Instead of spending this week’s off days at home the New Jersey Devils have been relaxing at a resort outside of Tampa Bay, Florida as they prepare to take on the lightning Friday night.
Old man winter is fighting his eviction notice so far this March, and it might be a good idea for The Devils, whose locker room resembles the “Walking Dead” film set, to hang in a warmer climate and get healthier.
Add Captain Bryce Salvador and forward Stephen Gionta to the list of ailing players. They are travelling with the team though, and their status for Friday’s game is uncertain, according to Tom Gulitti’s “Fire and Ice Blog.”
As soon as their most important player, Martin Brodeur, returned to the lineup another linch pin went down in Ilya Kovalchuk. My shoulder hurts just watching this one. It’ll be at least another two weeks for the Russian juggernaut. Dainius Zubrus, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Henrik Tallinder are hurt as well.
This injury bug is spreading at a bad time, down the home stretch when the Devils are in a dogfight for playoff position. They currently sit in Seventh, but the Eighth place Rangers have a game at hand and the Islanders and Hurricanes are waiting in the wings.
They’ll have to press on, suiting up names like Harri Pesonen and Matt D’Augostini along the way.
Welcome back, Marty!
At least they have their rock back between the pipes. Brodeur has picked up where he left off and is 2-0-1 since returning from the IR. His season totals are an impressive 10-2-4. It’s obvious how badly they need the 40 year old to be healthy, for his performance as much as his calming influence. He has even managed to contribute to the offense, somehow getting credit for this sketchy goal against Carolina.
Brodeur now has 666 wins in his Devils career. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.