New Jersey Devils Will Surprise Teams Going Forward In 2020

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The last time the New Jersey Devils faced the New York Rangers, it was the beginning of the end for then head coach John Hynes. The Devils under interim head coach, Alain Nasreddine has sparked the Devils locker room, and the bench into being super competitive, even with Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt out with injuries. The Devils are getting wins against the likes of the Bruins and Islanders, two of the best teams in the league.

What Rangers Coach David Quinn should be scared of is how solid defensively the forward and defensive corps has been lately. Nasreddine has made the team play more like Swiss pikemen thanks to their forechecking in all zones keeping opponents to the outside.

We all know Kaapo Kakko clicks well with Artemi Panarin, but those two will get neutralized by the Devils’ current play. Nasreddine’s defense has slowed down some of the most powerful offenses like the Bruins, Isles, and kept the Maple Leafs somewhat at bay this is very promising. The Devils offense has played so much better with Nico Hischier, Palmieri, and Nikita Gusev as forwards been since Hall has been dealt.

Nikita Gusev didn’t look very good under Hynes, but now he’s hitting another level. He’s increasing his offensive chances and can light up the Rangers at will regardless who’s in net. Another player you’re getting a lot out of lately is P.K. Subban The Rangers should be very afraid now that the Devils are playing a far better structure.

Jesper Boqvist has been playing more games, gaining experience and starting to get confident playing a strong two-way game. He has been shooting a lot cleaner and starting to score a little bit more. He’s a young Swedish forward he seems to be breaking through and learning to be a winger as well as a center. If he stays with Hischier and Palmieri’s line, there is a lot of speed, energy, intelligence, and creativity that can burn a Rangers defense.

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Mackenzie Blackwood has been rock solid for the Devils. He’s increased his save percentage to .907, with a 2.86 Goals Allowed Average. Another goalie this season that Devils fans be excited to see how Blackwood statistically comparing to this season is Marc-Andre Fleury of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury has 30 games started, 18 wins, with a save percentage .908, and a 2.84 goals allowed average.

So if anyone like the Rangers think they can just steam roll the Devils like they did in the past meeting, good luck. The Devils are looking really solid under the guidance of Alain Nasreddine. Nico Hischier is beginning to take over a leadership role that will steal points from teams at this time in the season. There are a lot of core pieces on this current roster, and with the right coaching staff, and the right additions along with a bulky high quality draft coming up in 2020 this can springboard the Devils with those 2, 1st rounders and other draft picks.