The New Jersey Devils have a quick turnaround, as they travel home from Columbus following a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. Keith Kinkaid got the night off in net, as MacKenzie Blackwood played a pretty sharp game in net. Holding teams to 2 goals has been a massive exception for the Devils with Cory Schneider and Kinkaid in net, but Blackwood put in a good game against the Jackets. It wasn’t enough, though, as the offence fell asleep and managed just 1 goal on Sergei Bobrovsky.
That’s a terrible loss just for the simple fact that the Devils have struggled consistently to get goaltending help. The defence has been getting pummeled with way too many goals allowed. Then they finally show up and hold their opponents to just 2 goals and the offence fails to do anything.
There are some baseball teams who will pull your hair out doing stuff like that. The pitching shows up and the bats go silent, and then the pitching falters while 7 runs isn’t good enough to win. Good teams tend to be consistent and don’t fall into traps like that, though.
The Devils have consistently been terrible in their own zone, so they have that going for them. Blackwood’s performance was refreshing for the Devils. If he can parlay it into some more strong outings and Kinkaid continues to struggle, they might be inclined to make Blackwood a more regular starter in net. The Devils are not paying Schneider on the cheap, though, so they’d have some decisions to make. The Devils will be back on the ice tonight, likely with Kinkaid against the Senators. Head below for our free Senators vs. Devils pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. N.J. Devils Pick
The Senators were playing so poorly defensively that their own team was laughing at themselves. I’m sure there are some players on the Devils who know where they’re coming from, but most of the chatter behind the scenes was probably about Schneider. Kinkaid has a 3.00 GAA and 0.902 save percentage, which looks like a Vezina candidate compared to the 4.66 GAA and 0.852 save percentage.
I almost believe that the Devils are making up an injury, so they can throw Schneider on the IR to clear his head. Overall, the Devils are 28th with 3.58 goals allowed per game. In their last ten games that number is 4.2 goals per game, and this is after giving up only 2 goals last night. Their offensive production does improve significantly at home, though.
They have scored 3.4 goals per game at home and 2.94 overall. The Devils also get the worst road defence in the league on Friday. Ottawa has been abysmal with 4.75 goals allowed per game on the road this season. You can find them at the very back of the league in 32nd with 3.86 goals allowed on average.
The Sens have gone 23-9 to the OVER and the Devils are 20-11 to the OVER. In their last four meetings, there has been an average of 9 goals scored per game, with all four going OVER the total. The Devils couldn’t find a goal last night, but I think that changes at home against the Sens. Came up short on this bet in Columbus last night, though I expect the Devils to revert back closer to their average in the 2018-19 season.