New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:30pm
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 101.9 fm, 660 am
Goaltender: Cory Schneider
Some thoughts on tonight's game:
1) Need a clean road game. Toronto is an extremely well-rounded team. They're top-1o in the league in goals per game, goals against per game as well as penalty kill and power play. If the Devils don't play a crisp game, they'll get eaten alive. They're 5-2 at home this year. Their two home losses? Colorado and Carolina. The best team in the Central and a squad that's two points out of a playoff spot. Many mistakes will equal few-to-no points for NJ.
2) Rust for Toronto? Sure, the Devils played last night but the Leafs haven't played since last Saturday. The win over Philly last night was the first win for the Devils in a back-to-back game this season. They were 0-3-3 in their previous six tries. Coming off a strong defensive game last night, the Devils dominated the Flyers but most likely know they can, and will need to, play much better to keep up with the Toronto forwards. If they came out hard, it might put the well-rested Leafs on their heels.
3) How will the defense hold up if there's no Gelinas? It's possible Eric Gelinas may not play tonight. He was hit with a puck in the leg last night and walked to the team bus on crutches. He traveled with the team to Toronto, which is a good sign, but said to reporters today he "thinks it's a bruise". We'll have to see. If he's out, a big weapon on the Devils blue line is out. He was crucial in getting the Devils their first goal last night. Not only will Mark Fayne have to step in, he or Marek Zidlicky or Adam Larsson will have to switch o the left side of the ice. That could be an issue. Keep an eye on that early in the game if Gelinas can't go.
Prediction: Leafs 3 Devils 2 SO
I got so much grief for picking the Devils for most every game this season, so you know what, solely out of spite I'm picking the Leafs to win tonight. Seriously though, I think this will be a good point for the Devils. I expect them to play just as strong as last night and that should be good enough for at least a point.
Enjoy the game everyone.