The New Jersey Devils make the short trip to Boston where they will meet with the Bruins. The Devils showed some promise through the first couple of weeks, but have since hit a wall and cratered into oblivion since. It didn’t last long, but Devils’ fans were provided some something to be happy about for a brief moment. There was reason to be excited going into this season, or at least, a team that could at least make it to the first-round of the playoffs.
Taylor Hall is coming off a season in which he won the Hart Trophy and they figured to have Cory Schneider playing at his best. Schneider playing at his best? That’s laughable, as he hasn’t looked like a guy who should be a backup in the NHL. After starting the year on the IR, Schneider came back and looked sloppy as ever.
He’s back on the IR, which may very well be a made up injury by the Devils to keep him from putting his pads on. Schneider holds an embarrassing 4.66 GAA and 0.852 save percentage that puts him in a position where the Devils may be considering a buy out.
He will likely get another stint in net this season, which is ultimately going to be the most important outings of his career. If he wants to keep playing in the NHL, Schneider may want to consider playing well. You can’t trade him. No one will take on his contract, so it puts the Devils in a bind.
The Bruins went on break after a lackluster effort against the Hurricanes. Rask got hit hard against the Hurricanes, as the Canes emerged with a 5-3 win. It ended a three-game winning streak for the Bruins who were playing good hockey. The Devils dropped a 3-0 decision to the Blue Jackets before heading on Christmas break. It was their fourth loss in five games. Head below for our free Devils vs. Bruins pick.
N.J. Devils vs. Boston Bruins Pick
Keith Kinkaid has taken over as the main starter for the Devils. 22-year-old Mackenzie Blackwood has also gotten some action with Schneider out. The Devils might as well give Blackwood some experience while the ship goes down around him. It’s a similar situation for Carter Hart in Philadelphia. Blackwood has appeared in three games and started one.
He has a 2.24 GAA and 0.93 save percentage in what is a small sample size. Kinkaid is probable to start on Thursday night. He has a 3.02 GAA and 0.901 save percentage, which clearly isn’t great or anything, but he is supposed to be a backup. If it weren’t for Schneider tripping into the abyss, he wouldn’t be seeing this much time in net.
The Devils have been awful on the road this season with a mark of 3-12-1. It’s been ugly for the Devils, who have looked like a different team on the road. They’ve scored just 2.56 goals per game while giving up 4 goals per game. That’s a recipe for disaster is what that is.
Conversely, the Bruins have been terrific at home, as they’ve gone 13-4-0 and averaging 3.65 goals per game. They’ve also given up only 2.29 goals per game at TD Garden. Also note that the Devils have been historically bad against the Bruins. The Bruins have gone 22-5 over New Jersey in their previous 27 meetings. Getting the puckline at +140 on the Bruins looks too good to pass up. A 4-2 or 5-2 game in favour of Boston appears like a good result to me.