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GDT: New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning ( 7:30 PM EST )

newjerseydevils.com – As the National Hockey League raises the curtain tonight on its 90th season, Devils fans will have to wait one more night to see their team take the ice for the start of the 2007-08 regular season.

But it's not too early to look ahead to what's in store for head coach Brent Sutter's squad in the upcoming campaign, as the Devils embark on a season-opening, nine-game road trip beginning Thursday night in Tampa Bay.

With the finishing touches being applied to Prudential Center – the team's new state-of-the-art home in Newark, N.J. – the Devils will return to the Garden State to open their home schedule on Oct. 27 against the Ottawa Senators.

If recent trends are any indication, getting off to a fast start in October can help pave the way for good things later on in the season. The last three Stanley Cup champions had a combined October record of 23-2-5, and the last 10 Cup winners had a combined October mark of 78-17-14.

The month ahead for the Devils will bring matchups against the defending Eastern Conference champion Senators (Oct. 8, Oct. 27); Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (Oct. 17); the Flyers (Oct. 18) and the Rangers (Oct. 25).

The Devils closed out their 25th-anniversary season with a 49-24-9 record (107 pts., 2nd in East) for their seventh regular-season Atlantic Division title. The 49 victories set a new franchise high, while the 100-point output marked the 10th season of 100 points or more in team history.

Martin Brodeur set a new NHL single-season record for wins (48), collecting his third Vezina Trophy. Over the past 10 seasons the Devils have the most wins in the Eastern Conference (458), and Brodeur has been between the pipes for 412 of them.

Once the puck drops on '07-08, several Devils, including Brodeur, will be within striking distance of even more career milestones.

Entering his 14th full season, the Devils' netminder needs two shutouts to tie George Hainsworth (94) for second place on the all-time list. He also is six wins shy of becoming just the second goaltender in NHL history to reach the 500-win plateau, joining Patrick Roy (551).

Other Devils poised to reach new plateaus include:
Sergei Brylin - With 292 career points, Brylin is eight short of reaching the 300-point plateau. The Moscow native has tallied 123 goals and 169 assists in 683 NHL games, all with the Devils.

Brian Gionta - The right wing is just a point shy of recording 200 points in his NHL career. Gionta has collected 110 goals and 89 assists in 310 career games with the Devils.

Richard Matvichuk - A Devil for two of his 14 NHL seasons, the Edmonton native is four games away from reaching 800 for his career.

Jay Pandolfo - Entering his 11th season with the Devils, Pandolfo has registered point totals of 26, 20 and 27 in his last three seasons, respectively. With at least 20 points in 2007-08, the Winchester, Mass., native will hit the 200-point mark for his career.

Zach Parise - As a sophomore last season, Parise potted a team-leading 31 goals, bringing his two-year total to 45. In Devils history, only Greg Adams (47) has scored more goals over his first two seasons. Entering his third NHL campaign, the Minneapolis native is just six points away from reaching the 100-point milestone for his career.

Mike Rupp - Selected with New Jersey's seventh round pick in the 2000 Entry Draft, Rupp's four-year NHL career has included stops in Phoenix and Columbus. The Cleveland native's next game will bring his career total for games played to 200.

Kevin Weekes - The Toronto native won a career-high 23 games while a member of the Carolina Hurricanes in '03-04, and needs four more victories to reach the 100-win mark.

The new 82-game schedule once again features eight meetings with each of the Devils' Atlantic Division rivals, while also including visits from the teams of the Pacific – Chris Pronger and the Anaheim Ducks; Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars; Rob Blake and the Los Angeles Kings; Shane Doan and the Phoenix Coyotes; and Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks.

The Devils will head out to meetings with the Northwest Division, facing Jarome Iginla and the Flames in Calgary; Joe Sakic and the Avalanche in Colorado; Sheldon Souray and the Oilers in Edmonton; Marian Gaborik and the Wild in Minnesota; and Roberto Luongo and the Canucks in Vancouver.


SHould be a good game tonight not going to go into detail but i expect a 3-1 win
 

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The extended pre-game is starting now on FSN NY. LETS GO DEVILS!
 

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i put this loss all on sutter why he would put Oduya and Mattou or w/e his name is together on a pairing is beyond me...with Rich just being scratched..stupid stupid stupid..nice debut brent....other than that..same plauge different yr the puck doesnt go home on good chances..nice deflection on parises shot..that was about it...Oh and Marty was stellar.
 

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Tough loss to stomach, but I must say that I was very, very impressed by Asham, Zubrus, and Vishnevski. Although Asham impressed me the most, because I really didnt know what to expect from him. Zubrus and Vishnevski had good games, and I really hope that Zubrus can bury the puck next time. I was slightly disappointed with Rachunek because we didnt see much of his shot.
I think Pelley and Clarkson did excellent jobs, and Bergfors looked good at times. I am really liking the pairings of the first two offensive lines though.
 

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Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Vincent Lecavalier? For some reason he just seems to have Marty's number the last couple years. Not sure who blew their coverage on the game winning goal, but that's to be expected while everybody gets to know each other.

Overall I'd say it was a pretty decent game to open the season. Obviously it sucks to lose, but I didn't really expect them to come flying out of the gate either. All the new guys played pretty well. Zubrus reminds me a bit of Arnott, without quite the physical game. Asham looked very solid, Rachunek moved the puck pretty well, Vishnevski had a couple solid hits, Bergfors had a couple good chances, and Clarkson proved to be an annoyance. In other words, they all pretty much did what most of us expected them to.

The Parise/Zajac/Gionta combination could be a dangerous line this year if they play like they did tonight. They seem to be a natural fit together, and if Elias and Zubrus can find some chemistry I'm liking the looks of the top two lines.

Oh, and Marty was...well Marty once again.
 

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Following Phish's example I figured I'd start a thread here to keep all the gameday discussion somewhat organized. It'll be easier than having 82 individual GDTs...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
newjerseydevils.com – With their season opener in the books, the Devils try for their first victory under head coach Brent Sutter. New Jersey visits the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7:00 PM, FSN NY2, WFAN 660 AM). Tonight's game marks the first of four games between the two teams, and the first of two games to be played at the BankAtlantic Center.
Sutter, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders, took over New Jersey in the offseason. He inherited a team that went 49-24-9 last season, won the Atlantic Division and reached the second round of the playoffs before falling to eventual Eastern Conference champion Ottawa.
The Devils lost 3-1 at Tampa Bay in Sutter's debut Thursday. Brian Gionta scored the lone goal for New Jersey.
"We played pretty well the last 17 minutes of the first and played a really good second period," Sutter said. "We had lots of chances. I thought we stood around too much in the third. We weren't assertive enough."
Martin Brodeur, who led the NHL with 48 wins and 12 shutouts last season, stopped 21 of 23 shots in his 13th consecutive season-opening start for the Devils.
"It was a tough loss for us," center Sergei Brylin said. "Nobody wants to start the year with a loss, but I guess we have to look at the positive things that we did. Just little mistakes here and there cost us a game."
New Jersey is opening the season with nine straight road games before its home opener at Prudential Center on Oct. 27.

Since the start of the 1997-98 season, the Devils are 14-4-0 with a tie in Florida, though they have lost two of their last three games there. In its last 34 games overall against the Panthers, New Jersey is 25-6-0 with three ties.
Brodeur is 30-10-0 with seven ties and a 1.96 goals-against average in 47 games against Florida. New Jersey won the 2006-07 season's series 3-1-0

For the Devils, defenseman Colin White (puck to the eye area), right wing Jamie Langenbrunner (groin), and right wing Cam Janssen (separated shoulder) are sidelined.

NJD NOTES

On Friday, the Devils signed right wing Nick Palmieri to his first professional contract. He was returned to Erie (OHL) on September 28.

I expect something big from the boys tonight. Hopefully Florida is still shaking off that horrid 3rd period vs the Rangers and im sure Sutter let Oduya hear it after the game...i wouldnt be suprized if he sits tonight

4-1 win.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Kevin Weekes will be in goal. Marty returned to Jersey for a personal reason and did not return to sunrise in time for the morrning skate.
 

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Marty is in uniform as the back-up. Im sorry Brent Marty should play tonight we need to get a win under martys belt early!
 

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After watching tonights pre-game I really think Sutter has no idea what he's doing he's trying to mold players who were molded to a different style and are also for the most part ALOT older and less open to change. Again the lines look different...Sutter keeps the veteran leadership of matvichuk out of the line-up and benches marty.
 

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atleast my prediction was right lol.

Welcome to New Jersey Weeksie. Kevin played a awesome game for us tonight especially in the 1st period.

Asham continued to impress me so did Mottau
Oduya continued to be shakey at best I still think Matvichuk should be in his spot. the ZZG line played well again. Madden and Pando played great together and Asham seems to be perfect for that line. The 4th line showed some scoring promise.
 

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What has the Sutter system done for us so far

1.Let up a little on Defence which has led to a higer G.A.A

2. Turned a team who took little to no minors a game to a team that takes between 5 and 7

3. Oh yeah and we still cant scor
 

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Take a look at the defense and tell me how they're going to be massively better at this time.

Martin
Greene
Oduya
Rachunek
Vishnevski
Mottau

You've got two players who are in their first seasons with the Devils, two players who are in their second year, a career minor leaguer getting time because of an injury, and a guy who is still developing. What do you want from them?

Throw in the loss of White and the fact that Matvichuk is apparently on the trading block, and the defense is pretty young and inexperienced right now. Add on top of that the adjustment to a more aggressive approach both offensively and defensively, and defensive breakdowns are going to occur.

As for the penalties, when you're more aggressive, you're probably going to take more penalties. Again, there's the learning process to consider as well. You've got new players adjusting to new roles in a new system. To expect the same old New Jersey Devils is a bit unrealistic if you ask me.

It may not be a pretty start to the season, but let's not go jumping off the wagon already...
 

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So the road trip from hell continues Wednesday against the Penguins. If the Devils allowed the league's worse offensive team to score 5 goals on them (Atlanta had a previous total of 4 goals in 4 games before losing to the Devils), how are they going to perform against Crosby and Co.?

I know one thing, Marty was none too pleased over his performance the other night. When he was heading back to the locker room after the game he slammed his goal stick on the floor and broke it in half. Coming from Marty, that's saying something. He hasn't been the same old Marty so far this year. Hopefully he'll be pissed off enough to play like he usually does after a bad game.
 

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Who needs Patrik Elias when you've got John Madden scoring goals for you?:laugh:

Seriously, it seems as if the grinder types are really thriving under Sutter. Madden, Pandolfo, and Asham all had goals tonight, and have scored 8 goals this year between them. Now if guys like Elias and Gionta could start scoring like we're used to, the Devils actually look pretty good offensively.

I have to say the Pandolfo/Madden/Clarkson line is quickly becoming a pretty solid third line. I had my worries about Clarkson playing with those two negatively affecting his offense, and now Madden and Pandolfo are scoring. Who knew?

Defensively, the Devils still look a bit out of whack, but I kind of figured they might be early in the year. Usually if Marty gives up 9 goals over 2 games, the Devils are completely screwed, but they've scored 11 goals at the same time. Last year it would have taken 5-6 games to score that much.

Oh, and did I mention that Zach Parise is a hockey god?:D
 

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It seems to be Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde with the Devils so far this year. The offense looks great two games in a row and then completely disappears for a game. Although they did outshoot the Flyers by a 2-1 margin, they just couldn't beat Biron, who has looked solid this year.

I don't know what's up with Marty. He's allowed 13 goals in his last 3 games and has looked a bit slow to me. I'm hoping it's either a case of him working through some kind of injury or just being in a bit of a slump. Hopefully he'll get out of it soon, the Devils defensive issues are problem enough without having a slumping goaltender.

I thought it might take a while for the Devils to come together with all the changes they've been through, and it's been the case so far. I'd rather they have these problems now than down the road though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What you thinking Mad, Weeksie on the island Marty at the Garden and the home opener? Or weeksie on the island and the garden with marty playing the home? orrrr lol marty playing all 3? can go anyway really
 
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