Game No. 21: Speak of.. these guys

Ryan Lambert
November 24 2010 03:24PM



Well now I don't know what to think.

So the Devils are pretty goddamn awful. If the Islanders weren't so busy losing 30 in a row, or whatever they're up to now, the Devils would be the worst team in hockey.

Like, they're really bad, and almost every good player on the team is hurt. No Marty Brodeur (though if you want to start having the argument about if he's now officially and finally past it, the line forms to the left, and that crowd's shouts are getting more credible by the day), no Jamie Langenbrunner, no Zach Parise and no Scott Stevens. It's not every day you run across a team with as much star power as the Devils and, upon looking at the standings, realize they have fewer points than the Flames.

But because Brent Sutter is a kind and generous man, and because nothing can ever be easy, Calgary is going to roll a fairly soft lineup in New Jersey tonight as it plays its third game since Sunday. Olli Jokinen is back, and rewarded for his not only his terrible suspension-worthy crosscheck but also his absolutely abysmal play of late by slotting straight into the top line alongside the resurgent Jarome Iginla (6-1-7 in three games since Jokinen stopped being in the lineup) and the also-resurgent-but-certainly-less-so Alex Tanguay (1-5-6 since Jokinen got suspended). This is brilliant stuff, though, unlike when people tell you that you can't make something up, you probably could make this up if you're a masochist or have watched the Flames this year (same thing).

Brent's also giving a Steve Staios-Brendan Mikkelson pairing a chance, likely because he really feels badly that 28 defensemen currently have more points than Ilya Kovalchuk, and he wants to do all he can to rectify that. I know John MacLean's not exactly having the greatest season behind the Devils bench, but the true litmus test of whether or not he should be allowed to continue his job is how many times he uses the last change on an O-zone faceoff to line the Kovalchuk forward group up opposite Staios and Mikkelson. If the answer is less than "all of them," he should be fired on the spot.

And then Henrik Karlsson gets the nod in net tonight. You remember him, right? The guy who gave up seven goals on the last 37 shots he faced? That's the fellow.

It'd be nice to see the Devils finally pull out a W, and I think the Flames are really giving them a chance to d.. what? They just beat Washington by HOW much? Oh hell.

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#51 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 08:14PM
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Sigh.

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#52 M F
November 24 2010, 08:17PM
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I generally don't feel emotion after games anymore. Nothing. I guess it's one game closer to Daz getting fired?

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#53 Robert Cleave
November 24 2010, 08:19PM
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That was a complete waste of 2 3/4 hours.

Olli Jokinen needs to be somewhere else besides on Iginla's line. They can't trade him, so he needs to be quarantined away from useful players.

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#54 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 08:19PM
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M F wrote:

I generally don't feel emotion after games anymore. Nothing. I guess it's one game closer to Daz getting fired?

I'm getting to the "acceptance" phase too.

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#55 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 08:20PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

That was a complete waste of 2 3/4 hours.

Olli Jokinen needs to be somewhere else besides on Iginla's line. They can't trade him, so he needs to be quarantined away from useful players.

Yup. Kills plays all over the ice. The cycle dies with him.

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#56 Flamin Cannot's
November 24 2010, 08:23PM
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I think Dutter is trying to manage like John Ferguson Jr.did. That worked well didn't it?

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#57 Gange
November 24 2010, 08:27PM
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Honestly in the last 18 months it's gone from "I understand what you're doing even if I don't really see how this will end up" to now "I have no clue what you are doing anymore".

Honestly I really don't see what Darryl's doing. If Babchuk is a product of Goulet's pro scouting perhaps they'll be better without his services?

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#58 LawrenceS
November 24 2010, 08:30PM
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Well, Positives first. Karlsson was good although he wasn't tested much, but who cares, the defense was solid, and we stayed out of the box for the most part.

Negatives: Still no goal support.... and we lose.

That's really tough to swallow, considering how absolutely bloody awful New Jersey was tonight.

Screw positives (although I'm glad for Henrik) but seriously, we have to win that game.

I know this is me venting, but damn... we suck. No urgency at all.

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#59 Rain Dogs
November 24 2010, 08:43PM
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I understand that Dutter put this team together, but I don't know how people can be primarily angry at him after these types of games. Sure, maybe he went and hired a crew of the 21 least interested players to be put on one roster, but Dutter can't light a fire under these guys asses.

The was a sad effort. The only players who seemed to really care about the outcome were three defenders, a couple of pluggers and as usual, the goalie.

Other than that... pathetic.

Sure Darryl hired these guys but damn, they just beat Chicago 7-2 a week ago and now... a super casual game.

If that was any other team, we would have lost. Oh wait, we did lose.

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#60 Gange
November 24 2010, 08:52PM
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@Rain Dogs

I can't comment on anyone else but me.

Yes Darryl put this team together and just because they won a game does not mean they are not a ill crafted team.

I'm under no illusion that this team will win all games nor will they lose all games. they are still an ill crafted team with some bright spots.

He has had some success and he's had some failures. This is a results business though and the results aren't there anymore.

It's time to move on.

Thank you Darryl, I do appreciate your efforts.

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#61 harry
November 24 2010, 08:52PM
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If Stajan comes back, could Olli be healthy-scratched? Pretty please??

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#62 dotfras
November 25 2010, 09:56AM
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Send Olli to the farm.

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#63 CitizenFlame
November 25 2010, 11:40AM
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I'm not sure about Bourque, but I do know that Iggy isn't the greatest shootout guy, but... wouldn't it make sense to put your two best goal scorers in the shoot out? Bourque scored in regulation and leads the team in goals, while Iggy has been on fire lately and didn't score in regulation but may have been a way for him to kind of keep the streak going. I don't know, just my thoughts.

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