It’s only December but in the crowded Eastern Conference, every game matters. The New Jersey Devils are right in the middle of what seems like a mosh pit at a Spin Doctors concert in 1992 and 1993. I was a bit young to go to those events, but I can imagine that bumping shoulders with the type of crowds at those shows can’t be much different than being sandwiched between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers, while the Carolina Hurricanes represent the 41 year-old dude shoving people into you. Yeah, it doesn’t sound too pleasant. The Devils have played well as of late and come into tonight’s game winners of three of their last four. Speaking of 41 year-old men who have had unthinkable hair styles, here are three New Jersey Devils to watch in tonight’s contest:
1. Jaromir Jagr – His hair isn’t quite what it used to be, but Jagr continues to play at a high level regardless of his shaven head. Jagr leads the Devils in goals and assists, something I couldn’t imagine writing about three months ago. He has picked up his game recently with eight points in his last five; including a pair of game-winning goals. This Devils squad struggles to score and keeping Jagr in check may be enough to keep them nearly off of the scoreboard.
2. Corey Schneider/Martin Brodeur – Whoever the Devils start in net tonight will have a great task ahead of them. Though these two goaltenders are more than capable of frustrating the ‘Hawks offense. Schneider allows the Devils to keep the elder Brodeur fresh all season long and they may end up being the main reason the Devils make it into the playoffs come April. Either way, look for the Blackhawks to keep the pressure on all game long, much like they do to most opponents.
3. Travis Zajac – I doubt he has this nickname from the fans in Newark but I do think Travis “Pat” Zajac would make someone laugh inside the Prudential Center. Zajac has played well lately and is very good at creating scoring opportunities for his teammates, something the Devils don’t come across too often. He has also played a role as of late in helping the Devils power play come to life. Let’s see is Zajac can have the same impact he has had in the last few games.
The Blackhawks and Devils square off at the United Center at 7PM Central Time.
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