As you'll notice, Adam Larsson is unlikely to be one of those seven defensemen with Anton Volchenkov returning to the lineup. While it might seem a little odd, it actually makes a ton of sense. For one, Peter Harrold can play up front as well, which means he can easily eat up the seven minutes usually assigned to the fourth-line wingers. Also, Volchenkov's shot blocking will be seriously needed against the Bruins tonight, particularly considering how much some of their defensemen love to fire the puck at the net. I also like the idea because the Devils have pretty much had one problem defenseman per game for most of the season. Rarely do they get all six D-men clicking and playing well both individually and as a unit. Dressing seven defensemen allows DeBoer to "go with the hot hand," so to speak. For those of you worried about losing a forward for a team that already can't score -- it's not like pulling Kostopolous or Barch were going to help New Jersey put goals in the net. DeBoer has also been known to bury those guys and shorten his bench in tight games, which tonight should be if the Devils have a chance to win in the third. With all things considered, I like the idea on a game-by-game basis.
Kostopolous didn't return and I'd suspect he may get tagged with the "upper-body injury" that is code for concussion. We'll see if he's on the ice at practice this week. If not, it might take him a couple games and could mean the return of Krys Barch.
Tags: Devils, Devs, Injury Report, New Jersey Devils, Tom Kostopoulos
Yet, they still blew a two-goal lead and lost a very important point.
New Jersey scored a shorthanded goal, on its power-play, an even-strength goal and even on a penalty shot. Still, the Devils lost 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a shootout on Friday at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Tags: Adam Larsson, Alex Killorn, Andrei Loktionov, ANTON VOLCHENKOV, Benoit Pouliot, BRYCE SALVADOR, Corey Conacher, Florida Panthers, Marek Zidlicky, MARK FAYNE, Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Matt D'Agostini, Nate Thompson, New Jersey Devils, Notes, PATRIK ELIAS, Peter Harrold, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Ryan Carter, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, Teddy Purcell, Tom Kostopoulos, TRAVIS ZAJAC, Victor Hedman
It was almost a storybook return, but history turned out to be too good to be true for Martin Brodeur. Still, after weathering a hectic first 10 minutes, the Devils responded with an excellent overall effort and have ended their most recent losing streak in impressive fashion. Some thoughts...
Marty: It may not have been history, but it was an excellent return for Brodeur, who single-handedly kept the Devils in the game long enough for them to find their sea legs. Brodeur's performance during the first 10 minutes of the first period was the shining example of what we wrote earlier this week. While Johan Hedberg was good enough, he wasn't Brodeur. He didn't have that extra level. Moose was likely to be beaten on the fifth shot of a rapid-fire barrage. Brodeur, on the other hand, was calm, cool, collected and his usual reliable self. Of course, he was blatantly exhausted at the end of that stretch, but thankfully the rest of the team took over from there, shutting the Hurricanes down so well even Drake would've been impressed. But it wasn't just those saves -- or his goal (yes, his goal) -- that stood out for me. It was all the little things that Brodeur does that make him such an excellent netminder even at the age of 40. One of those examples came during the first period when there was a turnover and Alexander Semin came rushing up the gut toward the puck. Moose might've dove at the puck and he might have disrupted Semin enough to be successful. It's a risky proposition we've seen Hedberg both win and lose this season. Instead, Brodeur stayed calm, stayed upright and came out just far enough that he forced Semin to shoot at one of several tiny windows. Semin, of course, nearly scored, rocketing a shot off the post just over Brodeur's shoulder, but that's a nearly impossible shot to make and it's the only one Brodeur gave him. Marty also made at least two or three excellent decision with the puck on his stick, deftly moving the play away from the net and helping the Devils get out of the zone. Brodeur's return will likely be remembered for his incredibly bizarre goal and those frantic first minutes, but it was the things that went unnoticed, things not seen in the box score that impressed me the most.
Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Adam Larsson, Andrei Loktionov, Canes, Carolina Hurricanes, Devils, Devs, Harri Pesonen, Hurricanes, Ilya Kovalchuk, Johan Hedberg, Marek Zidlicky, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Ryan Carter, Tom Kostopoulos, TRAVIS ZAJAC
Will Kotsopoulos help the Devils? Maybe a little. He's a right wing, which the Devils are in need of at the moment. He's a decent fourth-line grinder, which the Devils could always use. And he's not Cam Janssen, which is always a plus. More than likely, he's one of the players floating along the edge of the 23-man roster until Dainius Zubrus returns from his wrist surgery and the Devils need to clear a space. Heck, Kostopoulos might not even make it that long, but at least he's a decent player who can fill a role on the fourth line.