New Jersey Devils came out hot again beating their biggest rival the New..."/> New Jersey Devils came out hot again beating their biggest rival the New..."/> New Jersey Devils came out hot again beating their biggest rival the New..."/>

New Jersey Devils Week Two Grades After Adding Four More Points

Scott Wedgewood - New Jersey Devils
Scott Wedgewood - New Jersey Devils /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44): (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

Line Two

Johnsson-Zacha-Gusev

This line has been mostly invisible and it is hard to say why. Pavel Zacha missed a fantastic chance on a nearly empty net against the Islanders on Thursday and scored his first of the year on Sunday. Still, he needs to be a little more consistent in at least applying pressure to the opposition on top of his defensive play.

Nikita Gusev has continued to struggle, but his hands and legs looked to be moving better. He made a risky but nice play to get his first point of the season. It was risky, and if it was poke checked or he lost control it was a breakaway for the other team. That would have been a very different night.

As for Andreas Johnsson, he is noticeable for about 10 seconds a game and should be the first player to get a healthy scratch designation. There has been no offensive pressure, good plays or even much on the physical side from him. This is not the player the Devils traded for and after two weeks it is time to be settled in and if he doesn’t turn it around this week it should be an easy choice to slot Jesper Bratt right into his spot.

Week two grade: Johnsson D : Zacha C : Gusev C

Line Three

Wood-Zajac-Boqvist

Miles Wood once again continued to drive the net hard and kept his nose clean. Screening the goalie on the powerplay and making smarter decisions after a few years of questionable plays, this is what he needs to do to be a solid middle six NHLer. He has impressed big time. His chemistry with the always reliable Travis Zajac is clear and these two need to be together all year as a pair. Zajac even looks to be skating stronger and pushing the offensive pace more after such a long time off which might have been good for him.

Jesper Boqvist played in two of the games before being pulled out of the lineup for Merkley, while Janne Kuokkanen took his place on this line. The change was not noticeable as the other two carried the line and the young Swede needs to step his play up in every way. He is a skilled player and is just not getting involved in the play enough so the effort level or at least compete level needs to improve.

Week two grade: Wood A : Zajac A : Boqvist D

Line Four

Bastian-McLeod-Kuokkanen/Merkley

Nathan Bastian and Mike McLeod have continued to show they want to be here and deserve to be here. After looking like both would be AHL players they hit everyone they can, play smart defense and every game get a few good scoring chances. Bastian has his first goal of the season and the others are pointless but eventually it will come and for McLeod especially, he just needs to stay the course.

For Kuokkanen and Merkley, they played alright at best but need to show more. Merkley only had one game against a very strong defensive team and still should have some time to prove he can stick it out in the NHL. Kuokkanen needs to step it up faster having given us nothing so far.

Week two grade: Bastian B+ : McCleod B : Kuokkanen C / Merkley C