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Morning Skate: Devil without a clue

Stop it! Stop it! I'm telling.
Stop it! Stop it! I'm telling.

No, I'm not implying that the Devils are clueless (except for maybe contracts to overrated one-way forwards) but rather it's a song from my friend's band that just happened to pop up on the shuffle this morning.

The Devils have bounced back a bit lately, winning their last 4 and are 6-3-1 in their last 10, more of what the fans of the NHL have become used to. In those 6 wins, they've knocked off the Flyers, Penguins and the Bolts (twice) so they're not beating the Islanders for 6 wins (okay...the Islanders were one of the wins, but you get the point). That said, the Devils still have a bad offense at this point and rank last in the NHL with 2.0 goals for per game. The Wings are 2nd in the league in goals for per game and will need to put that to use against a New Jersey team that's starting to play better defensively.

The Wings, on the other hand, have played poorly of late alternating wins and losses while some of the star players and goalies have sat out with injuries. However, the Wings are hoping for good news on the injury front after this game as Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary are both shooting for a return to the line-up after the All-Star break. The Wings will look up to win tonight's game and have a positive vibe going into the break.

In Lou We Trust is your SB Nation Devils' site, give it a look. Just don't make a deal with the devil.

Analysis, a birthday wish, and the form after the jump.

  • Jimmy Howard will start in net tonight, like he has so many other times this season. Hopefully he has a solid night tonight on VERSUS. No, I'm not getting paid for that, just reminding you all.
  • Did you know that the Red Wings already have more points this year (64) than the Oilers had at season's end last year (62)? So, there's that.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk has 14 goals so he's finally surpassed Patrick Eaves, who has 13. But, Kovy's goals are costing his team $428k right now while Eaves' are costing the Wings about $57k. I like Eaves.
  • Patrik Elias leads the Devils in points with 36 (13 G, 23 A) and is a selection for the All-Star game. Even at 34, Elias is quietly one of the better players in the league and is leading the Devils in the down year.
  • Happy birthday to former Winging It In Motown manager Christy! I owe Christy a big thanks for bringing me on board a little under two years ago and getting me really involved in this community. I thank her even more for establishing a great community and then trusting me with the reigns to that community. Happy Birthday, Christy! Hope it's a good one.
  • Score Prediction: 4-2 Wings. I think the Wings rev it up pretty high after a few poor performances and go into the break strong.
  • Player of the game prediction: Johan Franzen. Someday, I will be right. Make it tonight, Mule.