Tag: Adam Henrique

Joe Thornton

Thornton’s 1,200th point helps Sharks past Devils

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Joe Thornton’s third period, empty net, goal was his 1,200th career NHL point – it was the insurance marker as the San Jose Sharks doubled up the New Jersey Devils 4-2 Saturday night.

Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau had the other Sharks goals while Adam Henrique and Mike Cammalleri scored for New Jersey.

Antti Neimi made 35 saves for his third win in as many starts.

Cory Schneider made 28 saves in the loss.

With his goal, Thornton becomes just the 46th player ever to reach the 1,200 point plateau.

Shootout woes continue for Devils

Cory Schneider

The New Jersey Devils became the first team to fail to pick up a single shootout win over an entire season last year going 0-13 in the skills competition – to put that number in perspective, they missed the final playoff spot by just five points in 2013-14.

Following the season, general manager Lou Lamoriello attempted to shake off the the poor showing in the shootout saying “it’s not a focus”.

It may be just preseason, but the Devils once again failed to pick up a win in a shootout Friday night falling 3-2 to the New York Islanders following the breakaway competition.

Reid Boucher was lone Devil to score in the shootout Friday. He had one of the four goals in 45 chances in shootouts last season.

Adam Henrique and newcomer Martin Havlat both missed following Boucher failing to send the shootout to a fourth round.

“That was brutal by (Havlat) and Rico (Henrique),” Patrik Elias jokingly told Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger. “I told Bouch they’ve got to make the rule they have in international play so one guy can go three times.”

It appears Havlat, who was with the San Jose Sharks last season, has caught the shootout bug, which ails the Devils.

“It’s been a while, I think, since they won a shootout,” Havlat said. “I think we just have to get better and calm down. The shot I had was not good at all. It didn’t matter tonight, but it’s an important part of the game. It’s important to get those points. We need to win some shootouts this year for sure.”

For those keeping score, the Devils last won in a shootout during the regular season on Mar. 10, 2013 and are 0-17 in that span.

It’s New Jersey Devils day on PHT

Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder

It’s debatable that the New Jersey Devils were a normal shootout record away from making the playoffs in 2013-14, but the bottom line is that they were pretty close.

With a 35-29-18 record (including a stunning 0-12 mark in the shootout), the Devils finished with 88 standings points, leaving them tied for 10th in the East (although they would have taken the tiebreaker from Ottawa if that mattered). The Devils finished five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings for wild card spots.

That’s not to say that the Devils were a great team with awful luck. Instead, it might be better to describe them as a one-dimensional team that lacked the goaltending needed to make their defensive strengths pay off. New Jersey tied Calgary for the third-fewest shots per game (26.8) while limiting opponents to an NHL-low 25.5 per contest, so chances rarely happened for either side during their games.

While that doesn’t exactly sound fun, it could prove to be an effective formula if Cory Schneider backs up that mammoth extension he received this offseason and the team improves on offense.

It’s tough to imagine Jaromir Jagr replicating his astounding work from 2013-14, but the Devils are likely banking on improvements from within (maybe at least a sign of life from Ryane Clowe?) and nice outputs from Mike Cammalleri and injury-ravaged former star Martin Havlat. There are quite a few ifs at work for the offense – example: will Adam Henrique make another step in the right direction? – but it’s conceivable that things might be a little better next season.

Unfortunately, their defense doesn’t look as stout now that sorely underrated defenseman Mark Fayne is a member of the Edmonton Oilers. The Devils tend to make the most of their defensive groups, so don’t be surprised if they’re still stingy.

In broader terms, the Devils seem like they’ll make their living being “pesky,” at least if Schneider can carry a workload that will conjure up comparisons to departed icon Martin Brodeur. Much has been – fairly – made about the struggles Brodeur faced the last few seasons, yet if things don’t go well, the pressure could really start to wear on Schneider.

(Some might even call it a “be careful what you wish for” moment for a guy who’s faced a lot of roadblocks to becoming the No. 1 goalie.)

This team seems just as likely to be a bubble team as it could be a cellar dweller, but here’s one near-certainty: the Devils will probably have a better shootout record in 2014-15.

Numerous jobs up for grabs in Devils camp

Eric Gelinas, Peter Harrold, Jon Merrill

There may be more than a few jobs up for grabs during training camp with the New Jersey Devils and the team’s slew of prospects know they’ll have a shot to cash in.

One area that will see a lot of competition is defense. The Devils lost Anton Volchenkov to a buyout and Mark Fayne to Edmonton in free agency. That means guys like Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson, and Jon Merrill will likely graduate to the big leagues full-time.

As Devils coach Peter DeBoer told Mike Morreale of NHL.com, they need guys to show they’re ready to make the jump.

“I think the organization sets the table with opportunity, and over my time as coach the one thing I’ve seen is opportunity for players to come in and play,” said DeBoer. “Some of the young players grabbed it and ran with it, like Jon Merrill and Adam Henrique (in 2010-11), and some haven’t yet. We need a few of these guys to do that this year.”

With a couple of guys gone on the blue line and possible openings at forward, the Devils want guys to be pushing to get in the lineup and force DeBoer to make tough decisions.

Andy Greene, Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky, and Peter Harrold make up the veteran portion of the defense for the Devils so youth will need to be king. After how Merrill and Gelinas played for portions of last season, things are looking up.

Cammalleri signs with Devils — five years, $25 million

Mike Cammalleri

Mike Cammalleri wanted to cash in on the open market. Mission accomplished.

The New Jersey Devils signed the 32-year-old forward to a five-year, $25 million deal. Cammalleri spent the past two and a half seasons with Calgary and had 89 goals and 89 assists in 216 games with the Flames. He had been with Montreal and Los Angeles previously.

Cammalleri joins a Devils team in need of some extra offense. Jaromir Jagr, Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique led the way with the team last season and both Jagr and Elias aren’t exactly young anymore. Adding Cammalleri to that mix helps provide more punch to their top-six forwards and a guy who can score and distribute the puck.