So, a lot of other teams in the Atlantic Division had their losing streaks earlier in this shortened season — however, of course because it’s the Devils, we were having our Terrible Losing Streak Time at the worst possible time in the early weeks of March (how is this month almost over?!).
40-year-old Marty Brodeur was hurt and so Johan Hedberg, our 39-year-young backup was in for 5 games. The first couple games (specifically against Buffalo) the loss could be blamed on crappy defense (yes, I know what I said about the Devils. I’ll get into that in a moment). But, then after that Moose looked shakey all by himself. Because of age? Because of fear? Because of not being used? Who the hell knows, but you have to be a terrible person to be happy to see Moose so sad and embarrassed (when he assumed that coming to New Jersey meant never having to play like the Atlanta Thrashers ever again. I am sorry we disappointed you, Johan).
In that road trip, the Devils had only gotten 1 out of a possible 5 points on the road trip. And the most embarrassing terribleness is that Marek Zidlicky, the player I hate the most on my team now that Mike Mottau is angering the San Antonio Rampage, scored the 2 goals in our 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Monday, March 4th.
And then the next night, it was a home loss to Tampa Bay where the lone highlight was what my friend (who was at the game) said was them showing former Devils great Sergei Brylin on the scoreboard watching the game.
Which leads me to my point — even though the Devils currently have 9 defensemen (+ whatever you want to call Cam Janssen because he was called back up to the main roster on March 5th, but is now back to Albany where he’ll probably stay). As I bitched recently, just because we’ve got that many does not mean that they are good at their job. I’m not a super stats person (I mean, that’s what In Lou We Trust is for) but I can use my heart and eyes like most fans. Tallinder, who I will admit is my secret favorite, is still trying to get his legs back after being out for a year because of blood clots in his leg and bad backs and all sorts of fun injuries. Adam Larsson, who is not my favorite, is still growing and is trying not to look like a scared deer out on the ice, yet still fails every time I see him live. Ken Daneyko has high hopes for him, but I feel those are still just hopes at this stage of the young 20-year-olds game.
Anton Volchenkov has been in and out (because why put in a good D) but he got a goal against the Rangers on the 19th and that is how Forever Devils Legends grow around here — even in a loss — if you score against King Hank, you will probably get your number retired.
I’m kidding (a little bit, we aren’t the Islanders after all) but still.
Last Saturday’s game (the 16th), Jacques Caron was honored before the game for being the yin to Marty Broduer’s yang and I was lucky to have won really good (re: not where I usually sit) tickets. It meant I was close to the ice though and while I tend to always think Jagr bitches too much because he hates New Jersey in general, holy crap, the ice looked terrible. And because of the terrible ice, the game was terrible. If anyone else besides David “Clarkson!Down” Clarkson falls on the ice, you know it’s bad — and everyone was falling. They lost 1-2 against the Montreal Canadiens and it was pretty terrible. And then the next home game was the earlier mentioned Devils loss to the Rangers as seen on this blog in Hudson River Rivalry: Rangers Top Devils.
Tonight’s game they won 4-1 but the most important aspect is that Marty Brodeur is back (praise the hockey gods~) and in his first game back, he got a goal. Because of course. And then seconds later, he stopped a flurry of shots by the Hurricanes. Because, of course. That is just how Martin Brodeur rolls.
And in the past three games (Montreal, Rangers and Carolina) according to Tom Gulitti (who if you aren’t following @TGfireandice, you really should); the Devils have gotten goals from defensemen in three consecutive games — Harrold 2, Volchenkov 1.
Hopefully now, everything will start coming up Milhouse once again here in New Jersey! At the very least, it was definitely a good day for some #DanEllisProblems on twitter. If you don’t know the history of that meme, go check out Bleacher Report, I’ll be waiting here, waiting for the next Devils game.