Thursday, October 25, 2007
Devils @ Rangers UPDATED Post-Third Period Thoughts
I am very pleased by the second period play by the Devils. OK, the power play has not been consistent, the offense has been dulled due to some bad luck, bad decisions in passing, bad execution in aforementioned passing, and bad decisions in shooting. While I sound like a smart aleck here, I think you Devils need to get open first before firing a shot. So why am I pleased? They didn't concede a goal this period! Not one! Considering how many the Devils let in during the second period this season, that's an accomplishment.
The Devils have not allowed a power play goal tonight. That's also an accomplishment considering how poorly the Devils have been on the penalty kill.
The defense also hasn't been as bad either. John Oduya actually looks fairly steady. Sheldon Brookbank has been OK, but he's s-l-o-w. I don't know how much more of him we'll see in New Jersey. But the big star of the game tonight has been...
Martin Brodeur! Doubters, critics, those who feel he is overrated or has been "exposed," you are all abject fools! Utter idiots! Know-nothings! Etcetera! Brodeur has been amazing all night long, stopping breakaways, point-blank scoring chances, and doing it all with ease! Not that Lundqvist has been poor; but Brodeur has been stopping what would otherwise be high-percentage scoring chances. He has been stoning blueshirts all night long. If you thought he lost "it" or never really had "it," you're being proven absolutely wrong tonight.
The Devils are still down 1-0 to the Rangers. There are 20 minutes left for an equalizer and maybe an equalizer. Plenty of time for a lot to happen. Go Devils!
UPDATE: Final thoughts for the 2-0 win by the Rangers.
1) If you're going to beat Martin Brodeur, you have to shoot incredibly strong and precisely - Nigel Dawes did it twice.
2) If you're going to get stops on the NY Rangers' offense, you need to respond properly on offense. Obvious, but it is worthy of mention. For once, the defense wasn't the goat and Brodeur brought his A game. The offense - from the first line to the fourth - played very poorly with sloppy passing and even worse finishing. I guess Sutter was right to call out Elias (who I thought was just average) and Gionta (who I thought played very poorly); but he may need to call out Parise, Zajac, Asham, Zubrus, Madden, Pandolfo, etc., etc. The consistency needs to be there for the Devils to succeed.
3) The road trip is over, it didn't go as well as expected, and it ended with a shutout to the team's most hated rival. I assure you, the season isn't over. Yes, the Devils play the Ottawa Senators on Saturday - currently the team with the best record in the league. It will not be an easy game. But with their first home game of the season, the opening of a new arena, and at least 17,000 Devils fans screaming in support of the Devils; I'd like to think the team will get at least a little boost from the game. I'd also like to think it'll be enough to say they are the favorites. But the team needs to show up at both ends of the rink for it to lead to any results. Best of luck to the Devils as they try to get it right for Saturday night.
4) If you want a tiny bit of solace, consider that with the win tonight, the Rangers and Devils now have the same record in the league.