Wait, the Sabres are good?

So who’d have thought that this stretch of games against the Rangers, Penguins, and Sabres would prove to be an early-season measuring stick?  I mean, Penguins, of course.  Rangers & Penguins?  Okay, maybe.  But where the HELL did the Sabres come from?

The Sabres sit at 6-1-1 coming into tonight’s game at The Rock.  This means that the Devils last three opponents will have had a total of FIVE combined losses on the season before the Devils got their hands on ’em.

The win over the Penguins Saturday night was costly, however.  As you may know by now, both Paul Martin and Jay Pandolfo will be out 4-6 weeks due to seperate arm owies.  While Super Jay has been having a great year so far, he’s somewhat replacable in the lineup (Matt Halischuk probably gets regular playing time now).  But Paul Martin?  His loss could suck.  It could suck a lot.

I mean, because Paul Martin’s out, the Devils called up Cory Murphy.  THAT’S how much the loss of Martin sucks.  Granted, Murph was called up as a seventh defenseman, and won’t be in the lineup tonight, but still.  Our D-corps is pretty banged up in the early going, with Mike Mottau coming back from injury and Colin White and Bryce Salvador both puck magnets.  Factor in Johnny Oduya being less amazing than he has been, and our defense is basically Andy Greene and a buncha scrubs.  Lucky for us, Andy Greene = Wins.

The Devils are 5-0 on the road, which kind of sucks because tonight’s a home game.  In the friendly confines of Newark, New Jersey, the team is 1-3.  And the one win came against a surprisingly bad Carolina team.  That’s…not so good.  A win tonight, however, and all early-season home struggles are forgiven.

Come back here post-game for a Scott Mackie-style post-game recap!  Also, I’m not going to PROMISE it, but there’s gonna be a LiveCap coming eventually.  I haven’t forgotten, I just tend to be in class during the games.  I’ll set one up soon and let you, the loyal 2MA reader, know well in advance.  It’ll be a little party, it will!

It’s very almost nearly time to drop the puck for realsies! (sort of)

Pre-season action begins tonight! Wee!

That’s right ladies and gents, our boys will be suiting up for their preseason opener tonight in Philadelphia, which means we are one gigantic step closer to beginning the season in earnest.

Word on the street is that the Flyers will be streaming the game tonight on their website, which may be the only way any of us will be privy to this contest. If you can’t stomach listening to a pair of radio hosts gush about how fantastic (terrible) an idea it was to sign Mike

Richards for the next three centuries, Tom Gulitti says he’ll be giving period by period updates over on Fire and Ice, so check that out.

Speaking of everyone’s favorite Devils’ beat writer, Gulutti reports that none other than Kevin Weekes will be in net this evening! This of course means three things:

1. We totally have an excuse to use the Weekes laser beam photo.
2. Weekes has completely recovered from the torn bicep muscle he sustained lifting books of crossword puzzles every night on the bench last year.
3. This will be the last time this season the poor dude will see any playing time before March.

In other news, Gulitti also reported this afternoon that one of the line combos will be a trio of youngsters, with Petr Vrana centering a line with Fedor Fedorov and Nicklas Bergfors. Also expected to get substantial time (including some PP action) are Tyler Eckford and Matt Corrente.

Gulitti reports that Mr. Sutter will also try out Brian Rolston on the point during the powerplay (as he should) and Bobby Holik on the top powerplay unit (WHAT…THE…F%*&). No word on if my personal favorite Matt Halischuk will be playing, but i’ve heard he’s been turning heads at camp so I certainly hope so.

At any rate, we’re a mere two and a half weeks from dropping the puck for the start of the season and I can speak for all the 2ma staff when I say it’s about effin’ time. Keep it here for updates as we hurtle towards another New Jersey Devils season.