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Salmela impresses again


DaneykoIsGod

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http://njmg.typepad.com/devilsblog/2008/10...la-impress.html

The Devils have only two preseason games remaining after tonight's 3-0 victory over the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum (Friday night vs. the Isles at Prudential Center and Saturday night vs. Philadelphia at The Rock) and rookie defenseman Anssi Salmela is still here.

"It's good," Salmela said. "I don't know anything (about whether he'll make the team), so I'm just trying to play the games and see what happens.

Salmela had another good game, scoring the team's final goal during a 4-on-4 in the third period, and playing solid defense alongside Colin White. On his goal, Salmela faked a shot to go around an Islander forward, cut into the slot and let go a slap shot that blew past goaltender Joey MacDonald's catching glove.

"Great shot," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "He played well tonight. I thought our defense all played well tonight. They did a real good job."

"He's pretty slick out there," goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "He's not a huge guy (5-11, 195), but he's pretty physical and sees the ice real well. He turns on a dime. It's amazing. The quick move he made when he got the puck kind of threw the defenseman off. He's got a decent shot. He just overpowered the goalie. Definitely it's nice when a young guy comes in, especially with him. Nobody knows who he is really. We signed him during the summer. The expectations were not high. He's showing everybody that he's able to play here."

If this guy can effectively be paired up with White, leaving Oduya to be paired with a D-man to be named later, then we could potentially have three really solid defensive pairings. I like!

Martin-Salvador

White-Salmela

Oduya-???

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http://njmg.typepad.com/devilsblog/2008/10...la-impress.html

If this guy can effectively be paired up with White, leaving Oduya to be paired with a D-man to be named later, then we could potentially have three really solid defensive pairings. I like!

Martin-Salvador

White-Salmela

Oduya-???

Mottau's gonna be in there though, likely with Rupp. Which would leave Salmela playing with Oduya, and I don't know how much I like that idea...Plus I think Greene's going to have a bounceback year as well, and Salmela is waiver-eligible, I believe. I have a feeling he's starting in Lowell.

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I like what I see from Salmela... He is one smooth customer... The moves this kid has at the blue line is pretty cool. Doesnt try to do too much. He is simple in the defensive end.

Because he can go down.. he probably will.. he shouldnt, but its a numbers game. I think he should stay up.

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Mottau's gonna be in there though, likely with Rupp. Which would leave Salmela playing with Oduya, and I don't know how much I like that idea...Plus I think Greene's going to have a bounceback year as well, and Salmela is waiver-eligible, I believe. I have a feeling he's starting in Lowell.

Maybe pair Mottau with Oduya? The knock on the White-Mottau pairing what that there was zero speed ... Oduya can provide that. And I'm not a fan of Greene at all. Let him be our 7th guy to keep him hungry. He seems to play better when he feels he has to prove something. Besides, he's had over a season to earn a spot. If Salmela has impressed Sutter and Marty, then let him get his chance to earn a spot. He can be sent down, so if he stinks it's no big deal.

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Maybe pair Mottau with Oduya? The knock on the White-Mottau pairing what that there was zero speed ... Oduya can provide that. And I'm not a fan of Greene at all. Let him be our 7th guy to keep him hungry. He seems to play better when he feels he has to prove something. Besides, he's had over a season to earn a spot. If Salmela has impressed Sutter and Marty, then let him get his chance to earn a spot. He can be sent down, so if he stinks it's no big deal.

Rotating Greene and Salmela's not a bad idea. For some reason I have it in my head that we need six defensemen, forgetting about scratches.

Also, I have no idea why I said Mottau would be paired with Rupp. I mean White, naturally.

As far as Oduya/Mottau goes, that would be interesting or disaster. I hope that Oduya's improved play is mostly on him, but I worry it could have been a benefit of playing with Martin. I guess we'll find out, since Martin/Salvador seems to be set.

Edited by thelastonealive
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As far as Oduya/Mottau goes, that would be interesting or disaster. I hope that Oduya's improved play is mostly on him, but I worry it could have been a benefit of playing with Martin. I guess we'll find out, since Martin/Salvador seems to be set.

That combo wouldn't really thrill me either, but there's definitely potential. On paper, their skill sets seem to compliment each other. But, like you said, who knows how much of last season's Oduya was a result of playing with Martin and, for that matter, how much of Mottau's season was a result of playing with White. I certainly hope that Johnny O. leading the team in +/- last season wasn't a fluke.

We shall see...

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Like LOA said, it would seem that Martin/Salvador are a lock for first pairing. I also think that White will stay with Mottau, putting Salmela with Oduya. Which I don't think would be a bad thing at all.

And with TG saying that he thinks Greene would sit in place of Brookbank, I would not be shocked to see Salmela stay.

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i get the sense that brookbank can be the better #7 than greene - basically saying he's the better fill in replacement. greene needs consistent playing time to be of any use. and it also makes no sense for salmela to make the team as a scratch either.

i think opening night is

martin-salvador

white-mottau

oduya-salmela

with brookbank on the bench

likely forwards are the obvious 12 with vrana and pelley as the extras - but i'd bet vrana gets in the 2nd or 3rd game as rupp (or possibly even clarkson) plays their way out of the lineup.

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In the same way Corrente tried too hard and didn't make it, Salmela isn't trying so hard and he's producing. I think he's a great addition to this team and should start in the big club, sending a Brookbank or a Greene down. I wouldn't have any kind of problem with that.

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In the same way Corrente tried too hard and didn't make it, Salmela isn't trying so hard and he's producing. I think he's a great addition to this team and should start in the big club, sending a Brookbank or a Greene down. I wouldn't have any kind of problem with that.

And that comfort is how it should be considering Corrente and Eckford just finished playing with boys while Salmela was playing against men. I think with Salmela working out well so far the Devils should "risk" losing Brookbank on waivers but we'll see.

Edit: It also makes sense since Brookbank is Mr. Awesome in the AHL and it could help the younger guys seeing a veteran use his veteran knowledge to kill more talented younger players.

Edited by Devils731
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Yeah, I really don't see a downside to exposing Brookbank to waivers. Either we lose the guy, which cannot be a big loss (he's never going to be in the top 6 on the team), or he makes it down to the AHL and vaults Lowell from an also-ran to a sure playoff contender. Maybe Salmela plays himself off the team in 5 games (which may well happen if he is left to play with Oduya, the two play a similar game and make similar mistakes), but if he can be a PP QB who can play effective defense, he might've vaulted himself over Andy Greene.

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