New Jersey Devils: All-Star Break is Just What Devils Needed


The New Jersey Devils took seven out of a possible 8 points in the four game stretch that followed the All-Star break.  Now entering their mandatory bye week, the Devils have additional time to build chemistry, rest their bodies and recover from injuries. Undoubtedly, this streak has been a team effort, but its worth noting some individual performances over the past 4 games.

Taylor Hall

During the All-Star break 99% of the New Jersey Devils players and coaching staff got some much needed R&R. The other 1%, otherwise known as Taylor Hall, went to Los Angeles to participate in the All-Star game with the rest of the league’s elite.  Upon returning to the team, Hall produced four points over those four games (2 G, 2 A). Additionally, Hall is playing with more confidence, which leads to him using his soft hands to create incredible scoring opportunities. Hall is looking like the player the Devils acquired this past summer, maybe even better. Is Hall’s hot streak a residual effect from playing with the leagues stars, or is it finally the culmination of team chemistry? Hopefully Taylor can be a driving force behind a Devils playoff push.

Adam Henrique

After a disappointing start to the season, Adam Henrique looks like he regained his scoring touch which he found last season. Rico has a smoldering six points over the last four games (3G, 3A). He’s taken the team lead in goals (15) over that span. Although Rico isn’t on pace for the 30 goals he scored last season, he is certainly capable of still putting up 25. Additionally, Henrique has 16 assist on the season, showing he isn’t a puck hog. Playing on a much deeper team this year, Henrique’s play seems to be contagious. Hopefully he can keep this up and take it into the playoffs should the Devils make it.

Kyle Palmieri

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Taylor Hall’s linemates are benefitting from his play, however Kyle Palmieri isn’t coasting on the tailwind. Palms was the Devils other 30 goal scorer last year and in the stretch since the ASG, he has 4 points in the 4 games (3 G, 1A) including a powerplay goal. The New Jersey native has had a respectable career in New Jersey so far matching his career point total of 89 in Anaheim (5 seasons) while only being in New Jersey for 1 and a half seasons. Palmieri may not match his 30 goals and 27 assists from last season, but he has been a important player over the course of the season.

Pavel Zacha

After a extremely disappointing start to the season, Zacha is finally playing like the 6th overall draft pick he was in 2015. Finding chemistry with linemates Jacob Josefson and more recently Stefan Noesen, Zacha looks to be heating up and developing his game nicely. Scoring four points over the past four games (2G, 2A), Zacha will be an integral part to the Devils last push. If Zacha can stay consistent and have a strong finish to his rookie campaign, the Devils could reach the playoffs.

Cory Schneider

Schneider’s performance this season has been questionable. For the first time in a long time, Schneider looked shaky at best. However, over the past four games, Schneider’s numbers improved. In the crease he looked confident, making outstanding plays left and right. His only true blemish over the past 4 games is the 4-3 overtime loss to Calgary which he stopped 34-38 shots.

Next: Adam Henrique Finds Last Year’s Scoring Touch

Although the numbers show his SV% as .895, the actual game told the real tale. Schneider’s positioning was great and was only beaten on well placed shots by Sean Monahan and Kris Versteeg (through a screen) as well as two one-timed passes that were placed perfectly. It truly took Calgary being perfect to beat Schneider.  Additionally he limited the Blue Jackets, who have the best powerplay in the league in addition to being 5th in goals per game, to one fluky goal. Then he only gave up one goal in a win against Buffalo. Schneider looks like he regained his elite form. If he can stay consistent the Devils can make a huge push, and ride their goalie to the playoffs.

Moving Forward

The Devils are in the middle of their mandatory bye week. They are only 4 points behind the second wild card team, the Boston Bruins, and have 2 games in hand against them. They return to play Sunday at the Rock against a division leader in the San Jose Sharks. The Devils have been awful at home as of late, but if the Devils can produce a convincing win, they will inch closer to that final playoff spot.

*** All statistics retrieved from***