Thursday, October 09, 2008


Season Eve 2008

Today, I have made a big find - I have found out where Teemu Laine is playing. He's with HV 71 in the Elitserien, Sweden's top league.

OK. That's not big nor a find. But it's also where Mattias Tedenby is, so there's that reason to follow HV 71. Along with former Devil, the shooting-averse Jan Hrdina.

But seriously, today is the last day we have to go without some Devils season hockey because Opening Night is tomorrow! 7 PM against the Islanders at the Rock, and hopefully the night will finish with 2 points for the good guys (not the Islanders, you silly goose). Tomorrow we will see Marty with a new mask, Anssi Salmela getting a start (h/t Gulitti. Poor Sheldon Brookbank, I didn't think Anssi would start right away), and some competitive hockey. And the hockey becomes competitive right away. The Devils get to visit Pittsburgh on Saturday night and then off to MSG against Our Hated Rivals on Monday. This season begins against the division the team struggled so much against last season. It's an opportunity not only for the Devils to start the season strong, but for a psychological boost. I'm sure Brent Sutter has told the Devils many times about how they lost to the Islanders, Penguins, and Rangers so many times last season and I'm sure the Devils are especially aware of this - extra-especially for the Rangers. Some wins could get their minds right and gain some confidence over their division rivals.

Of course as this happens, and after I'm done with reviewing previews, Mark Everson (NY Post) and Rich Chere (Star Ledger) have them. Everson is surprisingly positive in his article in the Post; his thesis is that the team did well last season and now with more potential offense up front, it should be expected that they do better. I don't disagree with that line of thought, and his prediction is pretty close to what I feel. Chere takes it a step further by using the powerful medium of video where Chere and Tom Bergeron preview the team. Small nitpick first: John Madden's first game was in 1999 and became a regular in 2000. Still, it's an excellent video. Bergeron does well setting up each section and Chere is absolutely great in this. He's knowledgable, he's thorough without being longwinded, and he's got plenty to say (and bold considering his predicitions for Patrik Elias and Zach Parise). Overall, the preview is positive - he sees New Jersey challenging for the top of the conference.

In any case, the time for talk is over and the time for hockey is upon us. What to do in between? Look at the Lowell preview at Hockey's Future to gain some thoughts from Jared Ramsden about New Jersey's AHL affiliate. If there's any Lowell blogs out there, let me know, I'd like to see what a follower of the team thinks of the team from time to time. You can check out Mike Ashmore's blog about the Trenton Devils; he'll be covering the team and updating this regularly - so you can get your Jeff Frazee fix. Lastly, if you want laugh for 5 minutes straight, check out proof that a minor league affiliate can own their NHL team. Yeah, I know it's preseason, but it's still a loss to your minor league team. A team filled with players not good enough or not ready for the NHL. That gets one of these.

Anyway. Important point: Devils hockey begins tomorrow at the Rock, I'll see YOU in Section 1! Unless you're not there, then I won't see you - but it's OK because we will see Jersey's Team.

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Loved the line of the shooting averse Jan Hrdina!
We did a brief preview of the season as well,not as in depth as others,but our Devils coverage is almost more for us than our readers in many ways!
Here's hoping for a win over the Gorton Gang tomorrow!
It's not a bad preview, but I need to nitpick, Shawn. That last bit about the Devils fighting for the division disappointing the hockey media is exactly why I did the reviews of previews. Some parts of the hockey media don't discount NJ fighting for the conference much less the division, ranging from the local (Chere's video, Everson's bizarre support) to the online (Mirtle, Heika, FanHouse). Most that are even negative have said the Devils will make the playoffs.

Now, the print previews - the magazines I did look at - they had a pessimistic prediction; but even those recognize that the playoffs are a shot.

I guess my point is that the hockey media really doesn't have much against the Devils as much as we sometimes think.
Mr. Fischer -

First intermission, giant hockey puck, Devils bloggers meetup, what say you?
No offense taken.
I suppose I have been blinded by the potshots from the Mike Brophy types to generalize the hockey media!

I do believe that some do carry a bias,but not because of a personal issue or grudge,but because of the stereotype of boring play/the trap.

The people that believe that are clearly going by a past version of the team and not watching the current squad.

Generalizing is much better than actually taking the time to watch games..

Thanks for reading and I have added
your site to my links page.

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