Newark - February 17, 2015 -
Who: New Jersey Devils
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Know thine enemy: As maligned as the Sabres have been this season, the Devils are barely better off. They’re currently riding a four-game losing streak, sitting just four points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for dead-last in the Metropolitan division.
As is the usual in Jersey, the offense is a bit of an issue. Jaromir Jagr leads the way with 29 points through 52 games, but he may not make it past the trade deadline. He’s made it apparent that he’d like to land with a contender to make one last run at a championship. Mike Cammalleri can still bury one, leading the team with 18 goals, but after that, it’s slim pickin’s. Just four guys have 10 goals or more and only three have 25 points or more.
Cory Schneider, however, has rebounded nicely. Sure, his record isn’t anything worth writing about (19-22-5), but he’s sporting a nice 2.30 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. He’s been strong as he can be for a team that can’t score, so the Sabres will have their work cut out for them in that department.
About the Sabres: Bad as the Sabres have been since the New Year, they’re probably about to get worse. Gone are two of the better players on the roster in Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford, off to Winnipeg to help their playoff push. Zach Bogosian comes back, as does Evander Kane, but only the former will see the lineup for the Sabres this season. Oh right, Jhonas Enroth was also traded away.
So you’ve taken three of the best players on the team away and replaced them with one capable body. How do you think that ends? Right now, the Sabres have lost three in a row and they’ve likely got an unbreakable grip on the last place spot in the standings unless the Oilers escalate the situation by starting their AHL team.
Right now, the Sabres are sitting at 16 wins. Will they hit 20 this year? That’s a legitimate question despite the fact that there are two months left in the season. That’s where we’re at with the Sabres this season.
The last time these two met: It wasn’t even close from the get-go as Patrik Elias, Jordin Tootoo and Travis Zajac all scored in the first period en route to a 4-1 victory. Elias, Zajac and Cammalleri all had multi-point nights in the win.
The part where I predict things: It doesn’t matter who the Sabres play at this point. They’re worse than any other team in the league by a mile and a half and managed to get worse in the short term.
The Devils are struggling right now and trying to figure things out themselves, but at least having Schneider gives them SOMETHING. The Sabres don’t even really have that going for them.
Score: 2-0 Devils
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