Thursday, March 2, 2023

Devils overpower Avalanche 7-5

  I promised when the Devils added Timo Meier from the San Jose Sharks that I would try to write more hockey and coming home from work from my only evening shift, I was planning on having to decide between the Cavaliers and Celtics in a big Eastern Conference showdown or the Devils in Denver against the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche.

I chose the Devils as I was leaving work at 9 PM when the Devils were just starting rather than the Cavaliers who tipped off ninety minutes earlier.

So when I arrived home thinking I would miss maybe the first eight to ten minutes of the game, I saw a replay of a New Jersey goal by Nathan Bastian and then discovered that I had missed another goal from the Devils for a 2-0 lead -less than eight minutes into the game!

It turned out as only the beginning as the two teams would produce as entertaining of a game as you'll see with the Devils grabbing a 7-5 road win over the Avalanche, the second game in a row that the Devils have scored seven goals.

Devils goals to Nico Hischier (26 empty net), Dawson Mercer (20), Dougie Hamilton (18), Tomas Tatar (14), Miles Wood (10 power play), Ondrej Palat (7), and Nathan Bastian (5).

Mercer's goal kept his goal-scoring streak alive at seven games.

New Jersey continues their road trip in Las Vegas Friday night.

I'm not going to add too much to this other than this- If anyone out there is still using the tired thirty-year-old refrain about boring Devils hockey needs to either watch this team play or knows nothing about the game.

I'm not saying the Devils don't have any flaws. However, I'm still not convinced Vitek Vanacek is the long-term answer despite an excellent season thus far (Vanacek was relieved in this game by Akira Schmid, after allowing five goals) in goal. I'm still wondering about the defensemen once you get past the top pairing or two.

However, this young and talented team is loads of fun to watch.

They'll score a lot and they'll give up some but this team's window is starting to open for a run of quality hockey that may not result in a run like the Lou Lamiorello years as far as Stanley Cups but could be the most offensively exciting team in franchise history.

And that is nothing to sneeze at.

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