Battle of The Turnpike
As the New Jersey Devils took on their turnpike rival Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season. One of the keys to the New Jersey Devils success tonight was due to Nathan Bastian’s presence in the lineup. According to MSG Networks Bastian had 1 goal, 1 shot, 2 hits, 3 blocks in 10:02 of Time On Ice. That’s the key component to not only a key 4th line forward but a lunch pale workers hat trick in a minimal of goal, 1 hit, and 1 minimum blocked shot so remember that “lunch pale workers hat trick.” As mentioned in the recent article about Nathan Bastian being back he has been nothing short of being an above-average even-strength guy who can chip in offensively, and be that hard-nosed Sasquatch that can bully his way around the ice.
Bastian the Kitchener Ontario native was assisted by Toronto native Dougie Hamilton, and Nathan’s old Mississauga Steelhead linemate Michael McLeod of Mississauga, Ontario all contributed to that important drive in the 3rd period. The combination of the Ontario natives helped add size, speed, and that drive for success in crashing Martin Jones’ net.
The Swedish Strike
Nothing was daisies and rosy’s when Scott Laughton distinct was to take advantage of P.K. Subban on a power-play being 2 steps away from cutting him off, but Laughton went backhand for the goal. Andreas Johnsson was beginning to get rolling with the Swedish connection of linemate Jesper Bratt to get the lead back up. nevertheless, Pavel Zacha improperly chipped the puck off the backboards behind the net that bounced to Laughton to feed to Joel Farabee a USA Hockey program product that tied it up once again.
Momentum began to swing as soon as the Swedish Duo of Johnsson and Bratt connected once again with a few minutes later having the Ontario natives scoring it 4-2 that took the wind out of the Philadelphia Flyers sails. Calder Trophy Candidate Dawson Mercer did get an assist on Andreas Johnsson’s 9th goal of the season on the empty-net goal.
The Winning Variables
Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood is 7-0-2 vs. the Flyers in his career and it goes to show how locked in he is on this Flyers team. The Devils have a home game vs the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday and look to continue their progress whether Jack Hughes makes it in or not. This Devils roster has been challenged by bench boss Lindy Ruff and has been pressing the right buttons after a very bad effort versus the Nashville Predators.
Mason Geertsen helped bring the energy and the temperament and Lindy Ruff mentioned they have guys like him for a reason to protect guys like Jack Hughes like a Sasquatch ready to pound an opponent looking to take liberties on someone. Mason fought a good fight despite not taking his helmet off and getting cut, but he certainly raised the energy for the Devils and the home crowd positively.
The Devils did have 35 shots on goal and neither they nor the Flyers won the power play going 0/3. The Devils and Flyers were awash in the Penalty Minutes column at 11 each. New Jersey was a bit more disciplined in the Takeaways to giveaways ratio of 8 to 6 which is a net positive of 2 takeaways. One big critique that should be recommended is to not have P.K. Subban on the power play because he is not flee to foot if a shot is blocked. Subban learned the hard way that if he isn’t positioned to cut off his opponent a few steps ahead it will be hard to knock the puck off the opponents’ stick.
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