New Jersey Devils (0-1-1) at Edmonton Oilers (0-2-0)
|Date & Time||Monday October 7, 2013, 9:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Edmonton Oilers -136 / New Jersey Devils +124 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Edmonton Oilers look for their first win of the season as they return home to Rexall Place to host the New Jersey Devils who identically are seeking their first win of the young season as well.
The New Jersey Devils are a team in a transition as they underwent a number of changes over the past few seasons and for a team that is just two years removed from losing in the Stanley Cup finals, they have fallen quite a ways from that perch and I think will have a tough go again this season. The Devils lost former captain Zach Parise to free agency last season and this year their top scoring threat and prized possession in Ilya Kovalchuk bolted for the KHL leaving the Devils in a state of disarray. New Jersey also sent their 2013 first round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks for goaltender Corey Schneider and while he is deemed to take over the starter’s role when Martin Brodeur retires, this year is shaping up to be another battle for ice time for him. The Devils do have some young talent in Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson but they’ll need a heck of a lot more than that as they’re without some key pieces offensively this year.
The Oilers meanwhile have stumble out of the gates once again and for a team who has undergone more change than anyone else in the league over the last few seasons it is no surprise that the lack of continuity has impacted the team’s ability to win games. Edmonton has a world of talent at both ends of the rink but their forte lies up front with some many young superstars on the roster and if they can finally mesh together and start to play more consistent hockey than they should be able to challenge for a playoff spot this season. Devan Dubnyk has asserted himself as the number one netminder once again but career backup Jason Labarbera is making his debut with the Oilers on Monday night and you can be sure he’ll be looking for a solid effort to put some pressure on Dubnyk. This game also marks a celebration of sorts for the Oilers as long time equipment assistant Joey Moss, whose smile and work ethic resonates with everyone he meets, is celebrating his 50th birthday and you can be sure the crowd will be electric for this one. This should be a hard fought game between two desperate teams and while the Oilers have given up goals in bunches this season I think Labarbera gives them the best effort between the pipes they have seen this year and Brodeur continues to be himself. Take the under here. For my play on the side, check the premium section as I really like the play in this one.