1) We lost all three games thus far. A loss is a loss, just like a win is a win.
2) The games lost were winable.
3) The games lost was lost due to losing the lead late in the game and coming up short in overtime or the shoot out (although that wasn't Josefson's fault, the Flyers rookie netminder had a strong showing that night). A trend carried over from last season that HAS GOT TO STOP.
4) That said, the Devils special teams HAVE GOT to get their stuff together and improve.
5) If the Devils didn't get burnt with penalties so much, the special teams wouldn't have been as much of a factor, unless it was a powerplay, which the Devils also HAVE TO IMPROVE ON.
Especially when we play the Rangers and Flyers (but mostly the Rangers)
The Devils absolutely CANNOT LET AVERY (and anyone else for that matter) GET UNDER THEIR SKIN. There is no shame in ignoring the bullpoop and ignoring the instigators from the Rangers, especially when we have the lead and need to protect it. Is it not enough to prove themselves with their game? There's a time and place for fighting and we chose all the wrong times to pick our spots, due to the lack of disapline last game.
Coach MacLean needs to find a way to cool his teams heels when things start getting heated, because losing focus and momentum is something Avery wants and something the Devils can never afford to do.
1) Despite the loses, all three games were one goal games.
2) Also, the Devils don't have an issue with their offense, as in each game they scored more than two goals. Given time, the Devils could easily be one of the highest scoring teams in the league.
3) If one looks at the other teams preseason games, the end results have not been as close, and good teams have lost a few already on a wide margin.
4) Our rookies...in fact, I have some comments about a few of them: Urbom, Josefson, Corrente, Taormina, Tedenby, Sestito, Gionta, and Frazee and Mckenna.
a) Urbom: I was right to have high expectations for this kid, and so was the Devils organization. Not only is this guy an incredible defenseman for his age (19) but he also has much potiental as far as puck moving ability goes. With a little time to adjust to the NHL game, and being paired with veteran defensemen, I believe he will grow into the puck mover the Devils have been searching for. Also, since we also have Andy Greene in addition to Urbom, Paul Martin will not be missed.
b) Josefson: This guy's a tenacious center and he is another example of an excellent player for his age. It also helps that he's had experience playing with full grown men in the Swedish league and he has a very similar hunger for the puck that Zach Parise has. I do believe he needs to be a little more selfish when it comes to taking shots, although that will come as his confidence grows, but given time we'll see him develop into a quite a formidable two way player. I wouldn't be surprised to see him crack the line up as a third or fourth line center.
c) Corrente: Guy has snarl and can HIT. He reminds me very much of White before his eye injury (that's my opinion). A downside is he tends to put himself out of position to make a hit, but it's something as a rookie he needs to work on. Still very impressed with him, and it was satisfying to see him take out a Flyer NHL regular.
d) Taormina: Wow. Guy definitely has the potiental to be a very capable offensive defenseman. That was a beautiful goal he scored in the last game as well.
e) Tedenby: Although he could benefit from a season in the AHL, his speed is very rare, and I'd like to think his performance in the game he played was mostly due to nerves. When he gets going, I'd like to see what he's capable of; I don't think the game he played was indicative of his ability to play at the NHL level, but we'll see soon enough hopefully.
f) Sestito: Very tenacious going into the opponents end and got a few shots on goal the last game, loved the hunger he showed. Would like to see him in another game.
g) Gionta: Looks like he could very well develop into a player similar to his brother, I'm very excited to see how he develops and if he can become as good as a player as his brother is.
h) Jeff Frazee and Mike Mckenna, respectively: Frazee looked very good in the period he played versus the Rangers, in the second preseason game. He positioned himself very well, responded well to high pressure situations and was able to keep his composure. There wasn't much he could do about Gaborik's overtime goal, although I'd like to think Broduer would've been able to stop it. Also, he did not look out of place at the NHL level. I believe his near fatal injury in the minors set him back a bit and put him in a prolonged slump. Lowell/Albany couldn't wait for him to get back on his feet, so they gave the starting position to Mckenna, who was consistant on his game, however, I believe Frazee has much potiental and is probably more worthy to be the third string goalie than Mckenna. It needs to be said that I'm not taking anything away from Mckenna; he also played well in the first preseason game. But the reason I say Frazee is more deserving of the third string NHL Devils spot is that Frazee responds better to pressure and doesn't seem to get frazzled, very much like Broduer himself. Mckenna found himself out of position in the Devils/Flyers shoot out, and even though he fared somewhat well, he allowed himself to get frazzled with nerves and it was obvious it messed up his game. If Frazee was in net that game, the shoot out may have turned out differently in my opinion.
A disappointment as far as rookies go; Henrique. To be honest I thought he was definitely a favorite for a roster position on the Devils roster, but I guess the coaching staff saw it differently. It could be that they need someone dependable to play for Albany or Trenton and figured it could only help with Henrique's development. After all, even though the minors is mostly a place for future NHLers to develop, you also want to get to that league's playoffs. Henrique can definitely help with that at the AHL level.
5) The Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk line. At first I wasn't keen on putting all our eggs in one basket, so to speak, but this line is proving to be quite dynamic and capable of putting up points. In the past two games, this line built up enough momentum to change the game, which is a major plus. Also, I was right in thinking all Kovalchuk needed was a full training camp and regular season to be much more effective for the Devils than he was last season.
(as an aside, it also needs to be said that now, it's OBVIOUS Kovalchuk is not a puck hog. He holds onto it a lot, yes, but he's a extremely intelligent player who can help the team by holding onto the puck until there's an opening he can pass too. He's gotten as many assists as goals so far)
6) Andy Greene and Henrik Tallinder: Aside from Urbom, Greene and Tallinder are two another players who can help the fans forget all about Paul Martin, and it was proven in the most recent game with Greene. Tallinder still has much to prove, but he will get better with more playing time.
7) Elias and Arnott: No matter who else is paired with them, they will continue to build their chemistry.
!!!!!!) Thank goodness we have him, that's all I'll say about that.
9) Rolston: If Lou cannot find a way to unload Rolston's salary, it may not hurt so much this year. From the performance we saw last game, Rolston is playing like he's got everything to prove. If he continues playing like that, I have a feeling we'll see a different player from him, than the one we saw last season. The aspect of that too, is that if Rolston proves himself in the preseason and shows he can put up points, he may be looked at more favorablly by other teams, should Lou decide Rolston's the one he wants to deal somewhere.
That's all I can think of for now, but despite losing the last three preseason games, there's no need for worry right now. The Devils will improve their special teams, improve their blueline and learn to cool their heels and improve their disapline.