The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (25-8-1) at the Pittsburgh Penguins (25-10-1). This is the third meeting of the season, the third time in Pittsburgh this season and the Devils have won the first two games 4-1 each time.
The Last Devils Game: It started badly as the Thrashers got up 3-1 in the first. Marty was told to have a seat and Denis took over and the Devils hade a 4-3 lead after two and eventually hung on to win 5-4.
The Last Penguins Game: The Penguins continued their winning streak and took care of the Sabres in a shootout 2-1. It was the Pens 5th in a row.
The Last Penguins / Devils Game: The Penguins struck first and the Devils looked pretty terrible the first half of the game. Bergfors would put the equalizer in and the Devils wouldn't look back after that as they completely picked apart the Penguins team in the second half of the game.
Tonight's Matchup: It's sort of a Battle Royal really. In the last 10 games, New Jersey is 8-2-0 and Pittsburgh is 8-1-1. The Penguins and the Devils are tied for the League lead in points (51) and wins (25) but the difference in my eyes is that everyone expected this from Pittsburgh this season.
Usually I am complaining that the Devils showed up in the first period and then the effort slowly got less and less during the second and third but Saturdays game was the opposite. NJ looked flat in the first and then got it going in the second and third.
I'm sure Pittsburgh is focused on the fact that NJ has come into their building twice this year and had their way with them. Pittsburgh seems like a much healthier team this time around so look for them to be out to make a statement tonight.
I thought Brodeur needed a rest going into the weekend and he got a little bit of that on Saturday night as he took a seat after the first period, I just hope it was enough. The Devils Defense has to be better than it was on Saturday night because that first period was about as bad as it gets. A few line shuffles and they settled down a bit but I thought they could do better. The have to know the Pens offense struggled in the last game and will be looking to have a solid game tonight.
These are the games we love, the important (yes, even in December) games where the Division is on the line.no comments
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (23-8-1) vs. the Ottawa Senators (17-12-4). This is the third meeting between the two teams this season and the Devils are 2-0 against the Senators so far.
The Last Devils Game: Flat, dull and lifeless are words I would use to describe the effort put forth in the game against the Canadiens the other night. Somehow, the Devils walked away with a win, and did so in regulation.
The Last Senators Game: The Senators knocked off and shutout the Buffalo Sabres 2-0. Brian Elliot did a nice job in net for the Sens stopping all 22 shots he faced.
The Last Devils / Senators Game: The Devils were going through a losing streak and had come home to face the red hot Ottawa Senators. Elias scored his first goal of the season with just under a minute and half left in the second and would prove to be the game winner, which happened to be his 68th GWG of his career. Langenbrunner added and empty net goal to give the Devils a 3-1 win.
Tonight's Matchup: Let me start off by asking a question. Other than the Sabres game this month, have the Devils actually played a game where they made an effort the entire 60 minutes? My answer is no. They've started games well but then fizzle somewhere in the 2nd or the 3rd period. They lost to a Florida team that had been playing awful and then beat a Canadiens team that played worse than the Devils. It's time to stop playing this way. Ottawa won't be as bad as Montreal the other night and won't go away as easily.
The power play is another issue for the Devils. Wednesday night the power play was utterly useless getting 3 shots on net in 5 chances. Not only that, they coughed up the puck at the point and watched the Canadiens march down the ice and score a shorthanded goal. The power play is supposed to cash in on chances every once in a while, not put the team in a hole.
Zach Parise has been snake bitten recently and just can't seem to put the puck in the net. All players go through this but it can get frustrating for players and fans when they do. It seems like Lemaire is going to shake up the lines a bit tonight to see if he can break Parise out of this funk that he's been in.
On paper the Senators look a little beaten with injury after injury but that might be what the Sabres thought the other night and they watched the Sens shut them out. If NJ comes out with another performance like Wednesday night, look for the Senators to walk away with the win...easily!!
The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (22-8-1) vs the Montreal Canadiens (15-16-3). This is the first meeting of the season.
The Devils Last Game: After coming out flat against the Florida Panthers, the Devils played a very strong game against the Flyers. With 3 quick goals in the first, the Flyers were never able to make a game of it. Bergfors and Elias both had a chance for a hat-trick.
The Last Canadiens Game: The Canadiens lost 4-3 to the red hot Buffalo Sabres (8-2 in their last 10) but the game ended on a bizzare note. At the 19-second mark, Montreal used its timeout with Buffalo killing a penalty for the final 2 minutes after Tony Lydman was sent off for high sticking. The scoreboard clock did not begin to run for well over 10 seconds when play resumed.When a stoppage in play occurred with just over 7 seconds showing on the clock, the referees signaled that time had expired.
Tonight's Matchup: Lets get a few things out of the way. Marty ties Roy's record of most games played by a goalie, Scott Gomez is back in town for the first time this season, Gionta is hurt or we'd say the same about him and the Canadiens are a team, to me, that one can overlook.
Cammalleri is the real scoring threat for the Canadiens with 18 goals on the year but the rest of the team is under performing. They are also in a little bit of turmoil in the goalie position because Gainey offered to trade Jaroslav Halak to the Flyers, which rumors have it that Halak asked for a trade.
The Devils aren't without a little controversy themselves as Lemaire sort of called out Johnny Oduya.
Bergfors has been extremely hot lately coming of a 2 goal game and has 6 gaols in the last 10 games. Parise has been putting up a number of assists lately but hasn't been able to put a puck in the net since the Nov 28th matchup against the Islanders.
Hopefully the Devils that came to the rink on Saturday night is the same team that shows up against the Canadiens. That Devils team was much better with passing and shutting down the oppositions chances than the team that showed up on Friday night.
The Canadiens don't scare me, even though you know Gomez will be giving it his all and then some tonight. Marty would love to get #104 against his hometown team but that's not something I am ever going to predict.
Prediction: Devils win 4-2
The Devils and the Pathers are teams traveling in different directions at the moment. Florida is 1-5-4 in their last 10 while NJ is 7-2-1 in that same stretch. I've always felt bad for the Panthers because other than the run they put together in '96, the Panthers haven't given their fans much to cheer about since. Big name after big name has traded in their Florida address for something else, anything else..
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (21-7-1) vs. the Florida Panthers (11-14-6). This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams.
The Last Devils Game: The Devils started off well against the Hurricanes the other night going up 3-0 in the second before the Canes got 2 goals to make a game of it. The Devils held on scoring an empty net goal to give them the 4-2 victory. Highlights here if you missed them
The Last Panthers Game: The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Panthers and just killed them 3-0. The Panthers, as mentioned above are 1-5-4 in the last 10 and haven't been able to assemble much of an offensive attack in those 10 games. Highlights here if you missed them
The Last Devils-Panthers Game: Seems like a different team now doesn't it? The Devils went into Florida with a 1-2 record hoping for some luck to put together their first winning streak of the season. The Devils won 3-2 in regulation on a late tip in goal by David Clarkson.
Tonight's Matchup: Put together a decent 60 minutes and I think you walk away from this game with 2 points under your arm. I don't want to brush off the Panthers at all but with a -8 goal differential in their last 4 games, how can you not? The Devils are, without a doubt the better team tonight but there is one thing going in favor for Florida tonight.
Scott Clemenson will get the start against his old team, against the team who's season he saved last year. I'm sure Clemenson would love to stroll into The Rock tonight and steal one from his former employer. Not helping the Devils focus is that the Flyers come into town tomorrow night and I am hoping NJ isn't looking past tonight's game.
Marty is the rumored starter tonight although at this time it isn't yet confirmed. I'd rather see Denis in tonight so Marty can get ready for Philly tomorrow night. Marty has started the last 8 and played in the last 15 games so I think he's in need of a night off. Since we don't know who's in tonight, this little stat needs to be mentioned as these won't stop coming into my inbox until the record is Marty's. Brodeur's last shutout over Florida occurred Oct. 26, 2006, when he turned aside 29 shots in a 2-0 victory. It was his fifth over the Panthers in his career.
I do think the Devils take care of businnes tonight and handle the Panthers 3-1.
Devils come home tonight and host the Carolina Hurricanes which is the first game of a five game homestand. I can't say a lot of negative things about this team after the Buffalo game the other night and that scares me a little bit.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (20-7-1) vs. the Carolina Hurricanes (7-17-5). This is the second meeting of the season.
The Last Devils Game: The Devils put together one amazing game in Buffalo. When the Devils got the lead, they didn't sit back on the lead, they jammed it down the Sabres throats even harder. Broduer notched his 103 career shutout tying the legendary Terry Sawchuk.
The Last Hurricanes Game: Carolina hasn't been playing well at all this season so I was really surprised to see them go into Pittsburgh and beat the Penguins 3-2. They did get a 3-0 lead before the Pens started fighting back but were able to weather the storm.
The Last Devils / Canes Game: Better known as shutout #102 for Marty, Jamie Langenbrunner got the lone goal of the game and the Devils won 1-0 which also happened to be their first win of the season at home.
Tonight's Matchup: Carolina is the owner of the worst record in the league and its gotten so bad that they healthy scratched their captain for Monday's tilt against the Penguins but the Devils can't afford to overlook this team.
Cam Ward is going to be back in net after a lengthy injury and while there will be some rust, I would imagine this could also be a boost to the team as well. Hopefully NJ takes the same approach they did on Monday and really try to take it to the Hurricanes.
Langenbrunner has a five-game points-streak (2 goals, 4 assists) and has 5 goals and 17 points in the last 14 games. Center Travis Zajac has notched 3 goals and 12 points over the last 12 games.
I would expect Lemaire to have the Devils focused at the task at hand and predict a 3-1 win for the Devils.no comments
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (19-7-1) @ the Buffalo Sabres (16-8-2). This is the second meeting of the season.
The Last Devils Game: With the celebration of the 1995 Stanley Cup team, the Devils came out of the gate with emotions high. The problem was that the emotional lift didn't carry them through the entire game and the Devils watched a 2 goal lead evaporate. In the end, shootout goals from Parise and Elias sealed the deal.
The Last Sabres Game: The Rangers held Buffalo scoreless until late in the game and were able to beat the Sabres 2-1. It was one of those game where the opposing team's goalie steals the show and gets the victory for his team.
The Last Sabres/Devils Game: Buffalo got out to a lead quickly and they never looked back. They took it to the Devils 4-1 but this was during the streak in which the Devils were unable to put together a decent effort in their own building.
Tonight's Matchup: The Devils are starting to slip back into the team we saw under Brent Sutter, the team that seems to sit back a little on a lead and then play too much defense in order to get the win. Sometimes it works and sometimes, like Saturday the opposition finds a way to erase that lead. The Devils MUST hit the gas at all times. The Sabres are not a team that you can sit back on, at any point in time.
I'd like to see a little more from the top 6 forwards. I don't feel like they are putting enough shots on the opposing goalie, 74 shots in the last 3 games. I thought the first period agasint Detroit was excellent but it dropped off after that. In a game against a deep team like Buffalo, I'd like to see that first period from Saturday executed all night long.
Prediction Time: Sabres will want to bounce back from the Rangers loss and the Devils probably feel a little too content about themselves at the moment after winning 2 in a row. Sabres 3 - Devils 1.no comments
The Devils get back at it tonight when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. To say the Devils looked horrid in their last game would be generous.
The Matchup - The New Jersey Devils (17-7-1) vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning (10-8-8). This is the third meeting of the season and the Devils won both of the previous games were won in shootouts.
The Last Devils Game- I was afraid that the Devils would give the Canucks far too many opportunities to put the puck in the back of the net and that they did. The Devils got in a huge hole early, started to make a game of it and then got the door slammed in their face in the third.
The Last Lightning Game- Tampa Bay went up to Boston and got massacred 4-1. The reviews of that game were quite similar to the review of the Canuck/Devils game.
Tonight's Matchup- Both The Devils and the Lightning are going to be looking to make a statement in this game. Both teams are coming of very bad losses and need to bounce back. The Devils can make their fans feel much better about losing to the Canucks in the fashion that they did if they stick it to the Lightning tonight. Tampa Bay has one of the worst PK's in the league and the Devils must have huge success with the penalties they draw.
I know I personally won't be happy with another shootout win. Tampa Bay is a team that is playing much better this season than I thought they would be but they don't play consistently enough for me to call a playoff calibre team. To me, this is a team that should take a beating. The last thing I want to do is limp into a matchup with the Red Wings tomorrow night.
For thoughts on the Lightning Point of view for this game, visit our friends at The Hockey Bay.no comments
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (17-6-1) vs. the Vancouver Canucks (14-12-0), first meeting of the season.
The Devils Last Game: The biggest win of the season so far, a 6-1 blowout of the divison rival Islanders and the 3rd straight victory for the Devils.
The Canucks Last Game: The league leading Sharks took care of the Canucks 4-2, who didn't put up much of a fight.
Thoughts on this game: Vancouver is the owner of the third best powerplay in the league so it's a no brainer that staying out of the box is an absolute must tonight. We saw what Dallas did with a few to many PP oppurtunities a few games ago. The Devils hope to see Neidermayer and Pandolfo return to the lineup tonight but will be a game time decision. Langenbrunner hurt himself in practice and we're aren't sure on the health of him at the moment.
If you go through the numbers and take the Sharks game out of the equation, I think the Canucks are a very solid team, at least on paper. Their record would contradict that statement but I know they got off to a rough start this season.
My prediction is not a good one for nj.. 3-2 Canucks.no comments
It's rare that the New Jersey Devils are home at Thanksgiving but they play 10 of the next 12 games at the Rock, starting with the Ottawa Senators tonight.
The New Jersey Devils (14-6-1) vs. the Ottawa Senators (12-6-3). This is the second meeting of the season.
The Devils Last Game: It was a crazy game, getting down early to the Stars, battling back to tie the game at 3 only to watch the Stars score 2 more times to secure the 5-3 victory. Devils have 1 point in their last 3 games and need to get back to winning.
The Senators Last Game: The Senators battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in regulation and then beat the Capitals in OT. (How many time has that happened to Washington this season??) The Sens have been a surprise to me this season and are now sitting on top of the Northeast Division.
The Last Devils / Senators Game: The Devils rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 victory in Ottawa on Nov. 7, as Zach Parise and David Clarkson each notched a goal and an assist while defenseman Andy Greene scored the game-winner on a power-play goal 7:20 into the third period. Martin Brodeur made 19 saves in his 1,000th NHL start to notch the victory.
Tonight's Matchup: The Devils have been on a small little slump with 1 point in 3 games and the Senators have been hot with a 4 game winning streak. The Sens did have a little bit of bad luck come their way the other night while #1 goalie Pascal Leclaire got the night off in Washington, a puck entered the bench and hit Leclaire in the cheek breaking the cheekbone. The Senators will be without their #1 goal for 4 weeks.
I thought the Devils were un-focused in Dallas. They got the lead early, let Dallas right back into the game and then took a few bad penalties and watched their penalty killers struggle. They did a decent job coming back and making a game out of it but then let Dallas slam the door shut.
The Devils will dress 7 defenseman again tonight, as they did in Dallas but Tyler Eckford will be the defensman that plays up on the wing tonight and on the point during the power play. Corrente will get to stay on defense tonight.
The Devils had a nice streak going and now they've gotten away from it. Time to right the ship and the Senators are the right team to do it against.
My prediction: Devils 4 - Senators 2no comments