LGD: A Night With The Jersey Devil

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 “Baby this town rips the bones from your back,

  It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap,

  We gotta get out while we’re young,

 ‘Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run“

As Bobby Farnham and his team visit Toronto to play the Maple Leafs this evening, it’s no surprise that the Devils come to town with a better record on the road than at home. He’s their biggest celebrity, the pride of their state, and yet Bruce Springsteen can’t stop singing about getting the hell out of New Jersey.

The Devils come to town as one of the surprise teams this season riding a 5-1 record in their last six games including a 3-2 victory in New York Tuesday night. They were expected by many to be in the Auston Matthews race with Toronto but are currently holding down the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Funny how that happens when you have an elite goalie that stays healthy.

The Leafs

The Leafs return home after a big 3rd-period comeback in Boston on Tuesday night. The win was fun in the sense that upset Bruins fans are absolutely hilarious but as far as the draft lottery is concerned, Toronto can’t make a habit of winning those kinds of games. in a season that has been rather void of fun moments, Tuesday was a great distraction but now it’s time to get back to business.

Back in the basement of the Atlantic Division, tonight is a perfect opportunity for the Leafs to come out lackadaisical and drop a ‘winnable’ game to make up some of those games at hand they have on CBJ and Buffalo. 

The hope for the next few weeks is that guys like Polak, Parenteau, Grabner, etc. are able to dazzle the right scout so that Lou can turn them into draft picks on the 29th. 

Lineups via DailyFaceoff

The Devils

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Coming in hot, the Devils are giving their All-Star goalie a night off in hopes that Toronto’s inept offense will allow for an easy win for backup Keith Kinkade. I know, you’re going to look at the lineup posted an insist that a team with Lee Stempniak on the top-line can’t possibly be in the playoff hunt. I swear they are. 

Look for the team to be amped up by the simple fact that they got to spend last night outside the swamp wasteland of New Jersey. Devils fans (yes there are actually a few outside of Greg Wyshynski) are still hoping their team can fend off the suddenly-good-again Penguins but in actuality, they are in the dire situation of finishing in the 12-14 range which will keep their re-build in purgatory for another season. 

Lineups via DailyFaceoff

James Reimer


 vs

Keith Kinkade

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What to Watch For…

– For those of us in Tank Nation a win tonight wouldn’t be the end of the world as the Devils are one of the teams the Penguins need to beat out for a playoff spot.

– Joseph Blandisi was last year’s OHL Player of the Year and came into this season as one of the most underrated prospects in hockey.

– Jake Gardiner has had his ice time decrease as of late, is he on the outs with Babcock or are guys like Polak getting more time in front of the scouts?

– A reminder that this was once the most popular show on TV

  • Gary Empey

    If the lineup is accurate then it looks like Babcock liked what he seen in the last game’s defensive pairings, along with the switching of Holland and Grabner.

  • Gary Empey

    It is the comment that the Devils have an elite goal tender. Now how possibly did they manage to do that. Simple good old Lou convinced Vancouver to give up Schneider for New Jersey’s 10th pick. Schneider played in the all-star game along with another ex canuck Roberto Luongo. Way to go Canuck management.

    So the bottom line here is that the leafs fans will suggest to Lou give to us a Bill Murray Ground Hog day and obtain a second top ten pick. Just a wishing and hoping to quote the great Dionne Warwicke.