New Jersey Devils: Mikko Rantanen Comes In And Dominates

(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils were on a roll as of late, but that came to a halt after an extremely frustrating game against the Colorado Avalanche.

The New Jersey Devils started off the game against the Colorado Avalanche fine. They kept with their opponent for the first period, but the rest of the game wasn’t all that great. The Devils eventually lost 5-2 in a game that was just miserable to watch for the most part. There were some good chances throughout the game, but it wasn’t nearly enough. They did have some breaks go against them that ultimately could have changed the outcome of a game.

The one thing that sticks out the most was the fourth Avalanche goal. MacKenzie Blackwood was bumped into by an Avalanche player and then the puck was shot into the net for a goal. The call on the ice was a good goal. It was reviewed for goalie interference and the call ultimately stood. It was one of the worst looking calls that have ever been made for or against the New Jersey Devils. It probably didn’t matter in the end, because the Avalanche was the better team in the game and likely would have won anyway but you never know.

The Devils allowed Mikko Rantanen to come in and dominate. The Avs normal top line with Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog was split up until about halfway through the second period. A decision by their head coach put Rantanen back on the top line and they responded. Rantanen had a hat trick while the rest of the team played better from that point on.

The Avalanche is an elite team but the Devils are capable of skating with them. They showed that at different parts of the game but for the most part, it wasn’t the best effort for the Devils in this one. They had their chances but it wasn’t enough. It was a frustrating game because of some calls and the way a few sequences went but they can come back from it. This game halted a three-game winning streak.

One individual who stood out for the Devils was Jesper Boqvist. It is less than ideal to have him on the fourth line with guys like Kevin Rooney and John Hayden but he is making the best of it. He didn’t even have ten minutes of ice time but he made the most of it when he was out there. This included his fourth goal of the season late in the game. Hopefully, the Devils give him a better chance to succeed going forward because he has all of the skills in the world.

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The Devils are back in action on Tuesday night. They have the New York Islanders in town after the Devils just paid a visit to New York last Thursday. They earned a big road win over them. It took a real team effort and some dominance from a few individuals to get it done but they did it. Hopefully, they can repeat some of that and beat their tri-city rivals once again.