Game 63: Detroit Visits New Jersey

Match-up – Detroit Red Wings (28-20-12) @ New Jersey Devils (26-23-13)
TV - MSG
Puck drop – 7:00 p.m. ET
Season series – Detroit leads 1-0
Last 10: Red Wings 6-2-2 | Devils 4-4-2 
Projected starting goalies - Jimmy Howard vs Martin Brodeur

 

Projected lines for the Devils:

Dainius Zubrus – Travis Zajac – Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique – Patrik Elias – Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe – Andrei Loktionov – Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier

Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov/Bryce Salvador – Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas – Jon Merrill

Projected lines for the Red Wings:

Johan Franzen – Joakim Andersson – Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar – Riley Sheahan – Tomas Jurco
Justin Abdelkader – Darren Helm – Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller – Luke Glendening – Todd Bertuzzi

Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey – Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith – Brian Lashoff

Noteworthy Pre-Game Talk:

Let’s get it out of the way so that we can move on. Marty Brodeur is expected to start in net tonight and tomorrow is the NHL Trading Deadline. Lots of speculation out there as to whether or not this will be the last we see of Marty in a Devils uniform. I truly believe he won’t be moved because I don’t see the benefit in it for the Devils. The Devils play 20 games/40 days with six back-to-backs meaning that Schneider cannot play all of them. If you trade Marty and Corey gets hurt then the Devils are up shits creek. If the Devils were currently where the Islanders are, then maybe you could convince me that dealing him away doesn’t matter. Despite whether or not you feel Marty’s game is in decline, the truth is Marty Brodeur acting as a backup goaltender to Cory Schnieder is a better option for NJ than having any other NHL/AHL goalie fill that role.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how important these two games against Detroit are. The Wings hold a 3 point lead in the standings for the final Wild Card spot. The Devils have been great at giving points away this season but anything less than a win in regulation tonight has to be considered a step in the wrong direction.

The players I will be watching closely tonight are Adam Henrique, Patrick Elias and Johan Franzen. Elias and Henrique have really elevated their game since being placed on the same line. In the 3 games since the Olympic break, both players have six points in those three games. Franzen for the Wings is just as hot with 5 points in the two games that Detroit has played in the games in Sochi came to an end. Much like ex-teammate Damien Brunner, Franzen is known to be a streaky point scorer but when he’s on, he’s on. There are a list of others you could watch, like Brunner and Gelinas but those are the few I am going with tonight. 

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