February 25, 2007

Devils 3, Capitals 2

First Period:
Brooks Laich, Capitals (Erskine, Zednik)
Second Period:
Zach Parise, Devils (Zajac, Langenbrunner)
Third Period:
Travis Zajac, Devils (Parise, Rafalski)
Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals (Schultz, Heward)
Jamie Langebrunner, Devils (PPG) (Rafalski, Elias)

Shots on Goal:
29-25 Devils

Devils - 7 minutes, Capitals - 11 minutes


Well, the Capitals didn't score in the first minute. And after an early penalty, the game was still scoreless. That bodes well for the Devils this afternoon. Fairly boring back-and-forth thus far early in the period. The Devils, as you no doubt would understand, failed to score on their first power play, but it was one of their best power plays in a LONG time, considering some of the ones in which they scored. Lots of missed shots and stopped shots. Lots of pressure. Keep that going, and something might fall through. Couldn't keep all that D.C. talent scoreless for too long, as Laich scores. The game should be tied at 1, but the Devils have been robbed by the post and Johnson several times so far. Clemmensen should have his self-esteem boost back in gear as he stopped Ovechkin at point-blank range and stopped another as the horn sounds. Fairly even period, but more sparks have been shown by the Capitals.


More of the same stuff, really. Lots of missed shots but opportunities for the Devils, some defensive lapses and Clemmensen has handled it well so far. Rupp and Sutherby got into it a little bit, hard to say where that came from but it came from somewhere. Not sure who had the upper hand there. If you had an idea of who would score for the Devils to tie the game, would it be Zach Parise? If not, you should re-examine your head because that's exactly who it was. The assists were from the usual suspects as the teams were skating 4-aside. More back and forth action. Another missed opportunity on the power play, but the unit is kicking along. It's strong and makes good plays. It just doesn't score. Hard to figure out what the problems are. Parise is going wild a little bit, but Johnson is denying him pretty well, as well as the rest of the team. Who the crap is Brent Johnson? He's throwing his body all over these shots. Forget this stooge. The Capitals putting on some pressure now, but Clemmensen is holding up surprisingly well. Lukowich down on the ice with face bleeding. Come on people, no more of this. Another even period, perhaps with a slight Devils edge. Which means they should be up 2-1 by now. But yeah, we'll see how it goes down, though I might have already left. Going to see a movie at 2:30.


What a great start to the third, as Zajac slams it in the net!! I don't know what else can be done against Brent Johnson, who is playing much better than his name and career stats indicate. But jamming and slamming and stuffing can phase any goaltender. Nice goal. Put a little muscle into it. Cam Janssen throws another nice shot on goal, what's up with him lately? The Devils are putting on the heat early on in this period, and good for them. Clemmensen needs that help, but you don't want to wait too long before getting a shot on him either, because he could be too tight by then. Wow!! Back-to-back shots at point blank range for both teams - Langenbrunner denied on a pretty save by Johnson and somehow Clemmensen stops Semin at the other end. Crazy action. Clem is holding up strong as the Capitals are turning it on a little bit. And as soon as I type that, the wunderkind known as Ovechkin turns on the burners and fires a laser right past good ol' Clem. Darn it, youngin'. As much as the Devils suck at getting PP Goals, they certainly can draw them with relative ease. Here comes another one, this would be a great time to score one for once. AND AS SOON AS I TYPE THAT, it happens!!!! Langenbrunner puts the Devils back on top! With a POWER PLAY GOAL!! About dang time, nice job fellows. Now the Devils feel like they should let up on defense, which isn't a great idea. Doing better now, as they are almost done. Goalie is pulled. It's over. Good win today, was not expecting it. Rock 'n roll.

Capitals 4, Devils 2

What a perfect game to rest Martin Brodeur. Apparently, that's what is happening this afternoon as the two teams meet again. Which is a cool idea, if you like to lose two games in a row. Because the Devils simply do not win when Clemmensen is in the net. Do you know of any other team in the NHL that is more dependent on any one player? I don't. Martin Brodeur holds the success of the Devils in his hands. That said, he blew it yesterday. It would have been a perfect game to play Clemmensen, because the Devils lost anyway. I mean, that's easy to look at in hindsight. But it happened. And now what, you lose back-to-back games against the same team as the Penguins are darting ever closer to the top of the Atlantic Division? I suppose that's what you do. Brodeur needs to be rested. But Clemmensen? Do you think we could maybe have a backup who is at least mediocre-ly decent? Nah, of course not. When you think about it, it really doesn't matter because Brodeur will play infinity games a season. But if he goes down, it's over. If he has a bad game, no dice, nobody there to make him pick it up or challenge him.

In more positive news, congratulations to Cam Janssen for scoring his first NHL goal!!!

I don't know how it would be possible, but the Devils better beat the Caps today.

Mavericks 115, Nuggets 95

Does it ever get old? Let's hope not. Especially for the players. In almost an exact repeat of his previous game, Nowitzki had the same number of points (31), the same number of rebounds (11), and two more assists (8) barely missing his first triple-double. Hard to believe the guy has never had one yet, but I'm sure he will. Can't keep waiting this long. Josh Howard helped out a lot more than he did last game, even though he was playing on a sore ankle. He got 27 points, which helped out a lot, particularly in the first half. Dampier & Diop both got 7 rebounds, and 7 rebounds was the total that somebody else got. This one was definitely more surprising though - Devin Harris. Ha! The little man pulling down 7 boards. I wonder how that happened.....

Stackhouse does what he does and comes in off the bench and scores 16 quiet points and dishes out 6 quiet assists. The man is a warrior, a trooper, a soldier for the cause. Well done, Stack.

On the other side, the Nuggets have their two guys. You know they'll make it tough. Anthony & Iverson over there, Anthony getting 34 points and 6 rebounds. Iverson scoring 26 points. They both look like a lot, and they are a lot, but the Mavs' defense really clamped down in the second half. Thankfully. And Anthony & Iverson combined for 16 turnovers. That's huge. They were getting sloppy in the second half, no thanks due to the defense of the Mavericks.

Not much else, really. That's 11 in a row. Hosting the Hawks tomorrow night, should be a good time.