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New Jersey Devils
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|Colorado Avalanche||Head-to-Head||New Jersey Devils|
4-2-1 (1st in Central Division)
4-3-0 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)
Valeri Nichushkin (12)
Jesper Bratt (12)
Valeri Nichushkin (7)
Jesper Bratt (3)
Nathan MacKinnon (7)
Jesper Bratt (9)
Bowen Byram (6)
Jesper Bratt (5)
Nathan MacKinnon (4.86)
Shots (Per Game)
Jack Hughes (4.43)
The Colorado Avalanche travel to the east coast to battle with the New Jersey Devils.
The Avalanche are coming off their third Stanley Cup victory and could be heading to another Stanley Cup this year. On the other side, the Devils are coming off a horrendous 63-point season. They finished in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Avalanche are putting together another strong season and have one of the strongest offenses in the league.
They score over 3.4 goals a game and have a handful of scorers. Colorado has seen solid production from Valeri Nichushkin, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, and Bowen Byran throughout this short season.
Nichushkin, a big winger, leads the Avs with 12 points (seven goals, five assists) and is playing over 20 minutes a game. Nathan MacKinnon, a stocky center, plays almost 22 minutes a game and has seven assists. He is often joined on the ice by Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen is similar in size to Nichushkin and a certified playmaker. The 6’4” winger has six power-play goals and is always looking to set up his teammates.
Cale Makar is one of two defensemen on this list. Makar is only 23 years old, but he is a top defenseman in this league. He also has seven assists in seven games. Finally, we have Bowen Byram (the other defenseman). Byram's numbers may not look that impressive, but he leads the Avalanche with a +/- of six.
Alexander Georgiev has taken the Colorado goaltender reigns. He has started five of Colorado’s games and is only giving up 2.56 goals per game. If Georgiev stays healthy, he may be able to will Colorado to another Stanley Cup.
The Devils missed the Playoffs last season but could make it this year. They are on a hot streak right now and have won four of their last five.
The Devils have seen very solid production from Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier this year. Jesper Bratt, a 24-year-old winger, may be the future of this franchise and leads the Devils with12 points in seven games. The Swedish player is an incredible playmaker and has a knack for finding his teammates. Bratt has nine assists (tied for the most in the league). He often plays alongside Nico Hischier. Hischier is a former first-overall pick and has seven points in six games played. He will be heavily depended upon this season.
The Devils employ the goaltending duo of Mackenzie Blackwood and Vitek Vanecek. Both netminders do not give up too many goals, but they also do not see that many shots. They have a combined save percentage of .859. Blackwood and Vanecek both need to step up their game immediately.
The Avalanche have a more well-rounded roster and better goaltenders, so they will win this game on the road.
The Avalanche will likely win this game but only if they limit the Devils’ shots on defense and overwhelm New Jersey with shots on offense.
The Devils are averaging an absurd 39.7 shots a game. The Avalanche simply cannot allow them to shoot so much. If they limit the Devils’ shot to around 30, they will heavily increase their chances to win.
The Avalanche have to limit the Devils’ shots, but they also have to shoot as much as possible. Colorado will face one of the Devils' inferior netminders and can slip an easy one past them if they shoot enough.
The Devils are the apparent underdogs but can leave the Prudential Center victorious if they avoid committing penalties and get second-chance shots.
The Devils are facing an Avalanche squad that is converting an insane 50% of their power plays. They cannot allow the Avalanche to draw a lot of penalties or else the Avalanche will run up their lead. If they play smart hockey and avoid dumb penalties, they may have a chance to win.
The Devils shoot a lot but need to take second-chance shots in this game. They will face one of the Avalanche’s tough goaltenders and may only be able to score off rebounds.
Nathan MacKinnon is bound to have another excellent season this year. However, he has not been scoring much so far. MacKinnon has three goals but has taken 34 shots. He is scoring on less than 10% of his shots, which is a problem. MacKinnon has to find a way to put at least one in the back of the net today.
Jack Hughes has the potential to be a top center in the NHL. However, he has been quieter this season. Hughes only has five points and a +/- of -1. The 21-year-old has to get some momentum on his side and start playing up his level. If he does, he can be New Jersey’s x-factor.
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|What||Colorado Avalanche vs New Jersey Devils|
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Friday, October 28, 7:00 PM EST
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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