DAB Pregame: Devils in Interesting Predicament Against Red Wings

The New Jersey Devils return to action following Monday’s 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Tonight, they face the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, and this game has vital importance but not for the reasons you may think so let’s get right into it. This is not going to be an ordinary pregame report because this is not an ordinary game. 

The Situation

I will not sugarcoat it but winning this game benefits neither side. The season is over, neither team is going to make the playoffs, they are separated by only one point after Detroit passed New Jersey by defeating Buffalo in overtime last night. I personally do not support tanking and have been against it ever since I first learned what that meant many years ago. But the fact of the matter is that both Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood have proven they are both in great shape and are ready to lead the way next season. We have seen what this team is capable of doing when they are completely healthy so there are plenty of reasons to be excited about next season.

Photo via NJ.com

What would help make next season even better? A really good draft pick. It is no secret this draft is all about Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. But there are still some very highly touted prospects in the first seven or so picks. Now, of course, a top-three pick is no guarantee, but if the Devils find themselves in a low enough position, it will guarantee a decent player, even if they are not a lottery team. 

Prediction 

Winning tonight’s game against the Red Wings and passing them would only hinder the chances of a better draft spot realistically. Again, I do NOT support tanking, I hope the Devils absolutely ruin the New York Rangers on Monday. But a game like tonight, I will not be disappointed with a loss. So I am taking the Red Wings to win tonight’s game in order to benefit the New Jersey Devils’ future. 

Lineups

New Jersey Devils

Coleman – Zajac – Noesen 

Agostino – Hischier – Palmieri 

Wood – Zacha – Anderson

Stafford – Rooney – McLeod 

Greene – Severson

Mueller – Carrick 

Butcher – Santini 

Blackwood 

Schneider

Detroit Red Wings

Bertuzzi – Larkin – Mantha

Hirose – Athanasiou – Glendening

Helm – Nielsen – Kuffner

Puempel – Ehn – Witkowski

Kronwall – Hronek

Dekeyser – Bowey

Ericsson – McIlrath

Howard

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