I’m not sure it was really talked about a ton this summer, but how huge is Brian Rafalski for Detroit? He sure fit right in last night, dishing and shooting, and playing that tenacious Jersey defense. I watched him fairly often when he was a Devil, and I always thought he was solid, but unspectacular. Watching him last night against the Ducks, his -1 and all, I was really impressed. That’s the thing about the Devils. They always have/had great players, but they never get any kind of chance to shine. Brent Sutter, the Devils’ new coach, is trying to reinvent the Devils, going so far to wonder about the role of a checking line. Sutter mused aloud to the Post: “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong, but I don’t like the idea of having a checking line that’s just your checking line.” That’s like Bruce Springsteen asking if every song needs a saxophone solo. It’s just madness. But maybe the Devils are going to try and let their talent hang out a little more.
Detroit beat the Ducks in the shootout, 3-2.