Wednesday, November 29, 2006


November in Review; Devil of the Month

With the end of their road trip the Devils ended a mediocre-overall month of games.

November Record: 6-5-1
Highs: 4 game winning streak (11/4-11/11)
Lows: 4 game winless streak (11/22-11/27)
Goals Scored: 25
Goals Scored Against: 29

General Summary: The Devils began the month with a crushing 5-2 loss to the Islanders. The Devils rebounded with 4 straight wins, beating Montreal in Montreal, and defeating the Hurricanes, Panthers, and Blackhawks at home. While they won, the Devils began a pattern of playing well for the first 40 minutes of a game and letting the other team back in it. Jaromir Jagr and the Rangers defeated the Devils in 90 seconds in the third period to win 3-2 at MSG, proof that this sort of thing would come back to haunt them. This also occurred in the next two wins, a home win against Ottawa by a score of 3-2 and a 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Then began the west coast portion of the road trip, where the Devils were swept by all the Pacific Division teams (except Dallas, whom they did not play). At this point, the Devils recanted their 40-minute-effort policy and gave a more consistent effort. It started pathetically against the Phoenix Coyotes, where the team lost 3-1 to one of the NHL's bottom-feeding teams while giving a total lack of effort. The team gave a better effort in their next game, but ultimately fell to some poor defense (especially shorthanded) in a 4-2 loss to Anaheim. The Devils played very well against a talented San Jose Sharks squad, but they couldn't put the biscuit in the basket and Joe Thornton did in a 2-0 loss. The Devils played in LA and controlled most of the game, but again could not ice the game with a third goal. The game ultimately went into a shootout, where the Kings prevailed.

The one thing that keeps coming up is the lack of offensive production. If you read all the postgame posts I linked in the prior paragraph, you'll notice this common theme. The Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner line was hot at the beginning of the month, but even then the Devils only scored more than 2 goals three times (the wins over Carolina, Florida, and Ottawa) during the month. The team is certainly talented, and while the defense has been improved (the return of David Hale, only allowing 29 goals in 12 games); goals are necessary to win games. Be it on the power play or even strength, the Devils are continuously getting outshot, not getting as many scoring chances, and - of course - not lighting the lamp.

Therefore, there is but one player to be considered the Devil of the Month: Martin Brodeur. His current stat line is 12-9-0, 2.38 GAA, and a 91.5 Save %. He has been the sole reason why NJ has been competitive in almost every game this month and the sole reason why the Devils have not been blown away (save the Islander and Coyote games). If you have seen the Devils in even one of these other games, especially the last 3 games against Anaheim, San Jose, and Los Angeles, you have seen Martin Brodeur make at least 3 "How in the HELL did he stop that puck" saves. He has been absolutely fantastic, as noted by "The Maven" Stan Fischler in his assessment of the recent Devils' road trip. such in his recent In addition, e has started in every Devils game so far this year, and he had to perform at near-shutout-worthy levels for New Jersey to win any of those 6 games he won and keep them in it in the 4 (including LA) games the Devils did not win. All Devils fans and the rest of the team should be thankful that Martin Brodeur is who we all thought he was: one of the best goaltenders ever.

SITE INFO: I would like to thank you all for continuing to visit this little Devils blog. Earlier today was our 1,000th visitor and if I'm reading Sitemeter correctly, it's someone from Massachusetts at Brandeis. Thanks whoever you are! You get nothing for your milestone visit. Again, thanks for reading and tell everyone you know about In Lou We Trust.

You're welcome! I need my Devil talk from some place while at college.
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