Slap Shot and Callups

by Ryan

When I have nothing to say about a particular team, I look to their mascots for some guidance. In the case of the Devils, that may not be the best of things to do.

This is the mascot of the New Jersey Devils. No, not the koala bear to the right, that 7 foot tall devil over there on the left. I’m not sure why he has a milk moustache, but at least his calcium intake is consistent.

The history of the Devil is a bit sketchy, with misspellings and a blatant cry for birth control. I’m sure she’s quite a mother.

Still, N.J. Devil (witty, I know) is a much better role model then their prior mascot, “Slap Shot.” This happy hockey puck got a bit too happy with some female vendors back in 1993. The mascot has since been axed, and N.J. Devil has since been neutered.

Okay, enough of this, let’s talk some hockey. The Devils are leading the Atlantic Division with 49 points, just ahead of the suddenly surging Penguins. They are 6-4 in their last 10, including a 2-1 shootout win against the Sabres on December 28th.

The Sabres are struggling, losers of six straight and not scoring despite a lot of shots. Regardless of how “hot” Ty Conklin, Johan Hedburg, and Ray Emery may have been, seven goals in five games against the three just doesn’t cut it.

What do the Sabres need to start winning? Well, to get healthy for one. Derek Roy, Maxim Afinogenov, and Dan Paille look to be out tonight, and Toni Lydman is “batting illness.” No matter how suspect their performance may be, having our best players out there is pretty important, right? Somehow that directly correlates to winning, I’m sure.

The interesting news is that Pat Kaleta has been recalled from the ROC. Considering our offensive woes, conventional wisdom says Marek Zagrapan or Mike Mancari get the call first, but maybe Lindy has a hunch. Hey, if it keeps Andrew Peters off the ice I’m all for it. Maybe he’s the spark this team needs to start playing with some fire.

7 PM in the Prudential Center.

Good luck to the guys from USRT, who will be taking in the game from the brand new building. Let’s hope the Sabres show up as well.