Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Analysis/Reaction” tab. In today’s preview, we go to the Western Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the St. Louis Blues.
Blues vs. Devils – Historical Data
In 96 all-time regular season meetings against the Blues, the Devils are 36-45-14-1. The Devils average 3.13 goals against St. Louis, but they allow the Blues to score 3.44 goals per meeting. Last season, the Devils and Blues faced off once, with St. Louis blanking the Devils, 1-0.
Alex Steen would score the game’s only goal at 19:47 of the first period. Steen found an open lane down the left side of the ice, where he received a pass from Barret Jackman. Steen rifled the shot past Martin Brodeur’s glove for the game-winning goal.
The matchup also featured one of the longest hockey fights I’ve ever seen. Former Devil Cam Janssen and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond dropped the gloves six minutes into the first period, going toe-to-toe for almost three minutes before officials stopped the fight. Here’s the video.
Ty Conklin finished with 29 saves for the win. Brodeur stopped 19 shots in the loss.
Devils vs. Blues – This Season’s Matchup
The Blues and Devils face off once this season, with that game coming November 20 in St. Louis. St. Louis made a big splash in free agency this offseason, trading Ian Shultz and Lars Eller for goalie Jaroslav Halak, who agreed to a four-year contract extension. The team also kept several players, re-signing Steen, David Perron and Erik Johnson, to name a few.
The Blues are a rebuilding team, and while they may sniff the playoffs in the Western Conference, the won’t be a big powerhouse. Halak is an upgrade in goal, but the team around him has largely remained the same. I wouldn’t consider this an “easy” game, but it won’t be as demanding as others on the schedule.
In 16 starts against St. Louis, Brodeur is only 9-5-2-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage…In 32 career games against the Blues, Jamie Langenbrunner has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists), but is a -8.