New Jersey Devils Look to Eliminate Inconsistencies, Finish Strong During Western Road Trip

The New Jersey Devils have won five of their previous six matchups. However, they still have a lot to work to do in order to recapture the same amount of success they showcased last season.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid (40) warms up before the game.
New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid (40) warms up before the game. / James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils are halfway done with their western road trip. After narrowly defeating the Seattle Kraken 2-1 in Emerald City, they are slated to take on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome Saturday afternoon. That was their first-ever win at Climate Pledge Arena. It was a "stressful" victory for the Devils because they had to rely a lot on Akira Schmid, who bailed them out many times during the third period.

The defense was picked apart, the offense was basically nonexistent, and the Kraken did everything correct in the final period except score. Head coach Lindy Ruff acknowledged the difference in execution from his team as the game progressed.

"[We have to] play a little better in the offensive zone. Sometimes when you're holding the lead, your tendency is to get a little bit safe. We might've gotten a little safe...I think we're trending in the right direction."

Lindy Ruff

When Pucks and Pitchforks had the chance to speak with Schmid postgame, he seemed exhausted. He shared some of the changes that he would like to see his team make in order to help him and Vitek Vanecek out.

"[The offense taking] more shots right now. Probably easier breakouts too. Today was good, but maybe some more blocked shots. And then from the goalie side, just timely saves."

Akira Schmid

Obviously, no win is guaranteed in this league. However, given the fact that the Flames are barely just over .500 during their last 10 games, this should be a matchup that favors the Devils. But the next two opponents afterward (Edmonton Oilers Sunday and Boston Bruins on Wednesday) are definitely going to test the Devils. Current Kraken defenseman and 2019 Stanley Cup Champion Vince Dunn believes that the Devils are still a force to be reckoned with.

"Maybe teams are catching on to their tendencies. But I think they give everyone a challenge every night. They're very competitive and elite offensively in transition. I think the personnel they have makes them very dynamic, both offensively and defensively. "

Vince Dunn

dark. Next. Nico Hischier Is Shifting Devils Momentum. Nico Hischier Is Shifting Devils Momentum