Saturday, March 17, 2007


Game: Carolina @ Devils, 4 of 4

The New Jersey Devils will host the Carolina Hurricanes to close out their season series in a matinee match up.

Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 660 AM, WFAN
Devils Record Vs. Hurricanes: 3-0-0 Preview

The Devils held tough in a 3-2 win at the RBC Center on Thursday to defeat the Hurricanes. Now they have an opportunity to pour on more misery on the playoff bubble team today. An opportunity to get more points to stave off Pittsburgh and get closer to Buffalo again. An opportunity to sweep the Carolina Hurricanes in the season series.

And, again, it will be tough. Carolina is sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with just as many points as the New York Islanders with 78. The Rangers and Toronto are right behind them with 77 each, and Montreal has 76 points in eleventh place. Again, Carolina will need every point they can get and if the third period of Thursday's game was any indication, they will come out strong. It may bit easier for New Jersey in the sense that the Canes can't feed off the crowd as much. On the other hand, the Devils are still without Patrik Elias and John Madden, the Canes would like revenge, the Devils lost four straight at home (a total record of 22-9-5) and traditionally the Devils are not that good with matinee games. I can't explain why, they just don't.

As far as Carolina's squad itself, check out Thursday's preview - I wouldn't change much of my assessment of Carolina. In my opinion, Rod Brind'Amour could be the most dangerous Cane because he makes plays, he picks his spots well, and he's excellent on faceoffs.

The Devils should not have to rely on Martin Brodeur to make save after save and the defense to try and contain the Canes as much as possible for 60 minutes. Similar to Thursday, it would be most ideal if the Devils score first, score quickly, and score enough to establish a lead. The Devils succeeded in that regard, but will they repeat it? I do not know, I'm not clairvoyant. I don't think the lines will change. Surprisingly fourth-liner Erik Rasmussen did look good with Scott Gomez and Jamie Langenbrunner on the first line; and David Clarkson definitely fit himself well on the second line. The call ups are the focus of Rich Chere's article in today's Star Ledger; featuring Lou giving Rod Pelley some high praise, calling him a prototypical Devil. I think we'll see a lot more of him next season. That said, I hope they will perform as well again today.

I apologize for the scantness of this preview, I wish I had more to say about the game. It's a repeat match up and a repeat performance by New Jersey may be enough to beat Carolina provided that the Hurricanes do not completely overwhelm the Devils on offense. It should be exciting; but I (and probably you) don't need 10 minutes of sitting on the edges of our seat, hearing or watching New Jersey miraculously stop Carolina for scoring at the end of the game for a second game in a row. GO DEVILS.


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