Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 04/07/14 at 11:48 PM ET
In theory, the New Jersey Devils are out of the Wild Card race after having dropped a 1-0 decision (which included a controversial no-goal call against the Devils), to the Calgary Flames on Monday night, but Jaromir Jagr was defiant while speaking with the Associated Press:
"In my opinion, I think we're going to get one more chance (to make the playoffs)," New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr said. "It's too strange to finish like that. You've got to believe. It wouldn't make any sense to finish like that. We dominated. Just keep the faith and I think we're going to get one more chance in my opinion. We'll see if I'm right or wrong."
When I first saw Kari Ramo wearing the same white Bauer pads that Miikka Kiprusoff wore, with nearly the same specs--all white with tan nash leather on the boots, simply-strapped, and sporting a Kiprusoff-style "pancake" catch glove, I was stunned by his resemblance to Kiprusoff in both form and function.
According to NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale, the Flames witnessed a Kiprusoff-like performance from Ramo, who pitched a 31-save shutout against an incredibly desperate team:
"We had chances and opportunities and didn't stick it in the back of the net," [New Jersey Devils coach Pete] DeBoer said. "It's been a common theme on offense; we're at the mercy of games like this where margin of error is very small. I thought defensively we were very good, but when you can't score it's hard to win."
For the second straight game, the Devils were without injured forwards Patrik Elias (head), Adam Henrique (groin), Ryane Clowe (head) and Jacob Josefson (left foot/ankle).
"Maybe it caught up to us tonight, missing some of those skilled guys in Patty and Ricco, but we played our hearts out and came up just short," [Corey] Schneider said.
Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr, who logged 22:36 of ice time and generated four shots on goal, gave credit to Ramo, his former teammate.
"I played with him [Ramo] in Omsk [in the Kontinental Hockey League], but I want to see one more night like that," Jagr said. "We just couldn't score today. That's what you love or hate about hockey; games like that. We weren't able to score and it was just perfect game by him. Like baseball, it was just a perfect game. Sometimes you don't know how that happens, but it just happens.
"In my opinion I think we're going to get one more chance. It's too strange to finish like that, so you have to believe. It wouldn't make any sense to dominate like that and lose, so we keep the faith and we'll get one more chance. We'll see if I'm right or wrong."
The math's stacked against New Jersey, however:
New Jersey (34-29-16, 84 points) remains three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second of two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference with three games remaining in the regular season. The Blue Jackets (40-31-7, 87 points) begin a stretch of four games in five nights beginning Tuesday at home against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Devils close out the regular season at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and home to the New York Islanders on Friday and Boston Bruins on Sunday.
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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