Last night, the Devils went up to Toronto, started Martin Brodeur, and pulled out a late goal to win the game 2-1.
This game was very similar to Friday's game against Tampa Bay
and Tuesday's win against Toronto.
The Devils saw a lot of shots against like they did from Tuesday's game, a lot of those shots weren't particularly great ones, the Devils got the first goal and then conceded and equalizer like in both games, the Devils had trouble putting the puck past the goalie like in Thursday's game despite 30+ shots on net, Martin Brodeur was great (don't take my word for it, take Tom Gulitti's too!)
, and the Devils won. Regardless of how they looked at times, the Devils broke the tie to get the win and continue to rise in the standings. In fact, last night's win put them back at the top the Eastern Conference.
Now, what was so different? The first key difference was the discipline. Or the lack thereof. The Devils took a lot of calls where they really should have known better. Five power plays were handed to Toronto and the Leafs finally cracked Brodeur the best way possible. Get a guy to stand in front of him so Marty can't even see it and let it rip. Why in the world Mike Mottau didn't go after that Leaf is beyond me. I'm not calling for a cross check or even to knock him down - just move him out of the way. Regardless, if the Devils are having trouble scoring goals, handing the other team man advantage after man advantage
The second big difference, I think, was who the heroes were - well, other than Marty. Yes, the Parise-Elias-Langenbrunner unit got both goals. But despite Elias' 7 shot, 1 assist effort, Jamie Langenbrunner was the one who made both goals happen by driving to the net. Zach Parise applied the finish in both cases to, uh, actualy score the goals; but if Jamie wasn't as aggressive in driving to the net, Parise wouldn't have had anything to finish with. It also helped that the Leafs defense provided some assistance by not picking up Parise for the first goal and for pushing Langenbrunner into their own goaltender, Vesa Toskala, into the net. Not the prettiest brace, but congrats to Parise for hitting 30 goals. Still, a lot of credit should go to Langenbrunner for making those goals possible.
The third difference of significance was the lack of Paul Martin and Colin White due to injury. It's good that the team won with the losses of two players who I think are the best defensemen on the team. Regardless, I hope both of them recover quickly.
Still, outside of all that, the game was very similar. So it makes no sense for me to go much further. Not a great win, but wins are good and crucial at this point of the season. What's more, the Devils now have a little streak having won all three games last week. I'm pleased and so is Joe Betchel at 2 Man Advantage.
If you want additional thoughts about the game, I suggest Josh's live-blog at 2MA
and Jeremy's recap at Devils Daily.
Labels: 2008 Postgame