Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Roundup/Gamenight: Devils @ Caps

[AP Preview - Preview]

Uh oh. Here come the Devils and... Scott Clemmensen?

Perhaps Lou Lamoriello went to Brent Sutter and said, "Give this start to Clemmensen. I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks." Or not.

If you're not familiar with Clemmensen, here's a look at the 31-year-old's career stats (he has actually played in three games against the Caps, starting two, and going 1-1-0/2.61/.893).

If you're not familiar with why Kevin Weekes isn't starting, here's a look at his stats on the season (plus, the two were likely going to split this home-and-home series anyway).

And if you're not familiar with why Martin Brodeur isn't starting, well, you've probably been living under a rock for two weeks. Since Brodeur went down with his elbow injury (and took my fantasy team with him), the Devils have gone 1-4, scoring just eight goals and giving up 15.

On the season, the Devils have had trouble scoring goals (especially on the power play) and have one of the League's worst penalty kills. And they're 0-4-2 when outshot. And they're banged up. And since I should probably talk about the Caps at some point in this post, here's an interesting stat from Simply Sensational:
The New Jersey Devils are the only team in the Eastern Conference that Alex Ovechkin has not had a multi-point game against.
Prediction: that ends tonight.

These are two points for the Caps' taking - go get 'em, boys.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

The Caps may be "the very model of a modern rebuild," but I can't help but wonder what might have been had they ended up with Cam Barker in 2004 instead of AO.... Hey, it's been a while since we saw a Michael Nylander-to-Chicago rumor, so this quenches that insatiable thirst.... Quoth the Maven: "[H]as anyone noticed that [Brent] Johnson is better than Washington's alleged No.1 Jose Theodore?" No, Stan. No one. You're the first. Really.... For some reason, the Sports Guy lumps winning a Division in the NHL in with leading the WNBA in attendance. Oh, I know the reason - so he can crap on D.C.... Since we love gambling (but only wager M&M's), we love some of these prop bets. For example: Number of 2008-09 Southeast Division Playoff Teams, over/under set at 1.5. Whaddya got?... Simeon Varlamov will be between the pipes for da Bears tonight.... I couldn't possibly dig this post any more. Go there and click on every link, especially my personal fave (this is the end, beautiful friend).... Finally, potentially-to-likely NSFW depending upon where you work (via Four Habs Fans via Habs Fan in NYC): We're all Canadiens fans today, I'd say.


The Peerless said...

So THAT'S what Jim Morrison did before his gig with The Doors


1) That guy looks like Jim Morrison AFTER the Doors!

HotDog88GT said...

Here's hoping both parts of the Caps' game show up: goaltending and scoring.

b.orr4 said...

That photo montage is just another reason why Montreal is my favorite North American city.

Anonymous said...


Did you see what Sutter said comparing Ovechkins and Parises in the same sentence. What a laugher!

JP said...

Here's the passage to which Anon is referring (with an added bonus paragraph of prologue). I'll leave it to you guys to accept or reject it:

I asked Sutter, which Alex was more scary right now.

"They're both pretty good," Sutter said. "They're both pretty good players. I don't think if I were Semin I would have made those remarks about Sidney Crosby like he did, but he's definitely a very good player and Ovechkin, we all know how good he is.

"You look at the young players in the league and you can put Zach (Parise) in that category now. There's some pretty elite forwards at that level with the Ovechkins, the Crosbys, the (Evgeni) Malkins, the Parises, the (Ryan) Getzlafs. You could go on and on."

b.orr4 said...

Never believe what a coach says, least of all a Sutter. He's in a desperate spot right now because the Devils are being exposed for the mediocre team they truly are without Brodeur. For the past 15 years, Lou Lamarillo has been the league's resident genius (although I doubt many "geniuses" would have given Zubrus a 6 year, $20.4 million contract). Let's see how smart he is now that he has to play without the best goalie in the game.

b.orr4 said...

This just in, Nylander is scratched for tonight's game. Speculate away.

JP said...

Related to b's comments, in some ways, this injury is really a good thing to have happened to Brodeur - after the next three months, I don't think many of his detractors will still be able to cling to their "he's just the product of a system" argument. This injury is making people realize how great Brodeur is and has been in ways that not even the multiple Vezinas can.

NS said...

what the deuce...Nylander?


tg said...

Nylander's scratch isn't unexpected (to me). They've got a back-to-back, and three games in four days. If Fedorov had been healthy I would have thought that they would have had one play tonight and the other tomorrow for just that reason.

And although it may seem laughable, I would put Parise up there. OK, he may not be as good a scorer as Ovechkin, Semin, Malkin, etc., but he's a pretty good player and if he were in a better system/surrounded by more talent, I think his point total would increase dramatically.

jason said...

Thanks for mentioning the Simmons thing, since it bothered me. I see nothing wrong with division championship banners. There is, however, something extremely wrong with banners saying "Attendance Champions". Those things are a disgrace. If they just said "Best Attendance" or something, they would be merely sad, and not confrontational.

And um, don't trade Nylander until it's necessary for cap reasons to keep our good young players. Or unless something good and cheap comes back.

DMG said...

I'll take the under on the southeast division. Florida, Atlanta, and Tampa have no chance and I think Carolina's odds are less than 50/50

Richard said...

Thanks for the link JP!

I'd bet the under right now. No team except for the Caps looks even close to a top 8 team right now.

wittcap79 said...

Has he been traded yet?

JP said...

@ wittcap:

Per Tarik...

As you've probably seen by now, Michael Nylander will be a healthy scratch tonight against Devils.

Nylander had already left the dressing room by the time I got there, but I can say that this move has been under consideration for a few games now. Nylander has one assist in the past seven games and has taken only five shots in that span, with three of them coming in the same game.

Coach Bruce Boudreau would only say that Nylander is getting a "rest" tonight. But anyone who has watched the past few games has seen Nylander struggle a bit. His effort level, at times, has also seemed to be lacking. I remember one play in particular against Carolina when he was stripped of the puck as he got the Capitals' blue line, and he didn't fight very hard to get it back.

Boudreau can say that he's only getting a "rest", but I'm sure he saw that play, too.

I also know that some folks out there will see this as more evidence that the Caps are contemplating trading Nylander. I'm not going to say that he's never going to be traded, but there are two things that must be considered here: Nylander has a no trade clause in his contract, and he's not playing well for a team that is deep at center.

Usually Frustrated Caps Fan said...

Re: Sutter's comments - I think he just basically said that while he wouldn't have said what Semin did; he agrees with him and then made a case for Zach P to be in the mix. I don't feel that's a slight or outrageous by any means.

Re: Marty Brodeur - I agree, perhaps the greatest hockey goalie of all time and this "product of the system" garbage will be dead by the time his elbow is okay. I say unless there is a problem with the surgery and healing process he'll have ALL the goalie records before he hangs 'em up.


Sombrero Guy said...

*Superfast defenseman Mike Green has a new nickname -- "Lambo-Greenie", in honor of his new ride. Not sure who coined it, but that's one of the best nicknames I've heard"

pretty funny, from Tarik's most recent post

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

1) Parise - LOL

2) Banners - I don't take particular pride in division championship banners, in my humble opinion it should only be Conference and Cup banners.

2a) The fact that the WNBA even exists is a joke.

3) Nylander - JP I know you are drooling. My question is, who exactly are we going to get for him that is more useful? Sure he is scratched tonight but what if Feds goes down for a couple months? The Caps should keep him as fresh as possible for the playoffs.

JP said...

@ Mac:

Re: Division banners, they meant more when there were four Divisions. Winning the Patrick Division back in the day meant something (albeit regular season success plus 75 cents will get you a can of Coke).

Re: Nylander - Why would I be drooling? For the most part, I've been outspoken against the idea of trading him, but would support a move, of course, if it made the team better (and that might be via freeing up enough salary to upgrade a spot on the D from within).

HotDog88GT said...

I was a Canadiens fan last night but they let me down by looking like an AHL team in Boston. And someone needs to put Milan Lucic down (if that's even possible). Komisarek went with him last night - I don't know where Laraque was, or what the Habs are paying him for.

As far a Nylander goes, I think his shoulder is not 100%. He's been invisible for awhile now

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

JP - only drooling at the prospect of being right to keep bring up the issue when others were dismissing you.

I'm really conflicted on Nylander. I like the security he adds via depth. But I'm not really seeing play that couldn't be duplicated by a younger player with that 4.8mil a year off our books.