Suddenly the New Jersey Devils are right in the thick of the wild card race in the Eastern Conference.
After a 3-1 win Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Devils are one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card spot and three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third in the Metropolitan Division.
Goaltender Cory Schneider tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice he’s liked how the team has been winning games of late.
“We’ve been so close to these kind of wins all throughout the year and just somehow haven’t racked them up in a row, but if you’re going to go on a run these are the kind of ones you need to grind out and we’ve been doing that the last couple of games,” Schneider said.
The Devils final four games provide a challenge and more opportunities to need to grind out wins. They host the Calgary Flames on Monday then play a back-to-back set on Thursday and Friday in Ottawa against the Senators and then back home against the New York Islanders. They close out the season next Sunday at home against the East’s top team, Boston.
It’s a tough road for New Jersey, but if there’s anything we know about them it’s that they don’t go away very easily.
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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