February 3, 2007

Mavericks 94, Timberwolves 93

Tonight the Mavs hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves. Usually a good game. Decent. I left to go work out late tonight and the Mavs were up 71-55 and I felt pretty dang good about the game. I come back and the score reads as it is listed above. I said to myself, "What happened, Tim Mo? What the dang heck happened around here?" I was led to believe that it was the Mavs' atrocious amount of 3-pointers shot and made (1 out of 11) versus the Wolves' 3 for 4. That certainly wasn't the only stat, but it was the one that jumped out at me.

When have we seen Dirk Nowitzki put the Mavs up by 4 by shooting two free throws and then the other team makes a meaningless 3-pointer at the end of the game? When have we seen that before? ........ Could it have been, hmm, let's see THE VERY LAST GAME?????? Yes, it was. And the point difference was one point for either team. Very odd scenario indeed. The Mavs had the game in check, didn't play extremely well, but were able to sustain a late surge by the Wolves. How many times can the Mavs afford to do that?

They held Garnett in check for almost the entire game, but he managed to get 19 in the second half to lead all scorers with 25 for the game. He also pulled down 12 rebounds. Now, Kevin Garnett is cool with me. But he puts up the emptiest states in the entire league. There's no question. You expect a double-double from him, he is a great player, but it never means anything. There's no point. Ricky Davis was hot early for the Wolves, but that was it pretty much. On the other side of the ball, the Mavericks were led in scoring with 22 points, from both Josh Howard and Jason Terry. Nowitzki had an awful shooting night but was able to get to the line and ended up with 18 points. Diop played a strong defensive game, as well as contributing 12 rebounds, helping the Mavs maintain that crucial edge on the glass 46-39. They shot way too many 3's and missed almost all of them, so that needs to change. Another winner, though. Can't complain as I've had a great sports night overall.

Devils 3, Sabres 2

First Period: Chris Drury, Sabres (Kotalik)
Second Period:
Third Period: John Madden, Devils (White, Brylin)
Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils (Parise)
Zach Parise, Devils (Langenbrunner, Zajac)
Teppo Numminen, Sabres (Hecht, Pominville)

Shots on Goal: 37-17 Devils

Penalties: Devils - 6 minutes, Sabres - 14 minutes


Not sure what else you could ask for, really. The Devils played a great period, and get the reward of being down a goal. What a joke. Brodeur's save percentage has been going way, way down. But it's not all his fault. He played Drury pretty well, except maybe a little too loosely. But seriously, the Devils were throwing pucks all over Ryan Miller as the two best goalies in the NHL (at least the East) go head-to-head. Elias got flat-out ROBBED. But he's got to be aware and aim that puck somewhere else, although it's hard to blame him. The Devils yet again are struggling on the Power Play, which has been their Achilles' heel almost all year long. They did get a 5-on-3 goal last game, but they had two solid chances so far and didn't seem very interested in trying to score a goal about it. All the talk was about how the Sabres were clearly the dominant offensive team as far as even strength goes. Not the case so far. It's frustrating when you're clearly the better team and are losing. Still a lot of time, though.


Started as we began with no goals scored. Buffalo kept their shots on pace and the Devils slowed down considerably, meaning that the Devils still hold a huge edge in shots on goal. They just won't go through, though there was some controversy on Elias' non-goal from the first period, as Miller may have made the save past the goal line. Too late now. Anyway, do faceoffs matter? I know they must, but you would think the Devils would work on them if it really mattered. Because almost every single game (and maybe every game) the other team has more faceoff wins. I know that allows them to set up their offense, which is a bonus. But is it really that important? I hope not, because the Devils lose more than they win. The Devils got themselves in the penalty box a couple of times but thankfully, they didn't allow any goals because of it. Hopefully that will allow them to build some confidence. They are playing pretty dang well out there, time of possession is slightly in their favor. Let's see what they've got up their sleeve.


An early flurry was just what the doctor ordered. The Devils came out firing on all cylinders (or at least the ones that mattered) and scored three goals in under three minutes. That definitely put the Sabres back on their heels. The Devils were given more power play opportunities and still could not find the net. They were 0-7 which is a pretty average stat for them. Maybe skewed a little negatively, but they draw penalties very well. They just do nothing with them when they get them. The Devils pretty much had the first two periods in their favor to no avail. But instead of sulking and whining, they kept pressing and got the lead. The Sabres did come back and score a cheap goal when nobody was looking, though. Annoying. You can clearly see the edge in shots on goal was huge tonight, as the Devils suffocated a great offense. Even though only 17 shots got through to Marty, he only saved 15 of them. Not great, but it was good enough. The penalties were also heavily in favor of the Devils, and even though they did nothing whatsoever with it, it kept the Sabres off balance on their own offensive sets. Well played.

Ray Guy denied HOF entrance


Ray Guy HOF Watch

His time has come