New Jersey Devils: 3 Thoughts After Game One

Miles Wood - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miles Wood - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils start the season with two games against the Boston Bruins. They pulled off a point in the first game. Despite the score being close for most of the game, there were times the Bruins dominated the Devils and could have won 5-0. There was a lot to look at when it was all done but with it only being one game here are the main points.

Mackenzie Blackwood played like a superstar. He was the only reason the Devils were not embarrassed. He stopped 35 of 37 shots sitting with an incredible .946 save percentage against last season’s Presidents’ Trophy winner. He stood no chance on both goals that were scored thanks to defensive lapses allowing the puck to go straight for an empty net. Blackwood needs his defenders to help cut these off. Of all the high-danger chances and shots from the slot, they still were not able to beat him with a clear shot and both goals were on the power play.

Miles Wood once again continues to be the most frustrating and confusing player on the roster. He started the season by taking a stupid penalty on a breakaway chance. He runs into the goalie way too many times in a season. After this, he managed to get another breakaway and score the Devils’ first goal of the season. This was exactly what he needed to do to bounce back and show he could be the contributor he has the skill to be. Of course, he follows this up by taking yet another stupid goaltender interference penalty. With a new coaching staff, there are so many ways this can go depending on if they like his offensive jam and tenacity or they think he just is not smart enough to stay out of the box and hurt his team. His goal was a nice one and not to take anything away from Smith, the only one that was not a fluke. But if he had not taken those penalties, odds are the Devils, thanks to Blackwood, would have shut them out.

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-The top line of the Devils had an interesting start to the season and a few things stood out. One was that Jack Hughes looked a little rusty with his passing and was not asserting himself again which was quite worrying since the Devils need him to grow a ton this season. He still managed two points despite that. It will be interesting to see how this season goes for him. Kyle Palmieri had a fine game, but he was physical, and we can expect him to play like himself all year. As for the third surprise member of that unit, Yegor Sharangovich was an absolute monster on the ice. He skates like the wind his shot got off fast and hard and drew three powerplays. If this is a pace he can keep up he looks like a legit top-six NHL player for a long time.