New Jersey Devils: Miles Wood Is Going To Be A Roller Coaster This Season

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The most polarizing player on the New Jersey Devils did nothing to help his reputation in the team’s first game.

Miles Wood is always going to be the player on the New Jersey Devils that gets the biggest reaction out of the fanbase. He is wildly exciting, but he makes some of the biggest bonehead plays on the ice. He fights the other team but also does something that can’t be explained away with fandom. That was not different on the Devils’ first night back playing hockey in ten months.

The Devils took on the reigning President Trophy winners in the Boston Bruins. Things look extremely bad in the first period. Wood was actually one of the better players until he took a really dumb penalty (which will be written on his gravestone). He had multiple rushes with the puck when the Devils couldn’t even fathom a shot. It looked like the Devils, and especially Mackenzie Blackwood, were in for a long night.

Then, in the second period, Wood scored a goal. It was another rush where he used his speed to get space and put the puck past Tuukka Rask. The Devils tied the game thanks to Wood.

As fast as Devils fans were celebrating number 44’s accomplishments, he took another dumb penalty. This one was dumber than the first. He jumped up in the air, lost his footing, fell into Rask, and got called for a goaltender interference penalty.

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He called the penalties “selfish” after the game. It’s good that he understands he can’t make those kinds of decisions on the ice, but the issue is he’s never been able to think quickly when the game is happening. He only thinks about getting to the net fast. Not about stopping before he plows into the goalie.

Wood looks like he’s going to get big minutes this season. He’s playing on a line with Travis Zajac and Jesper Boqvist, who started the game. The Devils went with a very spread out approach when it came to minutes. He had the third least minutes at 5v5, but he had about 14 minutes when considering penalty kill and power play time. Head coach Lindy Ruff is going to use his skill set in certain situations.

The power play is probably not a good place for Wood. When players like Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt return, the Devils won’t play him there. For now, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride on a nightly basis watching Miles Wood score goals and take bad penalties. Hopefully, the Devils PK plays better, because they allowed goals on both of Wood’s penalties.