Saturday, March 15, 2008


Catching Up: Devils 4 - Wild 3, SO

OK, OK, OK. I'm behind, the Devils' next game is against Colorado and it starts in less than an hour. Time for a quickly hashed-together update. Why the rushing? I was at an important event last night. Let's just say the aces were high, as I went somewhere back in time.

First, Thursday's game against Minnesota. The Devils won 4-3 in a shootout as the Wild demonstrated how not to win in one. Seriously, Brian Rolston took a slapshot in a must-score situation. A slapshot. He missed. In any case, what was good about it is that the Devils came from behind to tie it up twice, driving to the net resulted in all three goals, and the Devils got 2 points. What was bad was how the team constantly shot itself in the foot and the defense in general. Giving up two goals early, the team responding with little energy, that first period was horrible. The defense was also equally bad. The Wild scored three which Martin Brodeur didn't have much of a chance on as all goals came from players in open ice and from shots taken before Marty saw it coming. The Wild nearly had 5 more, but they were desparately cleared off the line or cleared out before crossing it. In any case, the defense was so bad that Chico Resch noticed the team giving up the slot to the Wild too much six minutes into the slot in the first period. The Wild got many breakouts and odd man rushes throughout the game. I though the Devils supposedly killed hockey with it's suffocating defensive schemes and style of play; they could have used some suffocation that night.

In any case, they won and I do not want Mike Mottau playing today - he in particular was putrid against Minnesota. For a full recap of the game, Tom Gulitti has your hook up as well. And he brings some bad news: in that prior linked story, we learn Colin White will not play today. What's worse? Patrik Elias took a shot to the kneecap late in the third against Minnesota and was pretty much out of the game at that point. He's not playing today either. So the Devils go into Colorado without their most creative forward and their most defensive defensemen. Also, Gulitti brings word of no changes on defense: we will see Mike Mottau today so my desire is immediately squashed. Ah, well. He can't possibly have a worse game today, right? Right?

Let's end on a high note. Prior the Wild game, there was massive praise from Wild head coach, famed Montreal Canadiens defenseman, and the Devils' first Cup-winning coach, Jacques Lemaire. From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Tribune, Kent Youngblood has this:
Lemaire was asked Wednesday where Brodeur ranked among goaltenders he had seen in his time in the league as a player and coach.

No. 1, Lemaire said.

‘’I’m thinking, you know,’’ Lemaire said. ‘’(Ken) Dryden, he was really good for a short time. And I know, at a time, he couldn’t get ready to play and that’s why he stopped. This guy (Brodeur), he’s been doing it for a long time, and he’ll do it ‘till he’s 40. So he’s got to be the one.’’

Better, even, than Patrick Roy? ‘’Patrick was good at a time,’’ Lemaire said. “You’re talking about (Wayne) Gretzky, (Mario) Lemieux, Bobby Orr. Who is the best player? Every opinion is good.’’


“A lot of times there are a lot of things said (about an athlete) that aren’t really true,’’ Lemaire said. “Especially when you’re talking about a good player, OK? It is always overflowing of how great he is, how good he is, all this and all that. But with this guy, he’s an exception. Everything they say about him is true.’’

Well, well, well. Sorry for the long excerpt, but that's a thing right there. Good on Lemaire's refreshing honesty and his praise. The Devils will likely rely on Brodeur today at the Pepsi Center. Hopefully, the Devils skaters will give him some help and put at least a player guarding the slot this time. I'm not asking for all 5 to collapse in between the circles; just that they don't leave a gap in coverage in prime territory.

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My ideal situation came true!! Yay for me!
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