUICKIE RUTGERS REPORT: I did go to the Rutgers-Louisville game. I was the guy in red waving his towel and yelling a lot. You might have seen me on TV. Or not (heh). Rutgers didn't look so good in the first half, but began to come alive by the end to be only down by 11. The second half was nothing short of coaching brilliance - the defense began to dominate the Louisville offense, sacking and pressuring Brohm to play very poorly. QB Mike Teel actually had a good game, but his receivers need to do a better job catching balls - but they caught enough necessary. Brian Leonard and Ray Rice began run all over Louisville. Jeremy "The Judge" Ito is the greatest kicker in Rutgers history. 28-25, 18-point comeback from Rutgers over #3 Louisville. It was FANTASTIC, I even went onto the field, hopped around on the turf - tweaked my ankle, and loved every moment. Second greatest game I've seen all year (#1 being Stevens Night back in February) of any sport. I never felt so proud to be a Scarlet Knight before and that includes when I got my B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Some people in my department asked me why is football so great, why do Americans love it so much. This game, I hope, gave them an answer. GO KNIGHTS!


I wouldn't be above giving Gomez a vote. I will NOT be voting for him as we don't need his agent having yet another thing to sing about if they try and sign him (instead of trading him) next season.
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