Monday, February 04, 2013

Rangers vs. Devils - Battle Of The Hudson - I


Game One of Four
New Jersey Devils
The Rock,

The rematch is upon us.  Lets get ready to rumble..!  And for Coach DeBoer and Coach Tortorella, it's hello douche bag!  Good to see you again.
After last season's Eastern Conference championship round, the Rangers/Devils rivalry should be full steam ahead again.  For now, the Devils hold sway.  As of Monday, Newark has eleven points and sits in second place of the Atlantic Division behind Pittsburgh.  The Rangers have eight points and find themselves in fourth place just ahead of Philadelphia.

 Since 1982-1983, the Rangers and Devils have met 218 times during the regular season.
The Rangers enjoy a slight advantage in the all-time series.
N.J. Devils; W-90 L-94 T-27 OL-7 Pts.-214 Goals-659
N.Y. Rangers; W-101 L-84 T-27 OL-6 Pts.-235 Goals-722
New York Rangers: Mike Rupp Exiled To The Wild of Minnesota for Pair of Younger Forwards.

It's a new season.  But I'm sure there is no love lost between the two coaches.  Only now Torts has a problem on his hands.  The former Devil, Mike Rupp, is now a former Blueshirt as well.  The New York Rangers parted with their second top fighter from last season.  Mike Rupp was traded to the Minnesota Wild.  It was a good pick-up by the Wild, as Rupp will give them size and toughness at no real tangible cost.  The Rangers get younger, but not much else.  That leaves Coach Torts with Stu Bickel and Aaron Asham as his top glove droppers.

This Rangers dilemma is still evolving.  But I'd still like to think my incessant complaining over Mike Rupp this season precipitated this trade.  As if...but I am definitely enjoying a bit of validation when this blog said A) - this roster needs definite tinkering at forward, and B) - Mike Rupp needed to go.  The ice time he was getting was preposterous.  Last season, Brandon Prust led the team with twenty fights.  Rupp was second on the team with twelve.  Stu Bickel was third with six fights.  Prust, and now Rupp, are gone.
In return for the big lumbering Mike Rupp, the Wild will be sending the Rangers centerman Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri.  Powe is six years younger that Rupp, and is a defensive minded forward. As with Rupp, the Rangers shouldn't expect any scoring out of this kid.  He is also about thirty pounds lighter than Mike Rupp too.  Palmieri is twenty-three years old, and plays right wing.  Palmieri most likely seems headed to Connecticut.  And word on NHL Network is Darroll Powe will join him.  Upon the trade, the Rangers also called-up J.T. Miller and Brandon Mashinter.

The Rangers responded nicely to getting beat rather handily by Pittsburgh last Thursday.  The Penguins' effort was in itself unspectacular.  That means the Rangers were down right pathetic suffering through a 3-0 loss.  But then against the Lightning in Tampa, the Rangers held on to a 3-2 lead to give back-up goalie Martin Biron the win in his first start of the season.  Rick Nash scored his second goal of the season and continues to be the Rangers best player.  I want to see him be a little more greedy with the puck and shoot more.  Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers with five goals.  And an unlikely Taylor Pyatt is second with three goals this season.

 *   *   *   *

New Jersey Devils: David Clarkson And Steve Bernier Overshadowing Ilya Kovalchuk.

In the early going of the post Zach Parise era, David Clarkson has stepped up to fill the dreaded scoring void.  He has five goals in eight games, and nine points in all.  Clarkson scored a career high thirty goals last season.  Right now he is operating at an accelerated pace.  I tend to believe as Clarkson goes, so go the Devils.  Steve Bernier is second on the club with three goals.  Ilya Kovalchuk is still stuck on two.  The Devils recently played four straight games that went into overtime.  They lost three times and dropped one in shoot-out.  This is a very short season.  If Ilya doesn't find his form of just two or three years ago quickly, the Devils will find themselves on the losing side of many more overtime sessions to come.  They rank among the bottom fourth in conference scoring.  However, some things about the Devils never change.  Only two Eastern Conference teams have allowed less goals than Newark.  Within the division.., none.

Newark and back-up goalie Johan Hedberg are coming off a shut-out victory over the Islanders - a game which halted a streak of four games without a win.  Prior to the Isles, the Devils suffered their first regulation time defeat of the season to the Penguins.

In game two of the season against Philadelphia, Martin Brodeur extended two of his all-time NHL records.  In addition to earning his all-time leading 658th career win, he also recorded his all-time leading 120th career shut-out.  Also of note, with a goal and two assists in game four of the season against Montreal, Patrick Elias scored his all-time franchise leading 900th point of his Devils career.


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