Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Brian Gionta’ Category

Now that it’s after Thanksgiving, that means it’s full-time Christmas Season! WOOOO! It also means the quarter mark of the NHL season has passed, so Santa has a substantial enough body of work to assess when he makes his list of which Devils have been naughty and which have been nice. Sure, he’s still got a month or so to check the list twice, so these are entirely unofficial results, but we’re proud to say that we have spies in Santa’s workshop who have smuggled out — at great personal cost, no less — the preliminary draft. Let’s take a look at who on our team can expect a shiny new hockey stick for Christmas, and who’s in line for a honkin’ lump of coal.

Forwards:

Dainius Zubrus: Nice After spending last season being the 6’5″ Sergei Brylin, Zubrus has spent the last few weeks being the not-flakey Jason Arnott. We knew it! We knew he could be a good linemate for Patty! We don’t expect him to keep this up for very long, but even for just a few games, it’s worth a great present from Santa.

Zach Parise: Extremely Nice Santa should stop two or three times at Zach’s house this year for how extraordinary Zach’s first quarter has been. When all was darkness and despair, Zach was a bright shining light of talent, heart, and third-in-the-league-in-goal-scoring. We’ve been hearing for years that Zach is all but guaranteed to be the next captain of the team (we personally are pulling for Travis, but that’s a whole other post) and so far this season, we’ve seen why. When everyone else was content to say the season was a lost cause, Zach said, “Pshaw! Lost cause my arse! I’ll score fifty goals! What? Our defense and goaltending sucks so bad it won’t help? Whatevs.”

John Madden: Undecided Is it just us, or does it seem like Madden hasn’t been playing this year, even before he was injured? Santa has no idea. He’ll probably put him on the nice list, just because Madden’s a stalwart and a cranky-pants, but he’s our stalwart cranky-pants.

Brian Rolston: Naughty Oh, some people might say you can’t judge Rolston because he’s been injured all season, but you know what? That’s exactly why Santa’s stuffing his stocking with nothing but coal. You can’t go filling Devils fans with hope by being the first sought-after free agent to sign with New Jersey, then fail to make the power play instantly awesome right out of the gate, and then get injured in such a way that no one knows when or how you’ll ever be back, and have that injury happen to be the starting point for the most devastating team-wide run of injuries we’ve ever seen. No, Brian Rolton’s on the very top of Santa’s naughty list.

Brian Gionta: Nice Enough to Not Get Coal But… We had high hopes for Contract Year Gio. Those hopes haven’t really been fulfilled. He’s not been terrible, but we’re hoping Santa’s elves don’t knock themselves out making Gio’s toys this year. Give him a wooden train or two, but make them small enough to be packed in a suitcase come Trade Deadline Day.

Jamie Langenbrunner: Naughty, But Surprisingly Only Barely Langer can thank his lucky stars that Zach is a superstar and Travis remembered how to play hockey this year, because the resurgent ZZ Pops line is the only thing saving his petulant, stupid-penalty-taking, ineffective-captaining, open-net-missing, sucking-on-the-point-on-the-PP, craptacular ass. It’s hard to imagine what Patty did to make Sutter hate him so much, because there’s no way in hell that Langer is any better a captain than Patty was. But again, he’s the Pops for the Poppers (and that’s “pops” as in “lousy old man”, not “pops” as in “he’s what makes the offense pop”), so his lump of coal will at least be attractively wrapped.

Blobby Holik: Naughty There’s nothing Holik could have done to make Santa put him on the Nice List because, come on, Santa’s no dummy.

Mike Rupp: Nice As a jolly, fun-loving guy, Santa surely must love Rupper, what with his big grin and easy-going manner. We love Rupper, too, especially since this year’s he’s getting one of the greatest gifts we can bestow upon a Devil: The IPB Order of Pleasantly Surprising. That’s right, with Asham off being predictably bad with Philly, Rupper’s taken over the mantle of that player of whom we’re mostly likely to say, after a high-energy shift or an expected goal, “my, but I’m pleasantly surprised!” What fourth liner could ask for more?

Travis Zajac: NICE!, With A Capital “N-I-C-E” He’s still a tiny bit afraid of the acorn, but Travis has not only remembered how to center the ZZ Pops line, he’s become even more dynamic doing so. Santa is going to pile mountains of toys under Travis’s tree (that’s what she said!) to reward the way he’s become a dynamic, confident, powerful player in every zone. Of course, we fully put forth that we are totally blind to Travis’s flaws, but apparently so is Santa.

Jay Pandolfo: Nice, As Always Santa, like every important person of influence, is a citizen of PandoNation. Pando could have been sucking so bad that he was a healthy scratch every night and he’d still get every present he asked for. Sure, he’s not scoring as much as he was when he was in a contract year, but Santa doesn’t expect goals from Pando. We all spent half of last season with our hearts in our throats waiting for Pando to overcome his tragically shifted bits, but this year he’s bucked the teamwide injury trend and been his usual stoic, penalty-killing, defensively delightful emperor-god self. Santa will reward that handsomely.

Petr Vrana: Naughty Vrana Vrana Vrana! No matter how many times Santa sees his name on his list, it still doesn’t make him an NHL player.

David Clarkson: Nice Looking Santa’s elves are expected to be creative (no one wants the same dolly or toy truck year after year, do they?) so it would only follow that Santa would appreciate creativity in his gift recipients, too. So far this year, Clarkson has shown a shocking willingness to attempt moves other than his patented Clarkaround. Sure, those other moves aren’t really resulting in a huge increase in points, but as long as Clarkson’s still one of the prettiest names on Santa’s list, he won’t need to worry about making space in the coal bin. Santa may be smart, but he’s also pretty shallow.

Patrik Elias: Nice-ish, But Trending Nicer There was a time this season when Patty was heading up the Naughty list, but Santa’s been swayed by his recent resurgence. It might be because he’s got the same linemates every night for the first time in the Sutter Era (thanks to all the injuries making it impossible for Sutter to keep shuffling guys as much as he’d like to), it might be because Zubrus has been possessed by ghosts of the A Line, and it might be because he’s suddenly realized that with Marty out, the team MVP award is up for grabs (psst, Patty — as long as Zach’s on the team, that award’s not actually up for grabs), but whatever the reason, Patty’s playing decently again. For that, Santa will be bringing, like, an orange to put in the toe of his stocking, and maybe some shampoo, like a friend of ours always got in her stocking as a kid. He’ll need a few more good games before Christmas if he wants to upgrade past hair care products.

Defense:

Sheldon Brookbank: As a Defensmean, Naughty; As a Forward, Nice Santa doesn’t usually do the conditional thing (if there’s too much wiggle-room, the elves get confused), but in Brookbank’s case, there’s not much choice. Maybe he’ll get a Transformer in his stocking that goes from coal to toy and vice versa depending on where Sutter puts him in the line-up.

Colin White: Nice He didn’t spend the beginning of this year devastating the Devils d-corps with an eye injury, so Santa’s bringing him that pony he’s always dreamed of.

Andy Greene: Undecided Uhhh… right. Santa’s highly likely to accidentally fly right over Greener’s house, completely forgetting that he’s supposed to stop there.

Paul Martin: Nicest! Two seasons in a row now we’ve seen the team go into a tailspin when Paulie’s missed more than two games due to injury. No, he’s not the Niedermayer replacement we were promised (remember those days, Gentle Reader? Ha! Sigh.) but he’s clearly the North Star leading the d-corps to respectability. He’s also played well enough to convince Sutter to let him have carte blanche in the offensive quadrants — now if only he can convince all of us (especially his father) that he can finish. Fortuantely, Santa’s a Devils fan (we mean, duh! Whose team colors does he wear? Yeah. We rest our case) so making the nice list isn’t contingent on being a good finisher. (Unless your name rhymes with Blian Blionta.)

Bryce Salvador: Super-Duper Nice The Iron Boar went from “guy who was so bad in the playoffs last year that it was later reported that he was playing with an injury” to “guy we don’t really like being a Devil” to “Pookie’s fifth- or sixth-favorite Devil”. That’s quite a trajectory of niceness!

Mike Mottau: Naughty Sorry, it’s too soon after his deserved two-game suspension for Santa to be bringing Mottau the guitar and dog he asked for when he was a kid. Sure, it was an accident that he threw such a dirty hit, and he truly didn’t mean to hurt anybody, but still. Santa can’t go rewarding that kind of behavior. If Applesauce really wanted those things, he should have waited until after Christmas to go around hitting people in the head.

Anssi Salmela: Nice, And Batshit Bonkers Finally — finally — there is a d-man on the point on the Devils power play who will wildly fire the puck no matter what things look like in front of the net. And more than that, he so loves firing the puck no matter what things look like in front of the net that he is remarkably capable of retrieving it after it ricochets off people in front and keeping it after defenders have been able to stop his ill-advised shot attempts. But he’s crazy! It’s marvelous! We love it! And so does Santa.

Johnny Oduya: Much Nicer Than This Time Last Year Santa’s all about rewarding improvement, and for that, Oduya’s going to get some wicked awesome educational toys that teach fine motor skills — just like us, the elves don’t want Oduya regressing back to his “dropping the stick at every key opportunity” ways.

Goaltending:

Marty Brodeur: Naughty Every other record that Marty’s approached in his career has caused his game to go into a giant tailspin — just look no further than every time he approached 48 wins in a non-shootout season. So we fully expected that trait and his traditionally slow starts to seasons to combine to make the first two months of this year excruciating as we waited for him to round into form before surpassing Patrick Roy on the all-time wins list. So what does Marty go and do? He comes out of the gate on fire, plowing his way mercilessly toward the wins and shutout records. But that’s not how it was supposed to be! More than that, he changed his mask. As soon as he put on that douchey, stupid, website-promoting mask, we all knew bad things were going to happen. And oh how terribly, terribly bad those things have been. We hope he enjoys his giant lump of coal this Christmas, and more than that, we hope that “MB30” mask of his makes him happy this June when he’s watching one of his rivals accept the Vezina. In the meantime, we’ll just keep vomiting on the floor every time we have to hear the words “Scott Clemmensen, New Jersey Devils starting goaltender”.

Kevin Weekes: Naughty Sure, it’s not his fault, but he’s naughty by circumstance here. If he’d been even remotely passable as a starting goalie, we’d all have been spared the Clemmensen Reign Of Terror.

Scott Clemmensen: Naughty Just… no. He’s still on Santa’s naughty list for the way he whined to The Sporting News about how unfair it was that he had to sit on the bench because the Devils were giving too much playing time to a guy who can rightly consider himself one of the all-time greats. And now that he’s smugging it up after games with Stan Fischler about what a total bad-ass goalie he is just because the Devils finally had to pay for putting all their eggs in one goaltending basket, he’s doubly on Santa’s shit list. In fact, Santa isn’t even going to bother giving him coal, because to add insult to injury, Clemmensen’s been very good in net simultaneously with being very bad. No, Santa’s just not even going to stop at Clemmer’s house. He’s going to be like us and keep pretending Clemmer isn’t even on the Devils roster. Wait, Clemmensen who now? Isn’t he the guy who couldn’t crack the Leafs depth chart last season? Sigh. Is it March yet?

Read Full Post »

Last night the IPB PandoPhone’s red light blinked cheerily. It seems we had a new message! A message from an IPB reader and harbinger of Pando goodness, one Cammy from New Jersey. Eagle-eyed Cammy discovered a special event had gone down recently in Boston that we must hear about. A special event involving Pando. A special event involving Pando and a bowling ball. Dude.

All of the pictures in this post came from the marginally-functional website for Noah Welch’s Hock, Rock & Roll

Dude! It seems Noah Welch organized a fun-filled bowling adventure to benefit Make-A-Wish (good on you, Noah!) and invited Boston’s hippest, hottest celebrity. Tom Brady was out of town, though, so Pando stepped in to fill his shoes. Cammy gave us a heads up that the website for the event — Noah Welch’s Hock, Rock & Roll — contained some pretty kick-ass pictures of PandoNation’s beloved (and feared) emperor-god.

Just being in the presence of PandoNation’s emperor/god made the woman on crutches able to walk.

Also, for the Devils fans out there, the one and only Mike “Pahk the Car in Hahvahd Yahd” Mottau was also in attendance.

No matter how many times he said he could prove it, none of these kids believed that Mottau is actually an NHLer.

There are only two words in the entire English language that we could think up to properly respond to Cammy’s incredible find: “wicked” and “awesome”.

PandoNation is swooning at the sight of those hairy arms!

It got us thinking, though, of what would happen if the entire Devils squad took a trip to local lanes. We suspect it would go a little something like this.

David Clarkson would be DQ’ed on every attempt for stepping over the line while attempting a wrap-around.

John Madden would score all 0’s because he would refuse to accept that simply glaring at the pins doesn’t make them fall down.

Paul Martin would make a bee-line for the snack machine and then head out back behind the building for some quality chillaxing time with his wacky tobaccky.

Patrik Elias would throw gutter balls on every toss, and then roll his eyes to the heavens in an exaggerated head-toss.

Johnny Oduya would get tossed out for breaking the floor after dropping his ball too often.

Brian Gionta would bowl a great first frame, but would then take such a nose dive the lane manager would insist on bringing in the lane bumpers.

Zach Parise would miss his turns because he was following Coach Sutter around offering to polish Sutter’s shoes, get a newer, better bowling ball, or picking up some fresh pitchers of beer.

Marty Brodeur would not be able to release the ball due to excessively sticky-fingers from his lane-side snacking on honeyed dormice.

Read Full Post »

This is the 23rd in our summer series in which we are drawing hockey cards at random from a box and then writing about them.

Ten Trades We’d Make Involving Brian Gionta

1. Brian Gionta to the NHL League Offices for the Devils to play closer to our house, with more affordable ticket prices and 7:30 start times.

2. Brian Gionta and Andy Greene for Vinny Lecavalier, with the Lightning picking up 85% of Lecavalier’s salary and changing the Devils start times to 7:30.

3. Brian Gionta and a lightly used iPhone to MSG Network for the promise to limit Stan Fischler to Rangers broadcasts only and 7:30 start times.

4. Brian Gionta and an 18″ replica of Augustus of Prima Porta to Philadelphia for Mike Richards, a reduction in the obnoxiousness in the hue of Flyers orange, and a return to 7:30 start times.

5. Brian Gionta and Sheldon Brookbank for Brian Gionta of 2005-2006, and 2005-2006’s 7:30 start times.

6. Brian Gionta and the complete Oxford English Dictionary to Carolina for Eric Staal and the obliteration from the Devils schedule of all Saturday matinees and the restoration of 7:30 start times for all non-matinee games.

7. Brian Gionta and our DVDs of Season 7 of MacGyver to make Peter Forsberg and his stupid foot go away forever, and the Devils to switch back to 7:30 start times.

8. Brian Gionta and Bryce Salvador’s new contract for Ryan Getzlaf, a guarantee that Brian Burke will actually go to Toronto midway through this coming season, and the Devils getting 7:30 start times.

9. Brian Gionta and Chunky Beaver Butt for the 2001 Stanley Cup and 7:30 start times.

10. Brian Gionta and John MacLean for a functioning power play and games that start at 7:30.

Read Full Post »

We were driven today to the outer edges of sheer boredom, and did something that only the most desperate of hockey fans should ever do — we read the CBA. Some people read the CBA and come out of it with a clearer understanding of the financial picture of the NHL. Others walk away shaking their reads at the madness of it all. And yet others totally ignore all the serious business statbitty parts (read: 99% of it) and cut straight to the titillating, behind-the-scenes stuff. Like how the players get fined if they don’t pay their own incidentals on their room bills when the team is checking out of hotels on the road. And how a player is reimbursed for up to six months of his rent/mortgage when he’s traded. And what the NHL per diem is. In typical fashion for us, though, a discussion of the finer points of everyday life as outlined by the CBA quickly evolved into our vision of how the Devils handle their per diems. The following is how we figure it goes down, and we suspect we’re spot-on. Because we know the Devils really well. (This is also the actual IM conversation we had, verbatim.)

Pookie: Paulie packs all his meals so they’re bland enough for him and then he pockets the per diem. He’s saving up for something nice. Like a new Goldie Christmas ornament set.

Schnookie: Yup! He’s savin’ up. And enjoying those ambrosia cups, all at the same time.

Clarkson spends his on lottery tickets. All of it.

Pookie: Yup.

Schnookie: At the first place that he sees that sells them.

Pookie: As soon as they get to the hotel lobby he buys them all up and then goes, “D’oh!”

Schnookie: Then he spends the rest of the day salivating over the other guys’ food, asking, “Are you going to eat all of that?”

Pookie: Fortunately it doesn’t take much for him to charm his way into food. He’s always missing team meals because he’s eating with the maids in their breakroom.

Schnookie: Well, Travis is a sucker, too, so he always shares.

Pookie: Travis does all kinds of research before going to a city to determine the cheapest possible meal. Then he saves the rest of his per diem under his mattress. Out of fear of being an Okie.

Schnookie: Travis always takes out $5 and mails it home to his parents. With a letter:

Dear Mom and Dad,
Am still making good in the big city.
Your son,
Travis
P.S. I miss you both.

Pookie: Nah, Rod Pelley does that. Mr. Kitimat.

Schnookie: Right!

Pookie: Marty has Brylin handle his per diem for him. When he has to pay for something he just snaps his finger, walks away, and assumes Brylin is covering it for him.

Schnookie: Marty’s like, “Here, Sarge. You probably need this more than I do.” And he throws the money in Sarge’s direction and forgets all about it.

Pookie: Yup.

Schnookie: Zach has his converted to gold.

Pookie: Langer goes to the dog track. And eats there. No betting, though. Betting would be stupid.

Schnookie: He just loves the food carts at dog tracks. “They have the best cheap Chinese food,” he explains.

Pookie: Yup.

Schnookie: Gio thought he was going to the horse track with his money, until he ran into Langer there. “Shit. Horses must be HUGE,” he says.

Pookie: Sutter gets his per diem changed into pennies and then gets pissed off when he has to count them out to pay for stuff. Just the way he gets pissed off when he has to put unprepared losers out on the ice. “Life,” sighs Albelin in commiseration, “imitates art.”

Schnookie: Travis loves counting and rolling those pennies for Sutter. It causes a lot of tension with his roomie, though. “Suck up,” Zach hisses at him.

Pookie: Just the way Travis loves being an unprepared loser.

Schnookie: “Being an unprepared loser is my favorite thing in life,” he attests.

Pookie: You bet! Sutter’s like, “Grrrreat. Have a penny!” And he wings a big handful of pennies at Travis’s head.

Our team has issues.

Schnookie: Travis just lets the pennies hit him, and then he says, “Do you want me to count and roll those, too, or should I leave them?”

Pookie: Oduya uses his per diem to buy the ingredients to make his mom’s special Swedish cookies, which he sells in the hotel lobby, thereby doubling his per diem amount.

Schnookie: Oduya’s the secret smart one!

Pookie: He usually uses his extra dough to buy Paulie a more interesting lunch, feeling sorry for him having to eat ambrosia AGAIN.

Schnookie: So Paulie’s the one who’s doubling his per diem! After four years in the NHL, you’d think Paulie could afford the Goldie ornament set by now. But the sad truth is, Paulie has no idea how much it costs. “If you have to ask,” he says wistfully. Greener’s like, “You don’t have to ask. Look. The price is right here on the website, it’s $49.95–” Paulie: * DUNK! *

Fortunately, he eats enough pot brownies that he soon forgets that Greener broke the mystique surrounding the ornament set.

Pookie: Yeah. And when he retires he’s going to have like $600,000 in per diem money. Which… He’ll blow on 600,000 Mr. Pibbs and thus never get the ornament set.

But then, in his old age, when he’s like 86, his roomie in the Old Folks Home For Aged D-Men, Old Man Oduya, will give them to him for Christmas.

Schnookie: Awwww! That’s so sweet! Maybe our team doesn’t have issues after all!

Read Full Post »

Tonight marks one of the most anticipated events of the hockey season here at stately IPB Manor. Gentle Reader, you’re probably scratching your head and thinking, “Whatever is it that could be a significant event in the NHL at this time of year? Surely the -ookies wouldn’t get excited for Forsberg’s triumphant return or Ovie’s ascendance into ‘Greatest Man To Ever Breathe’ status.” No, you’re right, Gentle Reader, we really wouldn’t get excited for those things. In fact, we curse the hockey gods for finding ways to make March hockey even worse than it usually is. No, no, instead we’re excited for that most delightful evening of televised entertainment — Makeover Night on America’s Next Top Model!

Having said that, it probably won’t surprise you to know that we have long dreamed of New Jersey’s Next Top Devil. It would be a show that combines our favorite elements of ANTM (namely: the solid 10’s on the Bill Simmons Scale of Unintentional Comedy) with our favorite elements of hockey (namely: the Devils). We’ve conjured up all sorts of scenarios in which certain players fit the archetypal roles of the contestants on Tyra Banks’ magnum opus. Marty would be the spunky plus-size girl, persevering in the face of a complete lack of respect from the judging panel. Gomez would have been the girl who thinks she’s being really funny, original and outrageous, but who is only hanging around because someone else screws up enough each week to get kicked off instead. Holik would have been the self-righteous girl who lectures all the other girls all the time about their modeling skills and everyday comportment, and then flies off the handle when the subject of the lecture rolls her eyes or mutters, “Bitch” under her breath. Brylin would be the one Tyra ousts for “not having enough personality”. Mike Danton would have been the girl who with the attitude who thinks she’s better than the show, only to end up working at Wal-Mart when Tyra kicks her sorry ass off the show in Week 6. Oh wait. No, Danton doesn’t need a ridiculous reality-show analogy, does he? Anyway, we’ve decided, in honor of Makeover Night, to take a look at how our current Devils would fare if NJNTD was doing the same tonight.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Several years ago, when the Sabres were in the midst of a goaltending controversy, we stumbled across a trade suggested by a fan on the interwebs. This well-reasoned, highly-plausible proposal was as follows: The Sabres would trade Ryan Miller and Martin Biron to the Devils for Martin Brodeur and Colin White. The fan explained that this solved everybody’s problems, and was one of those win-win deals for both teams; the Sabres would be giving up a headache of a goaltending controversy and be acquiring a hall-of-fame netminder still in his prime, and would shore up their D with a top-pairing, physical defenseman with a Devils pedigree and two Stanley Cup rings. Meanwhile, the Devils would be giving up the cornerstone of their franchise and their top D-man and be getting in return the entirety of the Sabres’ goaltending controversy. It made perfect sense! How did that trade, and the billions like it suggested by fans every year, not get made? Because professional NHL general managers are chicken, or stupid, or both, that’s why! In the spirit of that trade that never happened, here are a few proposals of how we’d be moving players around right now if we were GMing the Devils and any number of other teams.

1. John Madden and Johnny Oduya for Vincent Lecavalier.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Devils 5 Lightning 3

Let’s revisit, for a moment, our “ifs” from our prediction post:

If Patrik Elias’s heart can grow three sizes, back to where it was last year when he came back from the Hep, if Gionta can find his hidden store of scoring sticks rather than the slumping sticks he’s been using for the last three months, if Marty, miraculously, isn’t as tired as he looked in March, and if our boys can stay healthy, then maybe the Devils have got a shot.

Well, what do you know? Every single one of those things happened. And the team won. And looked awesome doing it. Aside from two exceptionally ridiculously terribly awful penalties courtesy of rookie Johnny Oduya, top-to-bottom the boys were playing exactly how we want to see them playing. Sure, they could tighten it up a bit, but for a first game of the playoffs, we’ll take it. What’s especially encouraging to see is the way the boys were backing each other up. Once again, we find ourselves remarking, “Oh, so that’s why Julien was fired.”

Specifically, Patty, Gio and Gomer showed a tenacity that was completely absent from their collective game all season. On the fifth goal, was that the first loose puck that Patty beat an opponent to all year? They could still stand to learn from the ZZ Poppers how to follow up on their scoring chances, but baby steps, baby steps. Speaking of the Poppers, our very own Zach Parise has clearly been studying at the feet of Jamie “Screw This ‘Being Tied’ Crap” Langenbrunner. That game-winner was a thing of beauty, and very much like a classic clutch Langer. Is that a good sign for the Devils that they’re now fielding a Langer and a Baby Langer?

It’s less of a good sign that the Devils are going to need to stop the force of nature that is Vinny Lecavalier. This just in: that dude’s scary good. What we find most frightening about the Lightning is that you can give them literally nothing, and they can and will still score against you. Tonight, though, Madden and Pando, who have at times looked overmatched by Tampa’s top line, came up big for the most part. Moreover, the team PK was back in masterpiece form — it’s so nice to be a fan of a team that makes you calmer when they’re playing down a man than when they’re at even strength. It’s also nice to be a fan of a team that blocks shots with their sticks rather than leaving their feet, getting out of position and risking unnecessary injury; Paulie Martin really set the tone for the game in the first few minutes with a monster block-and-clear. PaulieMartinNation rejoiced as Paulie seemed to be channeling Nieder’s unruffletitude.

All in all, we are tickled by what we saw tonight: a Devils team playing with professional pride, hunkering down on D, taking advantage of shaky goaltending, and looking like they might be tough to beat. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can keep it going.

Read Full Post »