Nash will be out tonight, as the team is trying to be cautious about bringing him back too soon. Tollefson will return and take Backman's place in the lineup tonight. Look for Modin to join Malhotra and Huselius on the top line, with the Goats II line of Voracek, Peca and Filatov staying intact. Torres and Umberger will be on a line, probably joined by Boll or MacDonald, with Williams, Dorsett filling out the fourth line with the remaining forward.
Keys for tonight:
1. Promote Frustration -- Hitch-Hockey needs to be the order of the night, disrupting flow in the neutral zones, keeping their wings to the outside, providing support in the middle and down low, hard checking and a strong fore-check. We don't want to get in a free-wheeling, end-to-end sprint with these guys.
2. Puck Possession -- We have been doing a great job recently of cycling, keeping pucks in the zone, and tiring the opposition out in their zone. We need to keep doing that tonight.
3. Cash In -- If we do #1 and #2, we will have plenty of scoring chances. Take advantage of them!
4. Stonewall Mason -- Just doing my part to keep this nickname going . . . Mase needs to be large in net, as he has been, and add to the NJ frustration factor. He has had a couple of days to rest, so hopefully has his batteries fresh.
5. Special Teams -- Continue our strong play on the PK, and don't lose focus when we have offensive opportunities. Let's see how Jason Williams looks with Russell at the point on the PP.
Two of the best 5 vs. 5 teams in the league getting it on tonight, so it should be a good one. Last home game before the All Star break, so let's get everyone there, and make some noise!!