New Jersey Devils: Team Effort Gets Them A Big Win

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 24: The New Jersey Devils celebrate a 2-0 shutout against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on January 24, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 24: The New Jersey Devils celebrate a 2-0 shutout against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on January 24, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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It was a complete team effort in the New Jersey Devils win over the New York Islanders.

The New Jersey Devils won a big game over the New York Islanders. They had to use Scott Wedgewood in the net again because of the COVID-19 issues surrounding Mackenzie Blackwood. It is never ideal to have your elite starter out in favor of a guy who is a big question mark, but Wedgewood was up to the task. He deserves our respect as long as he keeps playing like this. He didn’t allow the Islanders to score a single goal as New Jersey won 2-0.

Of course, in order for a goaltender to get a shutout, his teammates usually need to play well in front of him. Most rebounds need to be swept away, the penalty kill needs to be solid, and the team needs to score some goals yourself. The Devils did this against the Islanders and Wedgewood was the beneficiary of it all.

The lines were shaken up from their miserable loss to the Islanders last Thursday. A lot of people didn’t like the lines, but they worked well. Nikita Gusev and Pavel Zacha were placed on a line with Nick Merkley and they finally got going. Both Zacha and Gusev collected their first points of the season and Merkley was a noticeable player on just about every shift. It wasn’t ideal to put him in over Jesper Boqvist but it is hard to argue with the results.

The Devils beat the Islanders thanks to a full team effort.

Jack Hughes continued his run of dominance in this game. Whenever he touches the puck, there is a chance that something great is going to happen. He scored a power play goal to put the Devils up 1-0 and they were off from there. He now has seven points in five games and is amongst the NHL’s scoring leaders at this time.

Ty Smith assisted on both New Jersey Devils goals. It’s early, but he is right there with Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild in the Calder Trophy race for the NHL’s best rookie. He now has a point in his first five NHL games. The last player that did that was Cale Makar, which is exactly the type of defenseman you want to hear Ty Smith compared with.

In addition to Wedgewood and all of the skaters who got on the scoresheet, this was a team effort. They didn’t allow the Islanders to have a single goal in the game over a full 60 minute minutes. Not every game is going to go that smoothly defensively, but they can continue working to have more efforts like that.

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The fact that Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Sami Vatanen are still on their way is very exciting. If those three players can hit the ground running with this team, this season could go a little bit differently than we originally thought. A great team win is exactly what they needed after a dud like Thursday. Now, a Tuesday night home game against the Philadelphia Flyers looms and they will need to be at their best yet again!