New Jersey Devils (9-9-3) at Vancouver Canucks (14-6-1)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 25, 2014, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -159 / New Jersey Devils +144 --- Over/Under: 5
The New Jersey Devils have made a habit out of blowing leads this season and Saturday night in Calgary they found a way to do it again. Leading 4-2 over the Flames after a Tuomo Ruutu goal midway through the final period the Devils seemed to be in control. It wasn’t until Calgary pulled their goaltender with under three minutes remaining that things completely fell apart. The Flames cut the deficit in half on a goal from Jiri Hudler and with just five seconds remaining in regulation they tied things up and sent the game to overtime. The Devils must have been shell shocked, but then again for a club that seems to do this nightly it’s hard to be surprised at this point. The teams played a scoreless overtime before the Flames outlasted the Devils in the skills competition to take the 5-4 win. Adam Henrique and Mike Cammalleri scored first period goals for the Devils and Travis Zajac added a power play marker in the second. New Jersey has pretty much shown the league it’s hand through the first two months of the season. This is a hockey club that has some talent, but most of it is aging. Their young players aren’t dynamic at this point and their defense and goaltending have been shaky at best. It’s also well known by this point that even if they get a lead on you that they’re willing to give it right back. Right now, as currently constructed, it would be surprising to see the Devils as a playoff team at the end of the year unless some changes are made. Head coach Peter Deboer draws the ire of many fans but he’s also dealing with a roster that just isn’t very good right now. New Jersey has a chance to split this Canadian trip if they can find a way to get a win in Vancouver against the Canucks on Tuesday night.
Vancouver is continuing to fly high to start the season and it appears that ridding themselves of dictator John Tortorella has done wonders for this club. There really hasn’t been a ton of turnover but this new coaching staff has done a great job of instilling confidence back in this group and getting the most out of the talent on the roster. At 14-6-1 Vancouver sits in second place in the Pacific Division and their start has been impressive. Sunday the Canucks hosted the Chicago Blackhawks and they used a strong third period to separate themselves from the perennial Stanley Cup contenders. Tied at 1-1 early in the third it was Jannik Hansen scoring his seventh goal of the season to give Vancouver the lead. Radim Vrbata added his 10th of the year with just under three minutes remaining and Hansen added his second of the night into the empty net to seal the win. Ryan Miller made 24 saves, improving his record to 13-3-0 in his first season with the Canucks. Lots of people though it was crazy to trade Luongo after the organization had committed to him over Cory Schneider and then go out and spend big money on Miller, but right now it’s hard to question the move. Vancouver looks like they’ve had a weight lifted off their shoulders and they’re playing like an actual hockey team this season. With the Devils coming to town the Canucks will need to make sure they don’t suffer a let down as they’ve got a lengthy seven game road trip on the horizon after Tuesday night.
This would be a huge win for the Devils after the collapse in Calgary on Saturday night. Finishing this trip with a 2-2 record would do a lot for New Jersey but this is going to be a tall task on Tuesday night against a Vancouver club that is playing some really good hockey right now.