Thursday, April 03, 2008


Devils 3 - Boston 2, SO

The Devils have clinched at least a decent playoff spot with a shootout win over the Boston Bruins last night. The win is the Devils' third straight; just what the team could use after an extended winless streak. The Devils were very fortunate to get the win because I don't think the Devils were the better team on the ice for most of the game. Tom Gulitti has some thoughts on the game at Fire & Ice, proclaiming the David Clarkson-Mike Rupp-Dainius Zubrus line to be the best. Those three did play well and got both goals in regulation for NJ.

Sure, the Devils started real well. They didn't look tired, having played the Islanders the night before, and they scored the first goal. Dainius Zubrus was the trailing skater and bombed a rebound home for the goal. All was good. But as the first period went on, the Devils were slow to react to the Bruins' speed. Marco Sturm, in particular, burned more than his fair share of defensemen that night. Therefore, the Devils were caught puck-watching more than a few times and had to rely on Brodeur to bail them out plenty of times. The Bruins were able to take more control with two late penalties, and started really taking control of the game.

The equalized and went ahead in the second period. Bizarrely, looking at the numbers, they don't seem to indicate the Bruins' controlling the pace of the game. The Bruins only managed to place 21 shots in regulation. However, they were clearly outskating the Devils and enjoyed many chances. The Bruins held the Devils in check and the game was fairly tight until overtime. The second period did have a big what-if moment. What if the referee - one of the two out there - was in the right position behind the net? What if Zubrus wrapped the puck around to definitively put it in? What if Tim Thomas fumbled the puck while pulling it out and kicking it to the corner before the ref arrived? What if the ref made a decision as to whether it was a goal? What if the people in Toronto had anything resembling common sense and ruled it a goal? Well, the momentum surely would have turned, Zubrus would have had a brace, and we're talking about a different game. But instead, evidence was supposedly not conclusive enough and so they didn't allow it. (The team's reaction is mixed according to Gulitti.)

In summary, the Devils were robbed and Milan Lucic burned Andy Greene for a goal.

The Devils did tie it up with nearly the same play that got them the first goal. Except replace Zubrus with David Clarkson, and he's your equalizer. The overtime period was much more open with both teams getting some real chances. However, the shootout proved many things. The first is that Martin Brodeur's blocker is true to it's name. The second is that Elias is no longer perfect at these. The third is that Zach Parise had a beautiful backhand I wish he tried to use during the game. So the Devils pull a win out of a game where they weren't necessarily the better team. Which is good, though I wish the Devils took more control of the game. But with a day of rest and an opponent they've been doing very well against on Friday, I wouldn't worry.

Labels: ,

Good sir John,

I don't know if I'm borrowing trouble here, but it appears that without much of any doubt, the Devils will either be #4 or #5. And it appears with a little doubt, but not much, that the Rangers will be #4 or #5. Now I remember not long ago when we SPANKED the CRAP out of the Rangers' baby bottoms in the playoffs, but this year we are WINLESS IN 7 GAMES AGAINST THESE MORONS.

Is this really the team we want to face in the first round of the playoffs? As much as I feel good about the 3-game winning streak, maybe the Devils should have shot for the #6 spot so they can rip apart the Hurricanes? I don't know, I just don't feel good about this.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Blog Directory - Blogged