New Jersey Devils got duped by Kovalchuk

 

The hockey world was buzzing Thursday afternoon when New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk officially filed for retirement, though he’s not really retiring. Kovalchuk, 30, had 12 years and $77 million left on his contract and was set to enter the big money years in his contract. The news was stunning but in the big picture it really wasn’t. Kovalchuk’s returning to Russia where he’s expected to sign for around $14 to $15 million a year with SKA of the KHL. Once Kovalchuk strongly considered staying in the KHL this past January when the lockout ended, the Devils had to sense it was only a matter of time before he officially bolted to the KHL for good. That is always the risk with Russian players and it won’t surprise me if Evgeni Malkin at somepoint in the next five to six years decides to go to the KHL for good.Read More »

Post-Game Analysis: Devils play Devils hockey making Penguins pay for miscues, sweeping home and home series

 

NEW JERSEY 3 – PITTSBURGH 1 David Clarkson (9) scored twice and the New Jersey Devils (8-1-3, 19 pts) swept the home and home series, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins (8-5-0, 16 pts), 3-1 on Sunday night at the Consol Energy Center, extending their winning streak to five games. Ilya Kovalchuk (4) also scored and Johan Hedberg made 23 saves to record the win. After taking a 1-0 first period lead on a David Clarkson goal, the Devils broke the game open in the second period, getting goals from Kovalchuk and Clarkson a 1:53 apart. Kovalchuk struck at 11:27 period when Paul Martin fumbled the puck at the Devils blueline and Kovalchuk came in on a 2 on 1 and showed great patience, beating Tomas Vokoun 5-hole to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Clarkson would score on the power play at 13:20 of the period for his second goal ofRead More »

Game Day Buzz: More on the Joe Morrow callup & inexperience in the system on the blueline

 

The callup of 2011 first round pick Joe Morrow is more of situation arising (injuries) of the Penguins wanting to get one of their top prospects some NHL experience of just being around the team (potential practice time, being involved in meetings) on a short-term stay, even if Morrow doesn’t step on the ice for a game. The callup doesn’t mean by any means that the Penguins feel Morrow is NHL ready, as he isn’t in his own end. Overall, Morrow has not had a strong season in Wilkes Barre, his first professional season in the American Hockey League. Morrow’s been playing a third pairing role in Wilkes Barre and during the NHL lockout Morrow was regarded as being “exposed” defensively when better talent league wide was playing in the AHL due to the work stoppage. Now that some of that talent is backup in the NHL, it’s not aRead More »

Morning Pens Buzz: Why Penguins got fair value for Lovejoy; Kennedy on hot seat?

 

MORNING PENGUINS BUZZ The Penguins (8-3-0, 16 pts) and Devils (6-1-3, 15 pts)  faceoff for the second time in seven days as the teams begin a home and home series this weekend. It’s a good bet the Penguins are going to see a better performance from New Jersey this afternoon than last weekend in Pittsburgh where the Devils were a mess defensively. Both teams come in on winning streaks, Pittsburgh riding a five game winning streak and the Devils on a three game winning streak. The Devils who have played in one less game than the Penguins, have points in nine of 10 games this season. Both teams sit at the top of the Eastern Conference with just one point separating the two. An encouraging sign for the Penguins through 11 games is their 2.36 goals against mark, which ranks 10th in the NHL. The Penguins have had eight defensemenRead More »

Morning Pens/NHL Buzz: On Devils ousting Flyers in 5; Bylsma’s job security considered strong but…

 

MORNING NHL BUZZ There was a feeling around the league (more so pointed at the favorite Penguins at the time) prior to the Flyers – Penguins first round matchup that the winner of the series would be so emotionally drained that they would be due for a big let down in round 2 from a mental standpoint. Did it just happen to the Flyers who dismantled the Penguins in six games last month that now seems so long ago? The New Jersey Devils have ousted the Philadelphia Flyers in stunning fashion, eliminating the Flyers in five games in the second round of the Eastern Conference Semifinals after a 3-1 Game 5 victory Tuesday night on the Flyers home ice. After Philadelphia got on the board first on a goal from Max Talbot, the Devils completely dominated play and following an Ilya Bryzgalov gaffe on David Clarkson’s first period goal, Philadelphia was never inRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: On Devils – Flyers; Kings Cup Favorite? & Latest rumors on Carle, Jagr, Luongo & Staal

 

DEVILS LEAD FLYERS 2-1 Alexei  Ponikarovsky and the New Jersey Devils have the favorite Philadelphia Flyers in a 2-1 hole. Ponikarovsky scored the OT winner putting home his own rebound on a 2-on-1 rush giving New Jersey a 4-3 OT win on Thursday night and a 2-1 series lead. Ilya Kovalchuk reportedly playing with a herniated disk in his back, had a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup and set up Ponikarovsky’s tally with 2:39 left in overtime as Kovalchuk caught the Flyers on a horrible change. Kovalchuk was exceptional in the game dictating the play, as was Zach Parise who was a force in the offensive zone. The storyline for the Flyers in the loss was their struggling power play that failed to convert two golden power play chances in overtime. The Devils who struggled in Game 1 on the PK and gave up aRead More »

Pens – Devils Pre Game Buzz: Sullivan out of lineup with what Bylsma feels is short-term injury

 

GAME DAY New Jersey (42-27-6, 90 pts) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (46-22-6, 98 pts) When: 7:08 p.m. | Where: Consol Energy Center PRE-GAME BUZZ The Penguins look to bounce back tonight from Saturday’s defensive debacle on home ice against the New Jersey Devils. With a game in hand on the Rangers who lead the Penguins by three points, Pittsburgh looks earn it’s 10th consecutive home victory tonight. The Penguins 13-1-1 over their last 15 games, put on one of their most dominating performances of the season just eight days ago on the road against the Devils in a 5-2 win. The Penguins 26-8-2 at home this season, have won 15 of 16 at Consol Energy Center since Jan. 17th. New Jersey, 2-3-1 in their last 6 games, are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night. The Devils who are averaging just 2.57 goals per game,Read More »

NHL: Trade Talk Heating Up: Devils Langenbrunner on the move

 

The New Jersey Devils are close to trading former captain Jamie Langenbrunner. The Devils have been actively engaged in trade talks and are said to have gone into the morning mulling offers from the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues, according to sources. The Stars and Flyers have emerged as the front runners for Langenbrunner with the 35 year old winger expected to be dealt back to the Dallas Stars this morning. Langenbrunner, 35, has 4 goals and 14 points on the season, along with a minus-15 rating. Langenbrunner, however, collected 61 points in 81 games last season for the Devils. He has scored 103 goals since the lockout and based off the leaguewide interest, executives believe he can get back to his level from last season. The Newark-Star Ledger on Thursday mentioned the Penguins as one of the teams expressing interest but those with knowledge of theRead More »

Devils fire John Maclean

 

The last place New Jersey Devils have fired head coach John MacLean, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. MacLean in his first season as an NHL head coach, led New Jersey to an NHL-worst 20 points and 9-22-2 record. MacLean is expected to be replaced on interim basis by former coach Jacques Lemaire, an NHL official confirmed to the Star-Ledger.