Monday, April 30, 2007


April 2007 in Review & Devil of the Month

Tonight's Game 3 was the final game of a really eventful month for the Devils. Let's quickly recap all of the highlights of the month:
Overall, not a bad month at all. Now, who is the Devil of the Month of April 2007? After Game 3, I really don't want to pick anyone except Martin Brodeur, but the month consisted a lot more than just tonight's game. While Brodeur has reached a historic milestone and is almost always a a candidate, he hasn't been that consistent in the playoffs so I really can't pick him. Zach Parise, Scott Gomez, and Patrik Elias all have stepped up their production in the playoffs; however, they don't produce when the team isn't playing well - which has happened a number of times this April. Richard Matvichuk has played only 8 games, so it's not him. I'm going off the board here, but in my opinion, he's been the most consistently good Devil of the last month:

Brian Rafalski is the April 2007 In Lou We Trust Devil of the Month. In the last four regular season games, Rafalski has brought 3 assists, at least 21 minutes of ice time a night, and sound positional work to the proverbial table. In the playoffs, his first pass and work at the point continued to be a part of goals. Rafalski scored 2 goals and assisted on 5 others, while playing against a high-octane Tampa Bay Lightning offense. Against Ottawa, he had an assist in the first game, and compiled 31 minutes of ice time against Ottawa's deeper and more potent forwards. He's been solid, he's been consistent, and he's only made one really bad turnover for a goal (Game 1 against Ottawa). However, that's one mistake among a lot of good plays that he made this past month. The Devils are known for their defense, and he's the top man on defense as well as the point. I think he's worthy by virtue of being consistently good in all but two games (Games 1 and 3 against Ottawa) this month. Again, Brian Rafalski is the April 2007 ILWT Devil of the Month. Feel free to disagree or discuss on something else about the month in the comments.

Rafalski was stong most of the season but his play has dropped off of late, with lots of turnovers. Martin has been the team's top defenseman over the past month, particularly against Tampa Bay. The series turned around when Martin and Matvichuk were matched against Lecavlier. Im a huge Rafalski fan but his play has been subpar the past month compared to what he is capable of.
Rafalski has lost money during the playoffs, and our favorite Alaskan Scott Gomez has dollar signs in his eyes at this point -- he played like garbage last night, but overall, his playoffs have been really good so far.
Well, I think Rafalski has been the most steady. While Parise, Gomez, Elias, and Gionta brought production the playoffs - none have stuck out as being well above everyone else. Even Brodeur has had some off nights this month. Rafalski, in my view, had the fewest bad moments of the team; so here we are. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
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