The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (27-19-8) versus the Boston Bruins (33-12-8). SBN Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder.
The Time: 7:00 PM
The Broadcast: TV - MSG+
Return of the Goon: Brad Marchand will be playing his third game since he was suspended for elbowing Marcus Johansson. Marchand has two assists in his two games back. Meanwhile, Johansson will miss his eighth game for the Devils. Perhaps there is something to be said about the injured player missing significantly more time than the repeat offender who caused the injury?
It Can’t Be Any Worse than Last Night: The Devils were awful last night. The Devils let up 50 shots on goal, and it’s hard to have a worse score at the end of a game than 6-1. So the Devils can’t sink any lower tonight. Probably.
How Good the Bruins Have Been: The Boston Bruins have not had back to back regulation losses since November 11 to 15. Without Brad Marchand, they went 4-1-0. They lost last night 4-2 versus the Buffalo Sabres. All streaks must come to an end, but the Devils must be able to win the game and not make mistakes against the Bruins.
Fourth Goalie of the Year?: Following three not-so-great games for Keith Kinkaid, and a 50 shot game, it’s probable that John Hynes makes a goaltending change. With Cory Schneider still not back in practices, and Ken Appleby in Binghamton, Eddie Lack will likely be turned to to start. The Devils have not had four goalies start in a season since 1991-92, when Chris Terreri, Craig Billington, Martin Brodeur, and Chad Erickson had starts for the New Jersey Devils. Make what you will of that.
But if the Devils don’t start Lack, they will presumably be starting Keith Kinkaid the night immediately following a 6-1 loss in which he faced 50 shots. I don’t think that would go well for John Hynes and the Devils.
Lineup Shakeup?: After the mess of a game against Columbus, I think that we will probably see either Jimmy Hayes, Mirco Mueller, or both return to the Devils lineup. I don’t know who will come out for any change to happen, but personally I think John Moore has been the least useful defenseman and should sit if Hynes wants to bring in Mueller while still going with 12 forwards and six defensemen.
I also think that it may be time to break up the top line. I don’t think, however, that Hynes sees that yet. Both Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt only have seven points in 16 games since the start of the new year. I think that it would be beneficial Pavel Zacha were rewarded for his recent improvement by getting a chance to line back up with Taylor Hall. Will this happen? Probably not, but I’m throwing it out there, because what the lineups have been have not worked in a significant amount of time.
Your Take: What do you think the Devils should do after a bad loss to Columbus? Should they change anything? Will things even out, or has the team already seen all of their positive luck for the season? What do you think of seeing Brad Marchand again? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.