Ryane Clowe was already dead to some fans due to another concussion. When Clowe was signed this summer during free agency, fans weren’t sure how to feel about the move.
When news broke that Clowe’s contract was for 5-years and for 24 and a quarter million dollars (with a no-move clause), people were even more worried about if this investment would pan out. When Clowe went down, all seemed to be lost and the Devils were still “stuck” with him.
Now, he is proving to all the non-believers (including me) that he can be a very productive player when put next to the right guys.
In the 6 games in October before Clowe got hurt, the team was 0-3-3 and Clowe only registered 1 assist in the second game of the season against the New York Islanders.
Ryane Clowe officially returned on December 27th against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a game they also lost. He won his first game as a New Jersey Devil on December 28th against the New York Islanders.
He has registered 2 goals and 8 points since his return and more recently, 9 points in 7 games. In that span, he has registered an assist against the Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The only game where he has not registered a point in the last 7 games was against the Colorado Avalanche.
Against the Canadiens, he had 2 assists. Against the Maple Leafs and Coyotes, he had a goal and an assist.
Stats may not always tell the whole story but Clowe has been contributing a lot for a team that has not been producing much of anything. In fact, the Devils have only scored 4 goals once in January (against Montreal) and have scored 3 goals only once this month (not including Montreal). That came in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Looking ahead, the Devils need him to continue to produce in a crucial stretch of games.
Their next games are:
St. Louis Blues – 3rd in the Western Conference (69 points)
Washington Capitals – 4th in the Wild Card, 1 point ahead of the Devils at 52 points
New York Rangers – Stadium Series, Rangers are T-2nd in Metropolitan at 55 points
St. Louis again
As much as people believe the Devils won’t make the playoffs this season, they are still far from out of it in the standings. There is plenty of times for the Devils to break off a big run towards the end of the season. All it takes is for everything to mesh at the right time.
After all, the Devils were the 6th seed in 2011-12. That’s not a comparison of that team to this team but it is a prime example of anything can happen.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.