Sunday, January 21, 2007


Postgame: Devils 4 - Philadelphia 3 (SO)

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4 to 3, finishing 1-0 in a shootout for the win. The official score sheet and official super stats are from, linked respectively.

Well, I did it again. I underestimated the Flyers like I did with the St. Louis Blues and the Phoenix Coyotes. The Flyers hustled and played with heart for much of the game. For example, Derian Hatcher literally diving to stop passes during Devils two-on-ones and Devils shots. The two key differences is that the Devils will play the Flyers four more times this season and that the Devils won the game.

Without getting too much into detail, the Devils were lucky to have tied the game and won it. For starters, the fact that it took the Devils until the last minute in the game to tie it up with Gionta scoring on the rebound is proof enough. Proof that the Devils didn't give up in the game, but also that they gave up too much in the game. Brodeur let in a softy real early in the game and mistakes at both ends of the rink allowed the Flyers to retain the lead after the Devils equalized. Scoring chances were missed, coverages were missed, and the game was very much in Philadelphia's favor. I dare say that the Devils played down the to the Flyers.

The power play. It's back to being bad; let me explain why one power play goal in the game was simply not enough. Goodness gracious, the Flyers were incredibly undisciplined taking all sorts of calls. All three of Alexei Zhitnik's penalties were brainfarts on his end. The Flyers had 6 skaters on the breakout at one point. Joni Pitkanen shoved Brian Gionta in the face not once not twice but three times in front of the referee. The Flyers were taking bad penalties and ultimately gave the Devils seven power plays. SEVEN! The simple fact that the Devils only scored on one of the seven power plays the Devils enjoyed is dissapointing. Moreso when you consider that the Devils were absolutely impotent on at least half of them (and whilst down in the game!). I know Antero Niittymaki played well, but get those shots on net, Devils! They are called man advantages for a reason. Don't just sit there and make short passes in the neutral zone, stop being scared and/or tentative! You are supposed to take advantage of them!

Regardless of luck, the Devils were solid in the shootout and ultimately prevailed. Wins are always good, and now all of the Devils save for four will enjoy a short break. Brian Rafalski and Martin Brodeur will go play in the 2007 NHL All Star Game on Wednesday; Zach Parise will play in the YoungStars game on Tuesday; and Andy Greene was sent back down to Lowell to get some games and presumably also play in the AHL All Star Classic.

Tim Mo at RaReMaDev also recapped the game; I suggest you read it for it's pretty good and breaks it down period by period. Joe Bechtel has some thoughts geared more towards the All Star Game which are worth reading at 2 Man Advantage.


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