In their only matchup of the season, tonight the San Jose Sharks will take on the New Jersey Devils.
Big stories are stemming from the game tonight, including Colin White’s return to New Jersey. As you may remember, White was bought out by the Devils during the off-season to free up salary cap space. The question is, when White steps onto the ice, will he be booed or applauded for his time here in NJ?
On the injury front, Martin Brodeur has been sidelined due to his injured shoulder. Brodeur has said that it is getting better, and he hopes to travel with the team in the upcoming road trip. Due to this injury, Johan Hedberg will make his third start of the season. Currently, Hedberg has been standing on his head…berg, while in goal. He has a 3-0 record with a 1.41 GAA. Dressing as the backup tonight will be rookie Keith Kinkaid. Coach Pete DeBoer stated he hates having players on the bench that he doesn’t use. With back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow, at Pittsburgh, it IS possible that Keith Kinkaid could start tomorrow night. Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, the Devils have not played a single game since last Saturday in Nashville. After the great comeback victory, the Devils had five long days off in between that game and tonight’s game. Can the Devils still ride the momentum of their three game winning streak? Or will these days off come back to hurt them? Ilya Kovalchuk hopes to keep leading the way for the Devils. He has been averaging just over 27 minutes per game, which put him fourth in the NHL. While it’s fourth in the NHL overall, it’s first among forwards. He currently leads the team in points (4) and is tied with Zach Parise for the team lead in goals (2).
Coach DeBoer will be making one lineup change tonight compared to the last game at Nashville. Despite his fight having sparked the comeback, Cam Janssen will be the healthy scratch on offense, and Mark Fraser will be the healthy scratch on defense. Lines were altered during the Nashville game, and they remained the same way during practice the past couple of days.
Here are tonight’s projected starting lineups:
Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer night at Prudential Center. For more information on what will be going on throughout the arena tonight, check out this post.
Tonight at the Prudential Center, as the Devils host the San Jose Sharks, and in several other NHL arenas across the United States, hockey fans worldwide can unite in a fight that goes beyond fists and gloves. I’m sure by now most of us have seen or heard the public service announcements and print flyers featuring several NHL stars urging us to “join the fight” against cancer by supporting the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.
To promote the month-long initiative, each of the 30 NHL teams has dedicated one night in October as “Hockey Fights Cancer” Awareness Night. Ours is tonight! There will be several things happening tonight at the Prudential Center to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer and to encourage those who have been affected firsthand by the disease. The National Anthem will be sung by Samantha Dango, a cancer survivor’s daughter. Young patients and other children affected by the disease from the Devils’ and Prudential Center’s local hospital partners (the Barnabas Health System, Atlantic Health System, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Holy Name Medical Center) have been invited to attend tonight, some of whom will be participating in Zamboni rides during intermission.
The Devils will once again hold a Mystery Puck sale to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer. Each signed puck will be gift-bagged so that you don’t know whose signature you have received until after you buy it. The pucks will go on sale in the main concourse when the doors open. Be sure and arrive early to reserve your place in line for this fun and worthwhile opportunity.
In addition, collections will be taking place for donations at entrance points throughout The Rock. Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise will be on sale tonight at the Devils Den. Devils’ coaching staff and broadcasters will be wearing ties, hats, jackets, and other official apparel. The Hockey Fights Cancer PSAs will be aired throughout the evening, some featuring Devils players. Devils and Prudential Center staff will be wearing Hockey Fights Cancer pins and lavender ribbons to show their support. The Devils homepage and social media pages will all keep with the Hockey Fights Cancer theme. All proceeds from tonight’s events will be donated back to the Devils’ and Prudential Center’s local hospital partners.
Hockey Fights Cancer was founded in December 1998 by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association as a way to raise money and awareness in cancer research, prevention, and care. The initiative has raised over $12 million so far. Hockey Fights Cancer is a part of the NHL’s “Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice” campaign, which consists of several initiatives designed to address and improve social issues affecting people worldwide.
I’m sure we all know or know of somebody who has been affected by cancer. As we work and progress towards finding a cure for this disease, let’s all remember that we are ALL on the same team. Devils Army, let’s unite and fight against a common enemy. Tonight will definitely be a memorable, fun, and touching evening. I hope to see some of you there!