Posts Tagged ‘Devils’

Last season, we saw a great crop of rookies.  This year should be no different as plenty of guys are primed to make an impact on the NHL.

Jonathan Blum (Nashville)
In 23 games last season, Blum impressed the Predators enough to trade Cody Franson to Toronto, giving Blum a full time position. The 22 year old is a good decision maker who should fit right into Barry Trotz’ system.

Erik Gudbranson (Florida)
With Florida’s roster in flux, look for Gudbranson to get a shot to play some minutes with the big club. The team is hoping his offensive game continues to develop (12 goals in the OHL last season), but is still a defensive force.

Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida)
Like with Gudbranson, Huberdeau should get a chance with the Panthers. Florida’s brass loves his unselfish play and his hustle. The Panthers don’t want to rush him, but if he’s ready, no point in holding him down.

Ryan Johansen (Columbus)
After torching the WHL for 40 goals, 92 points last season, Johansen appears ready to join the big club in Columbus. With the recent additions by Columbus, it might keep Johansen down on the team’s depth chart. Despite that, he should still produce and work his way up.

Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado)
Landeskog was the most NHL ready of any player in the 2011 draft. He’ll be penciled in on the Avs’ top 6 and should be in the Calder conversation all season.



Review of 2010-2011: (38-39-5, 81 points, 11th In Eastern Conference, Missed Playoffs)

Additions Via Free Agency: Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton

Additions Via Trade: Maxim Noreau

Subtractions: Anssi Salmela, Adam Mair, Mike McKenna, Colin White, David McIntyre, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Brian Rolston

Offense: “Things could be worse”. You sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a huge contract, get hit by the NHL for cap circumvention and lost a 1st round draft pick, then proceed to miss the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Well the better phrase for this year “It can’t get any worse”. The Devils will look to retool their offense, getting rid of dead weight and get off to a better start than last season. However, the first obstacle came already, center Travis Zajac will be out of the lineup until November after tearing his achillies tendon. This puts a huge hole at center, their next best centerman, Jacob Josefson, tallied 10 points last year.The Devils will need to hope that he, Dave Steckel, or Adam Henrique step up their game tremendously, or there is a youngster in camp who impresses enough to fill Zajac’s role until he is healthy. Ilya Kovalchuk has to be better, he has to be able to score without long droughts like last year. The powerplay, let me rephrase that, the league’s 28th best powerplay, needs to improve a lot in order for this team to start winning.


This is part two of my two part summer doldrums games package.  Part one (the worst games) can be found here.

5. Flyers 7, Kings 4 (12/30/10)
Part one of my three game SoCal adventure (part two is in the “worst games” post). Both sides can agree the officiating was awful on this night, but the scoring came in bunches. Both the Flyers’ Mike Richards and Kings’ Ryan Smyth had two goal nights, Richards also added two assists. Claude Giroux chipped in three assists. The Flyers powerplay actually worked for once, scoring two goals! It was fun being one of the few people in my section standing up and cheering seven times in one game, high fiving a guy a few seats down while the natives gave me dirty looks.

4. Flyers 5, Devils 2 (10/3/09)
The invasion of “The Rock” was successful. It was Jersey’s home opener and we ruined the party. Ray Emery, who’d shutout Carolina the night before, was great in net for the Flyers. The Flyers jumped out to a 4-0 lead sometime in the 3rd before New Jersey scored two goals, sandwiched around a 5th Flyers goal. They may have been chanting “hey…you suck” to the Flyers and our fans, but we surely didn’t suck on that night. Best part of the night may have been an upset Devils fan asking our group (who was being a bit raucous), “When’s the last time you guys won anything?” I blurted out, “About ten minutes ago, did you see the scoreboard?” He muttered and stuttered, “that’s not what I meant”, and we just laughed at him.

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Through the summer doldrums, I decided to share some of the games I’ve been at.  And before you call me bad luck, my Flyers winning percentage is over .700, so these five games are just a small sample.

This is only part one of two.  Sometime later in the summer I’ll chronicle five awesome games I was at.

5. Kings 1, Flyers 0 (2/13/11)
The highlight of this game was a monster pre-game tailgate we had. And we needed it.  Drew Doughty scored the only goal of the game very early in the second period. During the second intermission, @MikePatota didn’t even realize the Kings had scored (since it was so early in the period). Our frustrations boiled over when Jarret Stoll boarded Chris Pronger and no penalty on Stoll was called, this the day after the Islanders-Penguins brawl.  Jon Quick had 40 saves to earn the shutout and sent all of us home unhappy.

4. Devils 3, Flyers 1 (1/22/11)
You guys know when you play the Devils it’ll either be 1) fun if you’re scoring or 2) painful to watch. This game was in the second group.  I honestly couldn’t tell you who scored but my guess would be Patrik Elias, the Flyer killer. (Checking the boxscore showed he had two goals).  I do remember that it was Johan Hedberg, not Marty Brodeur, who shut the Flyers down.  Johan Hedberg of all goalies!

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