According to their official website, New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador will be temporarily out of the lineup while he deals with a loss in his family. In preparation for Thursday’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks, the Devils have recalled defenseman Eric Gelinas to take his place. Gelinas was quiet in his only National Hockey League appearance, offering a single shot on goal during the final home game of the Devils’ 2012-2013 season. The same report claims that Cory Schneider will get his third start in a row when his former team visits the Prudential Center; this marks Schneider’s second start against the Canucks in as many games.
Gelinas’ NHL career may be defined as 1 shot on goal and a -1 rating in a single game, but he showed his potential in the recent preseason when he produced a game-winning goal and a pair of assists. Considering the fact that the Devils’ blue line has yet to post a single goal in an almost exclusively winless season, a fresh face may change things for the better. In an ideal situation Salvador would not be the man to take the night off, but an opportunity is presented nonetheless.
Fans of Martin Brodeur may be displeased to hear that Schneider will get the call for the third straight game on Thursday night. Schneider stopped 20 of 23 shots during his team’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday after being impermeable to the New York Rangers‘ 22 shots three nights before. The last time the Devils faced the Vancouver Canucks, forward Mike Santorelli trumped Schneider and his new squad in overtime. Interestingly, Pete DeBoer is choosing not to test a well-rested Brodeur’s luck against the same team; on the other hand, the last time these teams faced each other was one of only four point-earning games for the Devils this season.
Bryce Salvador has the support and condolences of the entire Devils Army, and hopefully while he mourns his loss the Devils can pick up some momentum for him to add to when he returns. Eric Gelinas is a young player with a good sense of the game, and he will be looking to turn some heads during this opportunity. If Schneider remains solid between the pipes and Gelinas holds down the blue line, the Devils may turn their third home game into their second win.