The Devils try to build off their best win of the season following Monday's beatdown of the Washington Capitals when the Calgary Flames skate into Prudential Center. Here are three factors to focus on before your Thanksgiving feast.
Welcome back, Brent!
Wednesday marks the first time Devils coaching defector Brent Sutter has returned to New Jersey since ditching the team for Calgary in the summer of 2009. (To be fair, he wanted to be closer to his family, but I'm not sure that's how the Devils' faithful will see it.) Sutter has not been a happy camper lately, given his struggling team (2-8-1 after six Ws in the first nine games). After Monday's loss to the Rangers, the door to the Flames locker room remained closed to the media for a good long while as the staff met with the players.
When asked about his concern over the fan reaction in his return to Jersey, Sutter told the media (via Tom Gulitti): "It’s irrelevant to me," he said. "I don’t get caught up in that because people don’t know. People didn’t know my situation. People didn’t know the discussions that Lou (Lamoriello) and I had leading into me coming here in the first place." I'm sure Devils fans will factor in that point when they greet Sutter Wednesday night.
The Swede has been sensational since getting the call to the big club. In every game he's played it, particularly Monday vs. the Caps, he's been a spark plug. With Zach Parise sidelined it has seemed, to me anyway, that Tedenby has been the fastest player on the ice for the Devils. Monday he used that quickness to spark the Devs' struggling offense and earn a penalty shot, which he converted. The Flames play a bruising style of defense, but their blueliners aren't the fleetest of foot. It will be interesting to see how Tedenby both deals with the physical aspect and whether he can use his speed to his advantage.
A Little D Will Do Ya
The Flames don't feature a ton of solid scorers aside from Jarome Iginla, so I'll be curious to see how well they can bottle up Calgary after blanking Alex Ovechkin and the Caps. The Flames love to get the puck deep and use their physical game to pin it in the offensive zone. The Devils will need to possess the puck and swiftly move it out of their zone before Iginla and Co. can start their cycles. Monday night, the Flames featured a few stretches at the end of the first period and end of the third period when the Rangers simply could not get the puck off of Calgary's sticks.