Hockey’s back and that’s all well and good, but we know this shortened season won’t be anything close to perfect. Dave D’Alessandro of The Star-Ledger makes that very point so poignantly in his column today that I highly recommend you read it. READ
ESPN has posted their weekly power rankings. The Devils have moved up 5 spots from last week to the 8th spot. The Devils have been playing better from last week including winning their last 3 games over the Blackhawks, Lightning and Hurricanes. They are hitting stride at a good time right before the playoffs.
The Hockey Buzz has posted a good look at some Devils prospects. They go over the play of goaltender Scott Wedgewood and winger Reid Boucher. Wedgewood stopped 35 of 36 shots against the Barrie Colts of the OHL. Boucher has 21 goals this season in the OHL. In the article they compare him to Phil Kessel. So there is a lot of potential for the up and coming Devils. Give it a read.
ESPN has posted their weekly power rankings. The Devils are ranked 14th despite losing two straight to the Bruins and Flyers. There is one more game for the Devils before the All Star break against the Sabres tomorrow. If the Devils can notch a victory against the Sabres and then rest going into the break there should be no reason why the Devils can’t come out of the break and make an even more serious playoff push to advance in the standings.
Puck Daddy has posted an article on the future of Martin Brodeur and his decision to retire or continue to play. Brodeur has said that he is still unsure if he is going to retire or not at the end of season when his contract with the Devils expire. Puck Daddy also looks at the potential goaltending possibilities for the Devils.
The Hockey News has posted a rumor roundup with features the impending free agency of Zach Parise. It says that Parise wants a good amount of money but overall wants to win a Stanley Cup. If the Devils want to have a shot at keeping Parise they are going to have to show this season now probably more than ever that they need to win now otherwise Parise will probably play for someone else next season. Definitely give this one a read.
In my opinion I think both parties will come to an agreement before the end of the season which may light a spark under the whole team knowing that their captain isn’t going anywhere. I think that with the young talent coming up the Devils’ system they will be able to convince Parise to stay and lead this team to a Stanley Cup. I’m sure he’d give a rather small hometown discount in signing in the $7 million range.
ESPN posted their weekly power rankings. Last week the Devils were ranked 23rd after a bad stretch of games but the Devils have really bounced back winning 6 of 7 games. The most important thing is that the top line of Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk have been generating a lot of goals. Finally. Give it a read.
John Schweibacher at CBS has comprised a list of 27 Scott Niedermayer facts. Niedermayer is going to be honored on Friday when the Devils retire his number 27 to the rafters before the Devils take on the Dallas Stars. Definitely give this one a read. You’ll learn a lot of things you didn’t know about number 27.
Bleacher Report comprised a list of reasons why the Devils should bench Martin Brodeur. The reasons are: Age, Goals Against Average, Keith Kinkaid, Johan Hedberg and finally One More For Marty.
Yes it is a know fact that Brodeur is one of the older goaltenders in the league and some of his play has showed it. But I think that he is still a competitive enough goaltender to play. Maybe he shouldn’t be playing as much as he is but he should not be replaced by any means.
Goals Against Average. Just look at the defense in front of him and how they have been playing. Anybody’s goals against average is going to go up with the way they have been playing. Weak excuse to me.
Keith Kinkaid is playing rather well in Albany and quite possible can be the heir to the net for the Devils in due time. But this is his rookie year in Albany and even though his play is good I think it is too quick to be bringing him up to the big leagues.
Johan Hedberg should definitely be getting more starts in net. Out of this entire list I think this one makes the most sense. Hedberg has been at times outplaying Brodeur and should only be another reason as to why Brodeur should be getting less starts. But Hedberg should not be the main guy in net but instead more of a tandem.
The “One More For Marty” reason to me is not a valid reason why. I could understand if Marty had not won a Stanley Cup (i.e. The end of Ray Bourque’s career) but Marty has accomplished everything a goaltender can achieve along with 3 Stanley Cups. So is there a need to replace Brodeur for that reason. Absolutely not.
Give it a look.
Hockey Buzz has heard that if the Devils are still in the playoff race that they could be in the market for a veteran defenseman. They specifically cite Tim Gleason or Toni Lydman that would fit with the Devils.
To be honest I think the Devils need to find a more offensive defenseman. Both Gleason and Lydman are not really point producing defenseman, they need a young offensive defenseman. The Devils need more goals and a defenseman could possibly replace Kovalchuk on the point on the power play which could get the powerplay going.
Give it a read.