If you haven’t heard of Scott Wedgewood yet, I might be giving you a preview of him a year early. The Devils are giving Wedgewood a chance to audition for next season and he has answered the call. New Jersey has some kind of luxury, with not one, not two, but three goaltenders on their roster who are capable of leading a team with positive results. One of them is going to get a fairly decent contract elsewhere to play. Something to the tune of Cam Talbot playing well when he had the opportunity with the Rangers to step up. Talbot ultimately received a handsome contract from the Oilers to come to Edmonton. I don’t think the Devils are going to part ways with Wedgewood. There is way too much potential there. It isn’t like he is some random goalie hitting a hot run, he has been getting groomed at the lower levels of competition for the NHL.
Wedgewood posted a 1.69 GAA with the Albany Devils of the AHL this season. The former Plymouth Whaler has looked sharp as a tack in his first three NHL starts. He holds a 0.66 GAA and 0.978 save percentage. His most impressive outing came against the Washington Capitals in his last start. Despite the Devils losing 1-0 in overtime, Wedgewood stopped 25 shots from the best offense in the league. I’m not saying he is the second coming of Carey Price or anything, there needs to be a much larger sample size, but there is a lot of potential with Wedgewood. It’s a good situation to be in for the Devils.
Now if they can just find some offense. It’s funny. The Devils will score 7 goals in a game, twice this season they did it, and then some weeks they need to scratch and claw to score 7 goals in a week. Scoring 7 goals is great and all, but there needs to be some more consistency in their offensive attack. The Devils scored 7 goals against the Minnesota Wild a few games back. If Wedgewood continues to play the way he has been, the Devils won’t need too many goals to pick wins up. We go to Carolina this afternoon on a small card in the NHL, a day typically reserved for NCAA Tournament viewing.
New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes NHL Pick
This is a story of two teams with outside chances of reaching the playoffs. They need to win and games, out of their hands, will have to work in their favor as well. Wedgewood will need to carry the Devils on his back to make it happen in New Jersey. It was such a downer for the Devils last game. Hold the offensive minded Capitals to no goals in regulation, yet still lose the game. Those can be absolute kill shots to a team, draining them physically and more importantly, mentally. I think the price on this game is set with that in mind. On one hand, though, they need push one of, if not, the best team in the NHL to the brink. However, it is hard to go that far, with only 1 point to show for it when it is all said and done.
I do believe that Wedgewood will get some confidence from that start. Here’s a guy in his third ever NHL start and he delivers what should have been a shutout against the Washington Capitals. The Devils are going to need some more Wedgewood this afternoon, and then hopefully the offense will come to play as well. The Hurricanes lost a hard fought 4-3 contest to the Islanders yesterday. I see some value to be had on the Devils in this game. They have been one of the best dogs to bet this season. You’ll find them as dogs frequently, yet they have a record of 36-31-8. In other words, they have been a profitable team. Carolina has gone 1-6 in their seven games, shooting any chance they had of making the playoffs. Let’s hope Wedgewood can come up big again this afternoon and bolster the Devils’ odds to make the postseason.
PICK: DEVILS TO WIN +108