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Devils? comeback falls short this time in Dallas thumbnail

Devils comeback falls short this time in Dallas

November 22, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments

These days its harder to measure victories and losses by points as opposed to whether anyone else gets hurt by nights end, though granted some of that is because the team is still near the division lead.?? Fortunately reinforcements are (supposedly) on the way, as Rob Niedermayer and Jay Pandolfo may may! come back for Wednesdays home game against Ottawa on Thanksgiving Eve.?? Of course Robbie Nieds was already supposed to be back two weeks ago so who knows.?? While the Devils doctors arent inept like??the Mets are, their secrecy makes up for that, i.e. you dont know what the heck is going on.

Whenever the walking wounded start to come back, then well get a more accurate gauge of the team.?? Losing three straight on the road and only getting one point is never pleasant, but you have to give the team marks for trying.?? Particularly last night when it looked like the Stars were going to run us out of the building after the first period which I already chronicled in my prior entry.?? For a while, Jacques Lemaires decision to pull Yann Danis looked like it was going to pay dividends when Martin Brodeur made some huge saves right off the bat early in the second and the team started to come from behind once again.

Amazingly enough, Brian Rolston also got the Devils??second goal??-??this time on the power play -??when he took a nice pass from Patrik Elias (of the behind-the-back variety) and ripped one from the point past Marty Turco for his sixth goal of the season at 9:49, about halfway through the game.?? Tyler Eckford also registered his first NHL point with a secondary assist on that goal.?? For a team missing several regulars the Devils didnt look half bad in the second period, outshooting the Stars 15-9 but they remained 3-2 down going into the third period.

Yes, I have to admit, after Travis Zajac scored off a rebound at 6:31 for the Devils second power play goal of the night and the centermans seventh of the year, I thought it was going to be another one of those how the heck did they pull out this one?! type-games.?? Though the PZL line has been broken up at different points this year, they reunited on that power play to create??the goal??with Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise getting the assists as the Devils evened the Stars in both power-play goals (two) and total goals (three).??

To their credit, with the game in the balance Dallas came to life and Tom Wandell scored what would prove to be the decisive goal at 9:07 off a rebound from almost behind the net, stuffing one past Brodeur.?? Barely five minutes later came the goal which more or less put it out of reach when Stephane Robidas fired one past Brodeur that even Chico Resch admitted the goaltender probably should have stopped.?? Robidas goal finished off a terrific night for the defenseman as he put up four points??and was the games first star.??

I suppose it just wasnt going to be the Devils night anyway but Lemaires handling of both goaltenders was bizarre, not to mention putting Matthew Corrente at forward in his first NHL game.?? For a fish out of water, Corrente didnt look half bad, playing nearly ten minutes, though he finished a -1.?? At least thats a better ratio than the useless Andrew Peters, who was a -1 in only 92 seconds of icetime!?? Lemaire admitted afterwards that Danis had little chance on his goals and he was just trying to give his team a spark, I still dont really get that as a motivation tactic but it does seem to work more often than not unless youre just psycho like Mike Keenan and pull the goaltender for the sake of doing so!?? At least I benched Brodeur in??my fantasy league cause I knew he wasnt going to start and it turned out I avoided getting tacked with another loss by doing so!

And I already vented about the MSG++++ production in??my prior postI love Doc and Chico but another one of those type of half-baked telecasts??and I might be turning on the radio to listen to??Matt Loughlin and Sherry Ross, hoping they dont put me to sleep!?? Honestly the Devils have been on overflow a million times before thanks to all the other sports teams in the area (which include the totally insignificant NBA teams 2009 season!) but I cant remember a worse??TV broadcast than last night.

Hopefully the??on-ice product??improves??for Wednesdays game and the hospital ward??starts to get a little less cramped, though Ill be honest about one thing the??injuries are almost getting overblown at this point.?? Yes the??sheer amount of players that are missing are comical??right now??but really??we still have Brodeur, the nucleus of last seasons??dynamite top line intact, Elias finally playing well and in theory other dangerous wingers like Rolston, Nicklas Bergfors (who for some reason dissapeared with less than twelve minutes of icetime last night) and??David Clarkson.?? Not to mention four decent defensemen in Mike Mottau, Colin White, Bryce Salvador and??the surprising Andy Greene.??

Long story short, there is still enough talent around to win, this isnt like Lemaires Minnesota teams where he??was more??often than not??asked to go into a gunfight with a squirtgun and his teams??remained competitive somehowwhere the??Devils have suffered mainly is down the middle and the fact that most of the injuries are to the penalty killers.?? Plus this season more than ever, literally every team has its share of injuries (and to key players at that).?? Whether its because of the compressed Olympic schedule or not, thats something the league has to look into before they decide to send the pros into Russia for 2014.?? And finally, sometimes you have to give the other teams credit too we didnt exactly play three cellar-dwellers here.

All that said, given the teams good start you have to give the Devils??the benefit of the doubt and??believe theyll turn it around again soon enough regardless.

BoNY Three Stars:

  1. Stephane Robidas (two goals, two assists, +2)
  2. Brian Rolston (two goals, -1)
  3. Brad Richards (four assists, +2)
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