Consider this a precursor to the preview. A sidekick for the metaphorical person who will inform you what you could be seeing in less than 48 hours.
Today, at practice, Gulitti has this from Brent Sutter about tomorrow's game.
If the Devils needed any reminder of what can happen when they let up they can look to their last game against the Islanders on Feb. 21. They were shut out, 4-0, at Nassau Coliseum.
They don't want a repeat of that in Saturday afternoon's game against Isles.
"We've played better hockey since then and we have to continue to play well," Sutter said. "You know and understand and respect your opponent, knowing that they're going to come and play hard and we have to make sure that we play up to our potential."
Past history in this season has shown that the Devils have been able to raise their game against an opponent who has shut them out. By looking back in the season so far, the Devils have been shutout 6 times this season, and 3 of those times (their last 3, in fact) have been 4-0 losses. The Devils have not lost a game by over 4 goals this season. And they definitely were very bad losses. Here's who they fell to, and how they did when the Devils had their next game against them.
|Shutout Loss||Next Game against Opponent|
|11/3/08: 2-0, Buffalo||12/13/08: 4-2 Loss|
|12/23/08: 2-0, Boston||1/29/09: 4-3 OT Win|
|12/26/08: 1-0, Pittsburgh||1/30/09: 4-3 OT Win|
|1/8/09: 4-0, Atlanta||2/6/09: 5-1 Win|
|2/17/09: 4-0, Florida||2/28/09: 7-2 Win|
|2/21/09: 4-0, Islanders||3/7/09: ????|
In those "response games" after shutouts, the Devils are 4-1. That's a pretty good indication that the Devils have done well at getting revenge. Especially against Atlanta and Florida. Buffalo has been the only team to beat the Devils after shutting them out. Given what happened on February 21, should the Devils play like they have been in their last 4 games, history should favor New Jersey yet again.