The Time: 7:00 PM EST
The Broadcast: TV - None. Radio - None. Internet Stream - MSG.com
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (1-3) face the New York Islanders (1-2) at the Rock for the second time this preseason. John has the recap of last night's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers here. The Islanders handed the Devils a brutal 6-2 loss in the first game. To get a look from the Islanders perspective, check out Lighthouse Hockey.
Hopefully the Devils will get a bus that won't break down two blocks away as their bus did last night.
Who will the Devils be playing? Most likely Johan Hedberg will start in net. Not quite sure who the backup will be, but I think Kinkaid should back Hedberg up, just to get one last look at him, if Hedberg doesn't play the whole game. I expect there will be a few players who are looking to lock up a spot on the roster. The Devils will be looking for a few young players to step up, and the tryouts to prove their worth.
The Goal: Since this is the second to last preseason game, the main goal is to figure out the roster. There is still a battle going on for spots on the bottom six forwards. The opportunities are disappearing fast for the tryouts to impress and win themselves a contract offer. The second goal is to not get injured. The third goal, as always, is to go out there and have fun!
John noted in his recap that the Devils were not disciplined last night against the Flyers. As I watched the game, I definitely had the same thought, sloppy play. Perhaps this is a transition from Lemaire's system to DeBoer's "more offensive" system. Just something to stew over as we watch the last two preseason games.
Since this is the preseason, I don't expect to see high-caliber hockey tonight, I think we should be looking for non-stop effort by the players on the bubble. If they want to make the Devil's roster and are in a tight race with another player, the effort they put forth tonight could be the difference between playing, and watching the Devils come October.
Things I am looking for in tonight's game:
1. The penalty kill to step it up.
2. Adam Henrique and Nick Palmieri to have a solid performances and solidify spots on the roster.
3. The defense, and the entire team, to be more defensively responsible.
4. Petr Sykora to have one point and hear everyone rave about his potential from a preseason game.
Overall, it would be a nice feeling heading into the season if the Devils can pull out a preseason win. However, in the context of an 82 game season, the handful of preseason games are ultimately here to fine tune the roster and warm up the players for the grind of the regular season. If the Devils put up a few points, have no injuries, and play well defensively; I will consider the game a success.
What do you think will make Friday's game a success?