The Matchup: Columbus Blue Jackets (46-18-6 SBNation; Jackets Cannon) vs. the New Jersey Devils (26-32-12)
The Time: 1:00 PM EST
The Broadcast: TV – MSG+; Radio - WFAN 660 AM and 101.9 FM
The Last Devils Game: The Devils fell to the Penguins 6-4 on Friday night. Even though the scoreline was rough, John praised it for it’s excitement factor in his recap. Watching the game, I was certainly entertained, yet hurt because my friend was mocking me over the loss. Sadly, Miles Wood got injured during this game. In happier news, John Quenneville got his first NHL point, on an assist for Stefan Noesen’s goal. The Devils goals were scored by Kyle Palmieri, Beau Bennett, and Kyle Palmieri again. Palmieri has put himself in a position to get to 30 goals on the season, whereas earlier it was a question on whether he would even get to 20 goals.
On the Penguins side, congratulations to Carter Rowney on his first career NHL goal. Other than him, the goals were scored by Crosby, Kessel, Guentzel, Crosby again, and Bonino.
The Last Blue Jackets Game: The Blue Jackets beat the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. The Blue Jackets goals were scored by Oliver Bjorkstrand, Josh Anderson, and Cam Atkinson. The Islanders goals were scored by Travis Hamonic and John Tavares. Columbus put up a whopping 38 shots on goal, and Korpisalo saved 20 of 22 shots for his 6th win of the season. The loss was tough for New York, as it puts them out of a playoff spot again. Columbus is now only two points away from clinching. Let’s hope that the Devils Blue Jackets game is similar to the Devils-Penguins game — high scoring and a Devils loss.
Tanking: As you guys may know, I’m a huge fan of the Devils tanking while still playing good hockey. I intensely dislike the fact that Steven Santini is being scratched for this to occur however, as I like the idea of youth + losing. Currently, the Devils are 3 points back from Arizona but with a game in hand. Hopefully the Devils lose enough to fall to 2nd to last place, as Colorado is so terrible it’s impossible to catch up (or fall down) to their level. Because the 3rd overall pick is automatically the Golden Knights pick, the difference between second and 4th is most likely Nico Hischier vs. Timothy Liljegren, and Hischier would be a much needed boost for this Devils franchise in need of offensive talent (of course, the lottery does matter as well).
Transactions: None whatsoever to correspond with the Miles Wood injury. I don’t know if the Devils will call up anyone. Maybe Luke Gazdic or Shane Harper or someone like that. But that’s just my thoughts.
Players To Watch - Columbus: The Blue Jackets are a high-scoring team, and their forward core is deadly. Cam Atkinson has 32 goals, with Alexander Wennberg having 42 assists. Brandon Saad and Nick Foligno are 20 goal scorers, with Zach Werenski and Seth Jones as defenders with over 10 goals. Furthermore, all these players aside from Foligno are still young, which means their core will be intact for years to come. This team will only continue to improve, so look out for them as a powerhouse in the future.
The Goal: Play well, pass the puck, score, and lose! Seriously though, the Penguins game gave Devils fans the satisfaction of a great game whilst also helping drop the Devils in the standings. If the Devils can entertain, I’d be happy enough. But let me know what you think.
Play4Autism Day: Join Play4Autism on Sunday, March 19th for an afternoon of spreading awareness and nonstop NHL action between the NJ Devil's & Columbus Blue Jackets. The link to purchase tickets is https://form.jotform.com/Play4Autism/new-jersey-devils-awareness.
So... Come out and support Play4Autism today! Also, let me know what you guys think about this game in the comments below. The season is almost mercifully over, so let’s look ahead to the youth and future! Take care, and have a good one.