Boston Bruins: Why the matchup with New Jersey comes at the perfect time

BOSTON - OCTOBER 12: Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) controls the puck with pressure from New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) during the second period. The Boston Bruins host the New Jersey Devils in their home opener regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 12: Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) controls the puck with pressure from New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) during the second period. The Boston Bruins host the New Jersey Devils in their home opener regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /
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BOSTON – OCTOBER 12: Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) controls the puck with pressure from New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) during the second period. The Boston Bruins host the New Jersey Devils in their home opener regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden in Boston on Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

The Boston Bruins currently sit in first place in the Atlantic Division with 29 points. Boston has three regulation losses in 20 games, two top-five NHL scorers, and the best goalie tandem in the league.

Yet, even with all that, fans are a bit uneasy after this most recent six-game stretch that saw the Bruins go 1-2-3. Many wonder if the Bruins really are as good as their overall record indicates.

Fortunately, the Bruins have the perfect chance to right the ship when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

First, the Bruins look set to get some important players back from injury. Both Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie skated with the team on Monday, and they look ready to play in New Jersey.

On top of that, Patrice Bergeron will travel with the team and will be a game-time decision. With DeBrusk, Ritchie, and Bergeron possibly in the fold, the Bruins instantly have a better lineup than they did Saturday against the Capitals.

We also have to consider Boston’s opponent on Tuesday. Although they started the season with high expectations, the Devils struggled so far this year.

New Jersey only has seven wins in 19 games, only good enough for sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. A below-average offense is the big reason why.

The Devils have high-end forwards like Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, and newcomer Jack Hughes, but they can’t seem to find the back of the net. New Jersey is second-to-last in the league with only 50 combined goals.

At the same time, New Jersey continues to face issues in goal. Corey Schneider struggled from the jump, so much so that the Devils waived him on Monday. MacKenzie Blackwood takes over as the starter, but his numbers are only average.

What all this means is that the Bruins have a great chance to go into New Jersey and leave with two points.

Boston certainly has the defensive structure and goaltending to handle one of the league’s worst offenses. The Bruins did in fact shut the Devils out a little over a month ago.

The Bruins also come to town with the offensive capabilities to take advantage of New Jersey’s inconsistent defense and goaltending. Even if Bergeron, DeBrusk, and Ritchie don’t suit up, Boston should fill up the scoresheet.

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The Bruins continue to find themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Devils remain at the bottom. As such, Tuesday night has the potential to be the start of a much-needed winning streak for Boston.