Cammalleri Named NHL’s Third Star of Week, Ruutu Practices

Mike Cammalleri has been tearing it up lately and the NHL has taken notice. Each week, the league names it’s “Three Stars” (it also does so at the end of the month). This week’s stars include Ducks goalie John Gibson (named first star), Predators d-man Shea Weber (named second star) and the Devils’ Cammalleri (third star).

Cammalleri, in the week ending December 6 (of which this award covers), led the league with seven points, according to the Devils’ website. He had four goals and three assists. He also has registered three straight games with multiple points (three points against Carolina – two goals and one assist, two against the Flyers – a goal and an assist and two against Florida – a goal and an assist). This season, he has nine multi-point games and is fifth in the NHL in scoring (11 goals, 19 assists, 30 points).

According to the press release on the Devils’ website, Cammalleri has had three straight multi-point games two other times in his career: February 3-10, 2007 while with the Kings when he had three goals, five assists for eight points and February 24-March 1, 2009 while with the Flames when he had four goals and four assists for eight points.

The press release also notes that he is the fastest Devil to hit the 30 point plateau since 2009-10 when Zach Parise did it in 24 games. It has taken Cammalleri 27 games.

In other news, Tuomo Ruutu, who has been out since October 16 with a fractured foot, practiced with the team yesterday (December 6). He told MSG cameras that he is “almost ready to go” and that he is itching to get back “since day one.” Coach John Hynes said that he has been working at practice on further learning the system and will be back when he is ready. He said that Ruutu is putting in extra work and getting acclimated to his teammates.

He injured his foot in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Sharks at Prudential Center when he blocked a shot that he was not ready for.

Ruutu said that the team has not talked about getting him back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game at Toronto.

The Devils will head to Air Canada Centre firmly in the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, looking to further add to their points total. They are 14-10-3 with 31 points on the season.

Ruutu Leads Finland over Belarus, Tootoo Resigns

For the Devils, the 2015 offseason has been a busy one, and we have not even approached the Draft yet. In the wake of the news of Ray Shero being signed as the team’s first new General Manager in 28 years, some other interesting happenings have occurred around the team.

On Monday, May 11, Tuomo Ruutu’s Team Finland took on Devils’ prospect Artur Gavrus and Belarus at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic. Ruutu’s squad overcame the upstart Belarusians 3-2 in a shootout. Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators made 23 saves in the victory. Ruutu did not score a point in the game and has one assist in six games in the tournament. Finland and Russia are tied for second in Group B with 14 points, the US leads group with 15 points. Finland plays their final preliminary game against Russia tomorrow (May 12).

On the Belarusian side of things, Gavrus had a great chance to get his team up by two when he was denied by Rinne on a 5-on-3 man advantage. Yevgeni Kovyrshin had scored early in the third to break a scoreless tie. Finland would take the lead, 2-1, but Gavrus would strike again, setting up the game tying goal scored with 31 seconds left in the third period. After a scoreless overtime period, Jussi Jokinen scored in the shootout to give Finland the victory.

Belarus still has a chance to advance to the quarterfinals by earning one point in its game against Norway on Tuesday. That game is their last game in the preliminary round, so it is kind of a do or die situation for the team.

In other World Championship/Devils news, Jacob Josefson scored a goal as Sweden defeated France 4-2 on Monday. It was the opening goal of the game, giving Sweden a 1-0 lead. France scored two unanswered to take a 2-1 lead until Filip Forsberg of Nashville scored twice and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Arizona (the World Championship tournament’s leading scorer) scored once to give Sweden the victory. The Swedes stand at second place in Group A and, in the quarterfinals, will meet the third place finishing team from Group B.

Back on the homefront, the Devils resigned their nominee for the Masterton Trophy, Jordin Tootoo. As per team policy, President Lou Lamoriello did not release the terms of the deal when it was announced on Saturday, May 9. The 32 year-old Tootoo, who led the Devils with 72 penalty minutes last year also potted ten goals and fifteen points. His goal tally was his best since 2007-08 (he had eleven goals that year as a member of the Predators). He played in 68 games after signing with New Jersey out of training camp. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The Devils have a lot to do this offseason to get ready for 2015-16. Hopefully, the re-signing of a potential UFA who saw a career renaissance here with the Devils will be a step in the right section. Tootoo is a high energy guy who got the team going with his grit and speed on nights when they were not fully in the game. He also won over the fans with his toughness and skill. If he can bring that to the table this coming season, then the signing will be good move.

The Devils will probably be making few more moves to get younger and faster up front. Another goal scorer that can take some of the burden off of Mike Cammalleri can only help New Jersey in the long run. Time will tell just what new GM Ray Shero has up his sleeve.