Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Detail is in The Devils

For openers - The scoreboard was no friend to the Rangers last night.

The Islanders lost a lead and the game to the Flyers, who move 7 points ahead of us.

The Panthers beat the Wild - in OT - to pull within 3 points of us.

Toronto did beat Boston - but it went to OT so the Bruins get a point and move three ahead of us.

And Montreal beat Tampa Bay - moving 5 points ahead of us.

So - it is becoming more and more clear that the Rangers will have to start winning if they want to stay in the playoff race.

Which reminds me - we have a game today.

Who The Hell Are We Playing? We all cheered for Zach Parise during the Olympics - but those days are gone forever now as Zach and Marty and the Devils play host to our New York Rangers tonight.

The Details are in those Devils - they do all the little things right to maximize their aging fading goaltender. They have excelled for many years by playing team defense really really well - though player changes, coaching changes, and rule changes designed specifically to stop them from stopping other teams.

The Devils are tied for 3rd in the Eastern Conference with 79 points at 38-23-3. They are also a Ranger rivalry that dates back their first moments in the Turnpike state.

Primary Skaters: Olympian Silver Medalist Zach Parise leads the Devils with 30 goals - and has a plus-minus of +22. Jamie Langenbrunner has 35 assists.. And there's that new guy - Kovalchuk.

In Net: It is always Marty Brodeur - the Olympic back up goalie - with the .913 save percentage and the 2.37 GAA.

Scoring & Defense: The Devils have scored 169 goals this year - and we've scored 170. The difference is that the Devils have only allowed 154 goals to our 179.

Special Effects: NJ on the PP: 18.7 to our 18.8. NJ on the PK 80.9 to our 84.2.

Scheduling Conflicts: We played and lost Sunday. The devils lost to the Oilers Sunday. So both teams rested and annoyed.

Probable Lines: Did Tortorella mess with the lines again? Does a Bruin shoot in the crease?

Prospal - Christensen - Gaborik - Gabby back on top

Avery - Anisimov - Jokinen - interesting - a promotion for SEAN or demotion for Olli? And does this make Anisimov move to wing?

Drury - Dubinsky - Callahan - Our best 3rd line in a while

Prust -Boyle-Shelley (etc.) whoever is left over.

On Defense: Same old - and old. Dan Girardi became a dad this week. Let's see if he plays with renewed determination now that he has another mouth to feed.

In Goal: I would like to see Auld again soon - but after 2 days off it will be Hank - who played well last time - just not quite as good as Miller did.

Dave Puck predicts: Lots of bad feelings between hockey players. And a Ranger win - 3-1.
Where We Stand: still in 9th - but now 3 points behind 8th place Boston who have a game at hand. Carolina - by the way - a former laughing stock - has won 8 of 10 and is just 6 points behind us in 13th place.

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