The New Jersey Devils were fresh off of their first win of the NHL season by a score of 4-0 over the New York Rangers when they traveled to Ohio to face the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, whatever confidence they had was left back home as they were crushed in a 4-1 demolition.
Winning one game out of their first eight was tough enough, but to lose to the Blue Jackets right after simply adds salt to the wounds. Coach Peter DeBoer has a lot to think about for the remainder of the season as this is a team that is expected to make the postseason, especially after missing it last year. If they don’t perform well, he may be out of the job come this summer.
We should take this time to remember that this team has no superstar on its roster. Ilya Kovulchuk, Zach Parise and others have all gone on to newer and apparently more heartfelt adventures as the two mentioned have returned home. Without a superstar or even a star, nothing big should be expected. In fact, maybe that victory over the Rangers was nothing short of a fluke… Only time will tell.
Regardless, this team has a tough game coming up tomorrow night on home ice against the Vancouver Canucks who can easily win in Jersey. They have stars, a good coach and the ability to defeat this team as they have done so before.
So, the question looms: How can the Devils defeat a strong side in the Canucks? Simple: Implement a game plan where they are ready for any sort of attack when they enter their half of the ice and somehow manage to hit the Canadian side on the counter. In addition, they should take as many shots as possible whether it be near the opposing net or a bit further out as there will be at least two or three guys protecting the goaltender.
The good news for the Devils is that Vancouver are 6-4-1. If New Jersey catches them on a bad night, they can record their much-needed second win of the season.
Prediction: New Jersey 3, Vancouver 2.