New Jersey Devils Thankful For Three of Four Points

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils sandwiched the Thanksgiving holiday with two games at the Prudential Center. This was a rather successful home stand if you look it the big picture, as the Devils took three of four points.

The first game saw them defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Wednesday. They played one of their two best games of the season and seemed to be as relentless as they’ve ever been. It was a dominant performance.

On Friday, they lost in overtime to the New York Islanders. This game appeared to be much harder than the one that came before it, as the Devils were down three different times. They tied it three separate times. This including tying it with 10 seconds left in the third period, to ultimately fall in overtime on a sweet play by Mat Barzal.

I would say this is overall a successful home stand for the Devils, because I would sign up for three out of every four points (that would win you the President’s Trophy). They did win the first game pretty handedly and they had a chance to win the second game, which is what I ask for as a fan of the team.

The second game had some juice to it that not every game has. It was Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Rock, and of course that hits home with fans and players of the Devils alike.

Brian Boyle, a cancer survivor, has now scored a goal in both annual Hockey Fights cancer games since his diagnosis, and ultimate remission. These are emotional moments that him, his teammates and fans will never forget. Everyone should be very thankful and proud that he is a part of our organization. He is only his second year with the team, but it feels like a decade.

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Of course, we should be thankful as fans for the MVP of the National Hockey League, who happens to wear our colors. Taylor Hall has had two very good games at home this week. On Wednesday against Montreal he had a goal and an assist, and he duplicated the point total in the exact same way on Friday against the Islanders. Taylor Hall now has seven goals and sixteen assists for 23 points in 21 games played, excellent.

The team will go where he takes them, at least on the offensive side of the puck. He has carried his play from last year into this year. He is also emerging as a real leader on the team. You can see it in the way he sticks up for his teammates and leads by example. He is one of the premier players in the NHL, and it is very nice to have him.

Marcus Johansson has had a very good week, as he had two assists on Wednesday against the Canadiens and tied the game with 10 seconds left in regulation against the Islanders to earn the Devils a standings point. If he can keep it up, and his linemates Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha continue to play well (they have been awesome lately), then the top line will be thankful for some support from the second line.

The season hasn’t been exactly how it was anticipated to go so far, but the team has played better of late since the seven game road trip ended, and it could be much worse when you look at some of the other things going on around the NHL. With four coaching changes, some internal turmoil with some teams, the Devils always seem to stick together no matter what, and as long as they keep racking up standings points all will be well.

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The Devils will have a rare off day on Saturday, and then they are back on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena. The Devils took an absolute beating last time these two teams met, and they will look to get revenge and redeem themselves in what looks to be a fun matchup on Sunday night.