Another New Jersey Devil Down

JerseySenior Analyst INovember 23, 2008

John Madden has scrawled his name onto the long list of hurt Devils. Barry Tallackson took his name off the list, returning from a heart condition, and started in Madden's place.

Kevin Weekes returned to the net for the S, but the result was the same as the previous two Scott Clemmenson-manned games: a W, this time squashing the Islanders 5-2.

Weekes played well again, but it was the offense that stole the show. Brian Gionta continues to play well, and David Clarkson chipped in again, solidifying himself as a surprising yet solid producer. The juggernaut that is Zach Parise added three assists (as did captain Jamie Langenbrunner).

The problem is that the S have been utterly inconsistent all season, and despite this recent run, they're quite susceptible to yet another mini-collapse. This team will struggle to make the postseason, and while I don't think that's out of reach, this team has yet to make a statement.

Then again, that statement could be coming soon, with Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik nearing returns. Add Andy Greene to the list of returning players; and don't forget Marty Brodeur in three (or so) months.

If the team plays just decently right now, they could be poised to pounce come playoff time. The Devils remain frustrating for the moment, but opponents best keep an eye on them, because they aren't going away.