After a five-game homestand, the New Jersey Devils finally hit the road for a meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s a pretty good deal for the Devils, though, as they have four days off before their next game. That will be back at home against the Predators next Thursday and then another home game against the Panthers on Saturday. In other words, the Devils have nothing to complain about with their scheduling in October.
A lot of teams have it rough right now, with long road trips and back-to-back outings. At the end of the month, the Devils will have played on two games on the road, this being one of them and then the Lightning on the 30th. Don’t worry, the Devils will pay for it in November, as they’ll be on the road often.
This is an early afternoon puck drop in Philadelphia. The Flyers are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus. Calvin Pickard looked off in net and clearly doesn’t do anything to fix the Flyers’ defensive issues. Brian Elliott has been complaining about the smaller goalie equipment, because he has been getting bruised often with the smaller chest protector on.
I don’t know if it’s that, or he’s just giving a subtle excuse as to why he is struggling. Neither Pickard or Elliott have looked like a solid option for the Flyers in net. Nevertheless, the Flyers’ problems keeping the puck out of their net go beyond the goaltending. The blueline has played awful hockey, which was on full display with the lack of discipline and turnovers they surrendered against the Blue Jackets on Thursday. The Flyers enter Saturday afternoon with a record of 3-4-0, while the Devils are coming off their first loss of the season to put them at 4-1-0. The Avs took care of that as they delivered a 5-3 loss to the Devils. Head below for our free Devils vs. Flyers pick on Saturday afternoon.
N.J. Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
Despite the loss to the Avalanche, the Devils have gotten off to a nice start. Statistically, they’ve been one of the most rounded teams in the league. However, like I stated, the Devils have had the privilege of hanging around at home without having to travel out of town. November will be a pretty good test to see where they’re at. If the Flyers continue their lazy effort on defence, it’s not going to matter that the Devils are on the road.
There were 2 or 3 goals against the Blue Jackets that was solely based on their defence playing in quicksand. Pickard had to be better, but the poor goaltending covers up their other issues. Elliott enters Saturday with a 4.04 GAA and 0.874 save percentage. Overall, the team is allowing 4.43 goal per game. The offence has been trying to make up for the awful defence, but 3.43 goals per game isn’t enough.
On the other side, the Devils have been playing hard to help out Keith Kinkaid. Cory Schneider is making a rehab stint in the AHL today, while Kinkaid hopes to hold it down in the meantime. In his first appearance on the road, Kinkaid was shaky with 4 goals allowed on 33 shots. That’s been a theme throughout his career. He’s been good at home with a 2.39 GAA, but that dips to 2.90 on the road. The New Jersey offence led by Taylor Hall has been performing at an elite level thus far. Kyle Palmieri has been on a tear with 7 goals already. The Devils have averaged 4 goals per game through their first five games. We likely see a better effort from the Flyers back at home, but they aren’t going to find defence between then and now. Any total that doesn’t hit 6.5 in Flyers’ games is going to be a bargain on the OVER.