With only four players representing their countries at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, the New Jersey Devils were expecting to come out tonight well rested and ready to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and that’s exactly what they did.
With a well-rested team, including goaltender Cory Schneider, the Devils were ready to face the Blue Jackets, and their game play showcased that.
After a struggle to the start of their season because of a lack of offensive support, the Devils showed no shortage of offense tonight, a good sign for Devil fans.
With Schneider finally receiving the offensive support that he needs to be successful, and with him now getting the majority of the goaltending responsibilities, as he finally emerges as the No. 1 starter in New Jersey, the Devils can start to mount their comeback to a playoff spot.
Being out of a playoff spot by five points in the Metropolitan Division, the Devils sit in a spot that will be difficult to gain a playoff spot from, but is far from impossible to do. With more than 20 games left in the season, if the Devils can keep their offensive support up, and Schneider can keep playing at the level that he is, then the Devils will be contenders to make the playoffs in April.
The Devils outplayed the Blue Jackets in every aspect of the game tonight, something that they need to do more often if they are going to make the playoffs.
With the level of talent and experience that the Devils have in veteran players like star forward Jaromir Jagr and defenseman Andy Greene, they should have no problem getting the leadership and inspiration necessary to finish the season strongly and make a run for a playoff spot.