DAB Pregame: All About the Youth

Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils will look to build off their win from Tuesday when they take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images).

Match Overview

After defeating the Rangers 3-2 in OT Tuesday night, the Devils will look to build off that win as they travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs, who are fighting for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. However, they’ve won six of their last eight, including a 5-2 win over Columbus last night, and currently sit one point ahead of the Bruins for the third and final spot in the Atlantic Division standings.

The Devils, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to play spoiler against Lou and the Leafs. New Jersey is only 2-8-0 in their last ten games, but have gotten key contributions from the younger players in their lineup as of late. Pavel Zacha has points in his last five games while Joseph Blandisi has 6 points in his last six games. With the season coming to a close, look for the Devils to continue giving their prospects more minutes as they continue to build for the future.

Projected Lines

New Jersey 

Hall/Zajac/Palmieri
Blandisi/Henrique/Bennett
Quenneville/Zacha/Noesen
Wood/Coleman/Lappin

Greene/Lovejoy
Merrill/Santini
Moore/Severson

Schneider

Toronto 

Hyman/Matthews/Nylander
Komarov/Kadri/Brown
van Riemsdyk/Bozak/Marner
Martin/Boyle/Fehr

Rielly/Carrick
Gardiner/Zaitsev
Hunwick/Polak

McElhinney

What to Watch

  • It’s gonna be all about the kids tonight; for both teams. Matthews, Nylander, and Marner are all in the top-five for rookie scoring in the league while the Devils have a number of prospects in their lineup looking to make strides in their development. John Quenneville and Co. may not be in the same company as the Leafs rookies, but they’re looking to make their mark in the league also. With a number of youthful players in the lineup for each team, we could be in for a fun, high scoring affair tonight.
  • Despite the impressive display by the Leafs, they can be a mess in their own end. They play a relatively high-event style of hockey. For the year, they give up 59.5 shot attempts per 60 minutes, the third highest mark in the league just behind the Islanders and Coyotes. Toronto has also given up the fifth-most scoring chances in the league. The Devils may not generate a ton on offense, but they’ve been better as of late averaging 3.33 goals over their last six games. They should be able to generate enough chances on a Toronto team that tends to give up a lot.
  • It’s been an up and down season for Cory Schneider, but he was really good Tuesday night against the Rangers. For as many shots and chances that the Leafs tend to give up, they also create a good amount, too. They generate 59.5 shot attempts per 60 minutes and have the second most scoring chances in the league behind only Pittsburgh. Schneider will likely have his hands full against a high-powered Maple Leafs offense.

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 7:30 PM. 

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