Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Game: Rangers @ Devils, 4 of 8

The New Jersey Devils will host the New York Rangers at the Continental Airlines Arena tonight.

Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 660 AM, WFAN
NJ Vs. Season Series: 1-2-0
NHL.com Preview

Well, I despise the Rangers enough to write a lot of words about it, so any guesses as to what I want to happen tonight?

Anyway, the prospects look good for the Devils. They're on a 3 game winning streak and have only lost 5 games at home all season - 3 in regulation and 2 in overtime via shootout. The Rangers snapped a 7 game losing streak by beating the Capitals 4-1 on Saturday, but they have not fared well outside of Madison Square Garden. They are still winless in their last five away games, getting shutout in their last two away games. So in this regard, perhaps trends will continue and the Devils will roll the Rangers. Hey, Martin Brodeur was hot enough against the Islanders - why not against the Rangers too? On the other hand, the Rangers will probably up for this game if only to prevent a sixth straight loss.

The key for the Devils will be what the NHL.com preview has cited as the key for the Devils' recent success: special teams.
The key for New Jersey over the last seven contests has been special teams. The Devils are 10-for-32 on the power play during that span, while allowing one goal in 25 short-handed situations.
The Devils currently has the sixth-best (Toronto went 2 for 6 last night so they got bumped down a slot) power play and the best penalty kill in the NHL. Their special team units have been effective and effective special teams win hockey games. Therefore, the Devils will need to strike first and often on any power play opportunities. Considering the rivalry these two teams have, there will most definitely be power plays for the Devils.

The Devils will also need to check the Jagr unit very well. Jaromir Jagr is still a threat, with his 16 goals and 36 assists. He most definitely has his game-breaking ability, which he demonstrated in 90 seconds against the Devils back in November. I hope Claude Julien remembers that night and keeps Jay Pandolfo shadowing Jagr everywhere he goes as much as Pandolfo can. The Devils will likely be without the services of Colin White, so good luck to Brad Lukowich on the top pairing. The Devils will also need to be concerned with Martin Straka (18 G, 27 A), Brendan Shanahan (23 G, 19 A), and Michael Nylander (13 G, 30 A). Shanahan didn't practice on Monday, but I don't know if that means anything. They will produce if the Devils let them, regardless of the team's recent woes.

Lastly, the Rangers are going to have a big emotional boost going into tonight's game. Jed Ortmeyer will return to the Rangers' lineup after battling pulmonary embolism since August. I'm glad Ortmeyer is healthy enough to play, but this is all the more reason for the Devils to score first and quickly. The Rangers are likely going to be pumped up more than usual, and that will cause New Jersey problems if they don't keep them in check.

As far as potential lineups, why not use the same lines that worked so well against the Islanders?




As mentioned earlier, I want a beatdown of the Rangers. GO DEVILS!



Hello there. I hate to post this in a comment, but I e-mailed your gmail.com address, and it said it was undeliverable.

I really, really enjoy your blog. Sometimes I get caught up reading it because you write so dang MUCH and then I've forgotten ti eat lunch or something equally tragic. Anyway, JOB WELL DONE. I mean it. Maybe it's a little too in-depth at times, but that's not much of a complaint. I've been following the Devils for quite a long time now, and I have finally started my own blog. It's not just on the Devils, it's on all of my favorite sports teams, but I imagine I will write about Marty & the gang a great deal. The Devils are represented pretty well in the blogosphere, but I think it could be better. I don't know if I have enough potential to contribute a blog worthy of the cause, but I'm going to try. Like I said, it won't be a blog strictly about the Devils, but hopefully there will be enough content to merit consideration. I am writing to you today hoping you could give my little blog a bit of publicity. Maybe link to it or mention it or write something about it. Anything you can/want to do is fine with me. I appreciate it. Take care and have a great day.

--Tim Mo

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