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The Last 10 Games:  Blue Jackets are 4-5-1 while the Devils are 6-4-0

Know Your Enemy: Light the Lamp

What We Think of the Blue Jackets:  I really thought the Blue Jackets would be much better this season. We saw Jeff Carter at least 6 times a season for a number of years and we know firsthand his ability to destroy the opposition. Teaming him up with Rick Nash was, I thought, a can’t miss. Vinny Prospal was so valuable to Marian Gaborik two years ago in NY, adding him to the mix I thought put the Blue Jackets over the top. But, there they are, at the bottom of the standing yet again. They are coming of back to back wins, which is something they hadn’t done in 42 games. OUCH!!

What To Expect Tonight: Let’s just forget that we are playing a team that sits at the bottom of the standings as opposed to the top. Treat this like we’ve treated the last few games against Boston, Buffalo and Florida. Speaking of Florida, let’s not repeat that performance. It was great to get up by three goals in the first but the Devils boarded their plane early and let the Panthers come back and win in regulation. Not even a point to show for it.

The Jackets have, in my opinion 4 guys that can easily put the puck in the net. Carter, Nash, Prospal and Umberger are guys that always make me nervous when they touch the puck. The Devils defense will certainly have their hands full with these four tonight.

I would expect to see a lot of Fedor Fyutin and James Wisniewski tonight, who are two very good defenseman on the Jackets roster and also two guys that aren’t easily intimidated. Beyond that you have Curtis Sanford who is doing a great job in place of the injured Steve Mason. Sanford has a 1.46 GAA and a .940 save percentage and has stopped 80 of the 85 shots sent his way.

I think it’s pretty clear that the Blue Jackets need a lot more respect than their record of 5-13-2 would suggest.

Players To Watch:

For Columbus, it has to be none other than Jeff Carter. How many times did Jeff Carter put the hurt to us while he was in a Flyers uniform? He’s back from injury and he’s starting to look comfortable in his new surroundings. He’s coming off a game where he found the back of the net twice and has 3 goals in his last 2 games. The last thing Devils fans want to see is a confident, streaking Jeff Carter.

If you are a regular reader of this site, you know this probably kills me but yes, I will be watching David Clarkson tonight. He seems to be finding confidence this season and I have to say that Peter DeBoer’s belief in Clarkson is the reason why. DeBoer was Clarkson’s coach in Kitchener where the two won the Memorial Cup together in 2003. Clarkson has 3 goals and 1 assist over the last 4 games for the Devils. With tough defensemen like Wisniewski and Fyutin on the ice tonight, Clarkson is going to have to be a little scrappy tonight.

Line Combinations:

Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Nick Palmieri - Ryan Carter - David Clarkson
Mattias Tedenby - Tim Sestito - Cam Janssen
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov
Martin Brodeur will make his fourth straight start between the pipes.

...Adn Finally:

This is our 3rd season of bringing you our Devils commentary and I can’t thank you enough for being part of it. So whether you visit the site on a regular basis or you get our input through our iPhone app, Thank You!! Without you, this site wouldn’t exist. I’m extremely thankful that you guys keep coming back to read our stuff. A special thanks goes out to Deb has been a part of this site for the past couple of months. She really is a great writer and extremely knowledgeable about hockey and the Devils and we are all very lucky to have her onboard.

All of us here at Running With The Devils and Bloguin wish you and your families the happiest of Thanksgivings. Enjoy yourselves!!