Tom Gulitti's Fire & Ice remains to have Gulitti's finger on the pulse on the Devils activities. The team has announced who has been kept on their roster as the final preseason game looms in the distance. As you have guessed, Gulitti's got the roster and some analysis.
Goalies: Martin Brodeur, Kevin Weekes
Defense: Vitaly Vishnevski, Colin White (inj.), Andy Greene, Paul Martin, Richard Matvichuk, Karel Rachunek, Johnny Oduya, Mike Mottau, Matt Corrente.
Forwards: Zach Parise, John Madden, Brian Gionta, Jamie Langenbrunner (inj.), Dainius Zubrus, Mike Rupp, Sergei Brylin, Travis Zajac, Jay Pandolfo, Arron Asham, Cam Janssen (inj.), Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, Rod Pelley, Nicklas Bergfors.
There are definitely some surprises here. Mike Mottau and Matthew Corrente are still on the roster and with Colin White looking to miss some time to start the season; one of those two will definitely make the starting lineup. My guess is that Corrente will get the spot because this isn't the first time he's impressed in camp. He did the same last year and the Devils aren't opposed to having a prospect start playing early in the NHL if they feel he's ready (e.g. Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Scott Gomez). At forward, I would expect two of Clarkson, Pelley, and Bergfors on the starting lineup next week. All three have all done very well in training camp this year. With Jamie Langenbrunner and Cam Janssen out for considerable lengths of time, don't be surprised if Clarkson and Bergfors gets extensive time.
The interesting one will be Pelley. Gulitti has reported today that Brent Sutter has changed the lines considerably in practice today - and Pelley was centering the third line, not John Madden.
Bold. However, I don't think putting a top checking center in the league is a great idea. I'm of the opinion that players should generally play in their best positions. On the other hand, Sutter's at these practices and preseason games, so he would know better what does work and what doesn't work than I would ever hope to know. If it does work well, then great - I'll get used to not seeing Jay Pandolfo and Madden anchor the third line. That said, I need to see him more there (well, need to see him at all) before thinking of it as a good move - especially with handling other team's best right winger. We all know Jay Pandolfo can own, say, Jaromir Jagr - but can John Madden do the same?
October 4 is only 6 days away.
Labels: 2008 Preseason, Devils Issues