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Game Preview #27: New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Devils head to Columbus to take on the division leader after a tough loss. Can they get a win?

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Minnesota Wild
Can Cory Schneider lead the Devils to victory against a very good team?
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Time to bounce back.

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (15-7-4) at the Columbus Blue Jackets (17-9-1). SBN Blog: The Cannon

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+

What’s the Deal?: There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the situation of Pavel Zacha. After the trading of Adam Henrique, some people may have thought Zacha would get a clearer spot with the team. That has not panned out, and thus people have questions on what the plan is for Zacha going forward.

Andrew Gross of The Record reported that Pavel Zacha was held at practice for much longer than the other players. John Hynes said after the practice thst the team is more competitive than last season's, and thus Pavel needs to earn his spot. He said that there's been no entertaining sending Zacha down to the AHL.

I have to question John Hynes on that, as I don't see what Drew Stafford or Jimmy Hayes have done to have their spot in the lineup. Drew Stafford has not had a point since November 12 against Chicago. I’m not saying Pavel Zacha has done a whole lot with the team, but to act like everyone on the ice has been massively out-playing him would be wrong.

Other Things: Cory Schneider will be starting for the New Jersey Devils tonight. The Devils are one point behind Columbus in the standings with one less game played. The Devils should want to pull at least a win out of their games with Columbus this week, to at least maintain their standings position. There appear to be no impending changes to the lineup, given the practice lines.

However, it was noted Zacha did work with the power play. So, I'll post any updates to the Devils that come throughout the day.

Your Take: What are your thoughts on the continuation of the Pavel Zacha situation? How do you think it should be resolved? How much importance do you place on the next two games? Leave your thoughts below in the comments.