Result: The Penguins rallied from a 3-1 deficit early in the second period to score seven unanswered goals Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

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Tags: cory schneider, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Notes, Sidney Crosby, Jerry McGuire
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The New Jersey Devils fell 3-0 to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at Verizon Center, dropping their record to 24-22-13.


The Devils were shut out for the sixth time while Cory Schneider has been in net. ?He?s held opponents to two-goals-or-less in 13 of his last 14 starts.

Tags: cory schneider, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, New Jersey Devils, Postgame Thoughts, Washington Capitals
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2013 may go down as one of the most challenging years in the history of the New Jersey Devils. To recap some of the events:

- There was the season that started not in late 2012, but 2013, after the NHL lockout.? The Devils did so without their captain from the previous season, after Zach Parise departed for Minnesota. The 48-game slate was none to kind to the Devils, as they failed to reach the playoffs just one season after making the Stanley Cup Finals.

Tags: Analysis, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Feature, Jaromir Jagr, michael ryder, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS
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The New Jersey Devils defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-0. The two teams skated in front of a sparse crowd at Prudential Center due to the snowstorm that has been dumping snow across the tri-state area. The win brings New Jersey's record to 13-15-6 on the season, good for 32 points.


- Martin Brodeur notched his third shutout of the season by stopping all 33 Tampa Bay shots. The shutout is the 124th of Brodeur's career.

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Damien Brunner, Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Postgame Thoughts, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Not so long ago, the Devils put together a string of games that saw them post 20 goals in a seven game span, which was an average of 2.86 goals per game. Now, this team has struggled to score, tallying just four goals over their last three games, two of which have been losses.

Aside from Jaromir Jagr and more recently, Patrik Elias, and to some extent Ryan Carter, the Devils have struggled to score. With the goaltending turning in a strong performance almost every night, it's almost safe to say that two goals may get this team at least a point in more games than not. Scoring that second and even a third goal, has been a major struggle as of late.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Analysis, Andrei Loktionov, By The Numbers, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Damien Brunner, Jaromir Jagr, michael ryder, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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Lou Lamoriello is making the rounds today. Earlier Wednesday, he spoke to Rich Chere about some of the Devils' lower-level free agents. Now, Tom Gulitti has some updates on some of the more high-priority free agents.



Tags: Buzz, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Marek Zidlicky, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Peter Harrold
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Even though the Devils? 2013 season is over, we can still look back at some great moments in New Jersey?s playoff history.

On May 6?

1972- Denis and Mireille Brodeur welcomed a baby boy, Martin, into the world. That boy would grow into the Devils' -- and arguably the NHL's -- greatest goalie of all time.

Tags: Boston Bruins, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Denis Brodeur, Don Koharski, Jim Schoenfeld, John Madden, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Notes, PETR SYKORA, Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Gomez, Toronto Maple Leafs
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

As I said on Twitter postgame, this was an impressive win for a lot of reasons. Yes, the Devils probably should've played like this at some point during their 10-game slide. No, two more wins like this won't drastically change how we look at the season. However, there were bright spots in this game that lend themselves toward a positive look for next season and it's possible missing the playoffs flipped a switch in the psyche of a lot of these players, which is another topic for another day. As for? tonight's game, some thoughts...

Fortitude: At least for me, the most impressive part of tonight's win came after the Canadiens scored two unanswered, the second of which came including one in the final minute of the second period. We've seen the Devils melt down multiple times in that scenario, giving up an early goal in the third and going on to lose in regulation or in extra play. It's been one of my biggest criticisms of this Devils team, particularly during their recent slide. This team lacked a strong enough mental edge to their game to rebound from "woe is us" moments. Tonight, though, they didn't need a timeout to correct them and while they struggled to get shots on net in the third, they still kept the Canadiens at bay for long stretches. Also, the Habs came out in the third and tried to bully the Devils, who fought right back. Ilya Kovalchuk, for one, went right at the Canadiens after he got hit from behind. Kovy's response, along with the the energy he's played with and the way he drives the train (so to speak), has me wondering if it should be Kovalchuk with the captain's "C" next season. I know Salvador is respected in the room and a lot of guys like him, but would it kill them to give it to Kovy and have Salvador take an "A?" I think it would be a wise move that would help shape the team's mindset going into next season. Food for thought.

Tags: Alex Urbom, Andrei Loktionov, Brandon Prust, BRYCE SALVADOR, Canadiens, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Habs, Ilya Kovalchuk, JACOB JOSEFSON, Marek Zidlicky, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Stephen Gionta, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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The last time the Devils were in the midst of a lengthy losing streak, Pat Pickens and I got together and debated whether the Devils were in real trouble. Pat was a little more optimistic than me, although we both saw a chance for redemption. Then Ilya Kovalchuk got hurt and the Devils went off the rails. With eight games left, Pat and I faced a simple questions: Will the Devils make the playoffs? What follows is a quick answer to that question followed by a debate over why it happened, how to fix it and whether Pete DeBoer should be part of the solution or on the chopping block.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Adam Larsson, BRYCE SALVADOR, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DAVID CLARKSON, Debate, Devils, Devs, Ilya Kovalchuk, JACOB JOSEFSON, Lou Lamoriello, Marek Zidlicky, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Stefan Matteau, TRAVIS ZAJAC, Zach Parise
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Tags: Around The Links, Buffalo Sabres, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Ilya Kovalchuk, Lou Lamoriello, MARK FAYNE, New Jersey Devils

Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

If you had to pick a word for tonight's game, it would probably be disappointing. On a night they could've put six points between themselves and the Islanders, the Devils came out of the gate so sluggish someone joked they thought the game started at 7:30. Is it the end-all, be-all? No, but it's not a good sign after being unable to finish off an opponent the past two games. Some thoughts...

10-minute warning: How many times have we talked about the Devils taking 10 or sometimes 20 minutes to show up in a game? Once again, the Devils seem to have tremendous difficulty generating energy to start a game, something coach Pete DeBoer seemed totally flummoxed by. He admitted after the game that the slow start (a trend all season long) was disappointing and said the Devils didn't take the Islanders lightly. OK, fair enough. DeBoer also didn't seem to have an answer for why things started off so sideways and said that he actually tried to be calm in (yet another) first-period timeout. Think about how differently this game goes if the Devils are at least somewhat present for the first half of the first period. I mean, how many timeouts does DeBoer have to call in the first period? Matter of fact -- does anyone have that stat? The bottom line is I shouldn't have to ask that question. This is a veteran team with leaders galore that has been through the ringer. Their coach knows what it takes at this time of the season; everyone from the goalie out knows what it takes. So why are the Devils still having the same problem in April they had in January? One theory is that there's no one in the room willing to overturn a table or kick something across the room. I'm starting to think that might have some merit. Even listening to the few Devils talk after tonight's game, you get the sense that things are too even-keel for a team that's on the edge of the playoff picture. The problem is that's not something you add at the deadline. That's something you need from the get-go, a player that's been through training camp and the dregs of the season in that room. I just don't think they're suddenly going to "figure out" these slow starts and that's going to cost them, either at the end of the season or in the playoffs.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Andrei Loktionov, BRYCE SALVADOR, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Islanders, Isles, Marek Zidlicky, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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The Devils activated Dainius Zubrus from injured reserve Monday. Zubrus will return to the lineup tonight against the Islanders after being sidelined since Feb. 5 due to a torn tendon in his wrist that eventually required surgery.

Zubrus has one goal, four points, eight penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating in nine games.

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils

It was hinted at Sunday when the Devils reassigned Tim Sestito to Albany to clear a roster spot. Was Dainius Zubrus ready to return? Would the Devils activate him without having so much as one full practice since Zubrus had wrist surgery? Is he the answer to what ails New Jersey? The answers are yes (kinda) and yes. As for the third one, we'll see see.

Via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:

DeBoer did admit the situation the Devils are in fighting for a playoff spot also played into the decision to have Zubrus play in a game without a full practice.

?I just think the time of year, the shortened schedule, the situation,? DeBoer said. ?He had a practice yesterday, a contact practice with the guys we skated yesterday. So, it?s not like he?s checking himself out of the hospital and playing tonight. He?ll be ready to go.?

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devils Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils, News
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Even thought the Devils are off today, the team decided to return Tim Sestito to AHL Albany, which clears up a roster spot. With Ilya Kovalchuk not ready to return, this raises the question of what the Devils plan to do with the free space. Could Dainius Zubrus be ready to return?


As Gulitti points out, it would be out of character for Zubrus to return to the lineup without getting so much as one full practice with the team. As we saw with Alexei Ponikarovsky, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Tallinder, the Devils prefer an injured player get at least one full, non-morning-skate practice in and sometimes more than that. However, there was no one placed on waivers Sunday and there's no reason for the Devils to clear a spot so far in advance of any possible trade. It could be that the Devils wanted Sestito to do play, something he wasn't going to do in New Jersey. Maybe Zubrus will take part in tomorrow's morning skate, practice with the team Wednesday and return to the lineup Thursday. We'll just have to wait and see what happens at tomorrow's morning skate.

Tags: Albany Devils, Buzz, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Tim Sestito

Links: Twitter | NHL.com recap

The phrase "well, at least they got a point" is starting to mean something very different for these Devils. Tonight, it was more about the point not earned, much like last night's loss to the Lightning. As the playoffs approach (very quickly, might I add), it's becoming apparent that qualifying for the postseason isn't as much of a sure thing as previously thought. Some thoughts...

Points on the table: In the spirit of Schoolboy Q's "Hands on the Wheel," the Devils are really starting to temp fate here. They should have come away from this two-game trip with at least three points, but instead blew leads in the final 30 seconds both games. Tonight was a game that saw them play physical and play well for the most part and they were rewarded for it with two goals that came as a result of that work. The problem wasn't that the Devils took their foot off the gas. No, the Devils I think played too fast in the final minute. There's a reason why Pete DeBoer called a timeout with the Panthers' net empty. He wanted to the Devils to play calm, relaxed and smart, but instead they ended up running around in their own zone, chasing the puck and the Panthers were able to capitalize. As Steve Politi pointed out on Twitter after the game, the Devils have left at least eight to 10 points on the table this year, which is in direct opposition to the way they closed out games last season. Will those extra points come back to haunt them? It's too early to say. I still think they'll make the playoffs, but it could be a matter of seeding hurting the Devils in the first round. With the bottom of the East so tightly packed together, it's starting to look like six, seven and eight will be separated by two to four points -- points the Devils keep giving away.

Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Florida Panthers, HENRIK TALLINDER, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Panthers, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts
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With the trade deadline a week away and the Devils limping toward it, there's a question of what GM/President Lou Lamoriello will do to boost the roster. Will he make a "go for it" deal with Martin Brodeur in possibly his penultimate season? Or will he sit tight and hope players returning from injury give the Devils a spark (or six)? If you take history and Lou's words to The Star-Ledger's Rich Chere on Wednesday into account, it's hard to argue with the latter.


And then there was this...

Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Andrei Loktionov, BRYCE SALVADOR, Buzz, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, HENRIK TALLINDER, Ilya Kovalchuk, Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer
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Alexei Ponikarovsky and Dainius Zubrus remain out of the lineup and on injured reserve. Neither player is practicing with the team, although Zubrus is likely further away from a return than Ponikarovsky. Overload Lou Lamoriello said Sunday that Ponikarovsky could meet the team in Florida this weekend, although that apparently is less likely now.



Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey Devils
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New of Ilya Kovalchuk's shoulder injury hit the Devils at the worst possible time. With New Jersey fighting off somewhere between five and 37 teams for one of the final three playoff spots in the East, the Devils can hardly afford to lose their best player. After a couple days of collecting my thoughts on the injury, I decided to "empty the bag" on Kovy's absence, the power play and if it affects the Devils' trade deadline plans.

How long we talkin' here?!: Lou Lamoriello is notorious for his half answers and dodgy "day to day" injury tactics. That was no different for Kovy, who apparently has a shoulder injury but no one will say what exactly is wrong within said shoulder. Also, according to Lou, Kovy could miss two weeks or less than two weeks or possibly three weeks or maybe even four weeks. The Devils even waited seven hours after announcing the timeline to actually place Kovy on injured reserve, guaranteeing he'd miss at least seven full days. The Devils didn't even want you to definitvely know he'd miss that much time! The problem with all of this double-talk and ridiculous injury gamesmanship is that it gets old real fast. How fast? Well, keep in mind that Martin Brodeur was day to day with a minor back issue until he was on IR for a month with a pinched nerve that almost required surgery. Of course, there's also the Henrik Tallinder case and his "minor" lower-body injury that has now kept him out since March 7. And there's Dainius Zubrus, whose "minor" upper-body injury turned into wrist surgery that was only supposed to keep him out four to six weeks. Oh, wait, it's been six weeks already? And Zubrus isn't even practicing? You don't say.

Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Emptying The Bag, Ilya Kovalchuk, Lou Lamoriello, Matt D'Agostini, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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Despite there being no practice Sunday, it was a busy day for the short-handed Devils. Besides announcing that Ilya Kovalchuk will miss around 2-4 weeks and placing Alexei Ponikarovsky on IR, GM Lou Lamoriello also gave an update on the injured Dainius Zubrus, who has been sidelined since undergoing wrist surgery on Feb. 14.


Zubrus has been skating on his own and today was spotted shooting the puck.

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils
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After missing the entire third period last night, Alexei Ponikarovsky was not present at Wednesday's practice. His injury, along with the return of Andrei Loktionov to practice, forced Pete DeBoer to use some line combinations we've seen before.


I'm sure many Devils fans are happy to see the return of the CBGB line, although all of this was necessitated by the injuries to Ponikarovsky and Dainius Zubrus. Once those two return, unless the Devils want Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac or Loktionov to center the fourth line (they don't), then I wouldn't expect that line to appear except for certain points when DeBoer maybe wants to give the whole team a spark. Also, DeBoer really dislikes using Henrique on the wing and only uses him there when he has to. Assuming Poni isn't seriously hurt, I'd expect him to return to that spot until Zubrus is healthy, at which point all bets are off in terms of line combos. We'll have to see how serious the injury to Ponikarovsky is later today once DeBoer addresses the media. If he's out for tomorrow's game, I'd be willing to bet these are the lines we'll see against Carolina.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Andrei Loktionov, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Lineup Changes, New Jersey Devils, Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier

Pete DeBoer said Monday that he thought the Devils made the "right decision" by returning Stefan Matteau to junior for the QMJHL playoffs. It was a quote that got me thinking because, let's be honest, Matteau's status and handling this year has been one of the bigger issues surrounding this team. So, in the interest of full disclosure, here's DeBoer's quote in full.

Via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:

?I think it?s the right decision,? DeBoer said. ?He got great experience, learned a lot. He?s got a big upside and a bright future. I think the league at this time of year goes to another level and it?s tough for young guys their first time around to find that. I think it was the right move.?
You're right, Pete. It was the "right decision" to send Matteau back to junior now. He wasn't dressing, even with the Devils starting some questionable forwards on a nightly basis. With the pace quickening toward a playoff push, Matteau would've been overmatched, even more than he already was. But the question is not whether it was the right decision now, it's whether it was the right decision all along. Should Matteau have even stuck around in the first place?

Tags: Analysis, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Editorial Aside, Stefan Matteau
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

I won't say the Devils "didn't deserve" to win that one, because that's not what happened tonight. Yes, the Devils allowed too many odd-man rushes and the offensive pressure and possession pretty much died in the third period. But the Devils also ran into a hot goaltender and were also the victim of some unfortunate bounces. All in all, it was a very good hockey game between two rivals fighting for the same land in the playoff landscape. Some thoughts...

Goalie class: First off, let me say that Johan Hedberg didn't play poorly at all. He played well, in fact. Hedberg was victimized by a bad bounce on one of the second goal and some sloppy nonexistent coverage of the trailer on the first goal. Moose managed to keep the Devils in the game on several occasions and his glove work (particularly on Nash in the third) was just phenomenal. The problem with Hedberg is that he's not on Henrik Lundqvist's level and when a goalie not on Lundqvist's level runs into an elite goalie that's playing well, it usually doesn't end well. Right before the third and deciding goal for the Rangers, Lundqvist made about four or five strong saves that only a select group of goalies can make. Devils fans witnessed it for almost two decades with Martin Brodeur, so they know what elite goaltending looks like. There's no denying that Lundqvist was maybe the main reason tonight's game ended the way it did. The good news for the Devils is they're finally getting Brodeur back, possibly as early as Thursday. That will help the Devils even the playing field a bit when they match up with the Rangers, Canadiens and Bruins later on this season and potentially in the playoffs.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Adam Larsson, Blueshirts, Broadway Blueshirts, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Ilya Kovalchuk, Johan Hedberg, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Postgame Thoughts, Rangers, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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With Martin Brodeur on the verge of returning, Devils fans can now turn their attention to the health of the other walking wounded, namely: Andrei Loktionov, Henrik Tallinder and Dainius Zubrus.

We'll start with the most recently injured, Loktionov, who has one of those wonderful "undisclosed" injuries.


Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Andrei Loktionov, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Harri Pesonen, HENRIK TALLINDER, Ilya Kovalchuk, Injury Report, Krys Barch, New Jersey Devils
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Usually when a team holds an optional practice, the biggest news comes from whichever players are currently wounded, hurt or on injured reserve. Thursday was no different, with Pete DeBoer announcing that all of the Devils' injured players skated on their own today! That means Dainius Zubrus, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Tallinder all took to the ice as some point Thursday. Reason for celebration, right? Well, not so fast my friends.


Oh. Well, OK, that's not too surprising, but Zubrus skating has to be a good sign, right?

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, HENRIK TALLINDER, Injury Report, Johan Hedberg, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

Well, that got out of hand quickly. After a strong first period, the Devils seemed completely overwhelmed by the tempo of the game and just never got it going. All of the textbook problems were there and you have to wonder if Marty's late scratch may have played a factor. Some thoughts...

Funky: I delved into it briefly during the pregame post, but the Devils have been less than stellar over the past two weeks. During that stretch, they've failed to put together an overall game as strong and complete as some of their early season efforts. Is it the injuries and lack of depth catching up to them or is this the Devils team we should get used to seeing? I tend to think it's a bit of both. The Devils probably aren't as good as they showed in the first couple weeks, but they're certainly better than the team that lost 9-3 over the past two days. They're in a funk, which Pete DeBoer has been aware of for a few games now. DeBoer has tried to find a way to spark the Devils out of their funk, specifically using line changes to try to get players out of their comfort zones and force them back into doing some of the fundamentals of the Devils' gameplan. It's worked for some players (Travis Zajac's goal from Patrik Elias tonight), but for the most part the alterations have been unsuccessful in getting the Devils back to playing their basic game of forechecking, taking away the other team's best player and being responsible with the puck in their own zone. Is it time to panic? Not by a longshot, but the time to be concerned has definitely arrived.

Tags: Adam Larsson, Andrei Loktionov, ANTON VOLCHENKOV, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Jets, Johan Hedberg, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Peter Harrold, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Ryan Carter, Winnipeg Jets
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The Devils have suffered two significant injuries in the past 10 days, first losing Dainius Zubrus to wrist surgery and then Ryan Carter to a likely concussion. Zubrus is out at least another three weeks and possibly as much as five, while Carter is sidelined for at least this weekend. These injuries have led me to seriously reconsider the Devils' realistic ceiling for this season because of one major problem.

They Devils are so frighteningly shallow up front they're one injury away from struggling to ice 12 NHL forwards.

Don't believe me? It's true. With both Carter and Zubrus on the shelf, both Stefan Matteau and Krys Barch are in the lineup tonight and there is no extra forward. Seriously. Since the Devils continue to carry eight defensemen, Carter is the 13th forward. If any of the top 12 get hurt tonight, either Carter would have to go on injured reserve or one of the defensemen will have to go.

Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Analysis, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, JACOB JOSEFSON, Krys Barch, Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Ryan Carter, Stefan Matteau
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My friend Brian Bassett over at SNY's theJetsBlog runs this occasional feature called "The Junk Drawer." He uses it to basically get out a bullet pointed list of thoughts rattling around his head about a specific move or a specific period of time. I'm officially stealing this idea, with all due respect to Brian, and calling my version "Emptying The Bag" -- an allusion to those days when you'd pull all your stinky hockey equipment out of the bag to air it out before it grew mold. The first version is below and basically empties my head of whatever thoughts I had left regarding the Alexei Ponikarovsky trade...

The (no) adjustment bureau: They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in this case, it creates a lack of waiting time. One of the advantages of Ponikarovsky is the Devils don?t have to spend time teaching him the system or waiting for him to get adjusted to new surroundings or hoping he finds chemistry with his teammates. This is all old news for Poni and the Devils, who already have a limited amount of time as it is in the shortened season. For that reason, I would in no way be surprised if he picked up exactly where he left off last season, when he had seven goals and 18 points in 33 games for New Jersey. Will he score on that pace? Probably not, but with this Devils team, any additional offensive input is a bonus, especially when it comes from the first line left wing.

FLLW: I?ve written multiple times about the way station that has been the left side of the Devils? top forward line. I even have a hastily created acronym for it. But the truth is that even Dainius Zubrus wasn?t producing enough offensively to merit his place on the top line. I like the idea of Poni skating there because he brings the size and physicality that Zubrus brought, but perhaps with a better offensive touch. With Ilya Kovalchuk shooting almost every puck he gets his hand on, a big body like Ponikarovsky could be very useful in the front of the net to help clean up the rebounds. Plus, it allows the Devils to play guys like Ryan Carter and Stefan Matteau on the third and fourth lines, respectively, where their minutes won?t balloon too much and where they?re far more comfortable as players.

Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Analysis, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Emptying The Bag, Krys Barch, New Jersey Devils, Editorial Aside, Stefan Matteau
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The Devils received a little more clarity on how long Dainius Zubrus will be sidelined after he underwent surgery on his left wrist Thursday.


First of all, allow me this opportunity to rip on one of my most hated sports PR terms ever -- "successful" surgery. There's no way to know if the procedure was successful until after the recovery unless it involves a life or death situation. THEN, you can say it's successful. When it's surgery to repair a wrist or a knee or whatever, it's just surgery. Are we supposed to applaud the doctors for not killing a player during a routine procedure? As Chris Rock once said -- You're supposed to do your job!

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils
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On the conference call to announce the acquisition of Alexei Ponikarovsky, the Devils also announced that Dainius Zubrus will have exploratory wrist surgery and could miss anywhere from two to eight weeks.


Earlier today, the Devils placed Zubrus on injured reserve and said they would know more about him in the next 48 hours. I speculated the injury to Zubrus would cause the Devils to do some roster shuffling, which they certainly have done today with the Ponikarovsky trade, calling up Andrei Loktionov and eventually sending a player down to Albany to make room for Ponikarovsky.

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, injured reserve, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils, News, surgery
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The inevitable finally happened. The Devils placed Dainius Zubrus on injured reserve Wednesday with his mysterious upper-body injury. To fill his roster spot, the Devils recalled recent acquisition Andrei Loktionov from AHL Albany.

So what's the diagnosis? Well, of course Lou Lamoriello isn't saying -- yet.


Tags: Andrei Loktionov, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey Devils
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Dainius Zubrus didn't dress the last two games due to the painful "upper-body injury." Lou Lamoriello addressed the reporters in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, giving an update on the Devils forward.



Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils
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Dainius Zubrus won't play today. Now comes word that he won't play tomorrow, either. So what sort of injury is bugging the Devils' bulky two-way beast? Why, the ever ubiquitous "upper-body" ailment, of course! But beyond the Devils' broad injury diagnosis comes word that Zubrus' injury might be more serious than originally thought.

Via Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger:

Zubrus, who will miss his second straight game today and will not play in Pittsburgh tomorrow night, is suffering from an upper body injury that has club officials concerned for the long term. Although team officials will not comment on the problem, Zubrus is being treated with medication for what is believed to be a back problem.

While the first-line left winger is considered day-to-day, he may seek an outside opinion to find out whether a different approach, such as surgery, might be necessary.Uh oh. First of all, back injuries are brutal. I've had a few in my day and they're not only extremely painful, but often difficult to fully heal from. The pain lingers and you never know which twist or turn is going to aggravate the issue. If it's serious enough that Zubrus needs to at least check if he needs surgery, then safe to say we won't be seeing him anytime soon. If it's a vertebrae issue, then he'll either need to rest until it heals completely or have it fused surgically, either of which will put him out of commission for at least a month, maybe two. It's obviously better news if it's a muscle issue because of the shorter recovery timeframe. However, muscles injuries are made trickier by the shortened season. With the Devils playing four games a week, Zubrus could miss significant time just by taking seven to 10 days off to allow the muscle to be 100 percent -- which you bet the Devils will want the 34-year old to do.

Tags: Buzz, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, Mathieu Darche, New Jersey Devils, Stefan Matteau
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After missing his first game in quite a while, Dainius Zubrus missed Friday's full practice. No word yet from Pete DeBoer on his status this weekend's home and home with the Penguins, but Stefan Matteau again skated on the first line at left wing in his place.


More as I know it...

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils, Stefan Matteau
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There was an interesting development -- to say the least -- at the Devils' morning skate today. Dainius Zubrus did not skate due to an upper-body injury, while Stefan Matteau took his place on the top line at left wing. That would appear to mean Matteau will be sticking around this season.

Via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:

Dainius Zubrus is not participating in the Devils? morning skate today at Prudential Center and will not play in tonight?s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of an upper-body injury, the team says.

Rookie left wing Stefan Matteau is skating this morning in Zubrus? spot on the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk. That doesn?t guarantee he?ll play in that spot, though.

Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, Lineup Changes, New Jersey Devils, Stefan Matteau
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After changing things up a bit for Thursday's practice, the Devils apparently liked what they saw out there. At least to start, Mattias Tedenby will start on the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, while Dainius Zubrus slides down to second-line winger. Krys Barch will make his season debut, replacing Cam Janssen on the fourth line next to Stefan Matteau and Jacob Josefson.

Here's the official lineup and D pairings from today's morning skate:

Forwards????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Defense

Tags: Capitals, Caps, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Lineup Changes, MATTIAS TEDENBY, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals
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The Devils were back at it this morning, preparing for tomorrow's game against old friend Adam Oates, the new coach of the Washington Capitals.

Here's today's forwards with an interesting swap of LWs. I'll update this thread as we go along today.


Tags: DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, MATTIAS TEDENBY, New Jersey Devils, Practice Report, Practice Reports
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