Chances are fairly strong that former Thrashers back-up of four years, Johan Hedberg, will be the Devils' starting goaltender tonight. Martin Brodeur was in goal last night for the Devils in their 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. The three goals Brodeur allowed on just twenty shots were all immensely stoppable. Moose fairs about the same as Brodeur in goal, so it's not like the Thrashers are getting either an upgrade or a downgrade in goaltending by having to face Hedberg in net. Compare:
|2010 - Martin Brodeur||21||1156||5||13||52||2.70||525||473||.901||3|
|2010 - Johan Hedberg||13||592||4||6||29||2.94||304||275||.905||1|
Moose actually has a slightly higher save percentage, and has lost half of the games that Brodeur has (granted, he's also played half of the minutes). Hedberg might actually be advantageous for the Devils' to play tonight, considering he knows a lot of the individual players' on the Thrashers tendencies. Again, half the team is new, so he won't be able to read them much like they might not be able to read him. The key, though, to beating Moose is to screen him and shoot from the circles back - this should be completely do-able for the Thrashers
The Thrashers will be starting Ondrej Pavelec tonight - Chris Mason was the last goalie off ice this morning at morning skate. Pavs is still playing outstanding hockey, winning seven of his last 10 starts (and losing two in overtime):
|2010 - Ondrej Pavelec||21||1166||10||6||35||1.80||617||582||.943||2|
The Devils have issues scoring regardless of who they're playing against - they're dead last in the league with just 1.77 goals a game. In contrast, they allow 2.9 goals a game. Pavelec won't make their problems any easier.
All time, the Thrashers are 5-13-2-0 against the Devils at Philips Arena, and New Jersey has a six game winning streak against the Thrashers. Tonight would be the perfect night to end that streak. Note to Thrashers fans, though - don't start cheering and heckling until after the game: the Hockey Gods don't like hubris. Obviously.