Saturday, February 02, 2008
January in Review & Devil of the Month
On the non-Devils side of the site, In Lou We Trust now has an easier to remember .dot com domain and I was featured on New York Hockey Talk with Rob Kowal again.
In any case, who would I say gets the nod for ILWT Devil of the Month? Well, based on stats you have a number of options. Travis Zajac potted in 6 goals and 5 assists, but the way his play went south at the end means I can't really consider him despite his numbers. Paul Martin put in 2 goals, had 6 assists, and played 22 minutes a night. However, the defense on this team still commits too many positional mistakes and Martin is a part of that. I can't rightly say he was the best player of the month if he wasn't even the best defender. I can't rightly pick the best defender as Colin White because the aforementioned defensive problems. Martin Brodeur is always an option, but despite making plenty of highlight reel saves, I don't think he was the sole reason the Devils won a lot of these games. Johnny Oduya and Mike Rupp both had impressive games - but only in games singular with Rupp's brace against Pittsburgh and Oduya's four point night against Philly. Jamie Langenbrunner had a good month with 3 goals and 7 assists; but one forward was better. Unlike Zajac, even if the production wasn't there, he was skating hard, looking for the play and making it, and getting in opportune positions for shots and passes.
I am talking about Patrik Elias with his 6 goals, 5 assists, and a minmum of 3 shots on net per game. Two of his six goals were game-winning goals and he now leads the league in that category. Finishing plays has always been an issue for the Devils as long as I have been following them, but you can't fault Elias for his efforts even in the bad games. And so Elias is the ILWT Devil of the Month.