Devils goals to Ty Smith (2 Power Play), Andreas Johnsson (1), and Janne Kuokkanen (1).
New Jersey earns one point but takes their third loss in a row.
The Devils will rematch Buffalo Sunday at 1:00.
Devils goals to Ty Smith (2 Power Play), Andreas Johnsson (1), and Janne Kuokkanen (1).
New Jersey earns one point but takes their third loss in a row.
The Devils will rematch Buffalo Sunday at 1:00.
I thought Plant won every round (120-108) and although he never seriously hurt Truax, Plant busted Truax up around both eyes and had he not injured his left hand as he claimed after the fight, may have scored the stoppage.
I've made my points several times about the lousy quality of Plant's opponents in the past and the shopworn Truax didn't boost that very much, but let's look at the good things about Plant.
Plant is very skilled, has quick hands, isn't easy to hit, and may be a difficult opponent for the best of the division (Canelo Alvarez, David Benavidez, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders) to handle.
The problem for me and it's the most difficult part for me to get past with Caleb Plant is the competition level and it's for two reasons.
The first is that it makes me wonder about what his team and promoters know about him and are they protecting him for one big cash-in?
I don't claim to know the answer to that question, we will find that out in a possible fall fight against Canelo Alvarez, as Plant would be silly to face a strong opponent now with the Canelo payday on the horizon, but there are legitimate questions to answer for the Tennessee native.
How will Plant react in such a fight when it becomes needed to vary his attack, battle through getting hurt or fight a hard twelve rounds against someone capable of defeating him?
Part of developing a fighter is testing them against opponents that may not defeat them, but can challenge them and force them to answer various questions that all fighters must answer.
Caleb Plant's team has developed a talented world champion that is going to make a lot of money and if that is the success that you are looking for- then they have done their job well.
However, if your goal is to best prepare your fighter to win that big fight once that opportunity comes along, they may have come up far short.
In the boxing challenge, Ramon Malpica earned two points to my one from the Plant-Truax fight and cut my early season lead to 6-5.
Looking forward to two weeks from tonight to really get the boxing season out of the blocks with two very good cards from DAZN/Golden Boy and ESPN/Top Rank!
Why Fox is paying for the mediocre offerings that PBC has been giving them and why PBC isn't taking advantage of the network television stage that Fox offers are questions that need to be answered and Saturday's card is yet another card of mismatches and dull pairings that will be hard to keep hardcore boxing fans, let alone casual watchers.
The main event pits the latest in IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Plant's soft-touch tour as Plant defends former IBF champion Caleb Truax in a fight that may be noted best for being the first title fight between two fighters named Caleb- that's the best I have.
Don't be deceived by Truax's former champion status as he won the title against a badly faded James DeGale, lost a rematch to the same DeGale in 2018, and since then has only two wins over non-entities and a no-contest against Peter Quillin.
Combine with those facts that Truax's win over DeGale is the only one over top ten competition in his career, he's thirty-seven to boot, and that gives you another undeserving title challenger and another undistinguished name to face Plant.
I've been critical of Plant, mainly because of the awful competition that he's faced in his career, not for his talent.
Plant has quick hands, is technically skilled with a solid amateur background, and while he isn't a huge puncher, his power is solid enough to be a legitimate contender, but we don't really know that for sure.
Why should a champion entering his third title defense have so many questions?
Well, it's because he has only one victory over a top ten level fighter (his title win over Jose Uzcategui) and only two if you consider anyone that once was at that level (Uzcategui and a washed-up Porky Medina) and he didn't stop either fighter.
Then consider in his title victory against Uzcategui, Plant was blatantly stalling down the stretch (I thought Phil Ford tossing the ball and forth to John Kuester for five minutes was more exciting than the final five rounds) in losing the final five rounds on my scorecard and despite his win (I scored it 115-111 as Plant did score two knockdowns), questions remain about Plant's ability to go twelve rounds against strong competition.
With all of that involved and another likely virtual walkover against Truax, Caleb Plant will likely face Canelo Alvarez in the fall with all four super-middleweight titles at stake after Canelo (WBA and WBC champion) unifies the WBO title with a scheduled May fight against current champion Billy Joe Saunders.
Plant will be paid millions of dollars for a pay-per-view against Canelo Alvarez and he's going to have one win over a top-ten opponent that was in their prime.
I'll have no fewer answers about Caleb Plant after the battle of the Caleb's than I do now, but Plant certainly isn't challenging himself and he certainly isn't preparing himself for facing the arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
The Cavaliers shot an awful 34 percent from the floor and only thirty percent from behind the three-point lead the loss.
Cleveland trailed by fourteen at the half, but as the third quarter progressed, the Cavaliers got as close as three points before the Knicks pushed the lead back to sixteen by the end of the third quarter with the game never getting close after that.
Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 24 points.
Cleveland will next play Minnesota in a home and home that see the Cavaliers travel to Minnesota on Sunday with the Timberwolves playing a rematch on Monday.
1) Nights like this are going to happen with a team like the Cavaliers.
They simply aren't going to be able to win very often without their best game and this certainly was with perhaps the exception of the Boston loss their worst game of the season.
2) Thirty-four percent shooting isn't going to win many games, even against other mediocre teams such as the Knicks.
3) This was one of the sloppiest games that I have watched in a while as well.
One third-quarter sequence saw both teams go up and down the floor three times with layups and point-blank shots that both teams missed.
It was one of those times that you were glad that fans weren't in the building!
4) Cleveland did have a good night from Darius Garland, hitting nine of seventeen shots, four of which were launched from beyond the three-point line.
Garland did take a shot to the shoulder that he had injured earlier in the season and cost Garland multiple games on the sideline.
It must have looked worse than it was as Garland remained in the game, but when I first watched the replay, I figured Garland was going to lose more playing time.
5) Andre Drummond grabbed his usual rebounds but finished with only four points on two for seven shooting.
Drummond played twenty-four minutes to Jarrett Allen's twenty-six and I wonder if this is moving forward in trade talks.
6) Cleveland seems to struggle against physical teams and in both games against the Knicks, New York has ground the Cavaliers down and have succeeded in making them settle for lesser shots and around the boards.
7) Isaac Okoro's game wasn't great, but the picture was cool and showed off the Knicks alternate uniforms.
I didn't care for them as they reminded me of the black Cavaliers uniforms of the nineties.
Philadelphia took command in the third period, scored both goals of the period, and waltzed off with a 3-1 win.
Philadelphia won both of the two-game set in Newark and leave the Devils losers in three of their last four.
Damon Severson scored the first goal (1) of the game and the Devils' only goal in the first period.
New Jersey's next game is Saturday afternoon in Buffalo against the Sabres.
1) The Devils did have some good news in this loss as Jesper Bratt made his season debut.
Bratt had two scoring chances in the first period and his skating was strong but understandably tired as the game progressed.
2) I've liked most of what Tom Fitzgerald has done as general manager, but the absence of Bratt from the lineup was due to poor handling of the situation by Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald mishandled negotiations and then between visa issues with Sweden and having to clear quarantine, the Devils lost out on Bratt's services needlessly.
3) The Devils really did play well for two periods and they held the Flyers at bay with few scoring chances.
But that third period...
You had the feeling that the Devils felt they had taken their best shot and had only a draw to show for it.
It felt inevitable that the tide would turn and if I knew it- the Flyers knew it as well.
4) The Devils didn't allow a goal on the penalty kill tonight, which was refreshing,but another problem has come to the forefront- faceoffs.
The Devils won only 14 of 53 faceoffs and for people that are bad at math such as myself- that is a terrible 26 percent.
Perhaps the days are past when teams carry a Yanic Perrault type as a faceoff specialist, but other that I don't know who steps up and starts raising that number to something respectable.
5) I've tried to be quiet and I've tried to give every benefit of the doubt, but P.K. Subban isn't very good.
And what looked to be a steal in the 2019-20 offseason for the Devils has turned out to be a theft for the Predators.
Subban's slowed in speed and for a player that was once so effective on the power play has now become a one-dimensional bomber with a power shot that he prays goes in.
It's been a while since I've seen a player decline this quickly and at nine million both this year and next year, Subban would have to make a remarkable turnaround for this to be anything other than a sunk cost.
The bad news is that I haven't had as much time to write other pieces or clean the inbox, so I'm trying to make time today with the situation in Houston.
These two articles from Sports Illustrated, Here and Here, are about the almost-cult-like conditions surrounding the franchise and how they have placed themselves on the verge of losing the greatest offensive player in franchise history.
My nephew, Jeff Heimberger has been a Houston Texans fan since the franchise was created, but the craziness down in Houston that seems to revolve around a fellow named Jack Easterby has Jeff questioning his fandom and considering a move to another team.
Easterby is a former team chaplain and relationship coach that has maneuvered his way all the way into personnel involvement and the only person that the Texans owner, Cal McNair, will listen to on almost any team issue.
Jeff has been telling me about Easterby for months, but I only knew a little about the situation until recently when Easterby has seemingly been heavily involved (when the Texans insisted that he would not) in the Texans hiring their general manager (Nick Caserio, an Easterby pal from his New England days) and coach ( Ravens passing game coordinator David Culley) with Easterby reported to be key in the hiring process.
Caserio is regarded well in the league, but so many of the Patriot gang has struggled after leaving Foxboro and as for Culley, I've never heard his name even rumored for a head coaching job, his last job was passing game coordinator for a team that finished last in passing, will be 66 years old when the season starts and missed a game last season due to illness.
While Culley appears to be one of the strangest coaching hires in quite a while, the lack of personnel currently on the Texans and the decision-making under Bill O'Brien is astoundingly awful which has left the Texans talent-light except for a few stars and having traded multiple high picks.
The O'Brien/Easterby crew has created a franchise that has little ability to add talent around DeShaun Watson if he could be convinced to stay and might have to trade one of the top quarterbacks in the game in his prime to add talent that the team needs.
In other words, the Texans are cornered- keep Watson, and other than offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and an aging J.J. Watt, Houston has no top-level players and look to be at the bottom of the league for quite a while.
Trade Watson and you've lost a player that rarely comes along at quarterback, plus considering how the personnel department has operated with Jack Easterby around, can you feel confident that the team will get the incoming picks right?
After all, Easterby is the person that was behind the trading of Deandre Hopkins and a fourth-rounder to the Cardinals for a past his prime, David Johnson, a second and fourth-rounder with the second-rounder going to the Rams for Brandon Cooks, a lesser receiver, so if he's involved in personnel there are plenty of doubts.
This seems like one of those sports stories that we will find out the complete story of this down the road in what may make a very interesting book, but from what I've read Jack Easterby sure seems like a televangelist that preaches one thing and behaves differently once a back is turned.
One thing is for sure- the Houston Texans have a mess on their hands that might the worst that the NFL has seen in a while.
It's one thing to have little talent, and even lacking high draft picks, but to have both problems with a Jack Easterby in charge?
Pro sports may not have seen a mess this bad since Ted Stepien ran the Cleveland Cavaliers into the ground in the 1980s...
Cleveland returns to the .500 mark at 9-9 and will be back Friday in New York at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
Sorry, I missed the Cavaliers' close loss to the Lakers and the Devils' loss to the Flyers on Tuesday.
Just had too much to do in an attempt to get back to normal living again!
1) Collin Sexton's 29 points was a bit of a return to normalcy after scoring 17 against the Lakers and 13 in that awful loss to Boston.
2) Sexton hit 10 of 14 shots and when you can have your shooting guard shoot that high in percentage, you'll win your share of games.
3) The difference between this team and the most recent editions of the Cavaliers, they have managed to do the first thing that rebuilding programs show that things are heading in the right direction- beating teams equal or worse than you at home regularly.
When you can begin to do that, that is the first step in creating the culture of winning.
4) The Cavaliers actually trailed in this game at the half, but outscored Detroit by seventeen in the second half.
The Pistons are a bad club, especially so when Blake Griffin isn't playing, but they are like the graveyard of draft busts- Jahil Okafor, Josh Jackson, Isaiah Stewart to name just a few.
When your best player is whatever's left of Derrick Rose, Jerami Grant (who is playing well, averaging close to 25 points a night) and Wayne Ellington, you have problems.
5) Taurean Prince continues to be a pleasant surprise as part of the trade with the Nets, Prince looks relaxed and more like the player that put up good numbers in Atlanta and not the disappointing free agent signing that played in Brooklyn.
Prince finished with a line of 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks in thirty minutes of action and looks to be cemented as the top option on the wing off the bench.
6) Speaking of Brooklyn, the Nets are rumored to be in talks for both or one of Andre Drummond and Javale McGee.
I'm not sure what of value that can be obtained from the Nets, since their end of the three team trade involved first round picks or swaps for the next hundred years it seems, but they do seem interested in adding a big man since they had to lose Jarrett Allen to land James Harden.
Aaron is the tenth member of the Hall of Fame to pass away since last April.
Besides being regarded by many fans as the actual home run leader due to the PED use of Barry Bonds, Aaron has always seemed to be a class act and ambassador of the game that moves beyond only his on-field performance.
Aaron led the National League in homers four times and despite never hitting more than forty-seven in a season, it was the consistency of Aaron's power that helped him to set the record previously held by Babe Ruth.
Aaron hit forty or more homers seven times, seven more times Aaron hit between thirty and thirty-nine (Thirty-nine twice in 1959 and 1967), and on five occasions Aaron hit between twenty and twenty-nine longballs.
The Cavaliers were bounced out of Boston with a humiliating 141-103 loss that showed how far this team still has to go and with the defending world champion Lakers waiting for them in Cleveland tonight- things may not get any better.
Seven Cavaliers scored at least eleven points, but none more than Collin Sexton's 13.
Cleveland dropped back to the .500 mark at 8-8.
1) The less said about this the better, but the signs were there from the start and J.B. Bickerstaff knew it as minutes into the game and Boston already scoring at will, Bickerstaff called a time-out and brought five fresh players for his starters.
Not that it helped much, but Bickerstaff constantly tinkered with the personnel on the floor and did his best to try to stem the tide- it just wasn't happening on this evening.
2) While there have been plenty of positives from the Cavaliers' surprising start, this game showed how long there is to go in the building process.
Good teams may have off nights, but they don't have them that are so awful that the game is essentially over eight minutes into the game.
What has helped the improvement is the ball movement, hustle, and help on defense this season and against Boston, none of the three were in evidence.
3) The Cavaliers weren't just a step behind, they seemed almost indifferent to staying in the game.
I don't know what changed, but I do know this- this team cannot afford nights this bad and they definitely cannot afford to think that they are better than they are.
4) Cleveland shot only forty percent from the floor with only two players hitting half their shots (Javale McGee and Dylan Windler), Cleveland also turned the ball over 17 times and while the box score shows Boston with 15, I'm willing to bet a closer combing of the possessions that at least half of those came in the garbage tine of fourth-quarter play.
5) The Celtics did shoot well, hitting almost fifty-six percent, but much of that was open shots due to lackadaisical defense.
Cleveland entered the game second in the league in total defense, but this game appeared to be the return of last season's defensive nightmare.
6) I like J.B. Bickerstaff's move to play the bench more often in a game well-decided.
None of the Cleveland starters other than Isaac Okoro's 29 minutes, played more than 18 minutes with five players off the bench playing 21 minutes or more.
In each of those cases, those players needed the playing time- Okoro (rookie), Dylan Windler (essentially a rookie), Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince (New to the team), Damyean Dotson (role player), and Darius Garland (still working his way back from injury) and it made sense for them to play rather than add wear to the starting five.
Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer Getty Images
Wedgewood's flawless night was supported offensively by second-period goals by Jack Hughes (3 Power Play) and Pavel Zacha (1) in the New Jersey victory.
The Devils will host (my most hated) rival Philadelphia at the Rock Tuesday night.
1) I know that many have questions ( you may rank me amongst them) about Scott Wedgewood as the backup to Mackenzie Blackwood and the Devils look at the situation in the same manner or they wouldn't have claimed Aaron Dell, but on this night there would be no worries as Wedgewood was excellent.
2) Scott Wedgewood isn't going to be that good every night.
Hey, I don't even expect him to be that good on Tuesday against the Flyers, but what he has to do is be good enough that he doesn't lose games right away by allowing soft goals for a Devils team to fall behind early that cannot afford to do so.
3) Jack Hughes with his third goal of the year as part of a power-play unit that thus far has been much improved over last season.
4) That unit has been improved for two different reasons.
In the main event, Stephen Fulton outslugged and outboxed a courageous Angelo Leo to take away Leo's WBO junior featherweight title by a unanimous decision that the judges thought was wider than I did.
The duo was initially scheduled to face off last August, but Fulton was diagnosed with Covid-19 and Leo won the vacant title over Fulton's replacement, Tramaine Williams.
Fulton fought Leo's fight on the inside for the first half of the fight and surprisingly threw more punches than the volume puncher over the entire match.
Fulton boxed a bit more in the second half, using his jab very well to keep Leo on the outside, but still didn't refrain from engaging Leo on the inside where he won most of the exchanges.
I scored Fulton a 117-111 winner, which was a little closer than the official scorecards but despite the margin of victory, the fight was always competitive and entertaining with Fulton perhaps showing the potential to be a star.
Fulton's willingness to slug and make an interesting contest makes me think that he may be more than a talented boxer and in a suddenly very interesting junior featherweight division, Fulton can be part of several intriguing battles.
While I'd like to see Fulton against WBA and IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Fulton has the good fortune to hold a title in a division other than Akhmadaliev that is filled with PBC fighters such as WBC champion Luis Nery, WBC "champion in recess" (Due to injury) Rey Vargas, former WBA/IBF champion Danny Roman, and minor beltholder Brandon Figueroa.
Any of those fights would be one that I would be looking forward but I might like another fight for Fulton even better with the winner staking a claim with the best the division has to offer- And it's easy to make as well!
Raeese Aleem battered Vic Pasillas in the co-feature to win yet another of those minor WBA titles, but that's not important.
What is important is how Aleem took apart an undefeated fighter that entered the fight off his biggest win and impressively ended the fight.
Aleem knocked Pasillas down in the second, sixth, ninth, and eleventh rounds and forced the referee to end the fight shortly after Pasillas hit the mat in the eleventh round.
Pasillas tried to walk forward and grind Aleem down, but even though he was game and landed his share, it appeared that Aleem was a different level of fighter and when Aleem landed squarely, Pasillas didn't take the punishment.
Aleem's victory was one that you would hope moves him forward against a better fighter, but these silly WBA minor titles can often get in the way of a fighter's development and bigger fights.
When a fighter wins one of these minor titles, it removes that fighter, since he's now considered a "champion", from the other organization's ratings and often makes it even more difficult to find top fighters to face them.
Why these guys want any of the WBA (the other organizations do this as well, but the WBA is the worst offender) titles other than the main title is beyond me.
Paying the sanctioning fees for a title that is considered worthless other than the handsome belt itself (I like the WBA belts the best of the four) and can hinder your career seems like a bad career move to me in most cases.
As for Aleem, I'd be all in for an Aleem challenge of Stephen Fulton for his WBO title, but I'd bet knowing PBC that we'll see a few defenses against overmatched competition instead of the several strong opponents that he could face- at 30 years of age ( not young for a lower weight fighter), Aleem needs to be moved quickly and into the top ten competition- I think he's ready for it.
In the boxing challenge, I scored three points to Ramon Malpica's one on the evening to move the season total to five to three in my favor.
Showtime's three bout card may not be filled with huge names but has a world title on the card and two interesting undercard matches that make this card well worth watching.
The main event from the Showtime "Bubble" in Uncasville, Connecticut features the WBO junior featherweight title defended by Angelo Leo against Stephen Fulton.
This matchup was scheduled for last August with the winner gaining the title that was vacated by Shakur Stevenson, but Fulton tested positive for Covid-19 and was unable to fight.
The win gives Cleveland a surprising two-game sweep of the two games against the Nets and pushed the Cavaliers into third place in the Central Division.
Cleveland improves to 8-7 on the season with their next game against the Celtics in Boston Sunday night.
1) The Brooklyn Nets entered these two games in Cleveland, with tons of hype about the new "Big Three" and they left town with questions, and watchers were impressed by the surprising Cavaliers with their effort and their team play.
2) Kevin Durant didn't play for the Nets and that likely was the difference between the double-overtime game in the first of the two games and the twelve-point loss in the latter game.
Brooklyn is holding Durant's playing time down as he rebounds from the Achilles injury that caused him to miss last season and with Durant playing fifty minutes in the double-overtime game, it made sense for the Nets to give Durant the evening off.
3) The difference in this game was the third quarter when the Cavaliers moved a one-point halftime lead to a fourteen-point margin starting the fourth.
J.B. Bickerstaff's preaching of a team-first, move the ball and keep scrambling system of play simply rubbed Brooklyn into submission.
Imagine in a geological fashion- rocks change their shape due to two things, constant pressure and the never-ending passing of time.
That's how the Cavaliers are winning some of these games- pressure and time.
4) Dylan Windler returned to the lineup after breaking his hand in the Cavaliers opener.
Windler missed all of last season due to injury and broke his hand in game one.
Windler hit both of his shots, each from three-point distance to finish with six points in sixteen minutes of floor time.
5) Jarrett Allen scored nineteen points in nineteen minutes off the bench and had several impressive dunks.
The most impressive was when Allen took a pass from Collin Sexton, took a step toward the basketball, and with one hand slammed the ball into the hoop over former Cavalier Joe Harris.
I think Allen is going to get even better as his familiarity with the team grows and his team may look back at his acquisition as being one of the better trades in team history.
Cleveland reportedly received a Top 55-protected second round pick from Houston, which basically means unless the Rockets would make the Western Conference finals, the Cavaliers will receive nothing except for the aforementioned cap space.
Porter hadn't played all season after an off-season mishap that saw various charges brought against him with all charges eventually dropped, but showed up for the Cavaliers home win over the New York Knicks and was very noticeable on the bench cheering for the team.
However, that didn't last as Porter threw a tantrum in the locker room after learning of his locker being moved to make room for the two players acquired from the Brooklyn Nets that resulted in Porter arguing with members of the front office including General Manager Koby Altman and throwing food around the locker room.
Porter's rookie year didn't see any of these problems after the Cavaliers traded four second-round picks to the Detroit Pistons for the final pick in the first round in 2019 to select Porter.
Porter averaged ten points, three rebounds, and two assists in fifty games in his rookie season and was thought to be part of the Cavaliers core for the future.
At 6'4 and with great quickness and leaping ablilty, Porter can play either shooting guard or small forward and is a better than average passer.
While I realize the problems in giving chances to troubled players over and over again, I'm not sure that I wouldn't have tried again with a player of Porter's talent.
Now, keep in mind that I don't know how many chances Porter has been given already and I don't know how keeping Porter around could be a difficult sell in an organization that seems to have a little bit of momentum rolling right now, but from what I've read Porter has not been unpopular in the locker room.
The one reason that does make sense is the arrival of Isaac Okoro that plays the same spots on the floor and it's not out of the question that it could have been difficult to find enough playing time for both Okoro and Porter to help both players develop properly.
Kevin Porter was a project worth trying for the Cavaliers and I won't criticize them for that.
However, any project worth starting is worth finishing- I'm not sure the Cavaliers completely finished the project.
The game was even worse as the Devils were not very good, to be kind, as the Islanders dominated the game in a 4-1 win that had the feel of a contest that was not that close.
Nathan Bastian scored (1) the only Devils goal in the second period sandwiched in between the four Islander goals.
The two teams will rematch Sunday on the Devils ice in Newark.
1) The word before the game that Mackenzie Blackwood had been placed on the Covid-19 list came at the worst possible time- before the Devils could activate Aaron Dell.
While being placed on the Covid list doesn't always mean that a person may have it, the Devils and their fans are waiting with some trepidation until they know the status of Blackwood, who played so well in the first three games of the season.
2) While the Devils weren't exactly comfortable with Scott Wedgewood being the fallback option at goaltender, Wedgewood wasn't awful in this game, and although Wedgewood did allow four goals, one of those was a sharp angle shot that happened to hit the right angle with the other three not east saves either.
3) The Devils penalty killers are emerging as a problem with the Islanders scoring both of their third-period goals on the power play.
I don't have a solution, but the situation is getting worse and worse every game.
4) For the third time in four games, New Jersey was called for too many men on the ice.
Can that be attributed to sloppiness, laziness, or players still adjusting to a new coach's system?
Could be any or all of those reasons, but that is an abnormally high number for only four games.
5) The Devils need more performance from Kyle Palmieri and Nikita Gusev have each struggled mightily in these four games.
Palmieri has only two assists, Gusev doesn't have a point at all, both appear lost at times and both have appeared badly out of sync.
Both are playing without their regular line partners currently and that likely is much of the problem, but for what the Devils need from the two offensively, they had better hope that can be rectified by the return of their usual linemates.
It ended with a stunning Cleveland Cavaliers win in double overtime behind Collin Sexton's 42 points as Sexton scored twenty consecutive points for Cleveland covering the first and second overtime in their 147-135 victory.
The Nets stars put their points up on the board, but the Cavaliers rallied in the first overtime from a three-point deficit with both eighteen and twenty-three seconds remaining and tied to the game on a three-pointer by Sexton with 1.2 seconds left to force a second version, where it was all Cleveland and all Collin Sexton.
Travis Zajac scored (1) seconds into the game for the Devils first goal and Miles Wood scored the Devils final goal (3 Power Play) in the second period for the New Jersey goals.
The Devils will travel to Long Island on Thursday in the first of two vs the New York Islanders before hosting the Islanders on Sunday.
1) Jack Bleeping Hughes!
Not only does Hughes have points in each of the Devils three games, and not that Hughes scored two goals in this one, and not even that he scored all of his points in the second period- it's like this young man just hit the power switch and stated- now it's time to show just what kind of player I am.
2) Watching this game was one of those games that you can see the player growth burst out of the cocoon as a different level of player than they were before.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and their cap constraints came to the Devils rescue when an injury forced Toronto's hand that caused them to waive forward Jason Spezza and goaltender Aaron Dell to create cap space.
Spezza was an easy player to slide through waivers- he's 37 and he had told any team that should they claim him, he would immediately retire, but Toronto knew that as much as they hoped that Dell would return to them, Dell's return would be unlikely with the Devils and the Edmonton Oilers in dire straits with depth in their net.
The Devils pounced on Dell and will be bringing to Newark as the steady veteran hand behind Mackenzie Blackwood.
Dell signed with Toronto in the off-season after spending his entire NHL career with the San Jose Sharks and was the loser in the Maple Leafs roster shuffle,
Dell won twelve of thirty starts for the Sharks last season, finishing with a save percentage of .907 and a goals-against-average of 3.01.
Dell is an upgrade over Scott Wedgewood and might be better suited for the backup goaltender than Corey Crawford would have been.
Crawford was a player that was used to playing a lot and even though the plan would have been for the two players to split time fairly evenly, I'm not positive that Crawford (Like Cory Schneider before him) that Crawford would have been fine with that over the course of a season.
Aaron Dell will be fine with that role.
It's what he's always been, it's what he's best suited for, and for a New Jersey Devils team badly in need- Aaron Dell will shore up the roster.
It will be a bit before Dell will actually join the team as being with the Maple Leafs involves crossing the border and will have to go through Covid-19 protocol before being allowed to practice and play with the team.
Baker Mayfield threw for 204 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
Nick Chubb led the ground attack with 69 yards, while Rashard Higgins was the top receiver with five catches for 88 yards to lead the pass catchers.
The season ends for the Browns with eleven regular season and a playoff victory on the road at Pittsburgh.
Drummond finished with 33 points and 23 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers with Cedi Osman finishing with 25 points to lead the starting five that saw each starter finish with double-figure points.
Cleveland was scheduled for a doubleheader on Sunday and Monday against the Washington Non-Bullets, but the battered Cavaliers will have a long respite as Washington's Covid-19 outbreak has caused both games to be postponed.
Cleveland will host the Brooklyn Nets next Wednesday and hopefully will see the two newest Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, face their old team in their Cleveland debut.
New Jersey trailed twice in the game, with Myles Wood scoring on a breakaway in the third period to tie the game at one and after Boston regained the lead at two to one, rookie defenseman Ty Smith scored his first NHL goal to force the shootout.
Jack Hughes assisted on both goals for the Devils, who did earn one point in the loss.
Mackenzie Blackwood was stellar in net with 35 saves for New Jersey, who will host the Bruins in a Saturday 1;00 matinee' after taking a day off.
The 22-year-old Allen is the prize of the deal as the 6'11 center is a consistent young big man that has averaged around eleven points and ten rebounds in the previous two seasons and thus far this season.