Sunday, December 02, 2007


November in Review, Devil of the Month

I should have done this yesterday but here it is anyhow. The first half of November continued the inconsistent play the Devils had in October. They would look good in one or two games and then look miserable in the next game. And so, through November 16, the Devils had a record of 3-4-1, being shutout twice. Then something must have "clicked" for the Devils as November became a very good month for the Devils with 6 straight wins - 4 coming on the road. The Devils picked up their first two shutouts of the season, Martin Brodeur earned his 500th season win in his career, Zach Parise became the second Devil to score a hat trick in the Prudential Center (I was wrong earlier, Jay Pandolfo got the first hat trick), and the team dramatically on defense dropping to an average of 2.4 goals against per game and an average of 26.4 shots against per game. Definitely an improvement both in terms in numbers, in terms of the standings, and in terms of how the team has been performing on a game-to-game basis. The games are much better to watch from a Devils fan standpoint, as the team is working harder each night as the winning streak went on.

This month saw the return of two important Devils to the team: Colin White and Jamie Langenbrunner. White returning to the team was huge; I'm personally amazed his eyesight has recovered enough to the point where he could play hockey again. And he has contributed to the team the minute he returned to the ice - giving the defense some needed stability with his positional defense and his physical play. He played 17:25 in his first game back and has played at least that much in each of his five games this month. White was missed and it's great that he's back.

But a bigger return was Jamie Langenbrunner. He came back to the Devils in a brutal 4-2 loss against the Rangers and immediately made an impact with 2 goals - one coming within the first minute of the game. Since then, he has been a hard working winger and being the star that stirred the drink for the Devils on offense and on the power play with 9 assists in the last 5 games of the month. Back in October, I expressed doubt in Jamie Langenbrunner being a leader of the team. Now, I can definitely see it - while his return didn't immediately kick off the Devils' recent turnaround, he has been a huge factor in the team's improvement this month. While Zach Parise scored more points this month and Martin Brodeur played the most consistently, it is for that reason alone that I am naming Jamie Langenbrunner the ILWT Devil of the Month for November 2007.

For a different, player-by-player take, check out Scott Mackie's November review at 2 Man Advantage.

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