Game 50: Habs In Town and We Hope We’re Going Streaking

I know it was only one game but the way in which NJ battled back against the Rangers the other night still has me feeling good two days later. Now we get ready for the Habs as they come to town.  It’s hard to believe how far they’ve fallen in such a short amount of time. Two years ago they scratched and clawed their way to the Eastern Conference final, losing to Philly in 5 games. Last year, they took an early exit in the first round, losing to the eventual champion Boston Bruins but it took OT for Boston to win that game 7. Now, the Habs are closer to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings than they are to the top 8. They are 10 points out of the playoffs and being 10 points out on February 2nd pretty much means you’ll be finished after 82 games.


Montreal has been dealing with injuries this season but when all teams seem to go through a period of injuries, can you really lean on that as to the reason why your team is 10 points out of the playoff picture? Still, injuries have hit them. For example, look at tonight’s injury report for Montreal..

Travis Moen (upper body) has missed the last two games and Petteri Nokelainen (upper body) has missed the last three. Ryan White (sports hernia surgery), Brian Gionta (right biceps surgery) and Andrei Markov (knee surgery) are all on the injured reserve list.

Those are some pretty important guys on that list.

The big story /question going into tonight’s game for the Devils has to be, can they build on the momentum they gained in their come from behind shootout victory over the Rangers? After the win the other night, I realized that the Devils have played a number of 1 goal games this season and I wondered what their record was in 1 goal games this season

In 49 games they are 16-4-3 in games decided by 1 goal. Compare that record to their record in games decided by 3 goals where they are 4-8 and I don’t think I’m alone when I wish for more 1 goal games the rest of the way.

Speaking of the rest of the way, Peter Deboer announced that he is going to ride Brodeur for the rest of the season, but he will still use Johan Hedberg in back-to-back situations, which means Marty will be in net tonight and we will most likely see Hedberg this weekend at somepoint.

Tonight marks the 3rd of 4 meetings this season. Each team has come away with a win in the other teams building, which isn’t a great stat for us going into this game.

As for tonight, the Devils need to continue what they did against the Rangers. Battle for the puck and generate some shots on goal. Montreal isn’t a team that dominates a game when it comes to puck control so NJ will have chances. I would like to see a more consistent game from the Devils defense. The other night against the Rangers, the D would look very good one minute and be chasing the puck around the next. As much as I blame Marty for quickly giving the lead back to NY after the Kovalchuk goal, the defense looked pretty soft on that goal.

Tonight’s lines should look something like this…

Petr Sykora – Patrik Elias – David Clarkson
Zach Parise – Dainius Zubrus – Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Ryan Carter – Steve Bernier
Eric Boulton – Jacob Josefsen – Brad Mills

But apparently the defense is a little more confusing as Salvador was missing from the morning skate with a leg injury. There were D guys on the ice this but they weren’t grouped into pairs so it’s a little early to call the defensive pairings.

By the looks of it, Janssen is going to be a scratch again tonight which begs the question, why is he still here?

When it comes to Devils vs Canadiens games, you can’t help but think of that night Marty scored his first career goal.

This was the cbc feed because the Fox Sports feed was extreme poor in quality but if you want to hear docs call, this is it

About Darren

Darren is a long time fan of the New Jersey Devils and had been covering the New Jersey Devils for various websites before starting up Running With The Devils in the fall of 2009.