Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, T
he door to the visiting room remained closed for about 10 minutes following the Devils’ 7-3 loss to the Islanders this afternoon as head coach Brent Sutter ripped into his players for their lack of effort against the league’s last-place team.
“This team we played tonight worked hard again and we weren’t ready to match that work ethic,” a clearly upset Sutter said afterward. “Our compete level tonight, it’s hard to play this game when you’re not physically involved. Outside of maybe a couple of guys, we weren’t involved like we needed to be. When you get seven goals scored against you, it tells you something, especially with a team that takes pride in playing well without the puck. That’s tells you where your mindsets were and it’s disappointing. They should be embarrassed because they got embarrassed by a bunch of young players that play hard and compete.”
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
It’s only a slight exaggeration that Martin Brodeur’s comeback has been his career in a nutshell.
Hockey is watching, and everyone else around here should be, too. It’s just not that often we have the “greatest ever” (even if only arguably) on display, night after night, right where we live.
Babe Ruth? Not quite that old. Julius Erving? Hmm, maybe not. Wayne Gretzky? Not his heyday. Niatross? OK, horses don’t count.
It’s 15 seasons now, which means it mostly is behind us, and it’s time to appreciate it while he’s still at the top of his powers.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
One of the more interesting races to monitor between now and the end of the season is the Devils’ pursuit of the Bruins for top spot in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage throughout the first three rounds, which could be critical since Boston has only four home losses in regulation this season and Washington just six.
Parise’s emergence, and Patrick Elias’s return to form, has changed the Devils’ identity slightly this year – eight forwards have a chance to crack the 20-goal barrier this season and that doesn’t include Brendan Shanahan, who has four in his first 15 games since returning to the team as an unrestricted free agent.
If the Devils have a perceived shortcoming, it is the lack of offence from the blue line, although of late, Johnny Oduya, a free-agent signing back in the summer of 2006, has been quite effective in that role.
read on and many more topics including Eric’s return to NYC.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello said before Tuesday night’s game against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre that he will try to trade goalie Scott Clemmensen before Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
Clemmensen, who won 25 games for the Devils this season, is in Lowell (AHL) since Martin Brodeur’s return.
“We gave Scott Clemmensen our word we’d do whatever is possible,” Lamoriello said. “We said all along if something came about, we’d do it. Saying that, you just don’t give a player away.”
continue for more on the Devils..
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Lamoriello believes Havelid’s game is not only well-suited for the way the Devils play, but also he is the type of individual that will fit in seamlessly in the locker room.
“Right now you have to be careful what we do with our team because of the chemistry involved,” Lamoriello said by telephone tonight. “Anyone you add has to be a seamless-type of individual and that’s what [Havelid] is. He will fit right in.”
Lamoriello said he wanted to add to his team’s depth on defense.
“There’s no question that’s what he does,” Lamoriello said of Havelid. “He’s a complete player that can do everything. He just gives us depth and experience. He’s been through playoff runs.”
The Atlanta Thrashers traded defenceman Niclas Havelid to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for blueliner Annsi Salmela.
From Mike Brophy at Sportsnet.ca:
I’ll be watching all 30 teams because that is what I am paid to do, but I’ll tell you one thing, there is no more intriguing team heading into the final third of the season than the New Jersey Devils. So, with apologies to the other 29 teams, the Devils are the team I’ll be watching with particular interest. I think old Lou Lamoriello has positioned his team to take a serious run at winning its fourth Cup in 15 years.
No disrespect to the Boston Bruins, who currently lead the Eastern Conference and are eight points ahead of the Devils, but New Jersey is peaking at the right time of year and I find it difficult to visualize any team in the East beating them in a seven-game playoff series.
How much do I like the Devils’ chances? Let me count the ways.
After missing 50 games due to injury, Marty returned to the Devils’ lineup this past week recording three wins, including two shutouts to garner First Star of the Week honors. The three wins give him 547 for his 16-year NHL career, four behind all-time leader Patrick Roy who retired with 551.
Here is a transcript of his Q&A session with the media today, courtesy of the NHL.
Q. Is it possible that this injury, the silver lining could be that you’ll be fresher down the stretch and in the playoffs as you’ve ever been in your career?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, I hope so. I think you have to take every positive you can from an injury. Sometimes it’s hard to have them. But definitely not playing as many games, you know, we’ll see what that translates into, what kind of success in the playoffs.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
What Lamoriello did was find a way to trade away a large contract to create room under the salary cap, which at the time was in its infancy. His trading partner, the San Jose Sharks, received the premium of a first-round draft pick for agreeing to use their room under the cap to take a multimillion-dollar contract off Lamoriello’s hands, which allowed him to sign a couple of important players.
At the time, some GMs thought this was circumventing the rules of the salary cap. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman approved the deal and the complaints faded away.
Now, with the trade deadline approaching on Wednesday, some GMs think there may be a number of those deals made, which amount to one team leasing its spare cap room to another for a price. A rebuilding team with room to spare under the salary cap and no plans to spend a lot of money on free agents this summer will offer to take an expensive contract off another team’s hands, which will allow that other team to pursue a player who can help in the playoff drive.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
They are the best team in the NHL right now. It appears the Devils raised the level of their play when Brodeur returned. They were already a very good team. Brodeur’s return was going to trigger one of two reactions: The Devils would rely on him too much and see a drop in their over all, or pull together to make sure the goalie’s return was successful. We know how it went.
more on the Devils…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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