The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (35-18-2) vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs (18-28-11). This is the third meeting between the two teams this season.
The Last Devils Game, The Last Leafs Game, & The Last Devils-Leafs Game: These two just met on Tuesday night in which Dion Phaneuf and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made their Leafs debut. Phaneuf made some hits, threw some fist and acted like a total pansy by not taking of his visor (maybe my #1 pet peeve in fighting). Giggy wasn't challenged and Toronto kept NJ off the board while getting 3 of their own. Overall, it was a disappointing game.
Tonight's Matchup: Kovalchuk makes his NJ Devils debut. I can actually say I never thought I'd write that sentence. So the goal tonight is to do everything differently than they did on Tuesday, make Kovalchuk feel at ease with his new team and hopefully start some kind of chemisty with the fantastic #17.
I'd imagine Brodeur will get the start tonight after getting to sit on Tuesday night.
I trashed Oduya a little bit in my Kovalchuk piece but now I will throw him a little bone. The defense won't have Oduya out there now so they will have to do a little better job containing the Leafs tonight. I'm sure we'll get to see Salmela tonight as well and certainly hope he brings something to the table as well.
NJ will need to make Giguere work. After last weekend, the Leafs team is a better team as we found out on Tuesday. I'm just hoping after yesterday, this Devils team is a much better team and the Leafs will find that out tonight.
Wonder what Kovalchuk can do? Watch this....
Yea, I think he's got some talent in those hands of his.
As for the lines, I really have no idea but I'll take a stab. (Don't be surprised if Kovy ends up on with Parise and Zajac tho).
Brian Rolston - Dainius Zubrus - Ilya Kovalchuk
Jay Pandolfo - Rob Niedermayer - Patrick Davis
Rod Pelley - Dean McAmmond - Vladimir Zharkov
Colin White - Mike Mottau
Anssi Salmela - Mark Fraser