New Jersey Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings - 11/28/14 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Detroit Red Wings (12-5-5) at New Jersey Devils (9-10-3)
NHL Hockey: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Prudential Center)
The Line: New Jersey Devils / Detroit Red Wings --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Another night and another lackluster performance from the New Jersey Devils. Attempting to salvage a split of their four game Canadian road trip the Devils laid in egg in Vancouver on Tuesday night. Right now the Devils just aren’t a very good hockey club, but in today’s National Hockey League unless you’re completely awful you can stay in contention until you get things figured out. That’s what head coac Peter Deboer has to hope happens because in all three zones his hockey club is struggling. Cory Schneider returned to Vancouver for the first time since being traded by the Canucks to the Devils and he performed well, but even Schneider has been underwhelming for New Jersey this season. But it was Schneider who kept his hockey club in the game during a first period where they were completely overwhelmed. The Devils were out shot 17-6 in the opening frame but Schneider kept the Canucks off the board. Early in the second period the Canucks finally converted when Alexandre Burrows tipped in a pass from Kevin Bieksa. The Devils would keep things close until the third period when the Canucks finally put things out of reach en route to a 2-0 victory. New Jersey just doesn’t have many dynamic players anywhere on the ice. Their forward group is underwhelming and many of their more talented players are up there in age. Travis Zajac has not progressed since being given his long term contract extension and there’s little to no help in the farm system right now. This is the classic case of a hockey club that needs to find a way to become more than the sum of its parts if they want to be successful, but to this point in the year they’ve yet to do that. Things aren’t going to get any easier for the club in a difficult Metropolitan Division and with match ups against the Red Wings, Islanders, and Penguins on the horizon.
The Detroit Red Wings will travel to the Prudential Center to face off against the Devils on Friday night Mike Babcock has his club playing some very good hockey right now. Detroit has won four of their last five games and currently find themselves in third place, four points out of first, in the Atlantic Division standings. Wednesday night with the Philadelphia Flyers in town it was a strong second period that led the Red Wings to victory. After Claude Giroux tied the game at 1-1 for the Flyers it was a surge by the Red Wings in the second half of the period that took the game over. Tomas Jurco scored his second goal of the year to regain the lead for Detroit and then Pavel Datsyuk scored twice, including once on the power play to make it a 4-1 advantage. Henrik Zetterberg added his fifth of the season into the empty net as Detroit went on to the 5-2 win. It’s the same old story in Detroit and it just seems like these veteran players never age. Unlike their opponent on Friday night these older guys are still playing at a high level and seem to elevate the play of those around them. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves and notched his 10th victory of the season in this one. Howard’s numbers haven’t been spectacular this season but there’s room for improvement and he’s a guy that knows how to win hockey games in this league.
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This is going to be another tough game for the Devils and right now they just look a step behind most of their opponents. Detroit is playing well and if they can jump out early in this one they should have enough to stop this mediocre New Jersey offense from doing much.