The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (0-1) at the Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0). SBN Blog: Raw Charge.
The Time: 3:00 PM
The Broadcast: TV - NBC
The Series Preview: John did a very in-depth preview of this series. You can read that here.
The Last Game: After a bad start in game one, the Devils could not come back to tie the game. You can read John’s recap of that game here. There are many things that need to happen if the Devils don’t want a repeat of that game. They need to make sure that the bottom two lines (assuming Travis Zajac, Blake Coleman, and Stefan Noesen are the second line at this point) are able to match the Lightning’s depth, and not get run over in play like they did during game one.
The Devils Practice Yesterday: The New Jersey Devils did have practice yesterday, but there was no line work done during it. Therefore, the team has given no indication so far on what changes will be done to those lines. However, John Hynes did leave this bit of hope for us.
#NJDevils: “There is a possibility” that lineup will be changed heading into Game 2, says Hynes. They’ll go through that process of making those decisions this evening.— x - Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) April 13, 2018
Sami Vatanen also took the day off for maintenance.
Thoughts: Personally, I hope that Mirco Mueller is removed from the lineup. He simply does not have the rounded ability that Damon Severson has, and while Severson did not have a great later part of the season, these games count more than anything they’ve played yet. They need to go with their best player. I would also suggest inserting Jesper Bratt into the bottom six lines - perhaps in place of Michael Grabner or Miles Wood. Bratt is one of the most naturally skilled forwards on the team, and the Devils are in need of his flashiness. Replacing one of the inconsistent wingers should not be too extreme a move for the Devils head coach.
Ultimately, the Devils cannot win with only half of their lines and a third of their pairings consistently functioning. That’s regardless of whether Keith Kinkaid or Cory Schneider is in net.
John Hynes today: The New Jersey Devils coach will speak to the media at 1:00 PM eastern time today. Then, we will have clearer insight into how the Devils will adjust for game two of the series.
Your Thoughts: What should the Devils do to adjust for this game? How many changes should they make? Should they make any changes? How do you hope to see them approach the game on the ice? Leave your thoughts below.