Game No. 21: Speak of.. these guys

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.

 

  • Gange

    The Kovalchuk deal makes me laugh. How huge is that albatross now? I’m just SUPER thankful that it wasn’t Darryl leveraging the future for the next 12 years with a completely untradeable contract.

    And Kent I agree, he’s been awful. Tell ya what, he can pay me 1% of his salary to skate around and not get any shots on net 🙂

  • GermanFlame

    Guess not, to bad.

    On a different note, how about Karlsson today?
    I can now see why he is in against NJ and not in one of the back to backs… New Jersey is that bad right now, Ugly game.

    As hard as it is to say, It looks like 2 bottom feeders going at it tonight. Maybe there just reserving energy for the weekend’s back to back? I hope so.

  • Gange

    The discussion around whether you start Karlsson or not because the Flames need the 2 points seemed misguided to me.

    You had to start him here because it gives Kipper 3 days off and the devils are terrible. Really terrible.

  • Robert Cleave

    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.

  • Gange

    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?

  • Gange

    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.

  • BobB

    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.

    • Gange

      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.

  • CitizenFlame

    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.