New Jersey Devils Pick Up Where They Left Off

JerseySenior Analyst IJanuary 28, 2009

The Devils entered the All-Star break in first place in their division. They began their second half (not exactly half, but you get the idea) tonight, as did their rivals, the Rangers and Flyers, both of whom were right behind them in the standings.

By the time the night ended, the Devils were still in first place, defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-1. The Rangers won as well, but the Flyers lost, giving the Devils a drop of breathing room.

The Devils won tonight the same way they've won all season. It was a very good all-around game with some solid goal scoring and good defense. I'll take four goals any day, especially from a Devils team that had trouble scoring until this year. But the Devils have figured it out, and picked it right up again tonight, tallying those four goals.

Their defense continues to play well as a unit, and Scott Clemmensen did his job once again. The Devils could not have asked for more from Brodeur's temporary replacement, and the defense has done a good job making up for the lesser man in net. Together, the sum of the defense has done its job well, and has been a major factor in the Devils' surprising rise.

Even Brendan Shanahan got into the mix again, scoring for the second time in his three games. He's been quite a great fourth-liner. The no-risk/high-reward move has paid off thus far, and he's relegated former fan favorite Jay Pandolfo to bench warming duties.

The team is poised and hasn't missed a beat. The second half is going to be awesome.