News galore!

Today, my friends, is a big day in Devils fandom.  Something that hasn’t happened all season is about to happen.

Yep, user-generated ZubbieCounters!  (What, you were thinking something else?)

Oh, and that Elias dude is playing in tonight’s game or something.

Let’s get to it:

Patrik Elias makes his season debut tonight after missing the first thirteen games of the season with various surgical repairs.  Dude’s gotta be bionic now.  Welcome back Patty, we miss-ed you and your super groin (wait, that didn’t sound right).

Elias’ return means someone has to be a healthy scratch tonight, right?  WRONG!  It means someone else joins the rank of the Ouchies club.  Rob Niedermeyer this time.  He has the ever-ubiquitous Upper Body Injury and won’t play at all this weekend.  PLcubed looks like he loses the “Goon of the Game” contest to Andrew Peters and will therefore be tonight’s Goon in a Suit.

Enough news for ya?  TOO BAD, HERE’S MORE!  Jay Leach was put on re-entry waivers yesterday.  Which means, right around…now, the Devils should be finding out if he is available to play against the Islanders tonight of if the team is on the hook for half of his salary while he goes and plays for someone else.  If he survives re-entries, will he play tonight?  Who knows.  Who comes out if he does play?  Also uncertain.

Edit 12:49 PM: French language site RDS seems to suggest that Jay Leach was claimed off waivers by Montreal.  I’m not certain as my ability to speak French is limited to being able to say “Yes, it is a book”.  Two years of high school French and it doesn’t help me when I need it!  Anyway, it looks like Jay Leach is heading north of the border, with the Devils on the hook for half of his salary.  That sucks.

Edit 12:53 PM: TSN claims the same thing.  In English, this time.  See ya, Leacher.

One this is certain, though.  It won’t be Andy Greene who comes out of the lineup, because as the league is finding out, ANDY GREENE = WINS.  As Scott mentioned awhile back, has there ever been a guy go from healthy scratch to Chara-like minutes quicker than our own Greene Monster?  I think not.

And I almost forgot (though I don’t know how)…YANN DANIS STARTS IN NET TONIGHT!  La Grenouille himself (don’t ask) gets the nod between the pipes to play his former team, the Islanders.  Let’s hope he’s better for us against the Isles than he was with the Isles.  If he plays like he did against the Bruins, he’ll be golden.

Alright then, we got Elias, Niedermeyer, the Goon race, Andy Greene = Wins, Yann Danis…did I forget something?

Ah, right.

ZUBBIECOUNTER30 USER GENERATED CONTENT!

Some really good ones came in for this most recent goal.  I laughed.  Louder than I should have at 2 in the morning.  Other people in my house weren’t too happy.  So you might wanna refrain from reading the rest of this post unless it’s an hour of the day in which your family or roommates are awake.  Fair warning.

The first one comes from Richard H.  It’s incredibly clever.  (Get it, 30 Rock?  Zubbie’s 30th?  The Rock?)

zubbiecounter30-Richard H

Pop culture baby.  Best way to our collective hearts.

Next up comes a Zubmission from a Mr. Aaron B.  It doesn’t look like much, but it’s indicative of another surefire way to get your Zubmission on our site:  Take a photo yourself.  See, Mr. Aaron was at the game in Boston where Zubbie scored his 30th, and snapped this quickie photo just after Zubbie broke most of the arena’s collective hearts.

zubbiecounter30-Aaron B

That 2 in the 2-1 score?  That’s thanks to the Dainiusaur.

The final two Zubmissions come from ZubbieCounterContest veterans.  Kevin B. actually sent in three hilarious Zubmissions because he couldn’t pick just one.  It was hard for me to pick one, but I think this one was a hair better than the other two.  Made me laugh pretty loud, anyway.

zubbiecounter30-Kevin B

Poor Zach.  Being separated from his BFF Travis Zajac was clearly traumatic.

And finally, we come to Jon C’s Zubmission.  Look, I mentioned before that an instant way into our hearts is a pop culture reference, and this one is possibly the ultimate pop culture reference of the last few months.  Frankly, I’m mad at myself for not having expected it before it came in.  2MA readers, I present to you via Jon C…Interrupting Kanye:

zubbiecounter30-Jon C

That’s almost criminal how good it is.  Thanks Jon, Kevin, Aaron, and Richard for the awesome entries.  God I can’t wait ’til Zubbie nets another goal.  (Also, don’t forget, voting for the ZubbieCounterContest continues on the main page until November 14th, or until Zubbie pots #33.  Whichever happens first.  Probably the former.)

Devils Versus Docile Bears

Tonight’s a big’un.  The Boston Bruins, they of the best record in all the land, make their way to Newark this eve to take on the Devils, they of the nine-wins-in-eleven-games hot streak.  One of those wins came against this very same Bruins team (in Boston, no less).

For the Devils, expect to see Mike Rupp back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s victory over the Isles.  The Devils say it was a sinus issue, I say it was a bruised ego after getting knocked silly by Colton Orr in a fight Monday night.  Either way, I expect Rupp will be looking for blood, preferably not his own.

Rupp’s return means that Jay Pandolfo sits in the press box again tonight.  Super Jay wasn’t bad in Wednesday’s tilt, but “not bad” doesn’t seem good enough.  Poor Super Jay.

Scott Clemmensen gets the nod in net after sitting Wednesday in favor of Kevin Weekes.  But this is not all that shocking.

On the opposite side of the rink, the Bruins are coming off a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Tuesday night’s much-balleyhoo’d face-off of conference leaders – the Bruins first loss all season by more than two goals.  The Bruins are also the NHL’s best road team, having lost only five times in regulation away from TD Banknorth Garden.  This one ain’t gonna be easy, folks.

Scott’s at tonight’s game, so I’m sure you’ll see one of his Thoughts from Section 209’s later tonight or early tomorrow.  I’ll hopefully be catching at least some of tonight’s game and may have something up as well.

Before I go, however, I’d like to extend my sincerest condolences on behalf of all of us at 2MA to the friends and families of those killed in the Continental Airlines Flight 3407, which crashed in Buffalo.  The flight originated at Newark Airport and it seems like a good number of NJ residents were aboard the plane.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.

Time For A Rebound

Sure a loss is a loss — but hey, last night wasn’t that bad. The boys exuded a strong effort in Mo-town and aside from a few unlucky bounces, gave Detroit a bit of a scare. I’d be lying to you if I said I expected much better than what I saw last night.

It’s also a sigh of relief that both Salvador & Gionta are doing fine after they left with injuries last night. Although you never know, both of them could be in a coma at the moment. I guess you never do know until game time.

Speaking of game time, it’s almost that time again. Nothing like a weekend turnaround!

The biggest question going into tonight lies between the pipes for New Jersey. Brent Sutter spoke to the tune that he hasn’t made up his mind as to whether Kevin Weekes or Scott Clemmensen will get the nod for the Devils tonight.

If I may issue a humble statement… Kevin Weekes should — absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, play tonight. (Which probably means he won’t.)

If Weekes is going to be our go-to guy for the remainder of Brodeur’s absence, you have to trust him with the grinds of a season, especially on these back-to-back showdowns. I don’t care if both games are against Western Conference opposition. The man needs to play, sweat off the rust, and feel like he really is the #1 guy — interim or not. If you sit him tonight, you deny him an opportunity at a bounce-back game after a tough loss and send him in cold against the Rangers on Wednesday. Wonderful confidence booster, no?

I could go on for hours and hours about this but the point remains the same. Weekes is our number-one now, and he needs to be treated as such. It’s too early to sit the guy, especially when your other option is Scott Clemmensen. (Sorry, Patricia.)

With that being said, the boys in front of him need to execute the same game plan they did last night — lots of pucks to the net and be a little more responsible defensively.

Oh, and Patrik — seriously? I mean… really?! You owe us tonight.

==============

COME SAY HI! Josh and I will be in attendance tonight — section 120 (Josh) and I’ll be in section 119 Row 6. Oh, and Scott, too. But you can hang out on the concourse and pass him Gatorade cups as he goes whizzing by you.

Shouldn’t be hard to find us, we’ll probably be the only ones there.