Last weekend, the NJ Colonial Coaches hosted the NJ Devil Alumni at Mennen Arena for a benefit hockey game. The “War to Restore NJ, Hockey Night in Morristown” was the brain-child of Sue DeBoer, (Peter DeBoer’s wife) and the first time the NJ Colonial Coaches played the Devils alumni in a charity event. Monies were raised for local charities to assist those in need affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund founded by Mary Pat Christie. In addition to 100% of the proceeds going to charity, there was also a food drive for the Interfaith Food Pantry serving the Morris County Area.
As the saying goes, the cream always rises to the top and as a Devils General newbie I was thrilled to take part in an event, that included the crème de la crème of the NJ Devils top brass. Last week, I had the privilege of joining Prudential Center’s PR extraordinaire, Kerry Graue and esteemed Devils General, @SpeakoftheDevs, Carlos Figueiredo for a press conference announcing the Albany Devils returning to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
My alarm clock was set to the unspeakable hour of 5:30 a.m. which gave me enough time to get ready to meet the group at the Prudential Center at 7:15 am. Yes, that was AM. Armed with containers of caffeine we made the trip down to Atlantic City to Boardwalk Hall. Once inside the building I was struck by the 137 foot-high barrel vault ceiling. Built in 1929 it was touted as an architectural marvel at the time. Today, it is simply just an awesome place to watch hockey. Read the rest of this entry
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
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
Tuesday was my first New Jersey Devils viewing party, but it certainly didn’t go as planned. The Devils lost a close game, my ride somehow got lost in Morristown for twenty minutes and I missed the entire first period. There was traffic on the Parkway and it was a long day of work. French fries were thrown. Were it any other event, this night would have been a total disaster.
However, my night at North Brunswick Pub defied a troublesome start. A trip far from the friendly confines of the Rock proved more than hospitable when at least 50 Devils fans packed into a bar with more than 20 HD TVs. It was a hockey paradise with drink specials and 35-cent boneless wings.
Grant Marshall of the 2003 Stanley Cup team was there to sign autographs and quite approachable. Fellow general Kevin Lankey went home with four autographed pucks for friends, Marshall talked hockey with anyone who wanted to chat and even posed for photographs. Other autographs were raffled away from Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias. It was a fun night for a few lucky Devils fans.
Though the game didn’t go our way, the Devils kept it interesting. Against the defending Stanley Cup champs, our Devils repeatedly battled back before falling in the final minutes to the Boston Bruins. Scoring three goals against Tim Thomas is no small feat and the Devils received goals from David Clarkson and Nick Palmieri. It was Palmieri’s first two-goal game of his career.
The result wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but the energy throughout the bar was electric and it was a great way to watch an away game. The Devils Generals thank the North Brunswick Pub for being wonderful hosts and turning each of their 20 screens to a great Devils hockey game.
There will be another Devils viewing party in West Hampton next weekend. The Devils Army invades South Jersey for a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. If a night filled with traffic and anger that ends in a loss can be this much fun, Saturday’s viewing party is bound to be more exciting. We’ll see you there.
The New Jersey Devils are participating in Try Hockey for Free day, a nation wide event to introduce young kids to hockey by getting them on the ice. Try Hockey for Free is one of the events that fall under Come Play Hockey Month, an initiative put together by the NHL and USA Hockey to help increase participation of hockey in the United States.This Saturday, November 5th, more than 430 hockey rinks are opening up to get kids between 4-9 years old in pads and skates to teach them about the sport that we all love, for free!
The Devils are hosting their Try Hockey For Free event at the AmeriHealth Pavilion, next door to the Prudential Center. Starting at 1:30PM, kids will get the chance to learn how to play with the help of some of our very own New Jersey Devils alumni, Ken Daneyko and Grant Marshall. Joining them is NHL pioneer, Willie O’Ree as the NHL’s Hockey Is For Everyone (HIFE) ambassador. Being the first black person to play in the NHL, O’Ree has paved the way for future players and is currently NHL’s Director of Youth Development. He will be a guest on NHL Live! tonight at 6:30PM to talk about tomorrow’s event.
It’s open to the public so feel free to stop by and bring the kids!