a vague collection of daily struggles, hourly arguments, minute concerns, and secondary impulses.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

go devils.

in January, the New Jersey Devils were 19 points behind the division-leading Philadelphia Flyers and had an interim head coach.

last night, those same New Jersey Devils won their season-high 11th straight game to clinch the Atlantic Division crown, with team boss Lou Lamoriello (CEO, President, General Manager) behind the bench, Brian Gionta (47th and 48th goals, setting a new team record) lighting the lamp, and Martin Brodeur (43rd win, leading the league) between the pipes.

(in fairness, it must be noted that the 11-game streak came in a year where ties were removed and the must-win shootout was introduced. then again, it must also be mentioned that only the first game of the streak, a 3-2 victory at Ottawa on March 28, came via the shootout; two others came in overtime, and the rest were won in the comfort of regulation.)

entering the Stanley Cup playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, the Devils' first round opponent will be the surprising, though recently-disappointing, New York Rangers. picked to finish dead last, or close enought, by most major sports publications, the Rangers surprised everyone behind the return to MVP form of Jaromir Jagr and the emergence of rookies Petr Prucha and Henrik Lundqvist. Scott Burnside of even went so far as to say the Rangers will prevail.

yeah, well, "that's why they play the games."


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