Tag:

Philly

Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

Did the Devils play an A-plus game? No. I'd argue they played a couple better overall games during the 10-game winless streak. But the important thing is the streak is over and the Devils are back in the win column thanks to a few superlative efforts. It likely won't get the Devils back in the playoff chase, but a couple wins over the last 10 days would be important for their confidence heading into the offseason. Some thoughts...

It's over: Everyone can breathe a big sign of relief. The winless streak is finally over and it didn't even take Ilya Kovalchuk returning to finally stop it. Of course, like I said above, this wasn't a perfect game. They struggled to put pucks on net in the first and had difficulty finishing in the second before Ryan Carter snapped one of Ilya Bryzgalov's shoulder. But the important thing was the Devils kept working in two very important areas: the neutral zone and below the Flyers' goal line. The Devils did a good job in long stretches of stopping the Flyers at the blue line and both of the Devils even-strength goals came as a result of their work in the neutral zone. As for the forecheck, it was strong almost all night long. The Devils generated a ton of chances off their pressure below the goal line and it eventually wore down Philly's defense. While the Devils aren't talented enough to out-skill teams, they are dedicated and strong enough to out-work them. It's a long shot, but wins like this are the kind of victories that send a team to length winning streaks. The Devils worked their way past an inferior opponent to a streak-busting victory and were rewarded after several games in which they played well but didn't win.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Devils, Devs, Flyers, HENRIK TALLINDER, JACOB JOSEFSON, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier
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The Flyers and Devils face off in a matchup of two teams playing out the string.

Who: New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers

When: 7:30 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 7:00 p.m. ET

Tags: Devils, Devs, Flyers, Gameday, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly
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Yesterday, we talked about the Devils had to stop worrying about what other teams were doing and just win a game. Well, that didn't happen. They didn't even get an overtime point and now likely have to go 6-1 the rest of the way to make the playoffs, which includes a two-game sweep of the Rangers in the final week.

So tonight, the Devils have no choice but to sit back and root for the other teams. The Senators are off tonight, but they're completely out of reach. The Islanders are not "untouchable" but they're a pretty difficult team to catch.

Tags: Blueshirts, Broadway Blueshirts, Buffalo Sabres, Capitals, Caps, Devils, Devs, Evgeni Nabokov, Flyers, Islanders, Isles, Jets, Lightning, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, Rangers, Rick Nash, Sabres, Scoreboard Watching, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

There's not much more you can ask for in a game than what you got from the Devils tonight. The effort was there in all phases, the stars delivered and Johan Hedberg was strong for the third time in the last four games (coincidentally, all Devils wins). It certainly set up an interesting game Friday in the second half of this home-and-home series with Philly. Some thoughts...

Stars deliver: For the past two weeks, everyone's been asking for the Devils' key players to step up, including Pete DeBoer. Well, tonight everyone and DeBoer got their wish. Adam Henrique, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias all lit the lamp, with a little extra help from a beautiful Andrei Loktionov toe drag. With all due respect to Loktionov, Ryan Carter and the supporting cast, the Devils need their top players to step up in order to make a serious run at and eventually through the playoffs. Kovy is going to be Kovy aka he's going to score, going to dazzle and apparently, going to score a lot of short-handed goals. Elias is leading the team in points and outside a brief stretch has been the Devils' most consistent player all season. The difference maker tonight was clearly Henrique, who has been an absentee figure (along with Travis Zajac) for large chunks of this season. It wasn't just than Henrique had two goals and an assist tonight. It was that he was all over the ice, particularly in the offensive end. He was constantly putting the puck on net and was a nightmare for the Flyers all night. With the way Loktionov is playing on the top line alongside Kovy, an energized and dangerous Henrique would make the Devils a dangerous two-line team that has the potential to play offensive hockey three lines deep once Zajac awakens from his slumber. Up until tonight, the Devils had been mostly playing one line deep or maybe two lines when the third line or CBGB line was rolling. Tonight you saw why New Jersey so desperately depends on their top players and what happens when those top players deliver.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Andrei Loktionov, BRYCE SALVADOR, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, Flyers, Ilya Kovalchuk, Johan Hedberg, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, Postgame Thoughts, Ryan Carter, TRAVIS ZAJAC
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Expect to see a lot of this during a game that figures to be very physicaly.

Who: Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils

When: 7:30 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 7:00 p.m. ET

Tags: Devils, Devs, Flyers, Gameday, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

It wasn't a pretty win, but the Devils deserve kudos for that comeback. They were completely out of their element and getting run over the ice in the first but managed to push their way through and get the win. Some thoughts...

True grit: I'm not gonna go too long on this one, because I don't want to get into super cliche territory, but boy that was an impressive comeback by the Devils. They seemed completely overwhelmed and out of their zone midway through the first period, much like the Flyers did the last time the teams played. The difference between the two teams was evident about midway through the second period when play began to settle down from the high-wire act that was the first 30 minutes. Just as Pete DeBoer preaches, as long as the Devils stay within themselves and play their system, the chances will come and they will have opportunities to win hockey games, even the ones when they're down 3-1 halfway through the first period and are getting run all over the ice. Of course, they're lucky the Flyers hit a few posts and Martin Brodeur made a few saves because it could've easily been 4-1 or 5-1 and I don't think the Devils were coming back then. Still, you have to like the way they bounced back and showed they're not afraid of any deficit.

Tags: Devils, Devs, Flyers, Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, Postgame Thoughts
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The Flyers and Devils meet up again in what's sure to be a physical, nasty game.

Who:? Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils

When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET

Tags: Devils, Devs, Flyers, Gameday, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly
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There was an interesting contradiction in broadcast land Tuesday night that was criminally under-reported, except by the criminally underrated Rich Chere. Tuesday night's Flyers-Devils game was blacked out on DirecTV in New Jersey, but carried in Philadelphia.

Chere wonders:

The Flyers had already had two games taken by NBC, so that would have been the third had the team not been permitted to televise the game. Comcast owns both NBC and the Flyers.

On the flip side, NBCSN has two Devils games-- April 18 in Philadelphia and April 25 against the Penguins-- but MSG will be allowed to broadcast those matches to better serve the metropolitan area market.

Shady broadcasting tactics by Comcast that serve the Flyers and hurt the Devils? What?! That never happens! Next thing you'll be telling me three of the Flyers' first four games are being broadcast on national TV channels owned by their the guy who owns their team.
Tags: Comcast, Devils, Devs, Flyers, NBC, New Jersey Devils, Notes, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly
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https://twitter.com/TGfireandice/status/294211889431461889

For his part, Volchenkov told Gulitti that he thought Schenn left his feet, but said, "it's hockey." Here's the video of the hit, complete with an explanation by the NHL's Czar of Discipline, Brendan Shanahan.

Tags: ANTON VOLCHENKOV, Brayden Schenn, Brendan Shanahan, Devils, Devs, Flyers, Headlines, New Jersey Devils, News, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, suspension
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Game links: Pregame thread | First period analysis | Second period analysis | Twitter

Although the Devils weren't that impressed by tonight's win, it was important nonetheless. There were definite stretches where they let Philly control the play, but in the end, they created their own chances and got a little luck on a couple others. Some thoughts:

2-0 and 2-0: The Devils have won their first two games, but they've also won their first two games in the division -- and not just any division, but the hyper-competitive, fight-to-the-freakin-death Atlantic. As teams like the Rangers (0-1 in division) and Flyers (0-2 in division) struggle out of the gate, two early wins for the Devils is a nice little leg up in this shortened season. Never underestimate division wins, no matter how early in the season they are. Trust me, in two months, we'll be looking back on this nice start and realizing how important these wins were.

Tags: Devils Devs, Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts
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And we're through two...

  • Gettin' heated: Two major scrums in that period and something tells me they won't be the last. The Flyers are panicked, desperate and clearly under pressure not to gall to 0-3 on the season. If the Flyers don't a goal early in the third to make it a game, look for them to try to make the game more fight than flow.
  • Matty on the offensive: Stefan Matteau had, by my count, at least three legit scoring opportunities there, one of which came on a wraparound that nearly went in. We've already see throw his body around and get physical, but it's his scoring potential and strong shot that might force the Devils to keep him around (which I think is a longshot).
  • Hockey cliche: They say your goalie is your best penalty killer. So far this season, that couldn't be more true. Marty kept the Devils' asses out of the fire Saturday a couple times and he continues to keep the Devils in it tonight. His sliding stacked pads save is one of the best of the this young season and just shows why Marty is the best to every play the position.
  • Momentum?: The Flyers killed off a big 5-on-3 and then generated some pressure immediately afterward. That's no coincidence. Look for the Flyers to come out on fire to start the third and try to press the Devils into a mistake. An early goal would put Philly back in this game and give the Flyers some hope.
  • What more can I say?: Did you see that stick work by Kovy on that short-handed penalty-shot goal? And that nifty little shoulder fake? My god. He's got gifts for days on days on days. And how did he get that penalty shot? By seeing a chance on the PK to force the issue at center ice and using his size and speed to -- you guessed it -- create an opportunity. Kovy's skill + goal factory = that goal.
Tags: Devils, Devs, Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Period Analysis, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly
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Some thoughts on the first period...

  • Goal factory: Okay, not really, but the real meaning is that both of the Devils' goals in the first period came as a result of them capitalizing on an opportunity around the net. If I've said it five times already, I'll say it again -- the Devils will have to manufacture goals this season. One way to do that is to pounce on rebounds (which they didn't do against the Islanders). The other is to simply put puck after puck on net and hope to get a bounce or create a chance. Opportunistic hockey. It'll be Jersey's mantra all season.
  • Lesson forgotten: Speaking of that first goal, it appears the Flyers have forgotten how the Devils beat them in the playoffs last year. Dump, chase and use your speed to create opportunities (there's that word again) with the puck. It was the Devils' M.O. in the playoffs last year and something they didn't do consistently Saturday night. The first period wasn't perfect in that regard, but they did score both of those goals in situations built off the chip and chase mentality.
  • Don't forget the middle: In between those two Devils goals, the Flyers really carried the play. They put a lot of pressure on Marty and forced him to make some really difficult saves, particularly on the first power play. The Devils should feel good about their 2-0 lead, but they have to be way of a Flyers team that can turn the score around very quickly. Jersey has to get a handle on the pace of the game and keep the Flyers from controlling the puck in the offensive end.
Tags: Devils, Devs, Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Period Analysis, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly
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The Eagles, for the second straight year, must deal with unwanted outside pressure.


The Philadelphia Eagles learned the hard way last year: preseason proclamations are better off kept quiet. Public statements guaranteeing specific win totals and milestones are almost always embellished by the media, and the team responsible for the statement is expected to live up to their self-imposed standards. Approximately one year ago, after a lockout-shortened NFL free agency period, newly acquired backup quarterback Vince Young used a training camp press conference to announce the birth of a new nickname for his new team. ?Dream Team,? Young remarked, in an attempt to label the Eagles? star-studded roster following several high-profile free agent acquisitions that offseason, notably cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin and running back Ronnie Brown. As Philadelphia stumbled out to a 1-4 start last, the ?dream team? moniker increasingly symbolized the team?s arrogance, unmet expectations and mounting pressure while motivating opponents with less-heralded rosters and free agent signing histories. The Eagles would finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

Tags: CSN Philly, Derrick Gunn, Dream Team, Dynasty, Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles, vince young
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