Monday, October 11, 2010

New Jersey Forced to Play Pittsburgh with Only Three Lines

With less than an hour away from the Penguins-Devils late afternoon faceoff, it was recently confirmed that neither defenseman Anton Volchenkov or forward Brian Rolston will be in tonight's lineup due to injuries they suffered in last Saturday's matchup against the Washington Capitals.

As was expected, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was suspended for a single game after instigating a fight within the last five minutes of that same game.

Due to salary cap issues still lingering from Ilya Kovalchuk's infamous signing over the summer, Letourneau-Leblond has been placed on waivers (and a decision has yet to be made as to whether or not he will play for New Jersey's AHL affiliate in Albany if he ends up clearning waivers by noon tomorrow). The Devils are also unable to replace Volchenkov and Rolston on the roster which leaves New Jersey dressing only 15 skaters (9 forwards, 5 defensemen). That translates into the Devils rolling three forward lines for the entire game which would further translate into the Penguins playing with more rested, less strained bodies on the ice.

The end result of such an unevenly matched group of players between these two teams has yet to be seen. I'm hoping that the obvious plays out for the Penguins to earn their first "W."

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