This is it!! We finally get to drop the puck on the Devils 2011/2012 season. It has been a LONG time since we’ve seen the Devils play a meaningful hockey game and we are very excited to get this going again!!
Know Your Enemy: Flyers Goal Scored By
What we think of the Flyers: After getting swept out of the 2011 Playoffs, the Flyers made quite a few big changes this summer. Notable leaders Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were traded away for youth and the Flyers signed big time free agents Jaromir Jagr and Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers certainly seem to have a win now attitude and did well in their first game of the season, spoiling the Boston Bruins home opener / banner raising party.
The Devils have also made some changes during the summer although nothing like what the Flyers did. Some of the biggest additions to this team were additions by subtraction as the Devils parted ways with Brian Rolston and Colin White. The Devils will finally get a healthy Zach Parise in the lineup and I don’t believe there is any bigger story surrounding the Devils than that one.
Opening Night Stats: Over the last few years, opening night hasn’t been our friend. In fact, 2008 was the last time the Devils started the season 1-0. The last time the Devils opened the season at home against the Philadelphia Flyers was back in 2009 and lost by a score of 5-2. Last year the Devils lost to the Dallas Stars 4-3 in OT after starting the game so well but all that is old news. This is 2011/2012 and we are ready for a great Devils season.
What/Who We Will Be Watching: Adam Larsson has made his way into the opening night roster. I liked what I saw from him in the preseason and I am certainly interested to see how he carries himself in a regular season game. He is a rookie but he has great potential. Zach’s back and ready to show the world he deserves a big contract this summer and that the knee injury suffered last season is ancient history. Last year the Arnott and Elias reunion didn’t play out like we had hoped but maybe this year the Elias and Sykora reunion will.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Devils must get off to a better start this season and beating the Flyers on opening night would be a great way to do that. A year ago, it was painfully obvious that John MacLean didn’t have the support of the players but going into this season, I don’t feel that rings true with Peter DeBoer.
It is also worth noting that the Devils will be wearing a special patch on their sweaters in memory of former Devils Karel Rachunek and Alexander Vasyunov, who were among those who lost their lives in last month’s tragic plane crash involving Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. The patches will be worn during tonights game agasint Philadelphia, as well as the first road game of the season on Oct. 15 in Nashville. The 1¼” x 3¼” black patch features “KR • AV” in white stitching and will be worn on the upper right chest.