2001 Stanely Cup Champions vs. 2001 Stanley Cup Runners Up.
ZOMG!!! LIVING IN THE PAST!!!! Guess how much I care?????????? Zero. Go fuck yourself Devils. Boom. Another “fuck” story for the 2015 ranking BoC. #FuckFilter
Okay on to hockey.
TANGENT 1: I only got the game with 17 minutes left in the 1st because I could find MSG 68 or whatever the hell it was. Stupid Time Warner. You are almost as bad as SB Nation.
At 16 minutes I didn’t even know the shot totals because I had to watch the stupid Devils feed. Chico is without a doubt the worst color man in the world. I would have LOVED to know how the Avs were playing. Too bad.
TANGENT 2: I will give MSG 832 some credit, the HD feed was nice.
At about 15 minutes left, the game was choppy. I would love to know the shot totals. EVEN IF IT’S FUCKING 0 TO 0! JUST TELL ME SOMETHING.
SHIT I FORGOT A DRINKING UPATE.
Drinking Update: I started a while ago with cocktails. I think I started with a Rob Roy. Now it’s now. Well now is when I am writing, so it will be then once you read this, instead of now. Anyway. I am drinking Balblair 2001. Those brave commenters who dare to read my usual daily drivel, know I rave about this.
Okay back to hockey. The Devils have some speed for sure. Surprisingly so from what I had seen earlier this year. 8 minutes in the Devils looked like they had some pressure, but Holden did a great job neutralizing his man and MacKinnon took the puck and used his speed to get a good chance.
On the next shift, a good face off “win??” by the Devils that led to a steal by Malone, a pass to Bordy, and a nice pass to O’Reilly who was open in front. Guess what? Top shelf. Another FUCKING goal for a member of team Slap Fight. 1-0. Oh yeah, it was O’Reilly who scored, not Duchene. Duchene will never score again.
TANGENT 3: I THOUGHT BORDY ONLY PUNCHED PEOPLE AND TOOK UP A ROSTER SPOT?????????? Morons. Not that he deserves to start every game, but it’s moronic to me say he wastes a roster spot and is just a face puncher.
TANGENT 4: The Devils announcers on MSG 7320 might kill me. They are awful. Just awful.
At 9:31, Bordy almost killed a dude. A perfect clean, arms down hit. The Devils started to look a little tentative after that. However, on the next shift, the Devils had a great chance but lo and behold, Varly came up huge. Then they hit a post. Silly Devils. Of note, Benoit has made a few great plays this period. He has a very active stick and uses that to his advantage where his size might be lacking. That is absolutely a staple of Roy’s system.
At 7:40 in the 1st, the Devils took a penalty. That’s right, exactly 7:40. That’s called accuracy motherfuckers. The 1st minute of the powerplay was atrocious. Johnson looks a little slow and that’s fine, he was hurt. I am sure people are currently flipping a shit, but oh well. Eventually the 2nd unit got “some” possession, it was weak, but Barrie almost scored in the waning (Y NO WAXING?) seconds.
Talbot, Cliché, and McLeod had a very good shift. Personally, I think that is your 4th line if the Avs make the playoffs.
TANGENT 5: Zubrus is a stupid last name.
With 2 minutes left, I know it’s a small play but I love defense; Holden made a great pinch. It was not a pinch to take possession or even maintain possession, but he pinched to stall the breakout. Nothing more and a very sophisticated play. If you get a chance to watch again, look for it.
With two second left, Duchene made another, patented(?), cross ice backhand to Johnson who got a good shot. Period over.
Systems Update: This was a very structured period. The Avs didn’t blaze around the ice, but they had consistent breakouts with speed, but for the bad powerplay, and some good pressure. The defense did a very good job keeping the Devils to the side and only had a few breakdown that led to chances, but nothing too scary.
About 2 minutes in, Hejda has a great hip check. They called in submarining on the stupid MSG 67923, but I don’t think it was that low. A good surge by the Avs followed, but they could not score. Namaste. That’s what it means right?
4 minutes in MacKinnon makes an easy steal and whistles it by the net and almost gets the sharp angle rebound/pass. Chico Resch (the worst color man in NHL history) commented on how “he’s not sure if it’s by design but the Avs won’t let the Devils get the puck to the point.” Yeah, you fucking moron, of course that’s by design. The Devils are small and slow down low and Roy clearly wants to prevent high % shots, so keeping the puck low in the corners is their plan. Fucking idiots.
TANGENT 6: Johnson looks better. Also in this tangent is how Resch is talking about the defense for the Devils getting involved. They haven’t yet because it’s THE FUCKING GAME PLAN FROM THE COACH WHO BEAT YOUR LEGENDARY GOALIE.
8 minutes in, Barrie makes a great pinch and the puck finds its way to MacKinnon who looked in disbelief that he didn’t score. That spurned another good shift, led mostly by Johnson. Surprise, surprise.
Just after halfway through the 2nd, Henrique drew a penalty. Honestly, it shouldn’t have been one. Not because it wasn’t a penalty, but because that never should have happened. The puck should have been moved to the far side defenseman. Stupid play by the Avs. The first minute was great for the Avs, they kept the Devils in their won zone and with 30 seconds left, O’Reilly makes a great steal and O’Reilly almost had a breakaway. Gelinas takes Radar down and the Avs get a power player.
The Avs could not convert, but got great pressure. The same lineup had a few great chances at even strength, but no luck. Mitchell’s line followed that up with another good shift and with that Talbot drew another penalty. This is kills time for the Avs.
TANGENT 7: MSG 8510236 only advertises for MSG. It’s a little weird. And circle-jerky.
TANGENT 8: I just saw McGinn’s nice hit. That was nice.
Okay, and it was power play time. JUST FUCKING SCORE DUCHENE! Well he almost did. Duchene ripped a shot off the post and then Landeksog almost killed Schneider. Also, dumbass Resch just said, and I quote, “Duchene missed but I am not sure if it was inside the post that Schneider wouldn’t have had it.” Really you piece of shit? Really? Holy hell. Powerplay ended with nothing. Good movement, not good goaling.
TANGENT 9: Colorado outshooting the Devils by a 2 to 1 margin. Hi In Lou We Trust!! Hi irony!!!!!
With a minute left, the worst person I have ever heard talk, Chico Resch in case you were wondering, just tried to will a penalty on the Avs. Yeah, no. Period over.
Systems Update 2: The Avs played a great period. They didn’t score, but they basically neutered (see what I did there?) the Devils. They have very few chances, only one on a nice play by Henrique actually. The puck was rarely pinned in their zone and the Avs defense got out of the zone quickly. The man-to-man system really shows how smothering it can be when it is performed well. What I really noticed is how low Duchene and Mitchell played when they came back. Lower than usual and I think this is the defensive system Roy wants in these games. This is similar to the LA game that Roy raved about. I expect the Devils to come out with more speed in the 3rd, so Roy better get his team up and ready.
Drinking Update: It’s continuing.
FUCK. 34 seconds in and the Devils got a shot. The Avs suck. Oh wait, I forgot they have to go in. I must have been confused by people on the internet. And it took two periods, but the Devils announcers finally mentioned Seth Jones. Back to hockey, the Devils came out with more energy. That was exected and the Avs settled it down. Duchene had a great shift and almost snuck one by Schneider and then somehow twisted his body behind the net to get another chance. No goals though. DAMNIT!!!! The Devils then got another shot, 3rd of the period.
TANGENT Something: WE IZ TORONTO OF THE WEST RIGHTZ?
3 minutes in and the Avs took a penalty. A tough call for the Avs and it was a big one. This was one of those game changing events. Or at least it could have been. Talbot had a great steal but he’s not fast enough for a breakaway. Or he’s not fast enough compared to the supersonic Avs team. I dunno. Well the Devils were getting a lot of shots. Tons and all bombs from Greene it seems. However, Varly stood tall, I mean he is 6’2, and the Devils couldn’t score. But their shot total is getting higher and they were getting space, which is the key for most teams, but especially a lower zone playing team like the Devils.
TANGENT Whatever: anyone who insults Sgarbossa can go fuck themselves.
7 minutes in, Elias gets a breakway and Varly comes up fucking huge. It was a broken play to be fair, but still a breakdown by the Avs. I was typing that the Avs needed to get pressure and my god did Duchene give it. He had two great chances, made a great play to feed O’Reilly twice. Holden then kept the puck in and got it low to Duchene who did his whole “I am quicker then everyone thing” and almost snuck the wraparound in. Great pressure seemed to continue by the Avs. I am going to assume now that Roy will follow this up with Landy’s line to keep pressure. I am I right?? Check in later to see.
I’m not right. Duchene stayed out. But man has he looked dangerous. Now he’s off and I imagine Landy’s line would come next. Nope. Okay. I give up.
Back to hockey.
Drinking Update: Yes.
Back to hockey. The Devils finally got on the board. The Devils got some great movement and completely broke down the Avs system. No one was on Loktionov and Varly could not get over in time. 1-1 tie.
The Devils started buzzing a lot after the goal, expectedly. The Devils had some good chances but Duchene’s line came right back and almost scored. God that line looks good. Missing Stastny is evident right now, Mitchell can’t run the 2nd line.
The game became manic for about 4 minutes and you could start to see the Avs enjoyed the pace. They began to push the speed of play. The period started to fly by. Mitchel had a two on one with MacKinnon and instead of passing to one of the Avs best scorer, he shot and missed. Then the Devils came right back after and AWFUL, AWFUL turnover by Wilson. Varly was sharp and Bernier sent the puck behind Varly, but just wide. The Devils have 18 shots this period. Not good Avs, not fucking good.
Now Chico Resch is just making shit up. SHUT THE FUCK UP. With under 30 seconds left, Duchene got another great chance. The game ends tied at 1 and the Avs headed overtime. Great to get a point, but the Avs need to put teams away. They were also missing half their top 6 to be fair.
JUST PLAY BARRIE. Sorry. Zubrus fucking ran Varly. SHUT UP CHICO. He ran Varly. Then MacKinnon had another great chance. After a great few chances by the Avs, a Devil just threw a blatant pick and Clowe could have had a good shot if he didn’t suck.
After some good aggressive play by EJ, the Devils got a great 2 on 1. Jagr had a nice one timer and guess what happened. Varly robbed his Hall of Fame ass. O’Reilly and Duchene had a 2 on 1 with 20 seconds left but the Devils defenseman did a great job to block the pass to Duchene. O’Reilly had to shoot and Schneider stopped him. On to the shootout.
Avs Shooter 1: Duchene. SCORE!
Devils Shooter 1: Elias. SAVE!! HOLY SHIT WHAT A SAVE.
Avs Shooter 2: MacKinnon. SAVE. L
Devils Shooter 2: Henrique. MISSED. Tried to sneak it blocker side. Varly never moved.
Avs Shooter 3: O’Reilly. SCORE! GAME FUCKING OVER. Boom.
Devils Shooter 3: Zidlicky
TANGENT I have no idea: Varly sitting on bench during the Avs shooting is hilarious. I love our crazy ass goalie.
Summary: Great 1st and 2nd but the 3rd was rough. I would not call it turtling so much as the Devils playing lights out. The Avs system breaks down when the other team pushes in desperation. Pushing through desperation I think is different than pushing with skill and systems. (see Devils tonight vs. Chicago last game). The Avs’ system adjust to skill pressure but seems to falter a but under manic pressure. Something to fix by April. In the end, 2 points are all that matter.
Here that noise Chicago? Yeah, that’s the Avs. Hear that noise Minnesota? Nope, because you are so fucking far behind the Avs, you might as well take a pit stop and try again next year.
3rd Whore: O’Reilly: Aside from the 1 goal and clearly the shootout winner, he played great. He and Duchene were just on fire tonight.
2nd Whore: Varly: He was fantastic. He had one amazing save and stopping 37 was of course great. He’s just so got damn solid every night.
1st Whore: Duchene: As good as Varly was, Duchene ran the ice. He was a little floaty in the 1st, but he took over the game. In more ways that the score-sheet will ever say. Without Stastny to run the second line, the Devils focused solely on him. He still found space and created mayhem. The slump will end soon I think.