New Jersey Devils

Goalie nods: Bob’s back

All the latest from the blue paint…

Finally some relief for Columbus

The Columbus Blue Jackets broke their nine-game slump last night. Now they get Sergei Bobrovsky back in net.

It’s not fair to pin their nine-game losing streak on Curtis McElhinney and Anton Forsberg alone – Bob was in net for the first two defeats in that skid – yet the Blue Jackets appear to be healing up. It’s an open question if they can dig themselves out of a month-sized hole, but Bobrovsky’s return seems like a sign of better things to come.

That said, Bobrovsky has some work to do himself. He’s just 4-4-0 with a .908 save percentage so far in 2014-15. For a guy turning down extension offers in a contract year, that’s not up to snuff.

The San Jose Sharks are likely to trot out Antti Niemi against Bobrovsky.

Elsewhere …

Hurricanes at Bruins: Cam Ward tries to continue his recent strong work for Carolina while Tuukka Rask attempts to turn things around for Boston.

Wild at Stars: Darcy Kuemper likely for Minnesota and Kari Lehtonen expected for Dallas.

Ducks at Kings: Frederik Anersen seeks redemption for Anaheim against Jonathan Quick and Los Angeles.

Jets at Predators: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Pekka Rinne.

Maple Leafs at Sabres: James Reimer is expected for Toronto, Michal Neuvirth’s in for Buffalo.

Flyers at Canadiens: Ray Emery may get a rare start for Philly against Carey Price and Montreal.

Rangers at Penguins: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Marc-Andre Fleury.

Islanders at Lightning: Chad Johnson vs. Ben Bishop.

Avalanche at Devils: Semyon Varlamov’s in for Colorado, Cory Schneider expected for New Jersey.

Capitals at Blues: Justin Peters vs. Brian Elliott.

Senators at Flames: Craig Anderson vs. Karri Ramo.

Schneider shuts out Caps, approaches a Brodeur record


Cory Schneider has played in 17 straight games and while a lot of them haven’t been particularly great starts, he’s bounced back lately. He turned aside all 30 Washington Capitals shots in New Jersey’s 1-0 victory Friday night.

Schneider seemed like he was on the brink of having his season-opening consecutive game streak end after he allowed three or more goals in three straight contests and was yanked from two of those games. Devils coach Pete DeBoer stuck with him though and the 28-year-old goaltender has rewarded his trust with two strong starts.

The question now is if Schneider will play again on Saturday. Martin Brodeur set the franchise record in 2001-02 by starting in 19 straight games to open the season, per the Bergen Record. If Schneider gets the nod again tomorrow then it is entirely possible he will break that record by playing on Tuesday and Friday as well.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby had a strong game too and it wasn’t until 9:38 of the third period that Mike Cammalleri finally broke the scoreless tie by taking advantage of the netminder’s error.

This defeat snapped Washington’s three-game winning streak. The Capitals will try to bounce back Saturday against St. Louis.

Goalie nods: Halak goes for third straight shutout

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Halak goes for three

Having posted shutouts in each of his last two outings, Jaroslav Halak will look to extend his streak tonight when the Isles take on the Panthers in Florida.

Technically speaking, Halak’s streak actually began three games ago, late in the second period of a Nov. 5 OT win over Anaheim. His last goal allowed came at the 18:51 mark of the middle frame, meaning the shutout streak is currently at seven consecutive periods (and one overtime.)

After the win over Anaheim, Halak stopped all 19 shots faced in a 1-0 decision over Arizona and followed that up by making 20 saves in a 6-0 waxing of Colorado on Tuesday night.

The recent run of good play has bumped Halak’s numbers on the year to 6-4-0, with a 2.57 GAA and .912 save percentage.

For the Panthers, Roberto Luongo will start in goal.


Jackets at Flyers: Curtis McElhinney vs. Steve Mason

Devils at Caps: Cory Schneider vs. Braden Holtby

Pens at Leafs: Thomas Greiss vs. Jonathan Bernier

‘Hawks at Red Wings: Corey Crawford vs. Jimmy Howard

Coyotes at Canucks: Ryan Miller likely for Vancouver, no word yet on an Arizona starter.

Devils continue to get money’s worth from Schneider


If you’re going to pay a guy $42 million, you might as well make him earn it.

That’s the apparent message out of New Jersey this season regarding Cory Schneider — today, head coach Peter DeBoer confirmed Schneider would start for the 17th consecutive time on Friday when the Devils take on the Caps at Verizon.

“Schneids is starting tomorrow night and then we’ll go from there,” DeBoer said, per

To be clear, Schneider’s seven-year, $42 million extension doesn’t kick in until next season but, given he signed the pact prior to this season (and the fact New Jersey parted ways with Martin Brodeur this summer), the organization’s message is loud and clear:

We’re paying you a lot of money, and giving you unlimited opportunity for playing time.

To date, Schneider’s returns have been up and down. His overall numbers (7-6-2, .904 save percentage, 2.86 GAA) aren’t great, but he’s had a handful of strong performances (including Tuesday’s 23-save effort in a 3-1 win over Minnesota).

Some of that can be explained by the team playing in front of Schneider, which has been in a constant state of flux: key free agent acquisitions like Mike Cammalleri and Martin Havlat have been in and out of the lineup, and the Devils’ defense has been banged up with injuries to Bryce Salvador, Jon Merrill and Eric Gelinas.

There’s also the issue of Schneider’s untested backup, Keith Kinkaid, who’s never made an NHL start and has just 53 minutes of big-league experience. The plan is to eventually start Kinkaid but, to hear DeBoer explain it, that plan might not be executed soon — especially with some high-octane opponents on the schedule.

“We won the game, we got a great performance from Cory,” DeBoer said after beating Minnesota. “These next two teams we’re playing are elite offensive teams.

“With Washington’s forwards and Colorado’s forwards we’re going to have to do the good things we did last game in order to get the win, and be a lot better in a lot of different areas.”

PHT Morning Skate: The former Bruins enforcer who taunted an entire bench

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

This “30 for 30 Short” on former Boston Bruins enforcer John Wensink and his taunt of the Minnesota North Stars’ bench is the best use of your 11-or-so minutes since “Too Many Cooks.” (Grantland)

A look back at the man behind the coach of the year trophy, Jack Adams. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

You just have to see Jaromir Jagr in marzipan statue form. (The Hockey News)

How Peter Forsberg changed the viewpoint on Swedish players. (Sportsnet)

This is apparently the 40th anniversary of Guy Lapointe’s lone hat trick. (Dave Stubbs’ Twitter feed)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Milan Lucic passed 500 games played about a week ago. Here’s a look at the impact he’s made on the Bruins so far. (Stanley Cup of Chowder)

Ryan Miller as Luigi and Eddie Lack as Mario? You’d think it might have been the other way around (via Lack’s Instagram):