Devils

Schwei On Ice: An October To Forget For Devils

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) scores past New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) as San Jose Sharks right wing Dany Heatley (15) assists in the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) scores past New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) as San Jose Sharks right wing Dany Heatley (15) assists in the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

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By John Schweibacher
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The Devils finished the month of October with a record of 3-8-1. The seven points are the third-lowest total ever in the season’s opening month since the club moved to New Jersey back in 1982:

Lowest October point totals:

· 1983-84 — 1-10-2 — 2 points
· 1984-85 — 3-6-0 — 6 points
· 2010-11 — 3-8-1 — 7 points
· 1982-83 — 3-6-3 — 9 points
· 1985-86 — 4-5-1 — 9 points
· 1996-97 — 4-5-1 — 9 points
· 2007-08 — 4-6-1 — 9 points

San Jose’s Joe Thornton had three goals and two assists in the Sharks’ 5-2 win over the Devils last week. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Thornton became the 12th player to record a hat trick with Martin Brodeur allowing all three goals. The last hat trick against Brodeur came from current Ranger, Marian Gaborik, who scored three times against Brodeur back on February 17th, 2004 for Minnesota. Here are the 12 players who have scored three times with Brodeur in goal:

· Cam Neely 2/12/94 at Boston
· Mario Lemieux 10/28/95 vs. Pittsburgh
· Keith Tkachuk 11/28/96 at Phoenix
· Doug Brown 12/19/97 at Detroit
· Stu Barnes 1/10/98 at Pittsburgh
· Aleksey Morozov 10/7/99 vs. Pittsburgh
· Jan Hlavac 1/6/01 at NY Rangers
· Alexei Kovalev 2/10/01 at Pittsburgh
· Zdeno Ciger 1/15/02 vs. Tampa Bay
· Martin LaPointe 3/13/03 vs. Boston
· Marian Gaborik 2/17/04 vs. Minnesota
· Joe Thornton 10/27/10 at San Jose

Three players (Alex Kovalev, Mark Parrish and Sean Bergenheim) have registered hat tricks in games against the Devils and Brodeur but their 3rd goals of the game were all empty-net goals with Brodeur pulled for the extra-attacker at the end of the games.

Thornton’s five-point game was the first by an opponent against New Jersey since February 1st, 2007 when Alexandre Picard of the Flyers had five assists in the Devils’ 6-5 overtime win in Philadelphia. The record for most points ever against New Jersey in a single game is eight–shared by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Gretzky had three goals and five assists in a 13-4 Oilers win over the Devils in Edmonton on November 18th, 1983. Lemieux scored five times and added three assists in an 8-6 Penguins victory over New Jersey on December 31st, 1988 in Pittsburgh.

The Devils complete their road swing with a stop in Chicago against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks before heading home to face the Rangers.

Monday night’s contest with the Canucks meant another Martin Brodeur vs. Roberto Luongo match-up. Luongo’s Canucks shut out Brodeur and the Devils, 3-0. Speaking of shutouts, Luongo ranks 2nd to Brodeur in shutouts among active NHL goaltenders and is 4th in wins:

Wins by active NHL goalies:

· Martin Brodeur — 605
· Chris Osgood — 397
· Nikolai Khabibulin — 309
· Roberto Luongo — 273
· Marty Turco — 267

Shutouts by active NHL goalies:

· Martin Brodeur — 112
· Roberto Luongo — 52
· Chris Osgood — 50
· Nikolai Khabibulin — 42
· Marty Turco & Tomas Vokoun — 40

The Devils face the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago. New Jersey went 0-1-1 in their two meetings against the eventual Stanley Cup Champs last season, a 5-1 loss at United Center last New Year’s Eve and a 2-1 shootout defeat in Newark back on April 2nd.

10 players who appeared in the playoffs for the Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run did not return to Chicago this season. The most departing players the Devils have had in a season following their Cup wins is six, after the 2003 playoffs. Here are the players who left New Jersey immediately after appearing in their three Stanley Cup winning post-seasons:

1995

· Tom Chorske (Ottawa)
· Danton Cole (NY Islanders)
· Bruce Driver (NY Rangers)
· Claude Lemieux (Colorado)

2000

· Brad Bombardir (Minnesota)
· Steve Brule (Cincinnati-AHL)
· Claude Lemieux (Phoenix)
· Vladimir Malakhov (NY Rangers)

2003

· Ken Daneyko (retired)
· Jim McKenzie (Nashville)
· Joe Nieuwendyk (Toronto)
· Pascal Rheaume (NY Rangers)
· Richard Smehlik (retired)
· Oleg Tverdovsky (OmskAvangard-Russia)

The Devils host the Rangers on Friday night at Prudential Center. The Rangers won the first meeting between the two clubs, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago. Henrik  Lundqvist got the victory that night for New York, improving his career record against New Jersey to 19-7-5.
Lundqvist’s 19 wins against the Devils are the most among active NHL goaltenders:

· Henrik Lundqvist — 19
· Rick DiPietro — 12
· Nikolai Khabibulin — 9
· Martin Biron — 8
· Marc-Andre Fleury — 8
· Patrick Lalime — 8

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Minus: No Offense.

•Jason Arnott, one goal last 10 games.
•Travis Zajac, no goals since opening night.
•Ilya Kovalchuk, one goal last six games and just four shots in last three games.

Plus: Matt Taormina. Three goals now tie rookie defenseman for club lead.