The New Jersey Devils are in a see-saw battle with the Pittsburgh
Penguins for the top spot in the Atlantic division, yet have lost four
of their last six. Not good for a team that is hoping to have more
success than the last two years, when first-round exits marred great
Jamie Langenbrunner, captain of the Devils (and
one of my favorite players to ever don a Stars jersey, darn you Doug
Armstrong!) knows that things need to change. And soon.
Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger:
“I think the key word is team,” Langenbrunner said. “You have to
become a team and you have to play as a team no matter the talent.
“Talent-wise, yeah, I don’t think there’s any question we have things
we haven’t had here. The key is to become a team. We’ve shown glimpses
of it. There is obviously still time and we feel we can still do it, but
we need to put it together.”
will have a chance to at least try to build some momentum, starting
tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Also, how is
that it seems that every team aside from the Red Wings and Sabres are
stumbling heading into the playoffs? Is the Olympic Hangover not just a
myth, but reality? This is supposed to be the most intense time of the
season, yet it seems like every team is trying to answer questions about
consistency and effort.
Should make for some great
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.