Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New Jersey Devils - 10/22/13
New Jersey Devils (1-4-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-0)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Nationwide Arena)
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets -136 / New Jersey Devils +124 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Devils are off the schneid after winning their first game of the year on the weekend but now head into Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets who looked very impressive in a win against Vancouver in their last game.
New Jersey was expected to take a step back this season as they lost star forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson in the offseason, but I don’t think starting the season with seven straight losses was something anyone predicted. Despite their early season follies in terms of win-loss record the Devils have actually looked pretty solid in their seven losses as three of them came via overtime and shootout which gave them three points and the other four could have easily gone the other way so the mark isn’t as bad as it seems and the Devils should turn things around. Corey Schneider gets the call here as he is pegged to be the successor after Martin Brodeur retires but at the rate he is going now Schneider could very well replace Brodeur as the full time starter by Christmas as he has been the better option so far.
The Blue Jackets are a much improved team as they have added some pieces to their roster to help push them back into the playoffs and while that is certainly a possibility this season, personally I think they’re still a year away from contending. Marian Gaborik is the team’s go to option up front and should lead the team in points by season’s end but they do have other options and plenty of secondary scoring that pairs up a solid blue line and great goaltender. However, Columbus still lacks a bit of killer instinct and until they can compete on a nightly basis with some of the game’s best I think they’ll continue to flutter in the realm of mediocrity and I think that costs them here. New Jersey will be itching to get going after their first win and to me they’re the better team here and I think Schneider gets the best of Bobrovsky.