It’s important not to overreact after just a couple of weeks of play. Case in point, the New Jersey Devils who were rolling around with solid play on both ends of the ice. Two weeks later and the Devils are a game away from falling to .500, winning just one game during that time. After a hot 4-0 start, the Devils have won just one of their previous six games. It hasn’t been the return that Cory Schneider had been hoping for in net.
He relieved Keith Kinkaid against the Lightning in a blowout to allow a goal for an 8-3 final. Schneider got the call in the Devils next game. It was the first start of the year for him and it didn’t go swimmingly. He had to take a 4-3 loss against the lowly Detroit Red Wings. The offence has been largely sputtering for the Wings this season, but it was a good night against the Devils at Little Caesars Arena.
Kinkaid had a nice enough stint in the first few weeks that may have garnered some attention from another team looking for answers in their net. He was already getting some feelers in the offseason from other teams, so the idea that they trade him at the trade deadline seems like a possibility. If Schneider doesn’t feel right in net after going through hip surgery, that could quickly go sideways, though.
Thomas Greiss is coming off a stellar performance for the Islanders against the Penguins on Thursday night. It included some dandy saves in overtime, including a poke check on a Sidney Crosby breakaway. He will likely get the call vs the Devils following that outing. Robin Lehner is currently nursing a muscle strain and may not dress. The Isles are on an impressive four-game winning streak and will be looking to add a fifth on Saturday night. Get our free Devils vs. Islanders pick below.
N.J. Devils vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick
Kinkaid and the defence had been playing extremely well for the first two weeks of the season. The offence was as well, so everyone was chipping in with production from up-front to the blueline. Their defence has regressed back to earth rather quickly, though. They’ve been getting torched in their own end, with teams finding it easy to find the back of the net behind Kinkaid or Schneider.
After allowing only 4 goals through their first four games of the 2018-19 campaign, an ugly wall of variance nailed them in the face. The Devils have allowed 4 or more goals, an average of 4.6 goals, in their previous six tilts. In their last four games alone, they’ve surrendered 37 shots on average. The offence has at least been scoring to makes games competitive. The Devils have averaged 3.4 goals per heading into Saturday.
Their defence is expected to get another workout against the Islanders tonight. The Isles have been finding their rhythm recently and have a nice opportunity to keep it going against a Devils’ defence who have looked slow of late. During their four-game streak, the Isles have scored an average of 4.25 goals per game.
The question here for the Islanders is what Greiss is going to do for an encore after stonewalling the Penguins? He’s had such an erratic ten-year career, which includes a bad 3.82 GAA and 0.892 save percentage last season, this start could very well be a mirage for him. I’m under the impression that he misses a beat after the start of his life against the Pens. The OVER here looks like a decent option to include on your betting card Saturday.