The New Jersey Devils return home after getting dispatched by the Washington Capitals last night. They made it kind of interesting with a goal to pull it within 4-3 with a little over a minute on the clock, but Ovechkin tapped in an empty netter, and then Backstrom potted another goal for a hat trick. The Capitals developed a 4-1 lead and nearly coughed it up, but they came through late.
They’ve been on a nice run recently, while the Devils continue to attempt to work things out and get out of a funk. With the loss, the Devils have lost six of their last seven games and have fallen to 9-11-4. Everything they built up early in the season has dissipated.
They are also trying to ascertain who their starting goaltender is. Keith Kinkaid and Cory Schneider have swapped the crease since Schneider returned from injury. I don’t want to say it’s a reason for Kinkaid’s struggles, but almost right away Kinkaid started struggling when Schneider came back.
It could be a coincidence, or just Kinkaid was taken out of the groove he was in. Instead of playing every game, he was suddenly only playing twice or once a week. Schneider is listed as the starting goaltender and he’s getting paid to be the starting goaltender. He must be better. Kinkaid for what he is has played well, so I think more blame can go towards Schneider.
Perhaps he really isn’t truly at 100 percent after coming off the IR, though I believe the Devils did their due diligence without rushing him back into the net. Kinkaid got the start last night, so it’ll be Schneider’s crease against the Winnipeg Jets this evening. The Jets are coming off a 6-5 win over the Blackhawks, but have losses in three of their last five games. We’ll see if they can take advantage of a Devils team who on a back-to-back and stuck in mud lately. Head below for our free Jets vs. Devils pick.
Winnipeg Jets vs. N.J. Devils Pick
The Jets went all the way to the Western Conference Final last season against the Vegas Golden Knights. It was a battle of unlikely finalists, as the Knights were an expansion team and it was the first time that the Jets made it to a conference championship. They were stopped, though, with only this season to look forward to. They’ve gotten off to an average start with a record of 14-8-1. It’s way early, so we’ll see what the final product looks like.
The difference between the epic run they went on last season and this season has been the goaltending. It goes to that for a lot of teams, but probably most true for the Jets. Hellebuyck went into this season as a Vezina candidate. His play thus far hasn’t shown any evidence of that, though. Hellebuyck finished last season with a 2.36 GAA and 0.924 save percentage. He also played well in the postseason. However, it’s been tough for him this season, with a 3.09 GAA and 0.904 save percentage.
Despite the loss of Paul Stastny in the offseason, the Jets’ offence continues to produce. They rank 7th in the league with 3.46 goals per game and have looked good with 4.2 goals per game in their last ten, though allowing 3.2 during that same stretch.
Schneider has gotten rocked for a 4.27 GAA and 0.863 save percentage, so this might be a good night for him to finally show up, or it’s going to be another long night for the defence in New Jersey. Schneider allowed 5 goals on 28 shots in their first meeting with the Jets this season. We should be in for some goals to put this one OVER the total