The Late Shift
Brian files a post on today’s Devils v. Canes game just before deadline to make the morning edition. The guy has spunk. We love spunk -Craig
“Well, that’s more like it. The Devils regroup after a (fairly) listless first game and play a (fairly) solid all-around sixty minutes to beat the ‘Canes, 4-2, in a Columbus Day matinee. I’m listening to some Bowie now, so my theme for the game is… Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes….
A new head coach, playing for a GM with a notoriously short leash for coaches, that juggles his lines and changes his starting goalie after one regular season game might be seen as “panicking”. When all those changes seem to work, you just call it “smart”.
Coach DeBoer didn’t make any personnel changes but he made adjustments to three of the four lines (the top line stayed intact – more on them in a bit). He also sat Brodeur (our best player in the first game) for Moose Hedberg.
I’m sure Coach read my last post, and immediately moved Tedenby (who has some fantastic hockey teeth for a youngin’) up to the third line, with Zubrus and Clarkson. Teddy didn’t disappoint – he was dangerous on the puck, especially around and below the goal line, he drew a penalty (took a bad tripping call, too), and had one recorded shot on goal (though I could swear there were more).
Josefson was moved to center the second line, where he spent most of the preseason, and he, Kovalchuk and Palmieri combined for six points and were +3 on the night.
Moose played as well as he needed to, stopping 24 of 26 shots and doing an excellent job on the PK, especially earlier in the game, when the Devils’ penalty killers weren’t as effective as you’d hope. Brodeur’s likely back between the pipes next time out, but it’s good that Moose is getting work early and looking strong.”
Some Quick Notes after the jump:
I’ve been down a bit on Mark Fayne. When he broke camp ahead of players I think have a higher ceiling, like Matt Taormina, I was disappointed. After about fifteen minutes (and a couple of turnovers) during today’s game, I was even more annoyed… and then… GOAL!
And all is forgiven – Fayne makes a great play entering the zone as a trailer, receives a fantastic pass from Kovy and just buries it with a great shot to the far post. I’m going to have to start cutting this guy some slack.
More bad penalties today. I’m all for penalties that are committed in the act of preventing goals, but these were largely lazy hand and stick fouls today, except for the Elias goaltender interference call, which was just bullshit. Ward was well out of his crease, Elias arrived with the puck and made an excellent effort to avoid contact with the goalie who was sliding out towards him.
There’s been discussion about what to call the top line. Many are calling for “A Line 2.0”, “The PEP Line” or “The ESP Line”. I’m in favor of the longer, but more fun to say “Patrik, Petr and Zach”.
It makes them sound like a boy band. A boy band whose music I would probably outwardly despise, but still mysteriously have on my iPod.
Takeaways from the game: Zach looks great. Kovy was able to bounce back in a big way. The Devils scored 4 goals (including their first PPG of the season, the cheap-o empty netter at the end). I’d file it under “Just What The Doctor Ordered”
You can follow Brian on Twitter @trot71