The Date: September 26, 2009
The Time: 7 PM EST
The Online Streaming Audio: WFAN.com
The Goal: The goal for the Devils tonight is start getting serious for the regular season. It begins in a week against the same opponent as tonight's game: the Philadelphia Flyers. Again, tonight's result doesn't matter; but the regulars should be showing less rust than they did in prior games and it should be the last chance
Given that the Devils signed Andrew Peters and Rob Niedermayer to contracts, that chance may not even be there now. I offered my own take on the moves yesterday. But there is a game tonight to focus on. Gulitti has this expected line-up for the Devils:
Per Gulitti's report, Brodeur is expected to play the full game. Also, note that Cory Murphy, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Ilkka Pikkarainen, Vladimir Zharkov, and Matt Halischuk are all not in the lineup. Murphy could be just getting a rest as he's played a ton of minutes in prior preseason games. Halischuk and Zharkov may not be in the lineup because, well, he may be cut very soon - that is just my guess. I would have thought tonight would be an opportunity for one or both of Pikkarainen and Leblond to make their case. Has the Peters signing sealed their fate? Who knows?
Interestingly, Tim Sestito is still in the mix here. I suppose this is to indicate that there is still a battle for a center position on the team. Pelley and Sestito would then logically be two players to keep an eye out for. Personally, neither has really impressed me from what I've seen, so a great performance by either one is vital tonight for their chances.
Nicklas Bergfors is still active and will play tonight. I think if he continues to perform well as he has been in prior preseason games, I think his chances of staying up in New Jersey are very good. Among regulars, Clarkson has a shot to show off that he can handle a more offensive line. Not that he'll automatically be the second line right winger if he does well, but it would give Lemaire another option when making lines.
On defense, Jay Leach gets a shot to make his case and not Mark Fraser or Rob Davison. Leach needs a good game to still be considered, in my opinion. While Murphy rests, Greene has the perfect opportunity to showcase why it was re-signing him was a smart idea.
Per Chere's report, the Devils will be facing Brian Boucher instead of Ray Emery tonight. For a more detailed Flyers perspective on tonight's game, check out Broad Street Hockey's preview by Travis Hughes. Just as tonight's game is important for a few players' chances to make the Devils, it is also important for a few Flyer prospects as well. I'll be at tonight's game in my usual section (1) in my usual row (16) and in my usual seat (5). If you can't make it, check out the streaming audio, and relay & discuss the action in the GameThread. Go Devils!