**As posted on Hockeybuzz for Versus
Déjà vu all over again… (Part 2)
The title from my Versus debut is still appropriate as the Devils face the Flyers on Monday night.
With the Devils some things never change; Questions with the Coach and defensive style (1st in goals against), lack of scoring firer-power (18th in NHL for goals scored and Zach Parise tied for 10th in scoring), an average Defensive Core and an older Martin Brodeur (37 goals against and Brodeur tied for 1st in Wins with 12) and not to mention the injury bug that has hit the NHL attacked the Devils (Paul Martin, Johnny Oduya, Rob Niedermayer, Jay Pandolfo, Patrick Elias to name a few).
All that while riding a 9-0 winning streak on the Road to start the season. One win shy of the NHL mark of 10-0 by the 06-07 Sabers.
Not to mention first in the Atlantic, tied for first in the East and tied for second overall in the NHL in points. Not bad eh;?
As Travis Zajac says
“It doesn’t mean anything”.
And he is right, it is business as usual for the New Jersey Devils.
I really like the attitude Coach Lamaire has brought to this team and it has been a pretty seamless transition and I am impressed.
Expect the Broad Street Bullies to show up against the Devils in a physical match. Not only because they need to try and tame the red hot Devils but because it is Dave “The Hammer” Schultz’s induction to the Flyers Hall of Fame. Congrats to Dave. Now let’s get to the game.
As always the Devils have a deep team and a few players have stepped up big time in the absence of key veterans; Andy Greene doing a great Brian Rafalski impersonation filling in for Paul martin and Johnny Oduya playing well defensively and creating opportunities. Niclas Bergfors who has been injury riddled for most of his young junior career finally stepping in and making an impact contributing on both sides of the ice. All in all the entire team has stepped up and when the injuries are gone it will be like adding at the deadline without giving up anyone.
The question is who sits?
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Devils always seem to come up to play against the Flyers.
The Devils need more of what they have been doing and play a calm, collected smart game. With the fire-power the flyers have being out of the penalty box is important.
Scoring first could give them an edge and take the fans out for a bit and calm the building noise.
There is not much the Devils can ask for as pieces that have come in like Greene, Bergfors as well as Matt Halischuk, Corey Murphy and Tim Sestito are making the most of their opportunity before their time in the big club is up. And that has made a difference.
The Devils forwards will have a tough time with Chris Pronger but the scoring depth the Devils have showed of late could still distribute the opportunities for when Mr. Pronger is not on the ice.
Cant wait for the puck to drop. Lets go Devils!
The Devils Advocate