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Quick Thoughts: Zajac's Shootout Goal Gives Devils 3-2 Win in Pre-season Opener

(Note: In this space, after every Devils game, we'll provide some immediate reactions before Fischer's full recap later on tonight.  It won't be a who-scored-what type recap, just some quick impressions we got from the tilt.  Enjoy.)



It's really awesome to hear Doc Emrick yell out "Driiiiiive!" again.  That's hockey season not so far away folks.  Tonight's notes:


  • This Just In: Parise still nasty in the shootout.
  • How did it take so long to give Travis Zajac a shot in the shootout?  'Bout time.
  • Joe Micheletti usually bores me to death as a Rangers analyst, but the three-man booth of Micheletti, Emrick and Chico Resch sounded like they were having a ton of fun.
  • Not to talk too much about the telecast, but what does everyone think of the new MSG Plus graphics?  I like them, but would like them more if the fonts were bigger.  Reminds me a lot of the NBC graphics, but those are completely read-able.
  • Looked Good: David Clarkson (obviously), Brian Rolston, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Brendan Shanahan, Dainius Zubrus, Bryce Salvador, Yann Danis, Niclas Bergfors, Alexander Urbom, Cory Murphy.



  • Not As Much: Mark Fraser, Pierre Leblond, Rod Pelley, Ilkka Pikkarainen 
  • Didn't Stand Out One Way or the Other: Mike Mottau, Patrice Cormier, Johnny Oduya, Vladimir Zharkov
  • It's pretty clear how who's won the back-up goaltending job based on Jeff Frazee not getting any playing time tonight.
  • Chico tried to sell the game as indecipherable from a regular season game.  It wasn't.  The 2nd half of this game became pretty unwatchable.
  • David Clarkson was the best Devil tonight.  Not only did he cash in on a gift rebound from Lundqvist in the first period, that was a pretty wicked little shot past Henrik in period two.
  • The Devils had a good success rate on the power play, but neither power play goal was really the production of a power play set-up.
  • Brian Roston already seems a more dynamic player under Lemaire.
  • On the subject of Lemaire, didn't really notice the Devils clamping down on defense any more than they did under Brent Sutter.  When they wanted to be, they were aggressive (particularly Travis Zajac) and when things got dull, they got lazy.
  • On the Rangers side, Matt Gilroy probably won himself a job tonight.  Great goal from the Hobey Baker Award Winner.
  • As you may notice from the opening photo, Brendan Shanahan wore the 'C' for the Devils tonight.  Clarkson and Zubrus the 'A's. 
  • On a closing note: Even in the pre-season, the shootout is evil.  Stay tuned for Fischer's recap.