With 34 games left in the regular season and 9 of those 34 games coming against either the Bruins, the Flyers or the Rangers, there is no easing back into it for the New Jersey Devils. Tonight, the hated Rangers come to town and it appears that Henrik Lundqvist has the night off. Not sure if that means the Rangers don’t take us seriously or that they just need to res t Lundqvist after the All-Star weekend.
I actually don’t remember the last time that we got this far into the schedule and we can say that we’ve only played the Rangers once. That’s going to change real quick as we’ll see the Rangers 5 times between now and March 19th. I’m sure every Devils fan remembers the last and only meeting between these two so far this season. The Rangers beat us 4-1 and used a shorthanded goal against us to really put the game away.
The Rangers were well represented in Ottawa for All-Star weekend. Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi, Carl Hagelin and John Tortorella made the trip to Ottawa so we can only hope that they return to the ice tonight a little worn out, of course Lundqvist gets the night off. The Devils however didn’t make the trip to Ottawa so hopefully they return to the ice as a well-rested bunch.
Last 10: New York 7-3-0; New Jersey 5-4-1
Injuries are a major concern for NJ. Adam Henrique who still appears to have a groin issue did not take part in Monday’s practices. Travis Zajac is still out with a sore Achilles tendon which is starting to me people wonder if 2011/2012 is just going to be a lost season for him. Tallinder is still gone for a good chunk of time. Andy Greene has returned to practice but isn’t expected to return to the lineup tonight.
The Devils recalled Jacob Josefsen, Matt Taormina and Steve Bernier from Albany of the AHL on Monday.
Much has been said about the Devils struggles against the top teams in the conference this season. A good way of shutting people up would be to skate away with a win tonight. The Devils are currently in the middle of a season-long six game homestand and have gone 1-2-1 so far, so a win tonight is very much needed.
Need something to get you pumped up for tonight? I invite you to revisit 1992 as the benches emptied after the Devils tied the 7 game series at 3-3 following game 6