December 5, 2013

steve laidlaw

2013-12-05

Only three games last night but don't worry, I've got lots of material for you…

 

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Make sure you vote in our latest Cage Match Tournament, my single greatest creation. Rick Roos is running this one, so make sure you direct all complaints to him!

 

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You also have to read Rossy's ramblings from yesterday over at DobberProspects. He went in depth to break down the prospects you'll see at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships later this month.

 

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That was a wild third period in the Devils-Habs game. It was looking like another Eastern Conference snoozer with the Habs up 1-0 heading into third when the teams blew the doors off. The Devils took the lead on goals from Andrei Loktionov and Michael Ryder who teamed up with rookie forward Reid Boucher to be the Devils most productive line last night.

 

 

Ryder and Loktionov each got a goal and an assist, while Boucher, skating in his first career game, registered his first career point, an assist.

 

Loktionov has some upside but not right now. He can't even get a regular power play shift on this team so keep him on waivers.

 

Ryder on the other hand, jumps up from his third line spot to top unit power play time so he has some value but he has struggled so far given the Devils' mediocre power play (19th in the league) and general lack of playmakers. But he looked good last night firing five shots on goal and showing some real jump. I am not convinced this is the end for him.

 

Consider that he is shooting right around his career average this season but his teammates are not offering him much at 5-on-5 where his on-ice shooting percentage is just 5.15%. We already touched on the miserable power play but some renewed health from Patrick Elias would certainly help in that department.

 

The only thing that really concerns me is the decline in Ryder's shot rate. A third of the way into the season he is only taking 1.57 shots per game. His career average (2.42) is damn near a full shot per game higher than that. In Ryder's worst seasons as a pro he allowed his shots per game to drift below 2.00, which doesn't bode well for this season.

 

Still, I don't see why he has to drop off SOOO much just because the Devils stink. I could see him giving you a 40-point pace the rest of the way, which is by no means great but it's better than what he's done so far.

 

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The Habs were able to tie the game up at 2-2 on a goal from Lars Eller assisted by Alex Galchenyuk and Raphael Diaz.

 

The EGG line has really slowed down and has in fact been broken up with Brendan Gallagher skating on a line with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. That said, Eller may be waking up a bit with four points in his last five.

 

Then with a minute to go PK Subban delivered one right to the tape of Elias for a beauty assist. You'll find Subban's credit for that one in the minus column.

 

 

Don't fret because he soon made up for it. With the net empty and the puck in the Devils' zone Subban pinched in and took out Elias allowing Brian Gionta to pick off