Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 03/28/09 at 05:09 PM ET
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes will visit New Jersey for the first time this season. In two previous meetings, both in Raleigh, the Canes have won both games and outscored the Devils 7-4. Martin Brodeur did not play in either game, and since is the back of a back-to-back for the Devils, he may not play tonight.
The Devils, who have won 11 consecutive home games, have secured a playoff spot and have a comfortable eight point lead over Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division title. They’ll almost certainly wrap that up very soon. However, they’ve lost three games in a row and Brodeur has been quite cold in nets.
Carolina, on the other hand, has won five games in a row. It’s virtually impossible for them to win the Southeast Division, but they are currently fifth in the East and have a chance to climb as high as fourth. At this point, not even a berth in the playoffs is guaranteed, but they’ve been playing very well in front of a sizzling hot Cam Ward, who has given up just four goals in his last three starts.
Eric Staal has been playing his best hockey since the ASG, and even better since Erik Cole returned to the Canes. In 11 games since Cole’s return, Staal has 16 (6/10) points. I think he’s probably got one more really great game in him before this regular season is over. He’s not the only player with a hot hand, though.
Ray Whitney has also been hot. He has 18 (6/12) points in the last 12 games, and has a four game point streak going.
Defenseman Anton Babchuk has a three game point-streak, and has tallied five points (4/1) in the last five games.
There is no doubt that Cam Ward will be in nets for the Hurricanes, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Kevin Weekes for the Devils.
Zach Parise will be the player to look out for on the Devils. He’s had an amazing season, and he has 12 (4/8) points in has last ten games.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.