1st round PLAYOFF MATCHUP – Pens vs Devils? – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

1st round PLAYOFF MATCHUP – Pens vs Devils?

The first of these match-up series was US against the Capitals. But, if everything ended today we’d be matched-up against the New Jersey Devils. So what can we expect with that?

With Martin Brodeur back in net the Devils haven’t lost a stroke. Who would have ever thought we’d ever have said that, eh. But, let’s face it… Scott Clemmensen performed pretty damn well with Brodeur out injured or out prepping for that $500k five-hole decision divorce case based around his wife’s sister. An initial hit of $9 million plus $500k a year (for 20 years) with an additional $132k a year for child support until 2024 can not only lay heavy on one’s mind but also on chants coming from the often wicked fans who show no mercy. Let’s not be the ones that start a “Melanie – Melanie –Melanie” chant, eh.

While on Brodeur, all kidding aside, he is “the key” … Brodeur is a legend and is usually able to cover for any gaps in their defense. On top of that the winningest goalie probably wants to put an exclamation point on the most wins by adding his 4th Stanley Cup. So, his play remains the big key.

I mention the gaps in the defense and there are gaps which is unusual for Devil’s team but their defense is considered to be their main weakness. Paul Martin is one of the games quality defensemen but they just don’t dominate there like in the past and Lou Lamoriello has tried to upgrade a group that makes to many mistakes in their own end.

Martin is underrated, logs a ton of ice time and is used in every situation. He is another key on the team because outside of ‘Marty’ the defense is mostly supporting type players such as Johnny Oduya, Colin White, Bryce Salvador, and Niclas Havelid. That lack of an IMPACT defensemen I think is their biggest weakness but can be covered by a HOT Brodeur… as long as he can keep his mind off his sister-in-law‘s 5-hole.

The Devil’s offense is pretty exciting… and you don’t hear that too often in Devil’s history. Patrik Elias has come back to life and is a proven player player. Zack Parise is everything they hoped for and more. He was thought to be a playmaker but has developed into a legit superstar and has sniper-like qualities… a threat whenever he’s on the ice. Travis Zajac is the playmaker who like Parise came though the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

In terms of depth, New Jersey’s forwards are as deep as any other team in the EAST and have some old retreads veterans such as Bobby Holik, John Madden, Brian Rolston, and Brendan Shanahan who understand and accept their roles.

Brodeur would probably like to play the Canadiens and the management would like that or the NY Rangers who we’d all like. Right now, if it ended today they’d play us and I think either the Penguins and/or Hurricanes would be the Devils biggest hurtle.

What the Devils have is their flexibility to play run and gun or just smother teams with a snoozing trap. As I have said before… I don’t care who we play because no matter what you have to win 16 games someway, somehow. I think any of the top 6 teams can go toe to toe against each other and survive to play another day. The Devil’s I don’t think fear anyone but then again neither do the Pens.

This is DR Hook… carry on.

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  1. March 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Dr Hook, I never said that games were won and lost on stats.

    What I am saying, however, is that the stats are the opposite of your opinion…

    RonMalore, you didn’t really help Dr. Hook, because your observation about increasing shots/against…that’s not true either…

    I would have though one of you would have done some research…

    I dunno if this is going to work…

  2. RBuckle's Gravatar RBuckle
    March 31, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Looking at all the old guys that the Devils added to their roster, I think the much younger Penguins in the new agressive system wear them down in a seven game series, I don’t know what are record is this year against them, but I like our chances against them. I think the emotion in the Washington & Philly games is the only thing that could do in the Pens.

    March 31, 2009 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    @ shoot66

    On any given day one team looks better than another. Last night the NYRAGs look much better than the Devils. The deadline deals by the NYRAGs getting Antropov and Avery. Avery’s speed and hockey sense has always been good enough to play with top-six forward, and his other qualities provide players such as Gomez and Zherdev with the time and space required to shine. The NYRags with King Henry getting hot may be all that the Devils can handle. NJ didn’t do so well against them in last year’s playoffs. For the most part each and every series is a crapshoot. Usually, the best team survives.

  4. Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
    March 31, 2009 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Marty Brodeur was hot on that 9 of 10 winning streak but now it’s 5 losses in a row. He really hasn’t played ‘that’ bad in those 5 games as he has around a .920 SV%. I think DR Hoook is correct about their defense as the last 3 games they’ve given up about 42 SOG. That number has been rising for a while.

  5. March 31, 2009 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The devils pretty exciting offense ranks 12th in the league at 2.93g/g

    Their main weakness, defense, has them ranked 4th in the league with 2.46ga/g

  6. Penguin871's Gravatar Penguin871
    March 30, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    The Devils lost 3-0 to the Rangers tonight, I think they could be one of the easier matchups.

  7. shoot66's Gravatar shoot66
    March 30, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I think the Devils would be the toughest team in east


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