Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Put Away the Brooms: Devils 1 - Carolina 2, OT

Well, an analysis for last night's 2-1 overtime loss to Carolina is quite simple. The Devils played as poorly as they did in the first forty minutes against Washington, stretched it to all three periods, and except getting the win in OT, they got beat in overtime.

The fact that the Devils were able to get to overtime is a testament to Martin Brodeur's skills and the Devils doing just enough to keep Carolina at bay. That said, the Hurricanes were clearly the better team that night. They didn't shy away when New Jersey got physical - and the Devils did with 27 hits compared to the Canes' 17, not to mention the 27 total penalty minutes in the first period. The Canes didn't get demoralized when their shots missed (16 total) or when they were blocked (15 - 4 by Andy Greene alone). They didn't even lose their spark when Brian Gionta's cross-ice pass (I think it was a pass?) was perfectly and impeccably deflected in by Carolina defenseman Bret Hedican.

No, the Canes kept working at it and kept applying pressure to the Devils defense. As a result, they got 36 shots on net total. The game had fewer penalties as it went on, as the Devils kept looking for attempts to counter attack. Personally, I found that was the downfall of New Jersey in this game. They really couldn't generate too many good offensive shifts of their own to turn the momentum, keep the Canes honest, and really challenge Cam Ward. It's not that New Jersey had no chances at all, but they didn't fight for them as Carolina did. Which is poor for the Devils because of the loss and poor for Brodeur, as he deserved a much better fate with his strong performance. On the Hurricane side, Sergei Samsonov picked a good night to have a good game. Samsonov was definitely "on" and playing like he shouldn't have been waived at all. He had 6 shots on net, two takeaways, and scored both goals off rebounds. Nothing Brodeur really could have done, Samsonov just beat Greene twice to get to the right place for the goal. I will say his effort on his game winning goal was great. Samsonovers (or whatever the fan club members of Samsonov are called) should happy for their favorite player. Greene fans won't be, as being burned for both goals could be the key reason why he may sit for the incoming Bryce Salvador. It's not good when Sutter is calling you out after the game (source: Gulitti).

Good job by Carolina, not so good by New Jersey. Now, the Devils have been fairly streaky this season. This game snaps a five game winning streak and the last time the Devils had a good long run of success, it was followed by some really disappointing losses like near the end of January. The Devils have a back-to-back this coming Friday. They host the Washington Capitals and then travel to Montreal to face Les Habs on Saturday. Clearly, Brodeur will play on Saturday; perhaps we'll see Kevin Weekes on Friday. Or perhaps not. We can never tell. Salvador is looking forward to Friday (source: Gulitti), hopefully the Devils will be looking forward to getting back to their winning ways.


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