Tag Archives: hale

Hale-ing a Ride to Calgary

Bye, David Hale.

I’m bummed to see him go. He was a large, stay at home defenseman, not a playmaker or a points-scorer but the kind of guy who could muscle a Crosby or Ovechkin out of the slot when needed. Rumors of his imminent trade have been swirling since his sustained benching a few weeks ago, culminating in today’s 11th-hour trade to Calgary.

For a draft pick.

True, Rafalski has picked up his play tremendously on the point, Paul Martin plays nothing like his real-world image (blond, skinny and glasses) and Lukowich and White are playing well (and healthy), and Oduya is the frosh surprise this year. But I likedDavid Hale, because he was quiet and hard-working, even when he wasn’t getting ice time; he was another fine product of the University of North Dakota (along with current fan fave Zach Parise); and I have a pile of his rookie hockey cards sitting in an album.

I’ve whined before about seemingly lopsided value trades made before, notably when Lou exchanged Suglobov for snowman Ken Klee late last season. Suglobov is in the AHL, Klee was waived and is now making snow angels in Colorado, and once again Lou demonstrated how he can win the GM chess game using a pawn, a knight and bottle cap.

Here’s hoping Hale puts a burr under the seats in the Saddledome. He’ll be missed by his Jersey fans.

Streaking

I will admit to a bit of a work detour today to check out the Devils boards hosted by the Newark Star-Ledger. The fans have not given up yet.

Every streak begins with one thing going the opposite way. Deflections. Soft goals. Power plays. Passes up the middle (ask the Joffrey Lupul of the Ducks). The Devils have had streaks of 9 in a row (anyone remember that from early in the season), then 15 in a row, so four in a row isn’t out of the question.

Who wants it more? When it came down to overcoming a 3-goal deficit in Montreal, it happened, clinching the division. When it came down to annihilating the Rangers at the Garden, it happened. Last night, when it came down to a game-tying goal, it happened (thanks Patrik, and Lou, please remember that around June 30th at 11:50 pm).

The series now alternates between arenas. In a way, good for the Devils, as they’re pretty tough when it comes to playing consecutive games with funky travel schedules. Notch a win on Saturday, and then a new streak can begin.

If not, then we’ll end the season with dignity and our heads up, after having seen great hockey and the emergence of true grit from Elias, Gomez and Gionta, as well as the maturation of Paul Martin and David Hale on the blue line. Who thought Elias would be a consistent leader in hits per game? There’s a whole off-season to ponder these things and I’m hoping it doesn’t start until mid-June for our Devils.

It only takes one thing to reverse a streak. Even the Red Sox figured that out.

Hale and Hearty

Devils win their first game in what seems like a fortnight. They get three power play goals (30%) after going 4 for 100 (yes, 4%) over the past ugly stretch.

Patrik Elias is practicing with the team again. We sincerely hope to see him wearing the captain’s “C” on his sweater very soon. In addition to the horns and tail, our big Devils could use some heart.

And today, David Hale was recalled from Albany. Welcome back to Jersey.

I can only believe these are good tidings for a good new year (and not just because I’m sitting on a small hoarde of David Hale rookie swag).

What’s Wrong With The Devils?

The past 48 hours have been busy here in Devils land. Everyone is asking “What’s wrong with the Devils?” Don’t know if there’s one answer, but the press wires and scoresheets have been busy.

Working backwards:

Larry Robinson resigns as the Devils’ coach. Whether or not the team’s woes are due to his action or inaction, coaching was putting him under so much stress that he’s been sick. Sick enough to bench Gomer and Mogs over the weekend. I expect the next red & black coach to have all the bedside manner of Herb Brooks.

Vlad Malakhov has announced his “retirement,” which I read as his ability to leave the team with grace. Dan McGillis, who was waived, was un-waived, and Tommy Albelin may rejoin the team. Where-oh-where is David Hale now that we need him? Albany is for politicians, not blue liners.

Saint Patrik was on the ice today. Sick no more, ready for mo’sick hockey. We missed you, Mr. Elias. Patty should find out where Marty Brodeur has been eating lately, because he could use a few extra pounds too.

Our little Devils ended a league points drought that went back to mid-November. They did so in fashion, tying the third-place team in an away game, coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to earn the league point. It was youth hockey the way it is meant to be played – hard but clean hits, lots of shots, great goaltending, solid defense, crisp passing, and glove taps after each shift.

I rounded out my weekend-as-Frosty by skating at the public sessions on Saturday and joining the DareDevils, our special needs hockey program, for some fun hockey and pictures. If I was looking for a moment to capture the spirit of the holiday season, it happened on Saturday morning when I discovered that one of our DareDevils has been selected for a mainstream youth hockey team. There’s no better evidence that good things happen if you believe in yourself and work hard.

I think that’s what’s wrong with the big Devils.