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Schwei On Ice: Looking For Success Out West

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By John Schweibacher
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The Devils will look to escape the clouds of their 2-6-1 start with three games in sunny California as they take on the Sharks, Ducks and Kings.

The Devils have played 50 regular season games in their history in the Golden State, going 21-24-5 overall. Here is New Jersey’s road record against each of the three California clubs:

·       At San Jose  7-4-1
·       At Anaheim  5-6-1
·       At Los Angeles 9-14-3

The Devils’ predecessors; the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies, went just 8-26-10 all-time against the California Golden Seals and the L.A. Kings, winning a mere four times in Los Angeles (4-24-8).

New Jersey’s first-ever California game came 28 years ago this past week. Back on October 20th, 1982, the Devils lost to the Kings, 7-4, at The Forum in Inglewood. Marcel Dionne scored twice and Charlie Simmer added a goal and two assists as did future New Jersey Devil, Bernie Nicholls. Lindsay Middlebrook took the loss in goal for the Devils, giving up all seven goals before being pulled for Chico Resch midway through the 3rd period. Gary Laskoski got the win in net for L.A., stopping 30 of 34 shots.

Martin Brodeur has posted a road record of 13-7-5 against the three California clubs in the regular season; 5-2-2 at San Jose, 4-4-1 at Anaheim and 4-1-2 at L.A. The Kings are the only one of the three Brodeur has a road shutout against, a 4-0 win back on November 25th, 2003 at Staples Center.

Jason Arnott’s goal in Montreal was his 100th for the Devils. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Brian Rolston took longer to score number 100 in a Devils jersey.
Longest stretches to score 100 goals as a Devil:

Devils debut        100th NJ goal
Brian Rolston (14 years 274 days)   2/05/1995   11/06/2009

Jason Arnott  (12 years 287 days)    1/07/1998 10/21/2010

Arnott’s 1st goal in his first go-round with New Jersey came on January 10th, 1998 in his third game with the Devils after being acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers. Arnott’s 3rd period goal ruined the shutout bid for the Penguins’ Peter Skudra in an eventual 4-1 Pittsburgh win at Mellon Arena. Five the now 20 players who have scored 100 or more goals for the Devils had two separate stints with New Jersey but only Arnott and Rolston reached the century mark in their returns.

Player Goals 1st NJD stint/Goals 2nd NJD stint/     Total

·  Bobby Holik    198          4    202

·  Stephane Richer 146       1    147

·  Claude Lemieux 125     17      142

·  Brian Rolston      81     35      116

·  Jason Arnott    97     3       100

Rookie Defenseman Matt Taormina has scored two goals for the Devils in his nine games this season. Taormina is one of several current New Jersey players who signed with the Devils after not being selected in the NHL entry or supplemental drafts. Here is a list of the undrafted players who were originally signed by New Jersey and appeared in the most games with the club:

·       John Madden    712
·       Brian Rafalski   541
·       Doug Brown     350
·       David Clarkson 225
·       Andy Greene     218
·       Greg Adams     186
·       Rod Pelley        139
·       Pascal Rheaume  35
·       Anssi Salmela     26
·       Alex Brooks        19

Johan Hedberg made his first start for the Devils this past Saturday night against Buffalo. Hedberg is the 11th different backup goaltender New Jersey has had since Martin Brodeur took over as the club’s number one netminder in 1993-94. Here is how the 11 goaltenders (some had more than one stint with the Devils) have fared in their debut starts as Brodeur’s backup:
Devils Goalie    1st NJDstart&result/opp. goalie

·       Corey Schwab     11/22/95: L 3-1 at Tampa Bay (Puppa).

·       Jeff Reese        10/19/96: L 6-2 at Hartford (Muzzatti).

·       Mike Dunham     11/07/96: W 4-2 at Chicago (Belfour).

·       Rich Shulmistra    1/01/98: L 2-1 OT at Florida (Vanbiesbrouck).

·       Chris Terreri(2)  10/24/98: W 3-1 vs. Boston (Tallas).

·       John Vanbiesbrouck 3/14/01: W 3-2 at Phoenix (Burke).

·       J.F. Damphousse   11/23/01: L 2-0 at Tampa Bay (Khabibulin).

·       John Vanbiesbrouck(2) 02/27/02: L 1-0 vs. Philadelphia (Cechmanek).

·       Corey Schwab(2)       11/23/02: L 3-1 vs. Tampa Bay (Khabibulin).

·       Scott Clemmensen       1/20/04: W 3-0 at Pittsburgh (Aubin).

·       Kevin Weekes          10/06/07: W 4-1 at Florida (Vokoun).

·       Scott Clemmensen(2)     11/09/08: L 2-1 vs. Edmonton (Deslauriers).

·       Yann Danis 10/29/09: W 2-1 at Boston (Thomas).

·       Johan Hedberg 10/23/10: L 1-6 vs. Buffalo (Miller)

(2)= second stint with Devils

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Minus: 2nd Periods. Devils have been outscored 17-4 in the middle period of games so far in 2010.

Minus: Power-Play. New Jersey just 2-for-28 with the man-advantage,
0-for-15 on the road in 1st nine games of season.

Minus: Ilya Kovalchuk. After reportedly being late for a team meeting, is healthy scratch in 6-1 drubbing against Buffalo.

Plus: John MacLean. Gutsy move scratching $100 million dollar sniper despite Devils’ slow start.

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