Monday, April 30, 2007


Rd. 2, Game 3: Ottawa 2 - Devils 0

The Ottawa Senators soundly defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-0 in Game 3. As always, has the official scoresheet and the official super stats of that game, linked respectively.

Martin Brodeur showed up to play.

The rest of the team, I'm not so sure.

Where do I start here? OK, bright side: Martin Brodeur was excellent all game long and you can not blame him for the loss at all. If you do, it is evident that you did not see this game.

Not so bright side: Everything else. Before I get into the game, I'll admit my error in thinking both teams were tired: the Senators were definitely not tired in this one. Oh no, they did what they had to win - they earned this one. Not that it was much of a challenge from my vantage point (watching the game on TV). Let's start at a popular source of complaint: special teams. No, not the penalty killers; they did well, holding Ottawa 0 for 4 with the man advantage. Of course, I'm referring to the power play units. Five power plays for the Devils, all of them wasted. When the other team literally hands you two power plays in the third period and you're down by one, show some urgency and fire the puck on net! I must say, though, Ottawa did a great job on the penalty kill. Makes me wonder whether it was the Devils doing so poor on attack with the man advantage or whether Ottawa was so good: likely both.

More worryingly was that was also the offense for most of the game. Very unaggressive, and the Devils had trouble getting into their zone all night long with very few sustained offensive possessions. They really didn't get Ray Emery working, the Devils tried too many blind passes and shots with Senators right in front. The Senators defense, Anton Volchenkov in particular with his eight blocked shots, performed very well tonight - they did well. The Devils offense was very nonthreatening both as a result of the Senators' defense and their own inaction and lack of energy.

Even worse was the defense. It's been a while since I've seen the Devils play so passively. OK, they were in position, I'll give them that. But most of the time, they had no issue with Ottawa moving the puck around both with passes and possession - seemingly standing around as if they were waiting for a turnover to present itself. This resulted in Martin Brodeur facing a barrage of shots and scoring chances. Again, Brodeur showed up, but the defense certainly did not.

What we saw was not Devils hockey - and as a result of all of these things, they lost.

Nothing is over with respect to this series. The Devils didn't do well in Game 3 in Round 1 against Tampa Bay and they managed to win three straight to win the series. Will they do it again? I hope so, but I'm not confident right at this moment.

OTHER REACTIONS (UPDATED): Patricia (not Joe, sorry Patricia...and Joe) at 2 Man Advantage is less kind, and I don't blame him - the picture of Emery he has is not too far off the mark. Schnookie (Schnookie?) at Interchangable Parts also live-blogged the game as well.

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Give credit where credit is due my friend, I'm the one who did the live-cap, not Joe!


Serves me right for just seeing the post but not reading too carefully. Sorry Patricia, I changed it.
Heh, no worries! All is good...except for the game...that wasn't fact, it was downright bad.

The PP looked awful last night. What makes Gomez think he can carry in the puck when 3 and a few times 4 defenders were waiting for him at the blueline. He has to starting dumping it into the opposite corner and have Gionta or Parise chase.
With Marty's new glove I'm okay with the passive D and letting the Sens control most of the play but when they have the puck they need to get Emery moving a bit in order to beat him
Ed, you don't know how right you are about Emery. Actually, um, you probably do know how right you are.

In any case, I've noticed two weaknesses about Emery: his lateral movement leaves a lot to be desired and he gives up rebounds jucier than a tender steak. The Devils should avoid trying to force the puck into the slot (blindly and both in the breakout) and try to force Emery to move left-and-right. I think setting Gionta up in the slot and create havok, allowing him to get at some of those rebounds may be effective as well.
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