Saturday, January 06, 2007


Game: Devils @ Ottawa, 3 of 4

The New Jersey Devils will visit the Ottawa Senators in an afternoon game today.

Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 92.3 FM, WXRKaaaay-Ro...I mean FREE FM.
Devils Record Vs. Senators: 1-1-0 Preview

The Devils will take a depleted defensemen unit up to Ottawa to take on the Ottawa Senators. According to Colin Stephenson's article in today's Star Ledger, here's what we know:
So the Devils will take their 5 game unbeaten-in-regulation streak up against a Senators squad who has also had a similar streak, lasting 7 games. The Senators have been getting it done without top center Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher; as they impressively and decisively defeated the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. For insurance, they traded prospect Alexei Kaigorodov to Phoenix for Mike Comrie. I don't know if that speaks highly of either guy, I know Comrie is reputed to have skill, he has yet to make a lasting mark (well, a positive one, I'm pretty sure he's not well liked in Edmonton) in the NHL with any given team. Nevertheless, the Devils will still have to contend with Dany Heatley (23 G, 27 A) and Daniel Alfredsson (11 G, 23 A), two guys with unbelievable offensive talent. If the Devils don't get it together on defense, this game may turn ugly. Given that the Devils will play again tomorrow night against Montreal and that Martin Brodeur always plays (and plays very well) against Montreal, I wonder if the Devils will give Scott Clemmensen the start tonight. Brodeur did get a lot of work on Thursday, a rest wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Today's game will also be a challenge for the Devils' offense either. Ray Emery is hot right now, with 2 shutouts in his last 5 games and a GAA of 1.58 during those games. I fully expect him in net tonight. The Senators' defense is also loaded with strong defenders Chris Phillips, Wade Redden, and Andrei Meszaros. I think expecting the Devils to hold onto a one-goal lead with their current holes on defense is a poor idea right now. That means it's up to the EGG line and the PZL line to score early and often and put pressure on Emery for 60 minutes. The more time Ottawa spends trying to push NJ back is time they are not spending going the other way. With forwards like Dany Heatley leading the Senators in scoring, I (and probably all other Devils fans) would prefer it if he had to focus on backchecking for this one game.

It'll be a tough one today, so I wish the Devils luck. I also wish the 6th defenseman is also not Jim Fahey, but now is not a time to be picky.


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