Blackhawks wanting to bounce back against Devils
The Chicago Blackhawks (25-7-6), coming off a shootout loss to their rivals Vancouver, are facing the New Jersey Devils (15-15-7), who themselves didn’t manage to win their last game against the Los Angeles Kings. Both teams will be eager to bounce back from their respective losses, but the Blackhawks could be at advantage with their home crowd cheering them on.
The Devils have been making the most of their acquisition of Jaromir Jagr, who has seen a lot of different East Coast teams in recent years and settled in New Jersey for this season. He is the team’s leader in points with 33 (13G, 20A) and has been clutch for the Devils, despite being one of the oldest players in the NHL. Right alongside him is goaltender Martin Brodeur, still the player that keeps the New Jersey team together .902 SV% and 2.38 GAA. His backup, former Canucks Cory Schneider, is also posting strong number (.915 SV%, 2.03 GAA).
As for the Blackhawks, Patrick Kane continues his bid to catch up Sidney Crosby at the top of the league in terms of points with 48 (21G, 27A), with Patrick Sharp and Captain Jonathan Toews following him, more than 10 points behind. Other players are at the top of the league alongside Kane, like left-winger Brandon Saad, as well as D-men Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. The Blackhawks have been rolling four lines and have an active defence and a strong offense, which will have to be present on Monday against the Devils’ strong defence.
The Devils are still missing forwards Ryan Clowe and Ryan Carter, while the Blackhawks have had to deal with losing both their main goaltender and his backup, Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin. Thankfully their summer signing of Finnish talent Antti Raanta has kept them going, and in his 11 games played, he is posting a .920 SV% for a 2.22 GAA. He is probable to start on Monday, but vet Jason LaBarbera, who has just been traded from the Edmonton Oilers and called up from the AHL’s Rockford Icehogs should be seeing ice time soon in relief of Raanta.
It should be an interesting match-up between two teams who didn’t see each other at all last season because of the lockout, and will only see each other twice this season. Both teams will be eager to win and bounce back from losses.
Game time is 8.00 p.m. ET and can be seen live on CSN-CH and MSG PLUS 2.