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Game Preview – Game 2: Hurricanes @ Your New Jersey Devils

Adam Larsson vs Flyers Oct 8, 2011“Oh no. Not again.”

Those were quotes I heard upon leaving Prudential Center this past Saturday night after the New Jersey Devils lost their home opener by being shut out against Atlantic Division Rival, the Philadelphia Flyers.

My response: It’s only one game. Chill out. There are 81 more games, and 81 more chances to win. This is not the same team as last season. We just weren’t the best team Saturday night. All will be well.

Personally, despite the loss, I was impressed with the playing of some of the newcomers. Adam Larsson looked calm and collected, and it was his first NHL game. The kid will only get better. I was also happy with the play of Brad Mills. In a way he’s reminding me of a John Madden. Only time will tell.

The Devils (0-1-0) have the chance to put critics to rest today as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes (0-1-1) at a special holiday start time of 1:00 PM.

As Coach DeBoer told the media Sunday after practice, “They haven’t been off to a great start with one point (0-1-1) in their first (two games) and we obviously weren’t happy with our (first game). So, I think you’re going to see two desperate teams going at it tomorrow.”

DeBoer also said the team needs to cutdown on turnovers and up their game speed. He stated he believes the Devils were playing at a practice speed, Saturday night, while the Flyers played at a NHL level speed.

At Sunday’s practice offensives lines were switched around, and are projected to look as follows, as per Tom Gulitti:

Parise-Elias-Sykora
Kovalchuk-Josefson-Palmieri
Tedenby-Zubrus-Clarkson
Boulton-Henrique-Mills

Defensive pairings are the same as Saturday’s home opener:

Greene-Larsson
Tallinder-Fayne
Salvador-Volchenkov

The Devils, in hopes of a win, are desperate enough that they are starting Johan Hedberg, in only the second game of the season in a game that’s not the second of a back-to-back series. Last year Hedberg didn’t get his first start until the eighth game of the season.

As I said earlier, it’s only one game. This team will only get better. Just remember last season. We have to take this one game at a time.

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