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Preseason hockey: Devils vs. Bruins @ 7pm EST 9/30

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Old
09-30-2003, 10:54 AM
  #1
Unthinkable
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Preseason hockey: Devils vs. Bruins @ 7pm EST 9/30

I plan to attend this game in Providence, RI so I'll provide thoughts, details, and opinions on how the team looks later tonight. Doesn't look like this game will be broadcast on WBZ radio here in MA, on NHL.com, or on NESN. More to come later on.

 
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09-30-2003, 03:17 PM
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NJDraft
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Still 1-0 B's

Looks like the guys haven't got over the DC trip yet. Hopefully they get 2 in the third.

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Old
09-30-2003, 07:46 PM
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Game notes: 1-0 Bruins win

Don't pay any attention to the ESPN AP reports which incorrectly reported that the Devils rested Scott Gomez as he played the entire game this evening.

NJ Devils Lines:

Elias - Gomez - Marshall
Berglund - Rupp - Bicek
Pandolfo - Madden - Gionta
Pihlman - Foster - Pikkarainen

Offensive lines were pretty much kept the same for this game.

NJ Devils defensive pairings:

White - Giroux
Hale - Martin
Brown - Albelin
Martin - Giroux on the PP.

Defensive Pairings on the other hand were mixed up all game long as Burns was really experimenting a lot with all the different matchups available to him.

Penalty Killing Units:

Gionta Elias Hale Martin
Foster Elias White Giroux
Madden Pandolfo Brown Albelin

Positives from the game:

Ray Giroux: I believe Ray Giroux skated with almost every defensive partner at one point or another. He received a ton of ice time in the first two periods from Burns and was in my opinion our best player of the game tonight. Everything strong about his game that was noticeable last season was totally evident tonight. Its obvious he's earned the confidence and respect of his coach again this season. He played in even strength, shorthanded, and power play situations and looked very solid. Made some great passes on the PP and was a part of a unit that setup his partner for the one timer a few times. I didn't see him out of position once and didn't notice him tiring out whatsoever despite him seemingly being on the ice for every other shift through the first two periods along with some double shifting. Giroux was a horse with all the double shifting just as Allison was under Pat Burns a few years back.

Pandolfo and Madden had a few great shifts together. Pando showed great hustle in the 3rd period while Madden had Jersey's best scoring chance of the game rushing in point blank on Felix Potvin.

Marshall, Berglund, Rupp, Brown, Pikkarainen, and Foster all chipped in with some decent hits tonight. Brown's hit on Zinovjev was absolutely huge. One of the best hits of the game along with a few solid checks from McGillis and one great hit by Moran. Kutlak seemed intent on only hitting Brian Gionta tonight. Gionta was singled out and targeted by a bunch of Bruins defenseman in this game with hit after hit. Still no love at all between Glenn Murray and John Madden - both of them nearly fought in front of Felix Potvin after a scoring bid. Shades of the first round playoffs all over again.

Devils carried the play in the Bruins zone for long periods of time although the quality scoring chances were really limited. Potvin wasn't really tested with any great shots that I could see save for the Madden rush. Pretty sure the Devils went about 20 minutes where they prevented Boston from getting a shot on goal after Boston struck for the PP goal early in the game. Marshall had just gotten himself in the box when Murray banged in a backhander.

Which prospect looked the best tonight upfront:

In my mind it was Christian Berglund as he was consistently taking the body and feeding off Rupp's energy with some strong play crashing the crease. The two of them were crashing and banging opponents a good bit out there repeatedly stirring up all kinds of ill will. PIkkarainen did a little bit of this as well showing he's not gonna take **** from anyone. I'd rank the prospects at forward tonight from best to worst as Berglund, Foster, Pikkarainen, Bicek, Pihlman. Pihlman disappointed me quite a bit tonight. For a guy desperately trying to prove he belongs on this roster I sure didn't notice much of anything standout from him at all. My guess is that he'll be among the first ones in the next round of roster cuts after tonights game. Suglobov was dressed and skated in the pregame warmups, but he didn't play a shift tonight. I was bummed I didn't get a chance to see him play at all but 5 rookies/NHL unprovens out of nine upfront was probably enough as it was. Foster looked decent and so did Pikkarainen. Bicek was off and on just like he was last year where he'd dazzle you with a burst of speed one shift then disappear the next. On D, I have to say Albelin looked really good this evening same as Ray Giroux. Hale and Martin played a good bit together and they were decent but still looked like they need seasoning in Albany to me. Hale did do a good job containing Glen Murray to his credit in the latter part of the game. Paul Martin's not a bad skater at all although he did make one mistake on the PP where he wasn't able to keep a puck in the zone which he probably should have had.

On the Bruins side of things I wasn't impressed at all with Bergeron, Huml, or Zinovjev. Dan McGillis was their best player tonight hands down. Sergei Samsonov had a shift in the game where he skated the puck around the perimeter in the Devils defensive zone for so long that he finally outmaneuvered himself with a wipeout and turnover of the puck forgetting to use his linemates. I'm surprised he's still holding fast to this bad habit as he did this kind of thing 5 years ago to the point where folks were calling him a selfish puck hog.

Schwab looked like he was fighting the puck early in the game, but he calmed down and got things together at the midway point of the 1st period. Clemmenson was dressed as the backup. One thing that was puzzling were the 3 Providence Bruins PowerBar guys who skated all over the clean ice sheet between periods while the Zambonis tried to do their jobs. It really defeats the purpose of resurfacing the ice when you have three hammerheads doing their best to undo this fresh sheet of ice at the same time. One thing for the guys repairing the ice and taking care of the nets at the ends with shoes on but come on.

 
Old
09-30-2003, 08:03 PM
  #4
Unthinkable
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Few more random observations

Grant Marshall looked good on the Devils PP tonight a few times. He used his big body to clear some room for Gomez and Elias to try and get things going. One PP looked awesome with quick short passes and set triangle plays working accurate shots on net one after another. Giroux had a strong shot from the middle just inside the blue line and Martin did some decent things at the point as well. Marshall seemed to have better chemistry with Elias and Gomez then Gomez had with Patrik Elias. No surprise there.

Gionta had the pass of the game for the NJ Devils threading the needle beautifully to either Madden or Pandolfo. Pretty sure it was to John Madden. There was also one give and go rush that was absolutely tape to tape.

Patrik Elias wound up for one last slapshot from his own defensive zone with seconds to go on the clock in the 3rd period and he accidentally nailed Colin White in the foot trying to send one down the length of the ice. Hopefully it didn't injure White, but he was wincing in pain lifting his foot off the ice afterwards.

Gomez had one good hit on a Bruin behind Potvin that kind of surprised me as he was taking some abuse all evening along with Bicek, Foster, and Gionta. Bruins enjoyed hitting our little guys tonight with no sign of Scott Stevens in the lineup.

 
Old
09-30-2003, 08:15 PM
  #5
Niedermayer21
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Great reporting Unthinkable!!!

Just want to know if you think Adrian Foster showed enough that he could make the roster towards the end of the season, if need be and he stays somewhat healthy? How would you rate Foster's strength and speed? Also, how was he on draws? Could you see him centering Patrick Elias by sometime in February or March?

Also, did Gionta wilt under the constant physical abuse? If so, it may be time to trade him out west. Maybe he could be part of a deal that would bring Mike Comrie to the Devils. Comrie might be good between Elias and Grant Marshall. He is slick and Marshall can beat the crap out of anyone who tries to goon it up with Comrie. If not Comrie, maybe Gionta and someone else for Jani Rita???? Just a thought. Gives us a little size on the wing. (Gionta, Stevenson or Bicek, and Clemmensen for Rita?)

Looks like Giroux and Brown will be our third pairing with Tommy Albelin as our 7th defenseman. Not bad at all!

Great job! Thanks again!!!

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09-30-2003, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niedermayer27
Great reporting Unthinkable!!!

Just want to know if you think Adrian Foster showed enough that he could make the roster towards the end of the season, if need be and he stays somewhat healthy? How would you rate Foster's strength and speed? Also, how was he on draws? Could you see him centering Patrick Elias by sometime in February or March?

Also, did Gionta wilt under the constant physical abuse? If so, it may be time to trade him out west. Maybe he could be part of a deal that would bring Mike Comrie to the Devils. Comrie might be good between Elias and Grant Marshall. He is slick and Marshall can beat the crap out of anyone who tries to goon it up with Comrie. If not Comrie, maybe Gionta and someone else for Jani Rita???? Just a thought. Gives us a little size on the wing. (Gionta, Stevenson or Bicek, and Clemmensen for Rita?)

Looks like Giroux and Brown will be our third pairing with Tommy Albelin as our 7th defenseman. Not bad at all!

Great job! Thanks again!!!
Adrian Foster was a lot better then I figured he'd be in all seriousness. He looked impressive on faceoffs winning them time and time again and showed some good hustle and tenacity around the net. He may have been one of our top faceoff guys in this game if Rupp didn't claim it. It looks like Bobby Carpenter's assistance on winning faceoffs is paying off as the Devils seemed to be readily dominating in the faceoffs dept. all night. Foster's speed was decent if not somewhat deceptive to me. Strength wasn't bad with regards to protecting the puck and driving to the net. Someone levelled him with a pretty big hit from what I remember and he got back up without missing a beat at all. I could see him possibly working his way up to the fourth line if something happens to Larionov and Rasmussen by all means. Can't see him centering Elias that quickly unless this team is devastated by injuries and sickness, but stranger things have happened that no one has answers for so who knows.

Gionta took his lickings like a man out there with the trademark munching of the mouthguard after picking himself up. I wouldn't say his play really tapered off with the hits to his credit. Pretty sure Kutlak was trying to impress his new coach with all the constant attention paid to Brian Gionta and no one else. Brown was good tonight. Forgot to even really comment on his defensive play. He was paired up with Albelin for a lot of the 60 minutes and they both played a smart positional game even though neither one of them can skate all that fast. I was surprised a bit to see them paired up together. Rupp had a solid game with Christian Berglund on his wing.
I noticed that whenever Foster's line went over the boards all three forwards were using the same blue Mission sticks along with Ray Giroux as well.

Thanks for the positive feedback!

 
Old
09-30-2003, 09:57 PM
  #7
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Glad to hear Brown rebound from his poor play against Philly. I think he will fit in well, if he can maintain solid positional and physical play on a consistent basis.

Thanks Unthinkable, for the game report and the warm welcome on the earlier thread.

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10-01-2003, 08:04 AM
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Jurcina looked incredibly awkward on D for the Bruins. I'll be surprised if he's not among the next wave of Bruins roster cuts. He looked like a big goofy giraffe trying to break in new skates out there. Seemed to be really struggling with his skating to me in that big body of his.

 
Old
10-01-2003, 08:15 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unthinkable
Jurcina looked incredibly awkward on D for the Bruins. I'll be surprised if he's not among the next wave of Bruins roster cuts. He looked like a big goofy giraffe trying to break in new skates out there. Seemed to be really struggling with his skating to me in that big body of his.
I find this to be the most interesting piece of information. Jurcina was head and shoulders above the other players on the blueline for the Mooseheads last year and they boasted the best d-corps in the league. I suspect his awkwardness has something to do with the style the Bruins choose to play.

You don't know how much I appreciate this reporting. That was incredibly detailed and thorough. I think I speak for the whole board when I say thanks.

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10-01-2003, 08:44 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by PEli
I find this to be the most interesting piece of information. Jurcina was head and shoulders above the other players on the blueline for the Mooseheads last year and they boasted the best d-corps in the league. I suspect his awkwardness has something to do with the style the Bruins choose to play.

You don't know how much I appreciate this reporting. That was incredibly detailed and thorough. I think I speak for the whole board when I say thanks.
I think it also had a bit to do with his defensive partner (Morrissonn) making a fair number of repeated mistakes in coverage. Kind of like the Berard - Girard effect from last season. Jillson looked a lot more comfortable playing for the Bruins then Jurcina did last night. With Nick Boynton resigned Jurcina's chances of making the parent club out of training camp are even slimmer now.

 
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