Devils fans can officially announce “GAME ON”, when the puck drops for the first time this season against the Winnipeg Jets.
By Patrick Comia
Where will you be Friday night?
Favorite watering hole after a long week of work, perhaps? Or, you might want to take it easy and relax with your family and catch up on your DVR?
How about combining both, because that’s what Devils fans are doing. Cancel the plans to go see Phantom of the Opera for the 1000th time, or your poker game that you know will lose at.
Come to the Prudential Center, if you are in Newark, and catch the season opener against the Winnipeg Jets.
There’s always seat for you, and what better way to spend a Friday night than with other Devils fanatics?!
Unlike some critics who say there the Devils have nothing to look forward to this season and to save your money, I beg to differ. There’s plenty of storylines to follow this season with the team in red and black. And, it starts tonight.
Cory Schneider gets the nod in goal. The net minding stud is a marvel to watch, and one of the main attractions to look forward to tonight. Last season, he started 68 of 82 possible games, carrying a 2.26 goals against average and .925 save percentage. If it weren’t for his losing record of 26-31-9 with five shutouts, Schneider would have been considered for the Vezina Trophy.
He alone is worth the price of admission to tonight’s game. Against the Jets last season, Schneirder split the two games, stopping 55 of 59 shots faced for a 1.94 GAA and a .932 save percentage. That includes a 2-1 shootout victory at the Prudential Center last October.
Between the two teams, they Jets outscored the Devils 4-3, which includes a 3-1 victory in Winnipeg last season.
In the two-game series, the Jets leading scorers were former teammates of theirs, Michael Frolik and Zach Bogosian, each with two points. Frolik signed with the Calgary Flames this past offseason, and Bogosian was traded to the Buffalo Sabres along with Evander Kane in exchange Tyler Myers.
Most of the Devils leading scorers in last season’s matchup are no longer on the roster. That just lets you know how much turnover has occurred in the organization.
Injury concerns for New Jersey is the veteran Patrik Elias, who has been sidelined with a sore knee since the beginning of Devils training camp. He will start the season on the injured reserve list, giving way to up-and-coming players like Joseph Blandisi an opportunity to get in the lineup. This could also mean that Stefan Matteau gets more ice time, and given more of an opportunity to play with the big club.
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