January 2, 2007

Mavericks 112, Supersonics 88

Even on a poor shooting night (which was somewhat resurrected in the fourth quarter) the Mavericks pull it off in Dallas against an inferior Supersonics team. I like Seattle. Not a whole lot. But I like Ridnour and Collison and I sometimes like Ray Allen who is maybe a superstar but at least he's quiet about it.

Tonight, Dirk Nowitzki led the way (finally!) with 31 points and 15 rebounds. If my memory serves me correctly, he hadn't led the team in scoring except just once in the past ten games. Josh Howard had another solid game with 21 points and 9 boards, though he went 0-5 from beyond the arc. Jason Terry had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Devin Harris chipped in 16 points. Ray Allen had 27 points for Seattle.

The score at halftime was 55-55. Not all that odd, except for the teams exchanging 33 points and 22 points in the first and second quarters, with the Mavs opting to score their 33 in the first quarter. Then the Mavs closed the deal in the fourth quarter. I believe DJ Mbenga got his first two points of the year tonight. Congrats, DJ!

Once again, much credit goes out to the defense which continues to get better (although, yes, it was the Supersonics) and also gotta give credit to the opportunistic offense, even if the shooting was a bit off tonight. Not much else to say, the Mavericks win a lot of games at home and they were playing a team that they should have beaten. And the Supersonics were beaten. Next!

Rangers 3, Devils 2 (Shootout 4-3)


The Devils, as I have said time and time again (but this will be the first time on my new blog!), are not a shootout team. I like shootouts for the most part, they're kinda cool. But the Devils are built to grind out an overtime victory. Brodeur, who can stop pretty much any breakaway you throw at him, isn't all that great handling shootouts. His stats aren't bad, but something about it, I don't think the stats reflect his uncomfortability. Anyways, all Jamie Langenbrunner, or Scott Gomez, or Travis Zajac needs to do is score a shootout goal. They all don't, however. Oh well. Like I say, the Devils at least get a point and maintain the division lead, you just hate to give the Rangers two points, especially in your own building. To be honest, though, the Devils were on their way to get 0 points and they probably deserved that point value, but they squeaked out a point and live to fight another day. Speaking of which, this was the first game in a while that Hollweg & Janssen were healthy but they didn't tangle. I'm sure they will, they have many more opportunities.

P.S. Listening to all the games on WFAN New York, as I do, I listen to Matt Loughlin and Tom Chorske. They're both in their first years, and for the most part they do a good job. Sometimes it seems that Loughlin gets more excited for goals scored by the other team. Anyway, tonight I had some beef with them. They called the game well and the overtime well, but the shootout was all jumbled up. They were talking about shots going off of people or hitting the post or whatnot, but failed to mention if the skater scored a goal or not. That is the most basic information, whether the puck went in the net or not, and they did not cover that very simple base and made it hard to listen to and hard to figure out what was going on.

Rangers @ Devils

As John F. puts so well, the Rangers are to be hated. So...on to the hatred.



Goal: John Madden, Devils at 18:32 (Assists: Brylin, Pandolfo)
Shots on goal: 9-5 Devils
Penalties: Offsetting Roughing Minors (Rozsival, Rangers) (Rupp, Devils)

Elias and John Madden (no, not that John Madden) are crashing the net tonight. Brodeur has not really been tested. The Devils are quick to the puck tonight and playing that well-known DEVILS HOCKEY. Sarge is continuing his crazy points streak with an assist on the breakaway to Madden. Overall, pretty pleased right now.



Goal: Michael Nylander, Islanders (PPG) at 14:56 (Assists: Michal Rozsival, and a "thank you" to Scott Gomez)
Shots on goal: 11-6 Rangers
Penalties: Hooking (Pock, Rangers)
Tripping (Gomez, Devils)

Well, that really flipped on itself. To do what almost every announcer does and steal from Charles Dickens in order to make a sports allegory, it was a tale of two periods. The Rangers did what the Devils did in the first, pushing the tempo and firing shots on goal. The Devils were flat, content with sitting on the lead. Well, they don't have the lead anymore. Brodeur definitely should have handled Nylander's shot, especially since he got a glove on it. Oh well though. You live and learn. Heading into the third......should be a good time.



Goal: Petr Prucha, Islanders at 9:05 (Assists: Jagr, Rachunek)
Goal: Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils (PPG) at 15:48 (Assists: Gionta, Gomez)
Shots on goal: 6-5 Devils
Penalties: Hooking (Nylander, Rangers)
Tripping (Pock, Rangers)

Whew. Caught a break there. The powerplay was not working at all, but then the Devils got to keep it in the offensive zone and put one in. Nice play. You hate to give a division rival (and a hated rival at that) a point, but at least the Devils will get a point. Let's hope they get two. Time for the extra session.


No dice. Marty stood up under pressure. See ya on the other side, folks.

So many teams in New York, so little teams in Rhode Island?

The Devils take on the Rangers tonight. Pretty big game, as they usually all are within the division. The Rangers are now in second place in the Atlantic, and the Devils know something about beating the team behind them in the standings, as Brodeur (who is the man, by the way) took his A game on the road to beat Rick DiPietro and the Islanders on a night not far removed from this very night. DiPietro, who had been shutting teams out, did not shut this team down. In fact, Marty shut the Isles down. Which is good news if you are a Devils fan. And that's me, for the most part. I thought the Devils had been pretty hot lately, but it looks like they are only 5-4-1 the past 10 games. Which isn't bad, but it seems they have been doing well. They're just playing good hockey. "Devils hockey" as they say. Which is winning, apparently. I dig it.

He's scared. Of his own skills.

Fastest to 100 Wins

Congratulations to Avery Johnson, the "Little General." No doubt thanks in part to Dirk, Josh Howard, Jason Terry, Devin Harris and the gang, but his coaching style and methods are just plain solid.


Another offseason. Baseball this time. Sometimes, I think baseball is quite boring. There is a lot of downtime. During the games, this is. Sometimes it's hard to watch because there are 18-22 televised spits between pitches. Anyway, the baseball offseason is so slow, that it might be more exciting than the regular season. Did that make sense? Maybe. Anyway, there will sadly not be much Reds talk going on, unless I feel like talking about the Reds. Which I might. But think about it, they could have gone .500, and should have. Just beat the freakin' Pirates. An easy task. But they checked out mentally. The point? 3 more wins, THREE MORE WINS, they could have tied the Cardinals, could have BEAT them in head-to-head matchups, and could have been in the playoffs and stumbled into the World Series. A long shot, the longest shot of baseball history perhaps, but it's close. That's the deal. It might not be that easy for the NL Central again, but the Reds could do it. It's possible. They could.


Now that mercy is upon us for not having to involve ourselves in an awful season, it's time to look ahead. I'll look at the offense, defense, and special teams coming up. I might look at the coaching. I sure don't want to. But I might look at it. Just maybe. Also will look ahead to the draft and see what we got going on there.

Congratulations to Boise State - 2007 Fiesta Bowl Champions

A true win for all the underdogs out there.