Author Archives: Kevin Lankey

Game Preview – Game 42: Your New Jersey Devils vs Calgary Flames

New Jersey Devils vs Calgary Flames

New Jersey Devils (23-16-2, 48 points) vs Calgary Flames (19-19-5, 43 points)
9:30 PM EST
TV: MSG+ 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight mark’s the one and only time that the New Jersey Devils and the Calgary Flames will battle this season. The two teams last met in November of 2010 which saw the game end in a 2-1 shootout win for the Devils.

What a Difference a Year Makes:

Saturday marked the one year mark since the Devils traded their Captain, Jamie Langenbrunner, to the Dallas Stars. It seemed ever since that move, the Devils horrific season seemed to turn around despite missing the playoffs for the first time since the 95-96 season.

The Devils win on Saturday over Pittsburgh, which saw Ilya Kovalchuk score his 15th goal of the season which puts him in a tie for the team-lead with David Clarkson, put them at 48 points so far this season. This is impressively better as the Devils had only 22 points at the halfway point of last season.

This season so far, the Devils have seven players with double digit goal totals. Some of the skaters are surprises including David Clarkson, who has already surpassed his scoring from last season. Other  surprises include Petr Sykora, who made the team out of training camp, and rookie Adam Henrique.

The Devils currently find themselves sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. They are two points out of fifth, four out of fourth (currently held by the Flyers), and eight behind the Rangers for first in the division and the East.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Palmieri – Zalewski – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Tedenby

Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

Scratches: Zajac, Josefson, Janssen

——————–
The Latest on the Calgary Flames:

The Flames are coming off a bounce-back win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday after they were embarrassed by the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, 9-0.

The game against the Wild saw important career milestones get reached. Going into the third period the Flames and Wild were scoreless until Lance Bouma was able to beat Niklas Backstrom for his first National Hockey League Goal. This goal started a rally which saw Jarome Iginla score, the eventual game winner, as well as Curtis Glencross. Iginla’s goal was his 500th career NHL goal. What makes this mighty impressive is all the goals were scored with the same team, the Calgary Flames.

Iginla has shown no signs of stopping either, as he is currently on pace to score 30+ goals again in what would be his 11th consecutive season.

Flames Stats Leaders:

Points – Jarome Iginla, 33
Goals – Curtis Glencross, 17
Assists – Olli Jokinen, 21

Projected Flames Lineup:

Glencross – Jokinen – Iginla
Stempniak – Backlund – Bouma
Byron – Jones – Comeau
Brostopolous – Horak – Jackman

Bouwmeester – Butler
Brodie – Sarich
Wilson – Babstache

Kiprusoff
Irving

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game Preview – Game 41: Your New Jersey Devils vs Pittsburgh Penguins

New Jersey Devils vs Pittsburgh Penguins

New Jersey Devils (22-16-2, 46 points) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (21-14-4, 46 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: 970 AM WNYM

Matchup:

This will be the third of six meetings between the Devils and the Penguins this season. Pittsburgh won the first game, which was played in Pittsburgh, 4-1. The Devils were able to secure a win against Pittsburgh at Prudential Center on the last day of 2011 by a score of 3-1.

Devils De-claw Panthers:

Last night’s game between the Devils and Panthers did not seem like a hockey game until the third period. It seemed to resemble a tennis matchup early on. Adam Henrique gave the Devils an early 1-0 lead, but the Panthers were able to tie it just under four minutes later. Mr. 1,000, Patrik Elias, was able to give the Devils an early lead in the second period, scoring just 36 seconds into the period. Yet, the Panthers struck again just over two minutes later to tie the game, again.

It seemed as if it was going to be one of those games, again. The Devils blowing leads, and when it appeared that Florida had something to prove, coming out firing in the third period, I did not have a good feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Just seconds after the Devils Army Generals asked on Twitter who would score the game winning goal for the Devils, we had a goalvalchuk. Kovalchuk’s 13th of the season gave the Devils a 3-2 lead, which was enough for the eventual win. Kovalchuk scored a shorthanded empty netter for his 14th of the season, and Captain Zach Parise also scored an empty netter for his 14th of the season as well.

Palmieri Re-Called:

The New Jersey Devils have announced that right wing Nick Palmieri has been re-called from Albany of the AHL, and places Anton Volchenkov on injured reserve, retroactive to December 31.

This season with New Jersey, Palmieri has four goals and three assists in 23 games played. He has been sent down to Albany twice so far this season. In Albany, Palmieri has three goals and one assist in 15 games.

As for Volchenkov, he has missed three straight games after suffering a lower body injury against Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve.

Where to Watch the Game:

The Devils Army Generals will be hosting a viewing party tonight at Simko’s Grill in Brielle, NJ. There will be giveaways, drink specials, photo-ops, and an appearance by Devils alum, and Stanley Cup Champion… Jim Dowd!

Be sure to check the event on Facebook, by clicking here, for more details!

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Zalewski – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Palmieri

Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

Scratches: Zajac, Josefson, Janssen

——————–
The Latest on the Pittsburgh Penguins:

Just last week, the Penguins were on the verge of tying the New York Rangers on-top of the Atlantic Division standings, after being prevented by the Philadelphia Flyers, the New Jersey Devils also gave them a loss on New Year’s Eve.

Last night, the Rangers gave the Penguins their season’s worst winless streak of three games, all of which have been against division rivals. After losing at home last night in Pittsburgh, the Penguins will come out strong to make sure they don’t lose back-to-back games at CONSOL Enery Center. Despite the Penguins going up against future hall of famer Martin Brodeur, who has been playing spectacularly against the Penguins recently going 3-1-1, the Devils have yet to win at the Penguins’ new home, 0-3-1.

On the injury front, the Penguins saw Pascal Dupuis (lower body), Steve Sullivan (illness), Richard Park (foot), Paul Martin (lower body) and Zbynek Michalek (undisclosed) all return to the lineup for the Penguins’ game against the Rangers last night. However, just when it seemed all was starting to right itself, the Penguins may be without center Jordan Staal.

With just under five minutes left in the game, Staal and Rangers forward Mike Rupp collided at center ice in what appears to have been knee-to-knee contact. Staal was in obvious pain, but eventually stood and made his way off the ice. Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma had no update on Staal’s condition at the end of last night’s game and he is listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Devils.

Projected Penguins Lineup:

Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
Dupuis – Staal – Kennedy
Sullivan – Park – Cooke
Adams – Vitale – McDonald

Orpik – Niskanen
Martin – Michalek
Lovejoy – Engelland

Fleury
Johnson 

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game Preview – Game 39: Boston Bruins @ Your New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

New Jersey Devils (21-15-2, 44 points) vs Boston Bruins (24-10-1, 49 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

This will be the second of four games between the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins this season. The two teams last met on November 15, in Boston, which saw the defending Stanley Cup Champions sneak past the Devils, 4-3.

Shorthanded Goal Blows Devils Third Period Lead: 

The New Jersey Devils kryptonite this season has been third period leads and shorthanded goals. Both of these combined to give the Devils only their second overtime loss this season.

So far this season, the Devils have given up 12 shorthanded goals. No other club has given up more than five shorthanded goals. Currently, the Devils are on pace to break the season-record of shorthanded goals against, which is 22 shared by three teams: the 1984-85 Pittsburgh Penguins, the 1991-92 Minnesota North Stars, and the 1995-96 Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche.

On the bright side, the Devils currently are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for scoring the most shorthanded goals as a team, so far this season, with seven. Last year, the Devils only had five shorthanded goals all season.

No matter how atrocious the powerplay unit seems this year by not converting on powerplay chances and giving up shorthanded goals, the team is still doing a lot better than they were at this point last season. Just be thankful that the Devils aren’t 19 games below NHL-.500, like they were at one point last year.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Taormina – Foster

Brodeur
Hedberg

*Note: Travis Zajac is expected to be a scratch tonight due to expected soreness in his achilles tendon.
——————–

The Latest on the Boston Bruins:

After a slow start, the defending Stanley Cup Champions found themselves with the longest winning streak in the league earlier this season, 10 games. After that was ended, a new streak started when the Bruins looked to win their eighth consecutive game in their last game of 2011 on Saturday against the Stars, but the Stars had different plans handing the Bruins a 4-2 loss. During the Bruins’ seven-game win streak, the Bruins outscored their opponents by a 32-8 margin, but were outshot 244-212.

If you’re a Devils fan reading this, the intimidating stat is the Bruins are 21-3-1 in their last 25 games and are 10-2-0 in their last 12 road games.

Tonight’s game will be the Bruins first game of 2012, and only their third in the past 12 days. The question going into the game is: will the rest benefit the Bruins or will they be relaxed?

Projected Bruins Lineup:

Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin
Pouliot – Kelly – Peverly
Paille – Hamill – Thornton

Chara – Boychuk
Seidenberg – Corvo
Ference – McQuaid

Thomas
Rask

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game Preview – Game 38: Your New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils vs Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Devils (21-15-1, 43 points) vs Ottawa Senators (19-5-5, 43 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight, the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will meet for the second time this season. They last met on December 8 at Prudential Center which saw Adam Henrique give the Devils the edge in a shootout, 5-4.

Devils Only Fourth in the Atlantic Division?:

Am I reading the standings right? The Devils find the Islanders as the only team under them with an 11 point difference.

The Devils have gone 7-3-0 in their last ten, and are playing some of their best hockey this season. Going into tonight’s matchup, the Devils find themselves tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference Standings  with their opponents for the night, the Ottawa Senators, and the newly re-formed Winnipeg Jets. Tonight’s game between the Devils and Senators is an important one as even though they are tied for sixth in the East, they’re only one point ahead of the ninth place Washington Capitals.

After their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Devils find themselves three points behind the flight-less bird for third in the division, and fifth in the Conference.

The only problem with the Devils so far this season, when it comes to the standings at least, is they’re heavily relying on the shootout. The first tiebreaker for this season, is regulation+overtime wins. Shootout wins will not count. So far this season, the Devils have eight of their 21 wins in a shootout, giving them 13 regulation+overtime wins. Most of the others in the conference have around 18, 19 wins. The Devils need to learn to hold onto a lead and get wins in regulation or, if they must, the sudden death overtime.

Henrique named Rookie of the Month:

For the last month of 2011, Adam Henrique was named the rookie of the month.  Henrique  had 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) and posted a +9 rating in 14 games in the month. Henrique was a key part to the Devils winning 10 of 14 games and propelling the Devils into sixth in the Eastern Conference.

This is the first month that Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has not won the award, showing that Adam Henrique is indeed a threat for Rookie of the Year at season’s end.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–
The Latest on the Ottawa Senators:

The Senators are dominating the All-Star balloting, which is no surprise due to the game being played at Scotiabank Place.

The Sens find themselves tied for sixth with the Devils and Jets in the Eastern Conference standings, and are second in the Northeast Division. The Senators won five of their last seven games which has them within six points of the Bruins for the division lead; however, the Bruins have four games in hand on the Senators, which might be the Division title out of reach for the Senators with the way the defending Stanley Cup Champions have been playing.

A player to watch on the Senators tonight is Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens Captain has five points in his last five games.

Projected Senators Lineup:

Greening – Spezza – Michalek
Condra – Turris – Alfredsson
Foligno – Smith – Butler
Daugavins – Konopka – Neil

Kuba – Karlsson
Cowen – Gonchar
Phillips – Lee/Carkner

Anderson
Auld

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game Preview – Game 37: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Your New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils vs Pittsburgh Penguins

New Jersey Devils (20-15-1, 41 points) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (21-12-4, 46 points)
3:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Today’s matinee matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils will be the second game between the two clubs this season and the first of three at Prudential Center.

Balanced Scoring is Success:

The Devils have won eight of our their last 11 games, and the credit for this success is the balanced scoring seen from the team this season.

The Devils, who currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference standings with 41 points, are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers with seven skaters with double-digit goals.Patrik Elias is the leading scorer so far this season with 13 goals, but right behind him are Zach Parise (12), David Clarkson (12), Ilya Kovalchuk (11), Petr Sykora (10), Dainius Zubrus (10), and rookie sensation Adam Henrique (10).

Speaking of Adam Henrique, he is the player to watch for the Devils today. Remember, Henrique made the team out of training camp this season, to find himself on the fourth line and not really making the most of his chance. He was sent down to Albany of the American Hockey League to work on his game. Following an injury to Jacob Josefson (broken clavicle), Henrique was recalled and has been on fire since. Currently on a three-game point streak (2 goals, 1 assist),  the rookie is second on the team with 18 assists and third on the team with 28 points.  He is only seven points, behind Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the rookie lead in scoring.

Last Game Against Pittsburgh:

NJD (L) @ PIT (W)
Final Score: 4-1

Devils Goal Scorers: Patrik Elias

Pittsburgh Goal Scorers: Staal (2), Kunitz, Neal

For more game stats from this game, click here.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen

Salvador – Larsson
Volchenkov – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–
The Latest on the Pittsburgh Penguins:

The Penguins looked to move into a tie with the New York Rangers at the top of the Atlantic Division, but the Philadelphia Flyers prevented that from happening and snapped the Penguins’ four-game winning streak.

Speaking of four-game winning streaks, the Penguins look to win their fourth straight against the Devils, despite Martin Brodeur starting in net  who has a 8-1-1  with a 0.79 GAA and four shutouts in his last 10 starts versus Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is also 1-4-1 in their last six road games against the Devils.

The Penguins will need an offensive surge from center Jordan Staal, which shouldn’t be a problem considering his success against New Jersey. He’s currently on a three-game goal-scoring streak, giving him 15 so far on the season, projecting him for 36 total this season.  In his last two games against the Devils, Staal has three goals and an assist.

Projected Penguins Lineup:

Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Sullivan – Vitale – Dupuis
Williams – Adams – Asham

Orpik – Niskanen
Despres – Michalek
Lovejoy – Picard

Fleury
Johnson 

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Best to Wear – #21

Devils Army!

Time to cast your vote as we continue to create the “Best to Wear” Devils Roster

You will have until Friday, December 30 at 11:59 PM EST to cast your vote for who you think was the Best to Wear # 21.

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