Devils Win Two Straight at the Rock
Article by Double G Sports Hockey Writer, Joseph Higgins.
By: Joe Higgins
Tonight was a test for the New York Islanders as they faced the New Jersey Devils in Newark. This was due to the fact that they lost their best defenseman, and probably best player, Mark Streit to injury. Switzerland born Streit reportedly suffered from a torn rotator cuff and labrum during a scrimmage last weekend and will miss up to 6 months making him hopefully eligible to play in March.
Along with Streit’s injury, forward Kyle Okposo also received bad news that his right labrum, which has been bothering him throughout training camp, is going to need surgery and he’s said to miss 2-3 months. This means the Islanders lost both of their alternative captains making spots to be filled by rookies trying to make the roster.
Even though the Islanders were suffering from injuries they still jumped out on front with a backhand goal by left-winger Jesse Joensuu. Assisting on the goal was old-timer Doug Weight, captain for the Islanders.
The Devils were quick to answer, waiting only four minutes until Jason Arnott deflected Andy Greene’s shot putting it past Dwayne Roloson. Even though Roloson is mainly a back up for starting goalie Rick DiPietro, the Islanders gave him a shot to prove that all the playing time he got last year (DiPietro was injured for almost all of last season) showed that he could be better than DiPietro.
Zach Parise made it two straight for the Devils by getting his second goal of the preseason off a snap shot. Parise has been outstanding this preseason, totaling up eight points over the course of five games. Line mate Travis Zajac has also shown he’s first line worthy, adding up five points of his own including two assists on the night (one being on Parise’s goal). Alexander Urbom also assisted on the goal as he tries to impress the coaching staff with the roster cuts coming up.
The Islanders showed a lack of discipline midway through the second receiving a penalty for too many men on the ice. Eight seconds is all it took for the Devils to score on a Brian Rolston power play goal. Again Zajac assisted on the score along with Zach Parise.
As if three straight wasn’t enough the Devils started to run away with it making it four straight goals after Patrik Elias finessed a wrist shot on the other side of ten minutes in the period. Jason Arnott got his second point of the night by assisting along with Ilya Kovalchuk.
The Devils have proved that no matter what players play on what lines, they will find a way to score. With the free agency pickups of Jason Arnott and Ilya Kovalchuk the Devils have added great depth at the forward positions. The only downside to this is that out of 12 forwards on the projected roster, 5 of them are over the age of thirty (almost all of the five being first and second line players).
New York’s Matt Mouslon shined in the remainder of the second and the third tallying up two goals. However, it wasn’t enough to put themselves even with New Jersey. Doug Weight got his second assist on Moulson’s goal in the second along with Calvin de Haan (rookie who signed his 3 year entry level contract in May). Dean McAmmond was the lone assister on Moulson’s third period slap shot.
New Jersey’s forwards definitely look ready to drop the puck at home in one week for their regular season debut against the Dallas Stars. However, with the recent loss of Bryce Salvador from a concussion he suffered in either the fight against Kris Newbury of the Rangers Saturday or from some big hits Tuesday against the Flyers. Nevertheless, the Devils need to find a way to have their defenders help Martin Brodeur keep pucks from entering the net. In their five preseason games, so far, the Devils defense has either allowed the game to go into overtime or they won it by a score of one more goal. Soon enough the roster cuts will be made and the right players, in the eyes of the Devils staff, will stay on the team as the Devils try to not go home early in the playoffs, like they did last season.