Winnipeg Jets (5-6-1) @ New Jersey Devils (5-5-1)
7:00 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
This is the first of four matchups between the Devils and the Jets this season. Last season, the Devils took three of four from the then, Atlanta Thrashers.
Devils Sneak Past Flyers:
A lot happened in Thursday’s game against the Flyers that could make any Devils fan angry. Especially Danny Briere’s shootout move which angered some NHL fans.
The Devils found themselves down 2-0 in the second period, but retaliated quickly after Philly scored their second goal. Zach Parise scored with a quick backhand to pull the Devils within one. Not only was this goal important for the entire team, but it gave the Parise, Henriqure, Kovalchuk line some energy. This proved as minutes later, Ilya Kovalchuk stole a pass and fed it to Adam Henrique for Henrique’s first career NHL goal.
The Devils then found themselves down early in the third period after a penalty shot was awarded to Maxime Talbot. With just over six minutes left in the game, great pressure by the Devils and Patrik Elias, especially, allowed the surging David Clarkson to score and send the game into overtime.
Elias and Parise scored for the Devils in the shootout giving the team a huge win, but not before some controversy with Flyers’ Danny Briere’s shootout move. It appeared that Briere came to a complete stop along with the puck, which is a no-no. Rules state that the puck must maintain a forward motion at all time. From certain replays it appears that the puck does indeed move backwards after Briere stops. The referees reviewed it and called it a goal. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out.
The Devils’ Curse:
Two of the Devils key centermen, Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson, are currently out with injuries making the middle of the Devils lineup a bit lacking.
Martin Brodeur missed about three weeks with a sore shoulder. When he returned, he seemed a little off of his game. Even going as far as to say that his shoulder hurt Thursday morning, and he doesn’t know if the shoulder will ever be 100%.
Now, Andy Greene was a last minute scratch on Thursday night due to a lower body injury that Head Coach Pete DeBoer said that Greene had been playing with for a while.
And just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse. Ilya Kovalchuk appeared to have pulled a muscle while skating late in the third period. During this morning’s skate, Kovalchuk was skating with Parise and Henrique but left the ice early. Not looking good, but could be a game time decision.
AND THEN, after leading the Devils to a win over the Flyers, Johan Hedberg said he suffered a back injury during the game. He says he feels much better now, though.
Against the Jets/Thrashers:
All time the Devils are 26-10-8-0 when playing the Jets/Thrashers and are 12-6-4-0 when playing in New Jersey.
Patrik Elias has the most points as a Devil against the Jets with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists).
Dainius Zubrus also has 34 points in his career against the Jets also with 14 goals and 20 assists.
Ilya Kovalchuk has four goals and one assist in five games played against his former club.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Clarkson
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus
Tedenby – Carter – Palmieri
Pelley – Mills – Janssen
Salvador – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Fraser – Volchenkov
Jets Catch Devils’ Curse
If you thought the New Jersey Devils had it bad with injuries, the Winnipeg Jets will laugh in your face. The Jets blueline is struggling at the moment missing key components of the Jets defense, including backup goaltender Chris Mason. Here are the Jets injuries coming into tonight’s game.
Tobias Entrom (upper body)
Ron Hainsey (upper body)
Chris Mason (groin)
Mark Stuart (upper body)
Randy Jones (right foot)
The Jets are also without forward Eric Fehr due to a shoulder injury.
To offset the missing players, the Jets have called up Paul Postma, Brett Festerling and Mark Flood from the St. John’s IceCaps from the American Hockey League.
Jets Against Devils:
The Jets (not the Atlanta franchise, but the old Jets who are now Phoenix) were 20-8-7-0 when facing the Devils in the regular season, including 8-5-4-0 when playing in New Jersey.
Since this franchise used to be the Atlanta Thrashers, the leading scorer against the Devils, now plays for the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk had 15 goals and 9 assists against the Devils.
Now the leading scorer against the Devils is Nik Antropov with 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists) in 29 games against the Devils.
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is 2-2-1 with a 2.61 goals against average all time against the Devils.
Projected Jets Lineup:
Ladd – Little – Wellwood
Kane – Antropov – Burmistrov
Mcardle – Stapleton – Wheeler
Glass – Slater – Thoburn
Postma – Byfuglien
Festerling – Bogosian
Oduya – Flood
New Jersey Devils (4-5-1) @ Philadelphia Flyers (7-4-1)
7:00 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
This marks the second of six games between the two clubs this season. The Flyers and Devils last played on October 8 which was the Devils home opener, which saw the Flyers ruin the night by shutting out the Devils, 3-0.
Last Game Recap:
Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs saw a lot of back and forth action. The Leafs would score, and then the Devils would tie it up. Unfortunately, Joffrey Lupul would lead the Leafs with a hat trick in the second period, giving them the 5-3 win.
The big story of the game was the return of Martin Brodeur in goal. Brodeur had missed nearly three weeks while recovering from a sore shoulder. It is no lie that Brodeur appeared to be rusty in his return, but did produce a highlight reel save on Leafs forward Phil Kessel. The save was almost the same move that Brodeur injured his shoulder on. Afterwards, Brodeur said his shoulder felt fine.
Elias sets Devils Record:
With his 93rd career powerplay goal on Wednesday night, Patrik Elias passed John MacLean and is now the franchise record holder for most powerplay goals. When asked about breaking the record, Elias told the media that it’s “not important at all if it happens in a loss.”
Not only was that goal Elias’ 93rd career powerplay goal, it also saw Adam Larsson’s first career NHL point. Larsson got the primary assist as he fed the puck beautifully to Elias.
Elias felt bad for not collecting the puck for Larsson as a souvenir. Here’s a picture of the puck.
Against the Flyers:
All-time the Devils are 87-70-18-0 in 54 games played against the Philadelphia Flyers
When playing in Philadelphia, the Devils are 32-45-11-0 against the Flyers.
Patrik Elias is the residential Flyer killer, with 70 points (32 goals, 38 assists) in 70 career games.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Kovalchuk – Parise – Sykora
Elias - Zubrus – Clarkson
Tedenby - Henrique - Palmieri
Mills – Carter – Janssen
Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
Ilya Bryzgalov was signed to be the Flyers number one goaltender. But things seemed iffy for the Flyers between the pipes when both Bryzgalov and backup Sergei Bobrovsky gave up a combined nine goals against the Winnipeg Jets. After that, Bryzgalov told the media he had “lost his way.”
The Flyers even announced on Monday morning that Bryzgalov was not going to talk to the media except in postgame (only if he played). However, the club is informed that it violated the league’s media policy and soon the media ban was lifted. Goalies can continue to talk to the media on a daily basis, but they will have a time limit.
All seems to be right with the number one right now as he has only allowed three goals in back-to-back wins.
Look out for Scott Hartnell, who has scored five goals in five games, and has collected 10 points in that span.
Projected Flyers Lineup:
Hartnell – Giroux – Jagr
van Riemsdyk – Couturier – Voracek
Simmonds – Talbot – Nodl
Rinaldo – Holmstrom – Shelley
Timonen – Coburn
Lilja – Meszaros
Gustafsson – Carle
Six long, long months have passed since the New Jersey Devils stepped onto the ice at Prudential Center. A lot has changed over summer. New coach, new players joining the squad, former players re-joining the squad, and a new captain.
October 8, 2011: Game One.
The New Jersey Devils will begin regular season play as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center in Newark. The Devils will hope to rid horrid thoughts of a dismal start of a season last year, only to become the best team in the NHL when it was too late. A season in which their new captain, Zach Parise, didn’t get much of a chance.
Parise was sidelined for most of the 2010-2011 season due to knee surgery, but after being resigned to a one-year deal in the offseason, and being named the ninth captain in New Jersey Devils history, Parise is ready to bounce back.
New faces joined the club out of training camp, including Eric Boulton, Brad Mills, Adam Henrique and the fourth overall draft pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Adam Larsson. Fans are excited to see what Larsson, who was called the most NHL ready out of any in the draft, has to offer. If pre-season was any indication, it’s going to be exciting to see Larsson and Kovalchuk sharing the points on the powerplay.
One of the biggest surprises going into this season is the return of Petr Sykora. Now wearing number 15 as opposed to his old 17, Sykora opened eyes and showed that he still has it. He re-gained chemistry with old linemate Patrik Elias, and have now formed what some are calling “A-Line 2.0″ with Zach Parise.
The first game of this season, the Devils will get a look at a new Flyers team. The Flyers shipped out sniper Jeff Carter and Captain Mike Richards in order to sign a number one goaltender. They signed Ilya Bryzgalov who showed he is the real deal as he stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Flyers victory over defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins, on Thursday night.
The big story for the Flyers is seeing if Jaromir Jagr was a good sign. So far, he seems to be creating chemistry with linemate Claude Giroux, even netting his 1,600th career NHL point in Thursday’s contest.
This will be a fun contest to watch these two energetic, fast-paced teams. The Devils need to get off to a great start and plan to do so behind Martin Brodeur who is making his 16th season opener appearance with the Devils.
We would love to hear what you think about the Devils going into this season. Leave a comment below telling us what you’re looking forward to most this season, who’s going to have a breakout year, or just your prediction for the game tonight.
Ever since that Sunday in April, Devils fans were chomping at the bit to know when they’d get their hockey back. Well wait no more! October 8, 2011 is the day we can all return to The Rock as the Devils take on the Flyers. In addition to that game I’ve listed some of the more important games to look forward to this year. Read the rest of this entry