Detroit Red Wings @ New Jersey Devils – Prudential Center at 00:30
The New Jersey Devils host the Red Wings at The Rock for this Eastern Conference duel. Both teams won their last games following their losing streaks.
Sub-Par Red Wings
As expected it’s been a difficult campaign in Hockeytown thus far. Detroit sit in 7th position in the Atlantic division with a 9-10-1 as they seek to maintain their continuous playoff streak. Head coach Jeff Blashill is in his second year and is finding the transition of his ageing team a problematic situation. The franchise are in a state of flux with the most notable departure in the offseason being Pavel Datsyuk. The Russian returned home to his native country following a 14-year spell in southeastern Michigan.
The Red Wings also have a number of forwards on the injury list. With Johan Franzen, Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm on the sidelines. Although the three stated are core players for the Red Wings, they aren’t known for their scoring exploits. Shots on net and shots against have been the biggest issue for Blashill. Detroit have recorded the fewest shots per game in the league (27.6) and one of the highest shots against per game at 31.6. Defensively speaking, the team has struggled, the once reliable Niklas Kronwall has regressed over the past year or two and Danny Dekeyser is not justifying his annual $5 million salary he earned in the summer. The season is still young and if the Wings can go on a run they can preserve their incredible record.
Under the Radar Devils
The New Jersey Devils have progressed through this campaign in an unassuming manner. The franchise made a pivotal trade in the offseason with Taylor Hall coming in from Edmonton in exchange for Adam Larsson. The #1 pick of the 2010 draft has settled in comfortably on the East Coast, despite the fact he has missed the last couple of games to injury. New Jersey are 5th in the Metropolitan Division with a 10-6-3 record. The Devils have not made the post-season since surprisingly making the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. Other than Hall, New Jersey do not have an offensive juggernaut. This is replicated by their point per game stats. Travis Zajac leads the side in points with 13 points in 19 games which is a respectable return, nonetheless the veteran will not be turning any heads with those numbers.
Beau Bennett’s powerplay goal for the Devils against Toronto ended their PP drought. Prior to the right winger’s goal, New Jersey had been 0 for 29 on the advantage. Comparable to Detroit, the Devils have been struggling in the goals department with 46 goals. Only the lowly Buffalo Sabres have a worse scoring rate with a paltry 38.
Since the days of club icon Martin Brodeur, goaltending has been synonymous with the club. Brodeur’s successor Corey Schneider has fulfilled that role over the past couple of seasons. He is one of the elite netminders in the game and has a .920 SVS% and a GAA of 2.37 in 15 games. Backup Keith Kinkaid also has impressive numbers when deputising for Schnieder. The American has a .933 SVS% and 2.24 GAA in 4 games.
This game is screaming out as a low-scoring affair and I can’t really see a free flowing goal rush from either team. There is good value at under 4.75 goals and believe that this will see me through.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Under 4.75 goals at 2.06 (Including OT)
Prices correct at time of writing
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