Blog Archives

The Metropolitan Division: Part I – The Columbus Blue Jackets

New Jersey Devils vs Columbus Blue Jackets

With the 2013-14 season looming closer, well be taking a look at the new and old Division match-ups in the new formed Metropolitan Division in this weekly blog. The first team we look at is one that the Devils aren’t all that familiar with, and haven’t played against since November 23, 2011: the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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The Stats: New Jersey Devils vs Philadelphia Flyers Infographic

Devils vs Flyers Stats

Game Preview – Game 35: Your New Jersey Devils @ Carolina Hurricanes

New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes

New Jersey Devils (19-14-1, 39 points) vs Carolina Hurricanes (11-19-6, 28 points)

7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the third of four matchups between the Devils and the Hurricanes this season. The Devils won both games played at Prudential Center this season on October 10 and November 8, both of which were decided in the third period.

Devils Vs Washington Recap:

Everything looked to be going the New Jersey Devils way in their last game against the Capitals on Friday, that is until the third period.

After a scoreless first period, the Devils had what I believe is one of their best second periods all season. Great constant pressure in the offensive zone eventually led the Devils to scoring three unanswered goals from Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Urbom, and Adam Henrique. The offensive play combined with Martin Brodeur’s goaltending, the odds seemed to be in the Devils favor… until the third period.

The three-nothing lead has always been considered the worst lead in hockey. This proved to be true once again as the Capitals scored three unanswered goals of their own forcing the game to overtime.

Once overtime had come in gone, it was time for a penalty shot shootout which saw Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias score on their attempts, and saw Martin Brodeur, not only stop Nicklas Backstrom, but ROB Alex Ovechkin for the win.

The win gave the Devils their 38th and 39th points of the season, which has them tied with the Ottawa Senators for seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Last Game Against Carolina:

CAR (L) @ NJD (W)
Final Score: 3-2

In their last game against the Hurricanes, the New Jersey Devils were without star forward Ilya Kovalchuk. They relied on offense of the line of Sykora-Elias-Zubrus which combined for two goals and three assists in the contest.

Adam Henrique had the eventual game winner as he successfully completed a wrap around which slid the puck under the pad of Hurricanes’ goaltender Arturs Irbe, I mean Cam Ward.

Henrique’s game winner was his second in as many games. “The kid’s got a knack for big goals,” coach Peter DeBoer said of Henrique who is now second in overall rookie scoring with 9 goals, 17 assists.

Projected Devils Lineup:

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

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Sestito – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Fayne
Volchenkov – Foster
Taormina – Urbom

Hedberg
Brodeur

*Note: Adam Larsson is not injured and is on his way back from Sweden after attending funeral services for his grandmother.
——————–
The Latest on the Carolina Hurricanes:

The season so far hasn’t been very kind to the Carolina Hurricanes, who currently find themselves last in the Eastern Conference Standings.

A coaching change has already been made this season for the Hurricanes as they have brought former Devil Kirk Muller on to be the head coach, and Muller has brought former Devils player and coach, John MacLean, to serve as one of the assistant coaches.

The Hurricanes are coming off of a win in their last game on Friday night as they defeated the Senators 2-1 in overtime, thanks to a goal from Tuomo Ruutu. It was the first time this season that the Hurricanes won a game that needed extra time to be decided. They currently have six overtime losses.

Cam Ward stopped 22 of 23 shots and is expected to make the start tonight at the RBC Center against the Devils.

Projected Hurricanes Lineup:

Tlusty – Staal (C) – Dwyer
Ponikarovsky – Jokinen – Ruutu
Bowman – Sutter (A) – LaRose
Nodl – Brent – Stewart

Gleason (A) – McBain
Spacek – Harrison
Joslin – Allen

Ward
Peters

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Game Preview – Game 34: Washington Capitals @ Your New Jersey Devils!

New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals (17-14-1, 35 points)  vs New Jersey Devils (18-14-1, 37 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the third of four matchups between the Devils and the Capitals. Most recently, they split a home-and-home on November 11 and 12, which saw the Capitals collect the win in New Jersey, and the Devils return the favor in Washington.

Devils Picking Up Play:

Despite being only four games over .500, the New Jersey Devils’ play recently has been picking up. Before their 4-1 loss Tuesday against division rivals, the New York Rangers, the Devils were on a season-high four game winning streak.

Looking at the standings, the Devils currently sit fourth in the Atlantic Division, but are still within striking distance of the teams above them. Currently the Devils are five points behind the Penguins, seven behind the Rangers, and nine behind the Flyers.  Not only are they within striking distance of division teams, but the Devils currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. A win tonight, could put them up as high as sixth. Also, their opponents tonight , the Washington Capitals, are only two points behind the Devils for eighth. A win tonight is key for both teams.

Tonight’s game at Prudential Center will be an important one for the Devils as they look to get back on the winning side of the standings. Despite having only won half of the games on their home ice, the Devils still have the best penalty kill in the league. And while their powerplay is good enough for 27th out of 30, the Devils might catch a break due to the Capitals having collected the least amount of points, in the East, while on the road.

Last Game Against Washington:

NJD @ WSH
Final Score: 3-2 SO

The Devils found themselves down 2-0 to end the first period, but goals from Petr Sykora and Ryan Carter tied the game up shortly before the end of the second period.

After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game went into a shootout. Zach Parise scored in the first round for the Devils, but the next skater for the Capitals was Alexander Ovechkin who got one past Johan Hedberg. The shootout remained tied until the fourth round when David Clarkson, of all people, scored the game winner.

Projected Devils Lineup:

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

Tedenby – Zajac – Clarkson
Sestito – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Foster
Volchenkov – Urbom
Taormina – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

*Note: Adam Larsson has been granted permission to return to Sweden to attend his grandmother’s funeral. He is expected to miss tonight’s game as well as Monday’s game against Carolina.*
——————–
The Latest on the Washington Capitals:

It’s hard to imagine that the Capitals have gone 10-14-1 since they started the season at 7-0-0. A lot has changed since than including a coaching change. After firing Bruce Boudreau, the Capitals now have Dale Hunter behind the bench calling the shots.

In their last game, on Tuesday, the Capitals defeated the Nashville  Predators by a score of 4-1. After this win, the Capitals have won four out of their last six proving that the Capitals team looks to have their feet back under them. The bright side of this victory was that the Capitals big-three, Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin all had a goal in the game. Surprisingly, this was the first time this had happened since October 2010.

Injury wise, the Capitals are still missing Mike Green, who is still recovering from a groin injury suffered six weeks ago. Besides him, no impact players are missing from their lineup.

Also, it is being reported that the Capitals will be wearing their third jersey tonight at Prudential Center. These are the jerseys that the Capitals wore during the Winter Classic last season.

Projected Capitals Lineup: 

Ovechkin (C) – Laich – Brouwer
Johansson – Backstrom (A) – Semin
Chimera – Halpern – Ward
Hendricks – Perrault – Knuble (A)

Alzner – Carlson
Schultz – Wideman
Hamrlik – Orlov

Neuvirth
Vokoun

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Game Preview – Game 20: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Your New Jersey Devils!

New Jersey Devils vs Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
 
(10-8-1, 21 points) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (5-13-2, 12 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the first and only time this season that the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets will meet. Last season, they met on March 20 in Columbus in which the Devils won 3-0 to secure Martin Brodeur’s 115th career shutout.

Devils vs Blue Jackets Recap:

The Devils were able to score three goals in under four minutes to give themselves a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission. The team look great. But, a 3-0 lead is always said to be the worst lead in hockey.

It proved to be true, as the Panthers scored two goals in each the second and third period. Tomas Fleischmann‘s goal with 2:03 left in the third period proved to be the difference.

The Devils wrapped up their five game road trip with a 3-2 record.

Devils Injury Updates:

Anton Volchenkov (facial laceration) missed most of Monday’s game against Florida, but will play tonight.

Eric Boulton (non-displaced fracture in right hand) has been assigned to Albany (AHL) for conditioning purposes.

Tim Sestito has been recalled from Albany (AHL).

Travis Zajac (torn Achilles tendon) has been cleared by doctors, and is expected to practice with the team in two weeks.

Jacob Josefson (broken clavicle) is still recovering and isn’t expected back until March.

Against the Blue Jackets:

All-time the Devils are 7-2-2-0 when playing the Blue Jackets and 3-0-1-0 when playing in New Jersey.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Blue Jacketswith 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 10 games played.

Ilya Kovalchuk, however, has the most career points against the Blue Jackets with 11 points  (3 goals, 8 assists) in nine games played. Kovalchuk is also two points away from notching his 100th career point as a New Jersey Devil.

Martin Brodeur is 6-2-2-0 in his career against the Blue Jackets with a 2.17 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus

Palmieri – Carter – Clarkson
Tedenby – Sestito – Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Columbus Coming off Back-to-Back Wins:

The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves last in the NHL standings with a 5-13-2 record. However, they have momentum they need coming into tonight’s game.

The Jackets beat the Flames Monday night, 4-1, and now have back-t0-back wins for the first time in 42 games, stretching back to February 2010. Luckily for them, this stretch wasn’t close to the NHL record for games played without back-to-back victories, which is 173 set by the Washington Capitals from the 1974-75 season to the 1976-77 season.

The team hopes these wins, will jump-start the team’s offense and defense, and get them out of the slump they are currently in.

Blue Jackets and Devils Stats and Tidbits:

While David Vyborny has the most career points, all-time, as a Blue Jackets against New Jersey, seven points (3 goals, 4 assists), Vinny Prospal has the most career points among active Blue Jackets with 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 50 games played.

The last trade between these two clubs happened back in 2003 when the Devils acquired Grant Marshall for a 2004 Conditional Draft Pick.

Curtis Sanford is expected to start between the pipes tonight for the Blue Jackets. He has a career record of 0-1-0 against the Devils with a 3.57 GAA.


Projected Blue Jackets Lineup:

Nash – Carter – Umberger
Prospal – Letestu – Johansen
Vermette – Pahlsson – Dorsett
Calvert – MacKenzie – Boll

Tyutin – Nikitin
Methot – Wisniewski
Moore – Clitsome

Sanford
Mason

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Game Preview – Game 19: Your New Jersey Devils @ Florida Ice Cats

New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers
New Jersey Devils
 
(10-7-1, 21 points) @ Florida Panthers (10-6-3, 23 points)
7:30 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus 
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

The Devils will get their first look at the Florida Panthers this season. They will play the current Southeast Division leader four times this season. Last year, the Devils and Panthers split the season series 2-2, but the Devils outscored the Panthers 12-10.

Devils Roll Past Lightning:

The Devils and Lightning met up on Saturday Night as the Devils came off a split back-to-back series against the Bruins and Sabres. The Devils hoped to ride the momentum they gained as they scored five goals on the Sabres last Wednesday.

After the first period remained scoreless, the Devils went into the third period leading 3-0 with goals from Dainius Zubrus, Patrik Elias, and David Clarkson.

The Devils defense held the Lightning to only 13 shots between the first two periods of play, but the Lightning came out firing in the third period. Brodeur kept the Lightning scoreless for 51 minutes until Martin St. Louis and Ryan Shannon would score within a minute and a half of each other to pull the Lightning within one.

Ryan Carter would score a goal with 2:03 left in the third, to seal the Devils victory.

Leaders for the Devils:

Points
Elias – 18 points
Parise – 11 points
Henrique – 11 points

Goals
Elias – 8 goals
Clarkson – 7 goals
Parise – 6 goals.

+/-
Elias +2
Fayne +2
Greene +2

Wins
Hedberg – 6 wins
Brodeur – 4 wins

GAA
Hedberg – 2.45
Brodeur – 2.88

Save %
Hedberg – .914
Brodeur – .888

Against the Panthers:

All-time the Devils are 43-21-9-0 when playing the Panthers and 20-12-5-0 when playing in Florida.

Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Panthers with 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) in 47 games played.

Ilya Kovalchuk, however, has the most career points against the Panthers with 63 points (32 goals, 31 assists) in 53 games played.

Martin Brodeur is 36-14-8  in his career against the Panthers with a 2.00 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus

Tedenby – Carter – Clarkson
Pelley – Mills – Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Panthers Hot Start Has Them Looking at Playoffs:

With the acquisitions the Panthers made this offseason, fans didn’t know what to think. They had lost star goaltender Tomas Vokoun to the Capitals, and signed Jose Theodore to replace him between the pipes. The Panthers also had Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Brian Campbell and Tomas Fleischmann all join the squad.

Currently Versteeg, Campbell, and Fleischmann are all averaging close to a point a game and somehow the Panthers find themselves in first place in the Southeast division with the competitive Capitals and Lightning looking up.

The last time the Panthers made the playoffs, Pavel Bure led the team in points and Bill Clinton was the President of the United States.

Panthers Career Stats Against Devils:

Stephen Weiss leads active Panthers in career points against the Devils with 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in 28 games.

All-time leaders for the Panthers include Scott Mellanby and former Devil, Rob Niedermayer, both have 20 points against the Devils as Panthers.

Jose Theodore is 7-14-2 in his career against the Devils with a 2.67 GAA.


Projected Panthers Lineup:

Fleischmann – Weiss – Versteeg
Sturm – Goc – Kopecky
Dadanov – Santorelli – Bergenheim
Kennedy – Matthias – Skille

Campbell – Garrison
Ellerby – Jovanovski
Weaver – Kulikov

Theodore
Markstrom

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