Sure, Teemu Selanne was nailed for a double minor for high sticking Andy Greene when it was actually the stick of New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky that did the damage. New Jersey scored twice with the man advantage. And sure, the winning goal in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime decision over the Anaheim Ducks caromed off the Ducks' Corey Perry, but the Devils are more than willing to accept the two points and move on.
“We’ll take it,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. “We had a bunch of those go against us in the first 10 games of the season and I think all those kind of breaks even themselves out. I think we knew that when we were going through the tough period and we got a couple tonight.”
Finally, New Jersey is at the .500 mark -- or the NHL equivalent of such -- at 8-8-5. It was a long time coming for the Devils, who had a big hole to climb from after a debilitating 1-5-4 start to the season. But the Devils, who have much of their game now under control, aside from an offense that still sputters too much, were happy to nail a couple lucky breaks and send Anaheim to its first home loss of the season.
So much for Martin Brodeur riding off into the sunset, eh?
Brodeur had pretty much said his days as the New Jersey Devils' top goalie were done back on Oct. 19, when his slow start and the presence of Cory Schneider told Brodeur he should expect to spend a lot of time at the end of the Devils' bench. Heck, there were even stories that Brodeur would consider a trade to a playoff-bound team if New Jersey fell out of contention.
But now, Brodeur is back on the ice and doing his level best to get the Devils into the postseason, with the most recent example of turning back the clock being Wednesday's 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.
Martin Brodeur has been as logical as a Vulcan for pretty much his entire career. It's hard to remember any outbursts or antics about anything that has occurred during his time with the New Jersey Devils.
Which makes it altogether unsurprising in reading Wednesday's media reports that Brodeur acknowledged that Cory Schneider had assumed the top spot among the goalies without anger or rancor.
“I think every time you go through kind of a change with goalies and stuff it’s always a story,” Brodeur told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. “It doesn’t mean it’s just with the Devils. Vancouver dealt with that for three years in a row. It happens. I think we’re in a situation that whatever the coach feels is the best opportunity for him to win, he’s going to do it, and right now the way Cory’s been playing he’s well deserved to be in the net.
“I’m not saying I don’t deserve, but if that’s what the coach feels, it’s fine.
Rumors had swirled during the summer that Damian Brunner would call New Jersey home for the 2013-14 season, but the sudden signing of Jaromir Jagr seemed to end all that speculation as New Jersey had more than enough candidates to flesh out four lines.
Well, there is always room for one more apparently. As Brunner, the former Detroit Red Wing, remained unsigned the General Manager Lou Lamoriello extended a training camp invitation and after picking up two assists in two preseason games, Brunner will indeed call New Jersey home this season.
"He came to camp without a contract and certainly earned where he's at," Lamoriello said. "He showed us what he can do, firsthand. There's no better way of making a decision or a judgement when you have that opportunity.
Brunner, now wearing No. 12, told reporters he is happy with his new home.
I am pleased to announce Phil Coffey will be taking over The Devils Advocate blog and will continue writing in Iced Coffey too. More on Phil at the bottom of this post. -Paul
By Phil Coffey
With one of the most tumultuous summers in franchise history now tucked away in the history book, how will the New Jersey Devils fare in 2013-14?
Let's be clear right from the top. Any team that loses Ilya Kovalchuk isn't going to be as good minus the scoring forward as with him, but in this case, the Devils were not presented with much of an option after Kovalchuk announced his NHL retirement and retreated to the KHL in Russia.
Now minus Kovalchuk, but augmented by a slew of new faces brought in by General Manager Lou Lamoriello, the Devils will test the waters in the newly reshuffled Eastern Conference, where grabbing one of the eight playoff spots is easier said than done.
Still, I'm not buying the Devils as Eastern bottom feeders just yet. Right now, the Devils are an amalgamation of new parts trying to mesh with the holdovers from the 2013 team that stumbled badly when injuries first sidelined goalie Martin Brodeur and then Kovalchuk, scuttling New Jersey's playoff hopes.
Just some news and notes for anyone who is interested before the Devils take on the Islanders tomorrow on the Island.
Bryce Salvador has been named the captain of the New Jersey Devils, replacing Zach Parise who has since moved on to play for Minnesota. Seems to be a pretty well-supported pick by the players.
“I think it’s a great choice,” said Ilya Kovalchuk to Tom Gulitti of The Record. “Like Pete (DeBoer) said, there’s a lot of leadership in this group and it’s tough to put letters on every jersey. Even the guys who don’t have a letter, they have to do their job and that’s what they were doing all year last year. The core of the captains they’re staying the same and Bryce he is a great leader and it’s well deserved that C and I’m sure he’ll be a great captain.”
“I think they did the right thing,” right wing David Clarkson said. “He’s one of those guys who leads. He leads by he way he plays. He was actually my roommate for a while too, so I learned a lot from him. I was excited to hear that today, that a guy like him would get it. I’m sure it was a tough decision for the coaches and Mr. (Lou) Lamoriello, but at the end of the day I believe they picked a guy that’s a true leader and a quality individual.”
The New Jersey Devils have announced that they have signed Travis Zajac to an eight-year, 46-million dollar extension according to Lou Lamoriello.
Tom Gulitti of The Record reports that Lamoriello and Zajac had been working on the deal during the lockout.
Zajac was scheduled to make $4.8 million this season (that number will be pro-rated for 48 games) in the final year of a four-year, $15.55 million contract he signed as a restricted free agent in 2009.
Lamoriello said the sides were working on the extension for Zajac before the lockout began and completed it this week.
The Atlantic Division is my favorite in the entire NHL. The level of skill, the teams, the rivalries and passion played in these games is as good as it gets. Whether it's Rangers v. Flyers, Flyers v. Devils, Devils v. Rangers, Flyers v. Penguins, nearly every contest is one worth watching. (unless of course it's against the Islanders! )
With that being said, here is my look at the Atlantic Division with the season quickly approaching.
Well, its finally back. There is no use crying over lost time, so here are some news, notes and quotes since the news broke the lockout ended in NJ.
Petr Sykora, who played for the Devils last season, is hoping to be invited back to Devils camp again after his contract expired after the previous season. If you remember, Sykora entered the training camp last year and was originally expected to be a long shot to make the team. Not only did he make the team, he contributed 21 goals and 23 assists.
As each day passes it seems as if the PA and the NHL are making some agreements towards a new CBA barring any tremendous setbacks in the negotiations. With that being said, it seems as if there may be an abbreviated season on the horizon (fingers crossed).
The question I pose to all of you is what do you think the quality of play will be if the game is actually to return? Obviously there will be some time for mini camps but the actual season would begin rather quickly. Some players have went to other countries to play while some of the younger guys ventured to the AHL and other leagues. Other players have seemingly done nothing except skate at local rinks and continue to work out. Do you think the overall quality of the game will decrease if the NHL season is to take place?
About Devil's Advocate
I am an all around NHL fan. I love to watch Atlantic Division, and root for the Philadelphia Flyers. Just because I cheer for the Flyers, doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with the other teams in the division, specifically the New Jersey Devils. Devils Advocate will provide you with the most important Devils news, filled with my opinion about the selected topic.
Like what you read? Hated it? Have something else you want to read about? Let me know, I always like to hear from my readers and what they want to see.