We are almost there! The regular season is right around the corner, but first, the New Jersey Devils must travel to Columbus and play their last preseason game. They’ll face off against the Blue Jackets, who boast a 2-2-1 preseason record.
The Devils bring an interesting roster into tonight’s game. It projects – at least in terms of the forward group – what to expect for the regular season. This is great news for consensus bubble player Jesper Boqvist, who is slated to be on the left-wing of the fourth line. Forwards Michael McLeod – who had an outstanding camp – and Nathan Bastian were assigned to the AHL earlier in the morning. This leaves, most likely, one more forward cut. Expect Kevin Rooney or even – in what would be very surprising move – Miles Wood to be the odd man out.
Defensively, the Devils are for the most part playing their main guys, with the exception of captain Andy Greene and Sami Vatanen. Along with Greene, Connor Carrick is also expected to be a healthy scratch defensively. We will certainly see at least one more defenseman cut – most likely Matt Tennyson, or possibly Ty Smith – as both players who will be watched closely tonight by staff and management. Goaltender Cory Schneider is slated to play the full 60-minutes in between the pipes, with Mackenzie Blackwood backing him up.
The game will be at Nationwide Arena in Columbus and is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM ET. As for how you can watch it, according to the Devils’ Facebook page, it will be streamed to in-market viewers on their NJD TV platform.
Projected Devils’ Lines
What/Who to Watch
- With only two cuts remaining, several of the “bubble players” have one last chance to make a good impression. Of those playing tonight: John Hayden, Jesper Boqvist, Mirco Mueller, Ty Smith, and Matt Tennyson, it’ll be extremely interesting to watch how they respond to the pressure. For those bubble players not playing tonight: Kevin Rooney, Miles Wood, and Connor Carrick, it remains to be seen what their futures hold. Regardless, the Devils need to make two subtractions from their roster and tonight is the last night for these guys to impress.
- The second line of Gusev/Hughes/Palmieri is the most intriguing the Devils have to offer. The playmaking abilities of Gusev and Hughes should complement Palmieri, who’s the Devils’ best shooter, perfectly. This is the first look we will get of the trio together so expect it to go extremely well.
- Scheider has been solid this preseason and will get one more chance to hone his skills before the opener next Friday. He holds a save percentage well over the .900 mark thus far and certainly hopes his performance will carry over into the regular season.
Next Game: Friday, October 4th vs. Winnipeg Jets (Regular Season Opener)