Tuesday, January 20, 2009
3-1 +3-1 = 5-1
Before you criticize my math,the headline means that the final two 3-1 wins over the Islanders and Predators meant that the New Jersey Devils finished the road trip with a 5-1 record and finished last night in first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Devils dominated the Islanders with a three goal first period and basically played the final two periods on cruise control,while the win over Nashville showed the power play off and then the final empty netter to put the game away.
New Jersey goals against the Islanders to Zach Parise (26),Travis Zajac (14) and David Clarkson (9),while the tallies in Nashville went to Parise (27),Clarkson (10) and Brendan Shanahan (1).
The Devils will return to the Rock tomorrow night against Montreal before a five day break that ends in Ottawa next Tuesday.
1) Brendan Shanahan looked like he was in shape and ready to contribute as he scored the first Devil goal in Nashville on the power play and narrowly missed another seconds later.
It has taken some players that skipped training camp a while to round into playing shape,so the outing gave me some hope.....
2) Strong road trips for Zach Parise (five goals) and Travis Zajac (four).
Zajac has had quite the bounce back season thus far after a sophomore dip in production.
3) Two goals in two games for David Clarkson.
Deflections and being a crease pest makes the difference between 10 and 20 goals at seasons end.
4) The Devils made a few dumb mistakes against the Predators though.
A Mike Mottau hook and a Bobby Holik trip most notably so.
5) The Devils are guaranteed to be in first place in the Atlantic with a win over Montreal as nothing that other teams could do to overtake them.
Raise your hands if anyone thought that the Devils would be in first place at the All-Star break without Martin Brodeur.
Bryce Salvador is the type of player that you have to watch a lot to appreciate.
The physical banger impresses with his rough,consistent play and doesn't take a lot of penalties to boot.
Salvador has been playing as the Devils best blueliner....
Sorry about missing a few days.
Sunday was rough as a Fantasy Football league took a lot of time and a trip to Cumberland MD for the Pirates caravan (More on that tomorrow) ate yesterday.
Plus today,I was called into work for a overtime evening tonight.
A new blog is added to the links in From the Shadows.
Shane looks to be mainly discussing pro wrestling and baseball and his thoughts on both should be an interesting read.
Plus he offers kind words to me and I need those once in a while-LOL!
Check his work on on the links list.
One of our favorites,Blair Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Braves.
No word on where he will start,but we wish the best to Blair,who has suffered through an injury-plagued career.
Blair always remembers the Battler and I for the "Sweep Sweep Sweep" night in Hagerstown in 2006 when he was with the Hickory Crawdads and comments on it whenever he sees us.
Editors Note:Blair actually signed with the Orioles.
The website that I saw first reported Atlanta,but it is indeed Baltimore.
Thanks to Mike Treadwell for the correct info!
Parise and Shanahan-AP Photo