Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Devils Game Day: vs. STL

New Jersey (25-13-4, 54 PTS, 1st Atlantic Division, 3rd Eastern Conference) vs. St. Louis Blues (14-21-7, 35 PTS, 5th Central Division, 15th Western Conference)

The Swamp
7:30 PM
TV: FSNY/inHD
Radio: WFAN

Last We Met: January 2006, in a nationally televised game where JD's horse throat was probably a larger story than the game itself, the Devils gave up a lead to let the Blues tie it at 3, but Grant Marshall (remember him?) broke it and Pando added an empty netter as the Devils took it 5-3 at the name of Scottrade Center last year that I can't currently remember.

Next Meeting: The 2008-09 Season in St. Louis. Ain't scheduling fun?

Leading Scorers
New Jersey
#26 Patrik Elias 16-24-40
#14 Brian Gionta 19-16-35
#9 Zach Parise 17-16-33
#23 Scott Gomez
6-27-33
#15 Jamie Langenbrunner 15-16-31

St. Louis
#13 Bill Guerin 18-13-32
#7 Keith Tkachuk 12-17-29
#62 Martin Rucinsky 10-17-27
#12 Lee Stempniak 13-13-26
#39 Doug Weight 4-22-26

Goaltenders
New Jersey
#30 Martin Brodeur 25-12-3, 2.07, .927%
#40 Scott Clemmensen 0-1-1, 3.60, .878%

St. Louis
#34 Manny Legace 12-12-4, 2.75, .903%
#1 Curtis Sanford 2-5-2, 2.93, .897%
#40 Marek Schwarz, 0-1-0, 3.00, .880%
#30 Jason Bacashihua 0-3-1, 3.61, .893%

Game Analysis:

Tonight is a must-have game for NJ. No bullshitting around tonight. The Devils have shown on occasion, a tendency to play down, not to teams, but to goaltenders. Take your pick with this St. Louis team. Sanford's out, Bacashihua's awful, Legace's been hurt, Schwarz isn't proven. This is probably New Jersey's best chance to embarass itself for the rest of the year. The Flyers are a rival, and every game between the two is heated and there's not as much embarassment. St. Louis is the next best (worst) team, whom they won't see for two seasons. Plus, a win will tie them with Atlanta for 2nd in the conference, and chances are their going to beat us on Friday, so it's essentially keeping pace with the Thrashers. Also, the Isles win over the Rangers allows the Devs to pick up two more points on the struggling Rags.

For NJ, somebody just put the puck in the back of the net. My gut tells me 5-1 Devs, but you know it'll probably be 2-1 in a shootout.

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