Monday, March 26, 2007


Injuries, College, Tarkir, and Lowell

Rich Chere's article in today's Star Ledger focuses on the Devils looking to recover completely by the playoffs. Captain Patrik Elias and Erik Rasmussen skated in a workout yesterday and both may be ready by tomorrow's game against the Islanders. Brian Gionta can't return until April 1 and Madden is still too injured to skate. The article touches on the recent woes of the Devils complete with these interesting statements by Jay Pandolfo and head coach Claude Julien:

"Obviously the goal is to get home ice, but you can't think like that," left winger Jay Pandolfo said. "It's always disappointing when you don't finish as high as you can, but I wouldn't feel like we've thrown (the whole season) away if we didn't win the division."

Coach Claude Julien said he is confident his team can succeed in the playoffs no matter where it finishes in the standings.

"We're having a good season. I certainly wouldn't let (finishing fifth) change our hockey club," Julien said. "Once everybody is back healthy, we know how good we can be."

It's good that the Devils are confident that they can do well in the playoffs regardless of where they are in the standings. However, having home ice against the seventh seeded team (who the Atlantic Division winners will likely face) would be a far better fit than going in without home ice against the fourth seeded Ottawa Senators.

The NCAA Men's Ice Hockey tournament has been underway and the Frozen Four have already been decided: North Dakota, Boston College, Maine, and Michigan State. No Devils prospects in the Frozen Four this year. Jeff Frazee and Minnesota kept it close against North Dakota, but a wraparound in overtime beat Frazee and knocked the Golden Gophers out of the tournament. Disappointing for the #1 seeded Minnesota squad, but from what I understand Frazee played well - the team as a whole just suffered from fatigue. Better luck next year.

Speaking of college hockey, someone on HFBoards found this Devils-related nugget: the Lowell Devils sign Zach Tarkir to an Amateur Try Out contract. The defenseman finished his career at Northern Michigan, leading his team in scoring among defenseman and representing the Wildcats as an assistant captain as a senior. His nickname is Cat Nips according to his NMU profile. The southern California native did well at college, hopefully he can take his game to the next level as a professional and maybe have an outside shot at the Devils. Best of luck to him.

How is Lowell doing? Well, they lost their last game, a 4-0 defeat to the Manchester Monarchs. The minor Devils moved down to 5th in the Atlantic Division; but the playoff race in the Eastern Conference is very close. They have the eighth best record in the Eastern Conference, with a 34-25-5-6 record (79 points). Hopefully they finish the season strong, move up in the conference, and secure a playoff berth. In the last few years, when the New Jersey Devils were affiliated with the Albany River Rats, the Rats were horrible in the AHL and didn't make the playoffs. It seems things have changed in Lowell so far and making the playoffs would be great for the Lowell franchise.


I am one of three Admins at a sports message board where a majority of our members are from the NY area. We are currently in discussions of opening up a Blog forum where sports bloggers can leave a weekly or monthly article of their choice for our members to read and hopefully leave feedback on your articles.

What we are trying to do is get our members to read articles and opinions from a fans point of view instead of just the local papers.

If this is something that may interest you please stop by or email us at

Here is a link to our site. We look forward to hearing from you.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Blog Directory - Blogged