I thought the game against the Devils was much, much better than the one against the Sharks, and if you really look with an unbiased eye (I know that’s probably not happening here) it might have been, as an overall effort, better than some of the sloppy wins.
Here’s my column from The Journal News and LoHud.com today.
1) Ales Kotalik earned it, and so now John Tortorella is looking to get him more ice time. Kotalik with Drury is what we were expecting, the old Buffalo connection, and that’s what we were looking at in the third period. Tortorella also called out Ryan Callahan to be better, to not get caught from behind as he did by a diving Colin White (who made a fabulous play to thwart his breakaway), and Christopher Higgins, whose next goal will be his first.
2) So much for that tired, stale notion that fights change momentum. Or maybe this one changed momentum for the visitors, because one of their non-pugilists showed the guts to say “enough” to Sean Avery. I don’t know what Mike Mottau was thinking, or what he must have been thinking (“Uh, oh?”) after dropping his gloves with Avery, but right after the fight the Devils went up 1-0, and then 2-0.
3) Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. Wow. You almost have to try to be that bad. Tortorella, asked to sum up Girardi’s play this seaosn, had just two words: “Very average.” Staal made two dreadful plays on the second goal.
4) Marian Gaborik just makes things happen, like that flurry created when he poked the puck off Martin Brodeur’s stick behind the net.
5) Speaking of Brodeur, this always gets me. He knocked the net off its moorings last night, and play continued, and when the puck went up ice, Brodeur replaced the net. Why do goalies do that? It’s a freebie. If the opponent comes back down and scores, it’s no goal, the net was off. There can’t be an opposition goal until after the next whistle, when the officials put the net back. So why put it back while play is live? Do you think baseball players or football or basketball players would do that?
6) I’m sure you read by now that Tortorella used the word Bonehead. I’m talking to our copyright lawyers as we speak.
7) Does anybody else suspect that Donald Brashear hurt himself in that fight with Colton Orr? He’s missed two games with soreness now, and he was worse than awful against San Jose.