New Jersey Drive
As January winds down, we should note at how impressive the New Jersey Devils have played this month.
Of the 13 games they have played over the last thirty days, all but four have been on the road and only two of those thirteen have been marked up in the loss column.
Net minder Scott Clemmenson has been steady going 8-3 in this stretch and Captain Jamie Langenbrunner has stepped up, as good leaders do, with 15 points in 13 games.
With tonight's overtime win over Eastern pace setter Boston, the Devils move into second place overall in the Eastern Conference.
With Devil great Marty Brodeur getting plenty of rest and still a month away from returning from left bicep reattachment surgery, you have to wonder how good this team can be.
A Devils squad that scores and has a healthy, well rested Marty in net?
I think we hear a sleeping giant snoring in the East.
Playing in his 1,200 career game, Claude Lemieux saw 8:08 of ice time in the Sharks 1-0 defeat of the Phoenix Coyotes. Pretty quiet night for Lemieux as he failed to register a shot on goal for the first time since his January 20th return.
The story of the night, however, was Evgeni Nabokov as he turned away all 24 Coyote scoring opportunities to register his second consecutive shut out.
With tonight's shut out, Nabokov established a new San Jose franchise record of 170 minutes and 10 seconds of not allowing a goal.
Fight of the Night
There were no showcase fights this evening, so we will go to the archives and review of few of my favorite players.
The first fight is between Mike Keane and Scott Walker and it is a doozy. I've muttered it before and I'll say it again, Keane is one the most underrated middleweights in the history of the division.
Our second fight features Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan's favorite son Kelly Chase.
Chaser was a fan favorite everywhere he played, not because he was a flashy skater or a heavy point producer, trust me, he was neither and he'll be the first to tell you that, but because he was a great team player and a legit tough guy. He also won the 1998 King Clancy award for outstanding charity work, you gotta love that.
Mike Keane vs. Scott Walker-10-11-97
Kelly Chase vs. Alex Stojanov- 01-16-96