If the New Jersey Devils fall to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, their season will hit a new low. The Devils have lost five of their last six games, are without legendary goaltender Martin Brodeur, and can’t seem to find a remotely effective defensive rotation from the eight players that were thought to be a strength when the season began. The top six seems to be lacking punch of late, and the offense has gone stale. Still, they can’t possibly lose to the Sabres, can they?
The Sabres fired the face of their franchise due to ineffective play that likely stemmed from a strange offseason. Buffalo embarked on a quest to get tougher, but instead got less skilled. Their polarizing goaltender Ryan Miller crumbled under an onslaught of quality scoring chances that stem from a defensive corps that rivals the Devils in dilapidation.
Saturday’s battle between the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils showcases two of the weakest teams in hockey right now.
I have given up hope for the Buffalo Sabres this year. They have the goaltending to contend, but their defense is horrible and the scoring, beyond Thomas Vanek, is lacking. I still have hope for the New Jersey Devils. Johan Hedberg is not as bad as the 16 goals he’s allowed in his last four starts, which have completely taken the Devils out of games. The New Jersey offense is better than they’ve shown, they simply aren’t hitting the net. They can only keep missing scoring opportunities for so long.
This is a veteran team with a good group of leaders, and they’ll rebound. It might take Martin Brodeur’s return, but I look for the New Jersey Devils to respond on the road in Buffalo.
New Jersey Devils 3 – Buffalo Sabres 1