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Member Since 08 Sep 2002
Offline Last Active Dec 21 2002 11:03 AM

Topics I've Started

Fourth Period/neverson Again On Avs-devs Deal

20 December 2002 - 06:36 PM

Fourth Period.com on home page again reporting the Devs-Avs rumor, quoting Neverson -- but I don't see that story at the Post site.

Mark (N)Đ„verson reports in today's New York Post that New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello may be considering a deal of Patrik Elias, Mike Danton and a second-rounder to the Colorado Avalanche for Alex Tanguay, Martin Skoula and Dan Hinote. It is speculated however that Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix will wait to see how the current roster performs under new coach Tony Granato.

Damn Yankees

20 December 2002 - 06:16 PM

Crud, another one of my fave Yankees out.

Last year I was on Yankee sabbatical as Tino moved on. I don't think I'll boycott this year, but I really did like Shane Spencer. I hope he goes somewhere good and not somewhere I hate.

The Freeze Is On

20 December 2002 - 05:25 PM

I'm kind of surprised that no teams made moves the last day before the freeze.

Not really surprised that we didn't (except where it concerns the plummeting value of Danton), but I am kinda surprised that others haven't.

Devils End Their Dry Spell

20 December 2002 - 11:22 AM


Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH - Joe Nieuwendyk never raised his stick.

In fact, he didn't celebrate at all when his goal drought finally came to an end in the first period of the Devils' 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at Mellon Arena.

He claimed he smiled, but it must have been quick because it was hardly noticeable.

What mattered most to Nieuwendyk was not that he finally scored a goal after going 20 games without one. It was that the Devils ended their three-game losing streak (one in overtime).

"I was happy. Don't get me wrong," Nieuwendyk said. "I just hope that it's a sign of things to come and I build a little confidence off that. Hopefully, we can as a team with a big win tonight, too."

Nieuwendyk also assisted on Oleg Tverdovsky's game-winner 4:04 into the second to notch his first two-point game of the season. Brian Gionta returned from a two-game layoff with a sprained right ankle to provide a much-needed spark and score his team's third goal.

The three goals were a welcome relief for the Devils after being shut out, 3-0, by Ottawa on Wednesday night. That they came against the Penguins, who have lost 10 in a row (one in overtime) didn't seem to matter.

Also notable was the effort of the Devils' checking line of Jay Pandolfo, John Madden, and Jamie Langenbrunner in holding Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, the league's leading scorer with 55 points, off the score sheet. Lemieux has not registered a point in three consecutive games.

Martin Brodeur needed to make just 15 saves to post his 16th win of the season.

"We played well tonight," Devils' coach Pat Burns said. "We skated well. Madden's line did a good job against Lemieux, and Marty made the big saves. Everybody played well."

For the record, Nieuwendyk ended his goal drought 12:55 into the first period to tie the game at 1-1. He picked off a pass from Ville Nieminen at the top of the left circle, moved a couple of strides closer, and beat goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin between the pads with a slap shot, just his third goal of the season.

That ended Nieuwendyk's drought at 43 shots on goal over 20 hours, 55 minutes, and 26 seconds of playing time. He last scored 36 seconds into the third period of a 5-1 win over Chicago on Nov. 2.

And, coincidentally, he did it just in time to face his old team, the Dallas Stars, for the first time Saturday without that burden hanging over him.

If he was relieved it was over, however, he didn't show it.

"It wasn't a big deal," said rookie Christian Berglund, who played left wing on Nieuwendyk's line with Turner Stevenson on the right side. "It was just a matter of time."

Nieuwendyk, 36 and headed for unrestricted free agency at season's end, entered the night with only 14 points in 29 games. As hard as he tried to stay positive, he admitted it wasn't easy.

"I don't know if I didn't let it get to me," Nieuwendyk said. "You just keep plugging away. I'm a firm believer that good things will happen eventually. I struggle with confidence just like anybody."

Not all the Devils' droughts ended.

Patrik Elias failed to score for the 13th game in a row and had his frustration compounded by his failure to get off a shot when he had the puck on his stick and the Penguins had pulled Aubin for an extra skater in the final minute.

The Devils' power play failed to score on three more chances Thursday and is 0-for-32 over the last 12 games.

But enough breaks went the Devils' way that it didn't matter. On Tverdovsky's game-winner, Nieuwendyk was in position for the draw in the right circle, but Randy Robitaille was slow in lining up and did not meet the five-second limit, so linesman Ryan Galloway dropped the puck without him there. Nieuwendyk dropped it back to the point to Tverdovsky, who blasted it past Aubin for his third of the season.

Lou Not Pressing For A Deal

19 December 2002 - 12:12 PM


Staff Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD - Despite the usual flurry of trade rumors that sprout up at this time of year, Devils' general manager Lou Lamoriello was content to stand pat as the holiday roster freeze took effect at midnight.

Although the Devils have struggled to score goals - their average of 2.5 per game entering Wednesday's 3-0 loss the Ottawa Senators at Continental Arena placed them 22nd in the league - Lamoriello was more interested in the team's place in the Atlantic Division, which was two points behind Philadelphia for first.

That's why he found the stories of his desperation for offensive help so amusing.

"I chuckle because we're in the position we're in and I also know that some of our top players haven't done the things that we know they can and will do," Lamoriello said. "We have total confidence in that and I think it's a positive thing. Quite frankly I'm just pleased with the recovery of some players that maybe had an off-year last year and how they are playing. And some of our other players who might not be doing what a lot of people would like to see them do... as long as their working it's going to come.

"Sometimes these things go in bunches. But I'm pleased with our team. Certainly we'd like to have a couple more points we thought we let slip away, but if we can keep on this pace, I think we'd feel great."

Lamoriello acknowledged that Joe Nieuwendyk and Patrik Elias are among those who have not met expectations, but expressed support for both players, particularly Nieuwendyk, who hasn't scored in 20 games and has just two goals on the season.

"Especially in the case of Joe, it's just not fair," Lamoriello said. "He's working hard. The bounces that have gone the other way are incredible."

But that doesn't mean he isn't looking for ways to improve his team.

"You always try to get better," Lamoriello said.

He can't make any moves, however, until after the roster freeze ends on Dec. 27.

DEVILS BRIEFS: Defenseman Brian Rafalski returned the Devils' lineup after missing three games with sore ribs. ... Right wing Brian Gionta took part in the morning skate, but missed his second game in a row with a sprained right ankle. ... The announced attendance was 11,816 (capacity 19,040) as the Devils failed to break 12,000 for the third time in their last four home games. ... The Devils travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins tonight before returning home to take on Jason Arnott and the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon.