Quit Screwing Around And Drop The Devils

The New Jersey Devils are at the Bell on Saturday night. I wonder if they’ll bring their smoke and mirrors with them.

It’s a team, these Devils, that doesn’t believe in flashiness or full-throttle offence or giving the paying customers their money’s worth. They just seem to get it done, although it doesn’t look like it while they’re doing it..

The last time the Canadiens played the Devils, on December 16th, Montreal took an early 1-0 lead and the Devils looked like they were miles from being a team that held top spot in the east. Pretty ordinary. But as the game went on, the Devils gave themselves a chance because try as the Habs were, they couldn’t beat Martin Brodeur and the Devils were only a goal away.

The tying goal hit the crossbar, then bounced out and hit Carey Price on the back of his leg and in it went.

The second goal, the winner, was a rare fire-wagon rush that saw of the Devils’ offensive guys, Patrick Elias, finish it off with only a few minutes left and New Jersey wins once again.

What  just happened? The Habs looked perfectly fine, the Devils looked extremely ordinary, but alas, the final result showed that New Jersey had won and remain in top spot.

If only Montreal could have scored a second goal to make it 2-0. But it didn’t happen, mostly because it was the Devils, a team that thrives on being stingy.

Smoke and mirrors. A bonafide star in Zach Parise and a sure-bet Hall of Fame goalie, Martin Brodeur, who loves to play against the Habs. Then there’s a bunch of guys who play a disciplined taking-care-of-business when it comes to playing Jacques Lemaires tight, defensive and really boring system. You’d think Jacques Lemaire was an old Soviet coach with the way he gets his players to do what he tells them.

If the Canadiens are going to make it happen this year, they first have to show that they can beat teams like New Jersey. They have to crack Lemaire’s checking system and they have to solve Brodeur. And after two or three games of a mini-slump, Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec have to start scoring again, although my power of positive thinking says they will with no problem whatsoever.

We’re into the new year now, more than halfway through the season, and so it’s time to take a stand. Beating New Jersey would get the Habs a lot of brownie points with fans.

Random Notes:

Andrei Kostitsyn has had knee surgery and will be out indefinitely. And the beat goes on.

7 thoughts on “Quit Screwing Around And Drop The Devils”

  1. It’s a shame that out of all the games, NJ’s game was suspended because of lighting issues. It would have been nice for them to come tired.

    But hey, looks like The Habs can never catch a break.

  2. I get the impression that it’s more Marty’s team than anyone elses. If he’s happy with the system, all is good. I think he has a lot of influence with the Devil’s braintrust.

    AK46 is gone for six weeks, on the bright side two of those weeks are during the Olympics. How many games did we actually get to ice a full healthy roster? Sheesh.

  3. Hi Moey. I know, this injury thing…. We were healthy when Mara came back for maybe one game I think before O’Byrne and the Kostitsyn’s went away. Basically, we’ve never been fully healthy from day one. But thanks for reminding us that some of Andrei’s time off will be during the Olympics. Hadn’t thought of that and it’s a good thing. Everyone should be plenty rested for the stretch drive and playoffs.

  4. Dennis, yet another injury to report. Georges Laraque is off with an upper body injury. Consequently, Ryan White has been recalled from the Bulldogs to fill in.
    Jaroslav Halak will be in nets. Understandable given his shutout performance against Florida on Thursday.
    The starting lineups for tonight are reported to be:
    • Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta
    • Cammalleri-Plekanec-D’Agostini
    • Moen-Metropolit-Pacioretty
    • Bergeron-Lapierre-(White)

    This business about the lights going out in New Jersey is a sign from the hockey gods that their good fortune has run out. The power will be with the Habs tonight.

  5. The Devils have had their share of injuries this year. Martin, Zubrus, Elias, Clarkson, and Oduya have all been out for long stretches of time. Yet they still lead the conference. Go figure.

    The Habs play Jersey twice this month and I’ll be happy with a split. Brodeur should be ready to make amends for last night and the team will be primed not to come out of the gate flat footed.

  6. Thanks, 24 Cups. The Devils are just one of those teams with the formula. But I wouldn’t want to have season’s tickets to see them. Way too boring. But they win, so whatever. We want it both ways with the Canadiens. Exciting and winning.

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