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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Must not overhype, must not overhype

The New Jersey Devils are a mess right now. Last week, they dressed only 16 players for a game and have been skating three lines of forwards due to various injuries.

It is also October so the NHL season hasn't even begun unless you're a serious puckhead or NHL fantasy fan.

Nonetheless, seeing the Bruins (2-1) absolutely smoke the Devils (1-4-1) 4-1 last night in beautiful Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center was one of the highlights of my weekend (and I had a great one, thanks for asking).

Where to start? For the second straight game, Tim Thomas looked like the Tim Thomas of two seasons ago (the Vezina Trophy winner) vs. the 2009 version that was a shaky backup for young stud Tuukka Rask.

Boston was off for almost a week as they recovered from their European working vacation but Thomas is already in mid-season form, turning aside 31 shots by the Devils to improve to 2-0-0.

The B's also featured four different goal-scorers, who found the back of the net in a four-goal spurt that covered less than 13 minutes in the second period.

Dainius Zubrus gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead 3:45 into the second frame assisted by Zach Parise and Andy Greene but less than two minutes later, Jordan Caron scored his first NHL goal (helper to Johnny Boychuk). It was not highlight worthy, a simple rebound from the dirty area around the net, but it worked for a 20-year-old guy who wasn't supposed to make the team this season (or at least right out of camp).

The phantom that is Michael Ryder made an appearance and scored his first of the season, thanks to a gorgeous assist from stud Tyler Seguin and Mark Recchi.

Boston's fourth line (or energy/checking line) kept the good times rolling with the third even strength goal of the period, by Shawn Thornton. He showed some good skill, stickhandling in the New Jersey zone and past Martin Brodeur (31 saves but finally slowing down). Gregory Campbell and Brad Marchand assisted on Thornton's tally.

Finally, Milan Lucic got his second goal of the season with 1:51 left in the second period. His top linemates of David Krejci and Nathan Horton were credited with assists. Looks like Looch might have his scoring touch back after it was completely absent last season (due to numerous nagging injuries).

Boston outshot New Jersey 11-7 in the third period (and 35-32 for the game) but it was a scoreless final 20 minutes.

This sets up a nice home and home with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday in the nation's capital and Thursday night at the Garden for the 2010 home opener (which I will be at, WOOOOOOOOOO!).

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