Sunday, December 24, 2006


Postgame: Atlanta 5 - Devils 2

Well, the Thrashers just have the Devils number, winning their sixth straight against the Devils in a very up tempo, exciting hockey game. No, the Thrashers are not on a six game winning streak; just a streak against the Devils. In any case, here is the official score sheet from that game via as well as the official super stats. Some lucky bounces and occurrences led to some of the goals, namely Zach Parise's first goal which was a rebound off Steve McCarthy's skate and Bobby Holik's goal which went off Paul Martin's body and deflected into the net. The Devils had their chances to tie up the game or go up early, but the Devils hit a number of posts and missed (or were robbed) on at least 3 opportunities what looked certain to be a goal.

While the Devils didn't give up after Shane Hnidy's tally in the second period, they looked flat after Viktor Kozlov's goal in the third (in which he missed his first shot, kicked the puck to himself, and then beat Martin Brodeur). The fifth goal came from Ilya Kovalchuk on an empty net, which just iced the game. The Devils did shoot the puck more than Atlanta, by a tune of 38 to 27; but the Thrashers got the results New Jersey was looking for. Aaron has a recap of the game as well, noting the Devils' lack of success on the breakout was a key to their loss. I don't know about that. The Devils did put up 38 shots on Atlanta, even out shooting them in the third period 9 to 8 when I felt they were flat for the last 12 minutes or so. Unless I'm mistaken, the breakout play is usually designed to generate offensive rushes and, hopefully, establish some possession in the opposition's zone. With 38 shots and from what I saw on TV, the Devils succeeded in this regard. I don't think the Devils did not have a shortage of putting plays together, just on finishing scoring chances. Atlanta, on the other hand, did capitalize on their scoring chances - another point Aaron makes that I completely agree with him.

Also from the recap, Aaron hopes the short Christmas break will be enough for Patrik Elias and Colin White to be healthy. I felt that the Devils really could have used Elias for the Atlanta game; but his health is important, as is Colin White's. The break is short, as the Devils will take on the Pittsburgh Crosbies on Tuesday night. It may be enough, I swore I heard Doc and Chico talk about how Elias was skating in practice during last night's telecast - not much on White. Regardless, I hope they come back soon.

Aaron points out at the end of their recap that the Rangers blew it against Tampa Bay, with defenseman Dan Boyle scoring a hat trick in a 4-3 win. That makes me very happy because A) the Rangers lost and B) I have Dan Boyle on my fantasy team. I'll elucidate on why I personally smile at least a little bit when the Rangers falter. Probably before the next Devils-Rangers game.

Since it is being Christmas Eve, I bid you all a Merry Christmas.


While I agree that the Devs did get chances throughought the game, during the 3rd period, their shots were perimeter shots and many of them were meant as dump-ins. The fact that they couldn't get crisp passes led to a lack of speed while gaining the zone and left them with the choice to shoot on net and hope to get the reboud before the Thrashers D-men could get there.

Once they fell behind, their passing deteriorated and their quality chances were scarce when they were needed most.

Here's a list of Devils 3rd period shots from's play-by-play:
Gomez slap shot 48ft.
Pando wrist shot 37 ft.
Gomez pp slap shot 49ft.
Rafalski snap shot 56 ft.
Parise slap shot 60 ft.
Gionta snap shot 25ft.
Madden tip 17ft.
Langenbrunner slap shot 49ft.
Lukowich slap shot 70ft.
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