by David Pavlak on 03/21/12 at 12:04 PM ET
After the puck dropped between the Rangers and Devils the other night, the gloves soon followed. Stu Bickel, Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust went toe-to-toe against Cam Janssen, Ryan Carter and Eric Boulton. Even more entertaining then the planned fights was the trash talking by both coaches that ensued after the game.
“I guess in John’s world you can come into our building and start your tough guys, but we can’t do the same in here. He’s either got short-term memory loss or he’s a hypocrite,” Deboer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record.
“I read it,” Tortorella said to Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record of DeBoer’s comment. “I think Peter needs to job his memory as far as the starting lineups that I’ve put in over in their building and really, basically, just shut up. And I need to also. I think the situation last night is disrespectful to players and I think we took a backwards step. I get put in a position when he puts a lineup like that out - and I’m not sure what’s going to happen if I put my top players out - so I have to answer the way I need to answer. Really, just look at the two lineups and some of the things he’s done through the games here, again, I don’t want to coach his team, but just shut up.”
Fighting’s part of the game, that’s a big part of the game,” Tortorellla said. “But it doesn’t need to be manufactured. In that type of game, Jersey and the Rangers, there were going to be fights. But it’s really gotten old for me, the staged fights, it doesn’t need to be manufactured. Nowadays in our league, if a guy gets hit hard, clean, everybody’s looking to fight. Where hard checking and hard hitting is part of the game. And that crap at the beginning of the game, to try to manipulate it into it, I just don’t think it’s right for the game. I think there’s enough of it, and there always will be and there should be. I’m certainly not one of the pacifists that think fighting should be out of the game, that’s a big part of our game. But let the players decide. I just don’t think coaches should be putting players in situations that basically dictates fighting.”
DeBoer has since declined to continue to comment on the situation.
Zajac Nearing Return:
Travis Zajac traveled to Ottawa with the team and is nearing a return every day according to DeBoer. Though he didn’t play in the game, it could only be a matter of weeks before Zajac returns to the ice. If his return comes at the start of the playoffs, Zajac could give the Devils an extra element of danger in their search for a Stanley Cup.
“We brought him here to be with the team, to skate, to spend some time with the coaches because he’s getting very close,” DeBoer said.
“The more the better,” DeBoer said. “You’ve to get your timing back. You’ve got to get up to game speed. He’s missed a lot of time, so the more the better without putting him in a situation where he’s vulnerable to reinjury or something like that. We all feel the same way, including Travis on that.”
Moose shuts out the Senators:
Johan Hedberg hasn’t seen much action in the past few weeks. However, he was called upon last night to face off against the Senators. In a strong performance, Hedberg shutout the Senators, making 34 saves during the Devils 1-0 win.
“I think Moose was outstanding and that’s the reason why we won,” Ilya Kovlachuk said to Gulitti. “I’ve never seen anybody work harder than this guy in practice. Every day he shows up and when he gets a chance he plays unbelievable. We’ve got two great goalies and we’re very confident in both of them.”
Hedberg has started only three times in 20 games since Feb. 9, but has allowed only one goal on 80 shots in those three games. He made 23 saves in a 5-0 victory in Washington on March 2 and 23 more in a 2-1 win over the Islanders on March 10.
“What else can you ask from him?” DeBoer said. “Pitch two shutouts the last three starts for us. He’s given us some critical starts at tough points, usually at the end of a back-to-back or end of a road trip. We wouldn’t be where we are without him.”
Kovalchuk reaches milestone:
Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only goal during the Devils 1-0 win in Ottawa. The goal was the 400th of Kovalchuk’s career. Andy Greene snagged the puck for Kovy to keep after the game. Though he was happy for his 400th goal, he isn’t going to be hung up on it.
“It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said to Gulitti. “It’s all important hockey in front of us in April. So, we just want to finish the season strong and play our best hockey the last eight games.”
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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.
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