The Devils are “en fuego” winning 4 in a row. Led by the stellar play of Lee Stempniak, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique they’ve defeated the Rangers, Coyotes, Senators, and Sabres in succession. The only regulation win, however, was their last game versus Buffalo. Corey Schneider has played like Corey Schneider and the Devils just continue to keep on rolling. The visitors are the fledgling Columbus Blue Jackets. Saying they have struggled early is an understatement. An 0-8-0 start coupled with the firing of their head coach gives a good picture of where they are at. Their last game resulted in their first win. A 4-3 win against the Avalanche.
Keys to the Game:
The Devils just need to keep doing what they are doing. They must continue to play a style of game that is hard to play against. If the Devils have any chance at the playoffs they need to bank wins early so it is vital to take advantage of the Blue Jackets when they are weak. Having said that, the Devils need to be weary of their opponents tonight. Columbus’ terrible start has seemingly made everyone forget how much talent that team actually has. Brandon Saad, Scott Hartnell, and Brandon Dubinsky are all capable of lighting the lamp. They may be slumping but it is important to not sleep on this team.
The Blue Jacket’s star forward Ryan Johansen was held out of the team’s last contest due to illness. It looks like he’s going to miss this game as well. This takes some of the pressure off the defense as Johansen is definitely the Blue Jacket’s best scoring forward.
Players to Watch:
It’s got to be Adam Henrique. Henrique is on one of the better tears of his career. In his last 2 games he has 3 goals and 2 assist. He is second on the team in points but leads to Devils in goals. His 6 goals this season has him tied for 6th in the league. Look for him to continue this streak against the Jackets.
(Also look for new Devil Bobby Farnham. He will be wearing No. 23 tonight. In the AHL he was known as a tough guy and a gritty player. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the roster in Ruutu’s absence.)
Sergei Bobrovsky. He has been terrible this season. He has told the media he has no confidence in his game. Still, you can’t expect a former Vezina winner to be this bad forever. If Bobrovsky can play to his talent level it could be a long night for the Devils.
The Devils are going to come out on top. They are seemingly getting all the bounces they need right now and the Blue Jackets just aren’t. I believe that Bobrovsky will eventually regain his confidence but I don’t think this will be the game. Devils win 4-2.
SB’s Record (I thought it would be fun to see how many games the Devils win when I write the pregame articles. So this little section is for that.)
7:00 PM, MSG+