Stefan Matteau Sent Back To Albany Plus Many Other Moves Made


This morning surely wasn’t devoid of news surrounding the New Jersey Devils. One of the moves made by Lou Lamoriello was sending young winger Stefan Matteau back to Albany. Matteau was called up earlier in the week when the Devils were short on forwards, but he oddly did not dress for any of the games. It makes no sense why they would call up someone from the minors, have him practice, not play at all and then send him back down. It’s almost exactly what happened to Keith Kinkaid earlier in the year when he was promoted in place of Scott Clemmensen and then didn’t start a game, although he did appear twice in garbage time. It would have been nice to see Matteau play, but that didn’t happen.

Don’t worry, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more news to follow.

They’re Baaaaack

Patrik Elias, Martin Havlat and Michael Ryder are all probable for tonight’s game against Montreal. Elias and Ryder both had the mumps while Havlat was just ill. Elias and Havlat skated on a line with Travis Zajac, which makes sense. However, Ryder found himself on the third line with… wait for it… Adam Henrique and Mike Cammalleri. The Devils put their leading point producer and leading goal scorer on the third line with a guy who hasn’t scored since last year (sorry I had to, Happy New Year by the way). But seriously, Ryder hasn’t scored since the beginning of November and it’s a real question why he’s still on the team at this point. Maybe he’ll turn it around, we’ll see.

Dec 20, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) shoots the puck while defended by New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26) and right wing Martin Havlat (9) during the third period at Prudential Center. The Capitals defeated the Devils 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Joltin’ Joe

Poor, poor Joe Whitney. This is how one gets treated when they produce goals – back to the minors! Lamoriello said Whitney got caught in the numbers game, but that’s not good enough. Whitney barely got any ice time on Wednesday in Detroit, 7:44 to be exact, and he managed to score the lone goal for the Devils. It was a beautiful wrister that beat Jimmy Howard clean. Whitney has dominated the AHL level and just showed he has at least some ability in the NHL. I would much rather have Whitney get a real look, or even Matteau, or how about Reid Boucher, than give Michael Ryder another minute of ice time. It hasn’t been announced – they’re waiting to make sure everyone is truly healthy – but it appears Whitney is headed back to Albany with Matteau. It’s possible that Whitney could be re-called, but even if he is, will he get more than fourth line time? Probably not.

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S-o Long Mike

Mike Sislo, not to be confused with Tim Sestito, was waived this morning so he could be sent back to Albany. It seems like one of the S-o boys gets demoted or promoted daily. Today, Sislo got the bad news. With all the healthy bodies coming back for the Devils, there was just no room for him. Sislo isn’t a terrible player, but he’s nothing more than a replacement fourth liner. He’s got enough speed and skill to play in the NHL, but he was given far too great of a role last game playing with Cammalleri and Zajac. Sislo will most-likely clear waivers and take his familiar spot in Albany.

More Mumps?

Eric Gelinas missed practice this morning, and no he was not traded. Gelinas was simply ill. At this point, there are no symptoms of the mumps, but with them going around it’s impossible to rule it out. The Devils have already had a plethora of players come down with the mumps such as Elias, Ryder, Zajac and Adam Larsson. Let’s hope it’s just the flu (never thought that would be a “good” thing) so that Gelinas can return as soon as possible. The Devils miss his booming shot whenever he’s out of the lineup – which was almost a ritual for former coach Peter DeBoer – and the power play usually struggles. Maybe this means Adam Larsson will get a shot on the power play now, but who am I kidding? It will be Peter Harrold and Jon Merrill.

Serious Injury Avoided

When Steve Bernier crumpled to the ice last game, it seemed certain he would miss an extended period of time. Luckily, that’s not the case. Apparently, Bernier just struck a nerve and had his leg go dead. He was able to practice today, but it’s unlikely the Devils will dress him. More likely is the Devils will run out a fourth line of Tuomo Ruutu and Jordin Tootoo flanking Sestito. Bernier has played surprisingly well this season, far better than last year. I still think it would have made more sense to bring Ryan Carter back instead, but Bernier has done quite well especially when playing in a fourth line role with Stephen Gionta who is currently out of commission with a broken hand.

Next: 2014 NJ Devils Year in Review