What can be said about the New Jersey Devils? They are in hot water. Their one NHL-quality goaltender is hurt, and they seemingly can’t catch a single break. Tonight, their uphill battle continues as they enter the Wells Fargo center to take on the red hot Philadelphia Flyers, a team who has recently jumped the Devils in the standings. The Devils have been desperate for wins since the All-Star break and it is reaching a point where I feel like Taylor Hall may implode on the ice from all the pressure of carrying this team.
Keys to the Game
Goaltending. Can the Devils please get some saves? I know Lack was unlucky, but the Devils aren’t going to win games while giving up five goals—unless Brian Gibbons figures out how to beat math again. In their last 12 games, the Devils have only given up two or less goals twice. They need one of Kinkaid, Lack, or hell maybe even Ken Appleby to step up and have a game.
Players to Watch
Miles Wood has suddenly gotten really good. He has gone from a guy who could just skate really fast in a straight line to a guy who can skate really fast in a straight line and score goals. He has had big games against the Flyers in the past and the Devils need him to keep bringing that energy. Watch for him to do one of three things, score on a breakaway, slam in a rebound, or punch somebody in the face.
Remember when Sean Couturier couldn’t score and was just a very good defensive center? Well he’s an elite offensive center now, and got even better defensively. He is becoming an absolute stud. He was a late bloomer so all of you Zacha haters take notes. It can be done.
The Flyers haven’t lost since the Eagles won the Super Bowl, and are coming off beating the powerhouse Las Vegas Golden Knights. Flyers-Devils games for some reason are always lopsided or seemingly devolve into nonsense. Gudas might try to kill somebody, Ben Lovejoy might score, who really knows when these two teams play each other (One of those things is way more likely than the other)?But I have faith; the Devils can’t lose forever.
Devils 5-4 in OT