With Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals agains the Rangers only a few hours away now, Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner is getting into the full spirit of the first postseason game at Prudential Center.
Langengrunner had on his official "Rock Your Red" T-shirt for this morning's media availability at The Rock following a team meeting and did several television interviews with it on. "I'm Rockin' the Red," he said, though he had to endure some ribbing from his teammates.
More than one player expressed displeasure that fans have to buy the T-Shirts and won't get them for free at the game tonight. Their first concern, obviously, is getting ready for the Rangers tonight. All of them, including the coach, were itching for the puck to drop.
"I'm anxious to get going," Sutter said. "I wish this game would have been played last night, our first game. I'm like everybody on the team, just anxious to get it started. You go through a whole season, an 82-game season, and there's ups and downs, peaks and valleys, to set yourself up to play playoff hockey and we're there now and I'm excited about it, anxious to get it going and I'm excited for the players. That's what it's all about."
Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador was particularly anxious for tonight's game. He hasn't played since March 15 because of a left foot contusion. "I'm just excited to get back playing," he said. "It feels like a different season."
Defensemen Karel Rachunek, Vitaly Vishnevski and Sheldon Brookbank and forwards Rod Pelley and Barry Tallackson, who all will be healthy scratches tonight, skated this morning with backup goaltender Kevin Weekes. Everyone else stayed off the ice.
Sutter still wasn't saying what his plans are for checking Jaromir Jagr. Left wing Dainius Zubrus said he hasn't heard anything from the coaches yet about it, but is expecting to see some time against Jagr tonight.
"I haven't had any coversations with the coach, but I think we'll probably start that way," Zubrus said.
MOVIE NIGHT: Martin Brodeur's movie group settled on "Stop-Loss", Ryan Phillippe's film about a soldier recalled to serve in Iraq, as the first movie of the playoffs. "Good film," he said, Jay Pandolfo and John Madden joined him, but he said a group of six other players went to see "Leatherheads." "There were no games on last night, so more guys went," he said. "By Thursday night, it will probably be just me and (Pandolfo)."
Brodeur is hoping some more movies come out soon. "It's going down hill," he said. "I looked and there's nothing good out there."
Most of the other players who didn't go to the movies stayed at the team hotel to play cards. Langenbrunner claimed he and Arron Asham were an unstoppable team in cribbage. Mike Rupp said he cut his card playing short to watch Big Brother on TV.
ASHAM CUTS HAIR AGAIN: Right wing Arron Asham's playoff mohawk lasted only one day. He shaved the rest of his hair down to an even buzz cut, but said it had nothing to do with Lou Lamoriello. "He was lauhging about it," Asham said. "I think he liked it."
Asham said he never intended to keep the mohawk. "I did it as a joke to start out," he said. "I was planning to shave it again."
RANGERS: Nothing exciting from the Rangers' camp. They didn't do any line rushes this morning and head coach Tom Renney still wasn't saying if he'll make any lineup changes from Sunday.
Sean Avery wouldn't talk to the media this morning. I also didn't see Scott Gomez, who has made himself scarce the last couple of days.
Renney was asked if he would have special motivational words for the team before tonight's game.
"Just win," he joked.
FINALLY: Let's hear you predictions for the series. I'm sure they'll be mostly for the Devils, but give me some reasons why.