February 15, 2007

Raiders sign Sands, Thomas

Raiders keep two free agents

Pretty good moves, I'd say. Not really high on either one of them, but Sands was a very capable backup last year, and even got some starts and played hard. He played well at times, but the thing was he played hard. And you could tell. He had a couple breakout games. If he can keep that going, he's worth 4 years, $17 million. Robert Thomas was basically an unknown, but a good special teams player, and became famous for his play against the Steelers. $2 million a year isn't bad at all. But more importantly, these were the two guys the Oakland Raiders wanted to keep, and they are kept.

Devils 5, Canadiens 2

Wait a minute, the Devils scored THREE GOALS on the Power Play? Since when? Since what? Well, if you keep in mind that 66.66% of those goals scored were on a 5-on-3, it's not quite as great. Right right, I complain. I complain when there is hardly anything but good news. I know this. And I'm STILL complaining about the Power Play, even when 3 of the 4 goals (not counting the empty netter) were scored with the extra attacker. It will take me a while to believe, though the Devils have always been great at drawing penalties. So they will always have their chances, that's for sure.

Elias put on a nice show. His scoring and skating are always abilities people can point to easily and show how impressive he is. At the same time, his passing is underrated. Some of the passes he makes are just incredible. He is a very fluid player and played very well. Good for Ralf getting two goals, hitting the right shots at the right times (being 5-on-3).

I mean, what else do you want from this game? This is a great game. This is a game the Devils win 99 times out of 5. The scoring and skating and passing were dead-on. The defense had some lapses, but they were shuffling and juggling their lineups. They still played very well, limiting the Canadiens' shot total to a mere 21, no double digits in any period. Whereas the Devils were one shot away in the first period from having double digits in all three periods. Brodeur played a solid, if unspectacular, game. He faced one more shot (21) than BOTH of Montreal's goalies (Huet - 20, Aebischer - 20). They won the FACEOFF battle, which no one has explained to me yet. They drew 8 penalties and gave up 2. And how bout that scrum? Janssen is back, my friends.

Here's what I'm concerned about. Tomorrow night. Penguins vs. Devils. The Penguins are arguably the hottest team in the league right now. They should give the Devils fits the rest of the year, battling for the Atlantic Division. They are good. The Devils know this. The Devils must win.