Test 1: A Victory in Defeat


Last night, the Devils fell to the rival Flyers 4-3 in a shootout. Sadly, I have no idea about the specifics of what happened in the game. The game was blacked out in my area. However, I am aware of some of the positives and negatives of the game.

Lets start with the positives:

1) It is a preseason game. This game was unimportant and, at the end of the day, meaningless. Nobody is going to remember this loss when the season starts

2) The Devils scored three goals WITHOUT their top line. Zajac Parise and Kovalchuk were all scratched from the game. This probably comes from the fact that this line might be set in stone for the beginning of the season. When you take out two point per game players and the top center on your team, you are going to lose offense. The fact the Devils were able to score three goals without these players is impressive if not remarkable.Even if you account for the absence of Pronger, one man cannot account for the top three players on the team and two of the top fifteen players in the NHL.

3) The Devils held the Flyers to only three goals (excluding the shootout point) despite missing their top defenseman in Anton Volchenkov and starting goaltender Martin Brodeur. The Devils defense is on a totally different level with these two in the lineup.

4) Alexander Urbom and Henrik Tallinder both got two points and seem to be a good pair for the season. With Tallinder mentoring Urbom like he did with rookie of the year Tyler Myers, Urbom might develop into a star for the Devils.

5) Jacob Josefson centered a strong line with Zubrus and Clarkson and was a plus one. Zubrus scored the goal and Clarkson got the assist on the lines point.

Now to the negatives:

1) They lost. Nothing much else to say here it is an unimportant game but they did lose

2) Hedberg struggled a bit in the game. He gave up 2 goals on 13 shots. However, this is just a “warm up” game and I am sure the veteran Hedberg will recover from the game

3) Salvador was statistically horrible and brought down Andy Greene. He was a minus two and had a holding penalty in OT. His trade value does not look good right now

4) The two original A line members, Arnott and Elias, were a minus one. However, Langenbrunner did score a goal for the line.

5) The Devils could not score more goals on a Pronger-less defense. I think Pronger will struggle this year, but he is still the Flyers best defenseman.

Push: Zubrus scored a goal. This is good in the fact that he helped on the third line and that his trade value might go up, but that makes it even harder if we have to let him go due to the cap.

Grade: B+. They were essentially missing their top 5 players and almost won. But Salvador struggled mightily and brought down Greene. The A Line was not magical but only decent.  Hedberg struggled somewhat. And they did lose. However, three goals without possibly the top line in the NHL (Probably behind the Sedin Line in Vancouver and Ovechkin’s line in Washington), is remarkable.  I really look forward to this season. If the Devils can take on a full Flyers team, with the exception of Pronger and Leino, without the top five players on the team, they will definitely be very competitive not only against a playoff team like the Flyers, but will be one of the top teams in the league.

If you have any questions or comments, email me at benfeder@gmail.com