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"Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face"

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First thing's first: why is Vancouver fucking dreadful in the shootout? Last I checked they have 23 players (ok, 20 since Morrison can't hold the stick, Beeeeeska is lucky to have both legs and Cowan, I dunno, has uncontrollable gout) and Linden is the only one who can score on a 1x1? (**spits, curses, kicks kitten across room**)

Other then that, the Canucks are still jockeying back and forth for first in the division and the Gods have smiled on them by returning Luongo to the crease. Sanford didn't do that bad last week, but Luongo is Luongo and who else do you want back there in net?

(What's that you say? Martin who? Brodeur what?)

Oh right.

Ironically, the first game of the season that I can watch on TV I likely won't be around for since I will be in no other then MSG taking in a Pens/Rangers affair. Hopefully I can get back and catch the last two periods (and watch the Rangers lose 20-0). Ahem...

I've likely seen more Devils games then any other team over the years and, as such, a little part of me pulls for them (very little). Truthfully, they are a tough team to hate since they get the job done, have plenty of cups to back up any small swagger they have and, oh yeah, have Brodeur. Plus, their PA system does the whole "Hey Devils fans, let's get LOUD" and then they ruin the moment with bad music following that, but those three seconds are solid.

Here's my dollar menu breakdown of Atlantic foe #2 to stroll into GM Place:

1. Zach Parise is the shit, but Brian Gionta is a cancer who walks amongst us and needs to be stopped for the sake of the children.

2. As I have mentioned over at Interchangeable Parts before, everyone should root for Jay Pandolfo (sadly, he has a case of the Sami Salo's but think positive thoughts and maybe, like the tooth fairy, you may see him fly in with wand-in-hand). Pandolfo is a quintessential hockey player, one of those guys who has played in nothing but a Devils uniform for almost a decade. Quiet and efficient you could say. I'm not sure Pandolfo ever had a childhood in fact, he may have just materialized out of thin air and ended up in the Devils locker room by dumb luck. And, for some inexplicable reason, I find Pandolfo incredibly funny. No idea why. He's just Mr. Devil...quiet, goofy, funny-named Mr. Devil. I salute thee.

3 . This Devils team that started the season so shitty has actually put together a hell of a November and currently sit atop the Atlantic and second in the Eastern conference. So...fuck.

4. And lastly, since everyone is going to mention it, we have two of the best goalies in the league (if not best two bar none). Brodeur has two more wins, but Luongo has a better GAA (2.12) and save percentage (.925%). He'll also be a bit rusty from his week off and the Devils will almost certainly take some liberties knowing he's not 100%.

Fearless Prediction: Canucks win 3-1. This game could bore some people to death, but I think you'll see a good game with two teams that bounced back after terrible Octobers. The Devils have more momentum at the moment, but after a weak outing in San Jose and the OT loss to Edmonton, this could be a good turn around game for the Sedins (who have been quiet the past week). I'll assume Luongo will be the difference in the end over Brodeur.

Pack your bags: The Province started a bit of a hissy fit over at Kukla concerning, from what I can tell, geography. We all know Lamoriello is an asshat who wanted to keep the NHL schedule as boring as humanly possible so he could milk the Crosby factor for all it's worth, but someone should tell the Province that it's physically impossible for the Canucks not to travel far more then Jersey. Look at a map! Besides, lost in this discussion is that the Devils can get caught in traffic on the turnpike between Northern Jersey and Philly or Manhattan. Ask anyone who every got caught in that sort of vehicular shitshow and, suddenly, dealing with idiots with metal detectors isn't all that bad.

Reading is Fundamental: Besides the aforementioned Interchangeable ladies, go check out 2 Man Advantage too for some views from the other side of the ice.