It seems like a common complaint coming from my mouth lately but the Devils schedule just seems to have large gaps of days with nothing going on. Of course, now that I complain about it again, you'll notice the Devils have 3 games over the next 4 days and tonight's game has a slew of activities for fans.
Lets get to the activities first...It's Mystery Puck night which means you can buy a puck at the stadium tonight for $25 (proceeds go to Unicef). Every puck is guaranteed to be signed by a Devils player or coach and will be individually wrapped (I bet they look like Ding Dongs) so the identity remains a surprise until after purchase. It's also "College Night" which means discounted tickets for college students (and lots of drunk rowdy fans!!) and if that wasn't enough, if you show up tonight in a costume, you can enter the Annual Devils Halloween Costume Contest and winners will get...wait for it....tickets to a Miley Cyrus concert at The Rock in November, or if you're like me you can choose a catered Devils Suite for a Devils home game for 20 people. OK, on to some pre-game hockey talk...
The Matchup - New Jersey Devils (6-3-0) vs Buffalo Sabres (6-1-1). This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
Last Game - The Devils rolled into Pittsburgh on Saturday night, stomped all over the defending champs and left the igloo with a 4-1 win for their 3rd win in a row but comes at a price as Martin and Pandolfo both go down with injuries. The Sabres come to NJ on the way back home after a successful 2 game sweep against the Florida teams.
Game Thoughts - Martin is going to be a big loss over the next few weeks but as I said the other day, it could have been worse for him and we could be throwing around the words surgery and months out of the lineup. Mike Mottau will jump back into the lineup after missing the Penguins game due to injury but as of yesterday, the Devils were still being very tight lipped about the defense-man taking Martin's roster spot. Pandolfo is also a significant injury tonight because he's one of the Devils best checking forwards and Buffalo is a very deep team but from reports on other sites, the Devils players understand they need to overcome these injuries and not let them ruin what they've accomplished so far. Marty is rumored to be the starter tonight but there is also a rumor that Denis will get to start in one of the next 3 games. I fear with the loss of their number one D man and the fact that Buffalo is a really good forechecking team, the Devils defense might feel reason to try and sit back a little more than normal tonight which could cause Marty (or Denis) to see a large amount of shots. Ryan Miller is an excellent goalie but the Devils have put 3 and 4 goals on Lundqvist and Marc Andre Fluery over the last two games. With that said, the Sabres do scare me a little bit and we all know the Devils have been a little less than stellar at home so far this season.
Enemy Blog For Tonight's Game - Double Edged Sabresno comments