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Scouting the Enemy: New Jersey Devils



Leading scorers: Zach Parise (42G, 47A), Patrick Elias (31G, 47A)

Blogs: In Lou We Trust

The Devils had a chance to pick up a win and keep the Rangers' playoff hopes pinned down on Monday night.  Instead they decided to play like a team that's comfortable with a playoff berth and were shutout 3-0.

John from In Lou We Trust made an interesting statement after that game:

New Jersey doesn't need a break tomorrow, they need to get on their exercise bikes and ride. Right now.  We deserve better.  And we hope to see much better against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Naturally I was quick to admit I'd rather the Devils allowed the slump to carry at least one more game.  After all, what's a division rival good for if they won't let us make the playoffs?

Furthermore John stated that the Devils got what they deserved for allowing themselves to be outplayed by the Rangers.  If you caught any of the game on Versus it'd be hard to argue that point.

However it's with an arched eyebrow that I address this game.  You may remember the last meeting on January 30 at the Prudential Center in Jersey.  I sure do because I was four rows back on Fleury's glove side when the game winner slipped past him in overtime.  Devils won 4-3 after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. 

Of course any Pens fan knows that was a different time.  A different era.  Pittsburgh went 0-for-3 on the PP (admittedly not much has changed there) and mustered up a grand total of 15 shots, two of which came in the third. 

If the Dan Bylsma-era isn't enough to improve your hopes than let the Devils' recent streak of five straight losses (OK, one OT loss) brighten the mood. 

Marty Brodeur may be back, but his team is on the verge of backing into the playoffs.