Kyle Quincey and the Blue Jackets head to New Jersey, where they will face Dalton Prout and the Devils
The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (25-27-12) vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets (40-17-6 SBN; Jackets Cannon)
The Time: 5:00 PM EST
The Broadcast: TV – MSG; Digital Audio – The One Jersey Network
The Last Devils Game: Last night, the Devils fell to the Bruins 3-2. The first goal came on the Bruins power play, with Torey Krug slapping a loose puck off the post and in past Schneider to make it 1-0. It was his 6th of the year. Devante Smith-Pelly then actually showed up, collecting a puck off Steve Santini blocked shot and getting a backhand by Khudobin to make it 1-1. Brandon Carlo then scored off a double-deflection, with the puck bouncing off Blandisi and Lappin and in to make it 2-1. Kyle Palmieri then tied it again, off a nice feed from Hall which went through Chara’s legs, for his 20th of the season. Spooner iced the game however, with a Damon Severson/Nick Lappin giveaway resulting in an open net for Spooner to dish the puck in. A 3-2 win for the Bruins, and a 6th loss in a row for the Devils. John has a recap here.
The Last Blue Jackets Game: Last night, the Blue Jackets fell to the Senators 3-2. The Columbus goals were scored by Brandon Saad and Sam Gagner. The Senators goals were scored by Viktor Stalberg, Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith. Saad’s 20th of the year came off a wrist shot from a feed from Zack Werenski. Stalberg responded for the Senators, netting his first as a Senator to tie the game. Karlsson then scored off a centering pass from Mark Stone, and Zack Smith scored shorthanded to make it 3-1. Gagner scored to bring the Blue Jackets within one, but alas it was too little too late, as the Blue Jackets lost 3-2.
The Last Devils-Blue Jackets Game: The Devils dominated the scoreline to the tune of 5-1. The goals were scored by Hall, Josefson, Zajac, Hall again, and Helgeson. The lone Blue Jackets goal was scored by Matt Calvert. I distinctly remember this game being one of the more feel-good wins of the season, as Josefson scored his first of the season and Helgeson scored his first of his career. It’s kind of funny, now that Helgeson isn’t with the team anymore and Josefson is injured. This was when the Devils were in the midst of a hot road winning streak. Now, they can’t seem to win anything, which might be for the better.
Greeeeeene: Without Greene, the Devils performance against the Bruins was just yikes. They were held in their own zone, and the top pairing of Merrill-Lovejoy had to withstand a barrage of shots from the Bruins. If not for Cory Schneider, this game would’ve looked a lot worse. Greene is currently out for personal reasons, and it’s unknown how long he’ll be gone for. Nick Lappin was recalled on an emergency basis, and I really do feel for the guy. He didn’t perform well, but I can’t say I blame him, as he was called up only hours before the game. Lappin wasn’t as bad as he performed last night, and I’d be happy to see him given another chance.
Columbus’s Top Players: The Blue Jackets have 9 scorers in double digits, as compared to the Devils who have 5. Leading the pack is Cam Atkinson, who has 29 goals. Nick Foligno finds himself with 22, and Brandon Saad with 20. The players within the 10-20 goal margin are Alexander Wennberg, Sam Gagner, Seth Jones, Scott Hartnell, Josh Anderson, and Boone Jenner. In other words, this team is full of scorers. Zach Werenski can’t be ignored as well, as he has 9 goals for a defenseman. The team is all about scoring, as their 3.2 goals per game puts them at 5th in the NHL. Defensively, they’re strong as well, only giving up 2.3 goals per game, good for 3rd in the NHL. Joonas Korpisalo and Sergei Bobrovsky are the reasons for this success, with Bobrovsky a Vezina Candidate and Korpisalo having played so well that Curtis McElhinney, the longtime Blue Jacket, was traded away earlier in the season. Against the Devils, expect Bobrovsky, who recently had a 38 shutout of the Wild.
Oh Kyle: When Kyle Quincey was traded, not many Devils fans were happy. Expecting a draft pick, we were instead met with a Blue Jackets reject named Dalton Prout. While he is younger than Quincey, I just don’t see Prout as ever being better than him. With the Blue Jackets, Quincey’s ice time has dropped significantly, with him having only played 12 minutes against the Senators. He’s purely depth for this Columbus team, compared to the top four defenseman he was with the Devils.
While not related to Kyle Quincey, the other Blue Jackets acquisition, Lauri Korpikoski, has played even less for the team. Against the Senators, he played a grand total of eight minutes. That’s Luke Gazdic territory. The Blue Jackets acquisitions look to be purely for depth at this point.
The New Jersey Youth Movement: It’s kinda scary how similar this current Devils team is to the AHL team in the beginning of the season. Nick Lappin, Blake Coleman, Kevin Rooney, Joseph Blandisi, Steve Santini and Miles Wood all either started off with the Albany Devils, or spent a few games with the Devils before being sent down. This speaks more to the weakness of the NHL Devils, but an optimistic Devils fan can look at it as great development on these players’ parts. Though, if you had told me Kevin Rooney would be making his NHL debut this year in the beginning of the season, I would assume that something terrible happened.
Goalies: Kinkaid time! The same Kinkaid who recently gave up six goals against the Islanders! This should be fun.
Also, Vezina candidate Bobrovsky — more fun.
Your Thoughts?: So, what do you think of this game? Will the Devils go to a seven game losing streak now? What do you think of the new youth movement? Let me know in the comments below, and take care.