Injury Updates – End of November Edition

With the recent injury to David Clarkson, you start to worry about the big names piling up in the Injured Reserve list.  Rob Niedermayer, Jay Pandolfo, Paul Martin, and even John Oduya are all out with one problem or another.

A nice update from Rich Chere over at the Star Ledger today confirmed that some of our clientele will be returning to the bench.

Jay Pandolfo practiced today for the first time and appeared to be successful.  He did not take any hits from his teammates, but feels comfortable enough getting around the ice.  Wednesday night’s matchup may be too close for a return, but most likely for a return this weekend against the Red Wings.

John Oduya was slated to also practice his first time today but missed it.  Coach Jacques Lemaire reported he wasn’t ready yet.  He is set to make his practice debut on Tuesday.

Rob Niedermayer is anticipated to play in Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks – Lemaire reported.

Dainius Zubrus (who I left out of my previous injury report – sorry!) is out with a broken knee cap.  He has no estimated time to return, and I wouldn’t expect to see him back until at least after the Olympics.

On a nice side note, Stan Fischler reminded me that the Devils are competing with the Penguins and Capitals for the lead in the East. While that in itself is not too surprising or warrant reminding about, what should be noted is that they are consistently doing it without guys like Alex Ovechkin and Sid the Kid.

How about that?

Devils Tally 6 Against Isles, Take East Lead

It’s been a little while since I last posted, and since the Devils have been fighting a strong battle on ice to keep at the top of the standings, I figure now is a good time to jump back in this!

The biggest story after today is how the Devils continue to perform well even after a number of players sit out injured.

  • David Clarkson is set to miss 4 – 6 weeks with a fracture just above his ankle.  This is the Devils most recent loss from the matchup against the Boston Bruins on Friday afternoon.
  • John Oduya and Rob Niedermayer have spent their time on the Injured Reserve list and are due to begin practicing on or around Monday.
  • Paul Martin has a fractured left forearm which sits in a cast still.  He is still 2 – 3 weeks away from being able to join the Devils in practice.
  • Jay Pandolfo, who dislocated his right shoulder when former teammate Mike Rupp knocked him into the boards, may require surgery, but as of two weeks ago, the answer was no.

With all of the injuries, the Devils have made some significant calls to Lowell and have brought up a few from the minors, which has worked out well.

Still anchor players like Brian Rolston, Zach Parise, and Jamie Langenbrunner have kept the Devils from getting in some real trouble.  Additions like Patrik Elias, who recently returned to the lineup from a off-season surgery, has also stepped in and helped out in a big way.

Now getting back to the game at hand, the Devils trounced the NY Islanders with a score of 6 – 1.  I can’t even recall the last time the Devils won with 5 goals in hand, but looking back they did manage to do it three times last season – the most recent being February 28 when they beat the Florida Panthers 7 – 2.

The Devils did not play a very good first period and after 20 minutes found themselves down 1 – 0.  However goals from Mike Mottau and Brian Rolston in the second period gave the Devils a 2 – 1 lead that the Islanders were unable to recover from.

Midway through the third period the Devils scored three times in the span of just 2 minutes.  The goals came from the sticks of Patrik Elias, Zach Parise and Brian Rolston.  Patrik Elias scored again with only 45 second left in the game to get the Devils to 6 goals.

Some other points of interest:

  • Martin Brodeur broke the all-time minutes played record on Friday afternoon against the Boston Bruins.  The record was announce to the Boston fans when it was broken in the second period, who stood up and cheered for Marty.  Not for nothing, but those are hockey fans.
  • Zach Parise right now sits second in the league in shots on goal, only 3 behind Capital Alex Ovechkin.  Zach also currently leads the league in Plus/Minus and has a 10 game point streak.
  • The Devils right now sit above the Pittsburgh Penguins for the divisional lead, and have played two fewer games.

Huh… How ‘Bout those Devils?

So I have to make this quick, but I’ve noticed I don’t post as much when the Devils are doing well… typically the opposite of what most people do.

But seriously, a 7 game winning streak?  9 straight road wins? When did this all happen?

And to top it all off, the Devils find themselves tied for the conference lead with the team they will see next, the Washington Capitals, on Saturday.

I have to say, personally, I’m impressed with their play.  They may not appear like it at all times, but they are consistently fighting.  They are always pushing.  When they get scored on, you hold your breath hoping that they come back to play strong.  The Devils seemed a bit weak after the Penguins broke the 0-0 tie in the first.

But as they have been doing in the past, they are coming back game after game and playing hard and wearing their opponents out.

As I said earlier, I can’t type much at the moment, so I must depart now.  But even with all the injuries and Elias’ slow return, still not at 100%, the Devils are finding ways to win.

Go Devils!

Devils Finish Week Strong, Minus a Few

The holidays seem to be reaching earlier and earlier in the year.  In fact, I was so busy that I didn’t get to see a single minute of hockey from Friday or Saturday’s game.  Sick, I know.

Nevertheless, even without my persistent cheering/criticizing through my television, the Devils still managed to win.  Go figure.  In fact, they are doing so well, they have just past the Rangers for second place in the division, fourth in the conference.

On a side note, the Devils actually sit third in the conference if you ignore the whole seating arrangement of each division leader sits first, second, and third.

On another side note, the Devils are in some tough company.  Following the rules of my first side note, Atlantic Division teams sit first, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh.

Anywho, so with all of this wonderful play, including a five game winning streak, a perfect record on the road, and even our backup netminder stepping up to win in those back-to-back matchup’s, the Devils seem to really be on a roll.

 

Oh yeah, and they’ve also been dropping like flies.

Bryce Salvador, who has been trying to injure himself the past few games, finally succeeded on Saturday night "tweaking" his right ankle once again, this time enough to make him sit out for the remainder of the game.  He’s claiming he will be able to play on Wednesday.

Patrik Elias, who came on board for Friday night’s home victory, did not travel with the team on Saturday night.  He should be on the ice for Wednesday night, however.

Paul Martin (fractured left forearm) and Johnny Oduya (lower body injury) will be out for a while, no new news on them.

Devils will be returning home on Wednesday for a game against the Ducks, and then will also make a quick trip to Pittsburgh to play the conference leading Penguins the following night.  Expect a Broduer/Danni matchup like the past week.

Moving Day for njdevils.info

In an effort to continue with the updating of njdevils.info and it’s sibling sites, I wanted to post a quick update as to my status and give you some good news.

First, our hosting provider has moved us to a new, faster, more stable server.  To be honest, our current hosting provider has been better and more reliable than any other hosting provider we’ve ever been on since 2002.  And the fact that they felt the need to move us to something better makes me a very happy customer.

Second, we are a stones throw away from finalizing our Game Day Box Score editor, to help us make all of those wonderful updates I’ve been promising you.  I’m anticipating it to reach completion sometime at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.  Once that has reached completion, it will take me a few days to get this year up to date, and then finalize last year’s box scores – 90% of the data for last year is already in.

Once all of that is done, I will continue to work on what I had discussed previously,

  • Upload all missing photos for every game.
  • Begin working on videos for this season.  I’ll work on last seasons soon.
  • Finish up Members Area and re-create the mailing lists.
  • Work on Members Area of the News Center.

Devils have a Happy Halloween

Complaints from Home Ice aside, the Devils are having great success on the road.  In fact, it’s so good, they are tied for second place in NHL records for most consecutive away wins to start the season with 7.  (First place belongs to the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres with 10).

The game wasn’t in the Devils pocket from start to finish.  In fact, it didn’t look like the Devils were at the top of their game, missing players like Patrik Elias, Jay Pandolfo, and Paul Martin.

It took David Clarkson, in round 4 of the shootout, to score the tiebreaking goal and win the game for the Devils.  Tampa Bay netminder Antero Niittymaki did an excellent job of keeping the puck out of the net, but one goal by Travis Zajac in the second got the Devils ahead by one.

Tampa Bay tied things up in the third with a rush down the ice.

Overtime came and went without any incident, and the shootout began.  The first three shooters for the Devils were Zach Parise, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Travis Zajac.  No surprise there, except that they all pretty much tried to same type of shot and either missed or hit Nittymaki’s glove.

Martin Brodeur kept the Devils in by stopping every shot that came his way – almost.  The first shot by Andrej Meszaros went past Brodeur but rang it off of the post glove side.

Nevertheless, at the end of three rounds, the shootout score was tied at 0.  Tampa Bay stuck Vincent Lecavalier stepped in for the fourth shot and still could not find the back of the net for the Lightning.  David Clarkons happened to be the Devils fourth – a bit of a surprise as you would not consider him as a forward with the scoring touch.

Clarkson, as you may recall however, was slated to have the breakout season of his career and has shown a more offensive edge with the team, and currently sits third in total points and goals, only being beaten by Zach Parise (6g, 8a, 14p) and Travis Zajac (6g, 5a, 11p).

Devils next game is at home (sigh) against the Washington Capitals.  The team is looking to get only their second win at home.  Although they sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, only 3 points behind the fourth place Rangers, they will soon be in trouble if they continue to loose at home.

Still, although they have only played in 12 games, their last 10 game record is 8-2-0, the same “Last 10” record of the Pittsburgh Penguins (who sit first in the conference) and the Buffalo Sabres (who sit third).