Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Devils Get Preseason Revenge on Flyers

Revenge, yes; but will be meaningless in about a week or so.

The New Jersey Devils played the Philadelphia Flyers for a second time and came away winners by a score of 3-1. NHL.com has the official score sheet and official super stats from that game, linked respectively. The game was notable for being the first game Martin Brodeur played in so far this preseason. The best recap of the game is over at 2 Man Advantage, wherein Patricia live-blogged all of the key moments. (Aside: The Flyers wearing plain white t-shirts, huh? Delilah can't help them win any cups.) The most professional and brief recap of the game is at Fire & Ice by Tom Gulitti, where he notes Nicklas Bergfors doing well to score two goals (or as they say among the soccer fans, a brace) in the contest. Gulitti's recap is also notable for noting how Brodeur will ease into game action this preseason over the next two contests against the Islanders.

Incidentally, I've heard that Rod Pelley did quite well in this game and has been making a real case for a roster spot. Apologies to Jari Viuhkola if this is true. Not that I think the Devils will give up on him, but it has to be disapointing coming from the Finnish Elite League and not being the guy making a push for that fourth line spot. It could be far too early to make this claim, given that Viuhkola has only played 10 minutes of preseason action so far.

The game was not without incident: Gulitti has learned that Jay Pandolfo's hip tightened in the game and had to leave. I'm glad the second half of that first sentence reads, "but he said it is nothing to be concerned about," because the Devils really don't need any more regular players injured. Especially defensive forwards who have been crucial to the Devils' style of play over the last seven years. Hopefully, Pandolfo will be fine after some rest.

In other news, Mr. Frisby at Frozen Fiend has two things of note. First is a very useful widget that counts down the start of the Devils' season this year. It really is only nine days away. Second is a season preview for the Devils from a fantasy hockey perspective. Given that the NHL season is upon us - beginning this weekend in London when the Anaheim Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings - now would be a good time to get your fantasy hockey team going. I'm not a fantasy expert, but these guys clearly are.

On a Prudential Center front, a recent gallery of pictures of the new mural (and the ice lounge) has been put up on the Devils' official site. You need to see this. It is definitive proof that the Devils are the focal point of this arena with Martin Brodeur right in the middle and Devils legends Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko on the sides of the mural. Beautiful.

Also from the official site, it has been announced that Fox Sports NY will air 70 of the Devils' 82 games this season. Nine will be on MSG, and the remaining three will be on Versus. NBC is currently only showing one Devils game this year - the season ending game against the Rangers; but that will also be aired on FSNY.

Lastly, Greg Wyshynski of the NHL Fanhouse has been previewing NHL teams and here's his Devils preview. As far as season previews go, it's got insight, it's got some controversy (Brodeur needs to step up? After what he did last season, he's the only guy in the league who everyone else wants to step it down a notch!)
, and it actually has a fair prediction for the team. Second in the division and fifth in the East isn't bad; but I'm sure Wyshynski would agree that the Devils will fight with might for the right to win their third straight division title. Thanks to Battle of NY for pointing it out a couple of days ago.

OK, really the last bit, I want to highlight this post from Eric McErlain from the NHL Fanhouse about concussions. Given how many it has hurt during some player's careers (e.g. Eric Lindros), knocking some players out of a career (e.g. Brett Lindros), and continuing to hurt well after their careers (e.g. Jeff Beukeboom, Geoff Cournall), it is clearly a serious issue. I'm glad Eric pointed out the strong investigative work of the O.C. Register, as this is an issue worth the attention of all hockey fans in this post and in this previous post. As far as what fans like me can do about this, I'm not really sure. As I understand it, I wonder whether concussions would be severly reduced if the helmets are able to be more resistant to the forces from a body check (measuring those forces can be done by putting sensors in helmets and, well, having the players play normally with said helmets), if the refs need severely penalize intentional head-hunting hits to reduce their occurrence, and if players actually wear their helmets properly (the chinstrap is not for decoration). Excuse my lack of imagination, but I'm not sure what I can really do outside of being aware of this issue and raising awareness of this issue.

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