SB Nation Rival Blog: In Lou We Trust
Hurricanes Record: 27-27-9 | 63 pts | 7th Metro | 13th EC
Devils Record: 27-24-13 | 67 pts | 6th Metro | 11th EC
Games Remaining: 19
Minimum Points Needed: 93
Points Back: 30 (1.58 points/game)
Playoff Chances (Sports Club Stats): 3.7%
The Hurricanes leave behind a stinging 4-2 home loss to the Rangers for another task at hand tonight when they face the New Jersey Devils in Newark. This is the 16th of 20 back-to-back series for the Canes this season. They are 9-6-1 on the front halves (including last night's loss) and 4-8-3 in the back halves.
The Hurricanes and Devils meet tonight for the third time out of four in their season series. The teams split decisions earlier in the season, each winning on the other's turf. The Canes won in Newark 4-3 on November 27th, and the Devils returned the favor with a 5-2 win in Raleigh just two nights later.
The Devils are playing the second game of a back-to-back tonight as well. They visited Detroit last night where they lost 7-4.
The Devils are in the Eastern Conference playoff dogfight, faring slightly better than the Canes in terms of their playoff position ( and with a 38.2% chance per Sports Club Stats). They are four points ahead and two spots ahead in the conference standings, with two teams to jump for wild card contention.
Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias are pretty good at the hockey. They are point-per-game players against the Canes through their career, Jagr with a staggering 110 points in 76 games, and Elias with 54 points in 53 games. Jagr added another goal to his totals last night and continues to climb over other NHL legends in all-time scoring records, now top ten all-time for goals (701), assists (1,041), and points (1,742).
The Hurricanes special teams woes continue as they didn't score on the power play again last night in four attempts, and they gave up another short-handed goal. They are now -4 for 28 on the power play since the Olympic break.
The Canes won't hold a morning skate or media availability prior to the game, so there won't be any updates in terms of roster changes or starting goaltender [depth chart]. John-Michael Liles left last night's game early but so far there hasn't been any indication of an injury or its extent.
Of course the big story line for tonight's game is Tuomo Ruutu facing his former team of six-plus seasons after being traded from the Canes to the Devils on Wednesday. Ruutu played his first game in a Devils uniform last night against the Wings, with rather typical results: a ten-bell save on a point-blank scoring opportunity, drew a cross-check, had three hits. Here are a few clicks regarding his Devils debut:
- Martin Brodeur on this new teammate [nj.com].
- On how the trade means "20 new friends", also includes comments from Andrei Loktionov [Fire and Ice].
- On being nervous and living out of a suitcase [nj.com].
- Video interviews [Devils.com] [MSG.com].
- Last but not least a very worthwhile listen from John Forslund as he analyzes the trade [wralsportsfan.com].
And now on to the future, check out this unbelievable goal from Canes prospect Sergey Tolchinsky last night (OHL Sault St. Marie Greyhounds vs. Sarnia Sting):
We'll have the game thread rolling by 6:30 pm. See you there.