There are only two games on the schedule tonight. In fact, the schedule is fairly light until Thursday, but here are tonight’s contests:
New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
These teams don’t like each other and never have. Tonight’s game marks the second of the season for the Devils, after the team was dominated by Philadelphia on Saturday night in Jacques Lemaire’s return to Jersey. Needless to say, Martin Brodeur wasn’t at his best in the team’s first game (he allowed five goals) and said in the morning papers that he was looking to change a thing or two about his positioning after the opening night loss.
The Rangers started the season by getting defeated in Pittsburgh but then returned the next night and beat Ottawa in the team’s home opener. In positive news, Marian Gaborik looks healthy and motivated, so the Rangers are going to try and ride the Gaborik train as long as they can.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks
Well, some are already calling this game a “must-win” for the Canucks. First off, that is absurd, as it is the third game of the season. Regardless, the Canucks started poorly in Calgary on Thursday and only really started playing in the second half of the game. Unfortunately for Alain Vigneault and company, his team didn’t fare much better in Colorado on Saturday afternoon and the team is faced with an 0-2 record. While there shouldn’t be panic in B.C., Vigneault hasn’t wasted any time calling out his non-Sedin lines. Something tells me the Canucks will be mighty motivated tonight.
As for Columbus, this is a team that defeated the Wild 2-1 on Saturday and is a confident bunch. Unfortunately for Ken Hitchcock and company, the Jackets play three straight home openers starting with tonight in Vancouver. That said, Hitchcock will have his much improved team ready to roll. Expect a higher scoring affair than in the team’s first game of the season.