New Jersey Devils at Montreal Canadiens - 7:30 pm
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 101.9-FM, 660-AM
Goaltender: Martin Brodeur
Some thoughts on tonight's game:
1. Montreal doesn't score a lot either, but they play great defense. Yes, the Devils have the fourth-worst offense in the league but the Canadiens are by no means a power house. They check in at 21st in goals/game with a mark of 2.48. They might as well be mirror images of each other in the defense department. The Devils allow 2.34 goals/game while the Habs allow 2.26, with both teams in the Top-6 in that category. It should be a tight contest.
2. Next two are tough. The Devils need to play these next two games like they're do or die. Montreal is a great team and so is Colorado. Phoenix will wait after them and while they've lost three in a row, they've still got a solid record that has them in the hunt. NJ needs to come away from this road trip with 5-6 points. Anything less, and they could be in a bit of trouble as we had towards the 50-game mark. More than 5-6 and life will be pretty good for Pete DeBoer and company.
3. Seven defensemen a good strategy against a deep Habs team? I'm not sure how to look at this just yet, but we'll find out soon enough. Going with only 11 forwards is going to be tough in the goal scoring department, especially since they don't score many goals to begin with. However, the seven defensemen may provide enough breathers to a Devils defense that will go up against an Habs squad that has little dropoff in rolling four lines. Either way, I think we'll be able to decide at the end of the game if it was a good/bad decision.
Prediction - Canadiens 2 Devils 1
Montreal has seemed to give them trouble over the last few years. I think they'll give a spirited effort, much like in Toronto, and do enough to get a point. 4-on-4 will give them some issues in overtime as the Canadiens are just far too fast. We'll see.
Enjoy the game, everyone.