Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Game: St. Louis @ Devils
GAMETIME: 7:30 PM, EST
Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 660 AM, WFAN
The Devils are on fire right now. 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, coming off a big 3-2 win over Ottawa from this recent Saturday and a 3-0 dominating performance over Montreal from three days ago. Martin Brodeur has been the man tonight, though I'd like to give Scott Clemmensen the start tonight. Personally, I think Brodeur could use a night off; especially with back-to-back games against the Atlanta Thrashers and the New York Islanders coming up later this week.
Also, it's because the St. Louis Blues are not a good hockey team right now. They are 14-21-7, which is good for the second-to-worst record in the NHL, which includes a record of 6-10-4. To be fair, they are 3-2 in their last five games, coming off a 4-3 win over Columbus. The Blues sport the one of the worst offensive units in the league. They have the dubious distinction of the lowest goals scored average (2.29 goals per game), the second worst power play efficiency in the NHL (13.4%), and the 25th best shots for average in the league (27.8 shots per game). While the lineup boasts Bill Guerin (18 G, 13 A), Keith Tkachuk (12 G, 17 A), and Doug Weight (4 G, 22 A); teams have had no problem beating up on the Blues, as their record indicates. Other than the rise of Lee Stempniak (13 G, 13 A), the season has not been kind to the Blues. They are almost in position to focus on where they'll draft as opposed to making the playoffs.
That said, while I think Clemmensen should start, that does not excuse the rest of the Devils. For a few games this season, they have the annoying habit sometimes playing down to their opponent's level. The 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks the night Rutgers defeated Louisville is one example of this. A much better example is the 3-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes back in November. OK, two examples out of 42 total games is not telling; but my point still stands. The rest of the Devils lineup can not take this night off. The EGG and PZL lines still need to pound goaltender Manny Legace (12-12-4, 2.75 GAA, 90.3 Sv%, 2 shutouts) with shots, screens, and other forms of offensive pressure. The defense needs to remember while St. Louis does not score a lot of goals, they do have guys who are (were?) very talented forwards; they too must be aware tonight. In general, the Devils must not sleepwalk through the game like Montreal did in the third period from Sunday's game.
Labels: Devils Game
Also, I am going to take my Devils blog off to Blogger (like you). It was nice having an installed readerbase, but the fact that it is REPEATEDLY down made me not even want to write.
I'll catch ya soon.
Regarding the game, I wish I was wrong. Uh, sorry?