This will be the first of two matchups between the Avalanche and the Devils this season. They will play again on March 15, 2012 in New Jersey. Last year, in their one and only meeting of the season on October 15, 2010, the Avalanche won 3-2.
Did Parise Kick it In?:
The Devils seemed to have tied the game against the New York Islanders with two seconds left on Saturday, but the NHL War Room had a different opinion.
There is no question that Zach Parise directed the puck in off of his skate, but was it a distinct kicking motion? NHL Rule 49.2 states that if the puck is deflected in off the skate, it will count as a goal, but if the puck is propelled in by a distinct kicking motion, it will not be a legitimate goal. I was always under the impression that a distinct kicking motion was a pendulum, back to front, motion.
Evidently, Parise’s skate going to the right and making contact with the puck was enough for the NHL to declare it a distinct kicking motion, but listen to this:
In the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, Jay Pandolfo performed almost the same exact move as Parise. Originally the goal was waived off, unlike Parise’s which was called a goal. After going to Toronto to review the goal, the NHL said it was a goal because there was no DISTINCT kicking motion.
Clearly, most Devils fans believe it should’ve been a goal, but to quote head coach Peter DeBoer, “You live with it, and you move on.”
Against the Avalanche:
All-time the Devils are 30-26-9-0 when playing the Avalanche/Nordiques and 12-16-4-0 when playing in Colorado/Quebec.
Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Avalanche with 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) in 17 games played.
Zach Parise, has played in 5 career games against the Avalanche and has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in those games.
Martin Brodeur is 16-7-6 in his career against the Avalanche with a 2.22 GAA.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus
Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Boulton – Sestito – Janssen
Tallinder - Fayne
Salvador – Larson
Volchenkov – Fraser
Avalanche Having Hard Time Winning at Home:
Currently the Avalanche find themselves in midst of a eight-game homestand. So far on this homestand, the Avalanche find themselves with only two wins, with three games left. Also, in their last three losses, the Avalanche scored only two goals.
On the bright side, the Avalanche’s number one goalie, Semyon Varlamov is starting to come around. The former Capitals goaltender struggled in the beginning of the season with his new squad, but Varlamov has only allowed a pair of goals in each of his past three starts.
Projected Avalanche Lineup:
Duchene – Stastny – Hejduk
Landeskog – O’Reilly – Winnik
McLeod – Galiardi – Jones
Porter – McClement – Kobasew
Quincey – O’Brien
Hejda – Wilson
Hunwick – O’Byrne