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Game Preview #78: New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Five to go.

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils
One of Gillies’ wins came against the Hurricanes in January. Will he start tonight?
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils versus the Carolina Hurricanes. SBN Blog:

The Time: 12:30 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG

Foote Called Up

Yesterday afternoon, the New Jersey Devils announced they will be calling up Nolan Foote from the Utica Comets. Since the team also had Nikita Okhotiuk make his NHL debut on Thursday night, it seems they finally understand that the end of the season was supposed to be for evaluating the roster for next season. Better late than never, I guess.

Since yesterday was an off-day for the Devils, there really is not any other news to share from the team - and no way to see where Foote will line up this afternoon. Regardless, I think there is a good chance that Foote kicks (boots?) Andreas Johnsson out of the lineup. Johnsson has been fine on the fourth line, with more flashes of his skill than maybe we’ve seen in awhile - but Johnsson is not built for that role. Nolan Foote, physically speaking, is - so it’s good that he’ll finally get a look there this season. Foote is 21 years old and has 14 goals and 17 assists in 55 AHL games.

The Goalie and the Power Play

I seem to recall Lindy Ruff saying that Mackenzie Blackwood would play a game or two when he joined the road trip. Now, I would not want Blackwood back if he isn’t fully healthy, but I have grown a bit tired of the parade of veteran AHL goalies - especially after Andrew Hammond’s recent bad starts. They could give Jon Gillies a chance in net today, seeing as he actually got a win against the Hurricanes. Sure, the Devils scored seven, but at least he got a win.

As for the power play, I simply hope the fans do not have to see it today. With the shorthanded goals they give up, the power play has gotten to a point where it actively harms the team in goals over nearly a quarter of the season. That should not be a sentence that is ever typed about a professional hockey team, but here we are.

Your Thoughts

What do you think of today’s game. Will you be watching? What do you want to see from the team at this point? Who do you want to see in net, if anyone? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.