New Jersey Devils: Need More Nikita Gusev In Game Two

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

The New Jersey Devils need more from Nikita Gusev in game two vs Boston.

The New Jersey Devils are back at it again this afternoon against the Boston Bruins. They just had a decent game against them for Opening Night on Thursday where they were handed a shootout loss. They didn’t play well in the first period but got their legs under them as the game went along. It allowed them to earn their first point of the season in a game against a far superior team. Now, they need to do everything they can to repeat the same results and perhaps come out on top this time.

The heroes of the first game were noted after the game. Jack Hughes had a two-point night to start his sophomore season, Yegor Sharangovich and Ty Smith had phenomenal NHL debuts, and Mackenzie Blackwood stood on his head in the goal crease. All of those guys will be extremely important to the success (or lack of) this season but they need more. With Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt returning soon, they need a big-time contribution from Nikita Gusev.

He wasn’t as good as we know he can be in the first game against the Bruins. He was one of New Jersey’s best players as the season winded down last year and it would be nice to see more of that this year. It could have been nerves from the first game or just a bit of rust but they need more from him. He is one of the team’s best offensive players and can make passes as good as anyone.

We also know that Gusev is a decent shooter/goal scorer but that was not on display in the first game. There were a couple of nice plays set up for him to shoot it into a wide-open net and he either missed or shanked the shot. There was one shank in particular where Tuukka Rask left more than half the net open to shoot. Those types of games are going to happen but we need them to be few and far between for him.

Hopefully, he saw his former linemate Kirill Kaprizov absolutely dominate his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild right after his game ended. Those two have a lot of similar skill sets and were dominant playing with each other in the 2018 Olympics. We know that Gusev has the potential to be just as productive.

Hot. Miles Wood is going to be a roller coaster in 2021. light

If he does have a good game, Pavel Zacha and Andreas Johnsson should be able to benefit as well which would be nice. Having some depth ready to go for when Hischier and Bratt return could really help this team win more than people think. We know how awesome Nikita Gusev can be and it needs to start in this next game against the Bruins. If there were a “player to watch” going into the game, it is the man known as Goose. Hopefully, if he does break out, the other players who played well in the opener continue their great play as well.