New Jersey Devils Rebound With A Huge Win In Buffalo

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

In the second half of this weekend’s back to back, the New Jersey Devils picked up a big win in Buffalo. This was a huge win and needed to stay in the playoff hunt despite how early it is in the season made all the more impressive with how many players were missing from the roster. Joining an injured Nico Hischier, the Devils have now lost starting goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, top sniper Kyle Palmieri, and reliable veteran Travis Zajac. Expectations would normally be down low with these guys out but they have shown the fight the fans want and put up a solid effort.

The good from the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

P.K. Subban finally finds himself on the positive end of things this season with a pretty solid game highlighted by a hard crisp pass to send McLeod on a breakaway for a goal 20 seconds into the game. On top of this, there were no awful giveaways or penalties. Hopefully, he can string together a few good games.

Miles Wood, Micheal McLeod, and Nathan Bastian were incredible. They once again hit everyone, never stopped skating, and were trying to bang in every garbage goal they could. Outside of the top-end players in Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes, these three have been the best players on this team all week and it is great to see them get rewarded. Bastian made an amazing play getting on his man late in the game again to knock the defensive player off the puck so Wood could get it to McLeod to get the Devils the win.

These plays go unnoticed by some but without the hard-nosed plays, this is probably an overtime game. As for Wood, his no-quit attitude landed him a goal and it was incredible. Most players would chip it in and go to the locker room content with a tie game. Most players would stop after taking a long shot with a second left on the clock but not Wood. At the end of the second period, he netted a goal after shooting in his own rebound. It was nice to see his effort get rewarded.

Fourth-string goalie Eric Comrie managed a .909 save percentage in his Devils debut. That is fantastic compared to the expectation. While we need Blackwood to get healthy soon, it is always nice to see a goalie succeed despite a lack of expectations.

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The bad from the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Pavel Zacha missed a wide-open net after a good passing play with Janne Kuokkanen. He has had trouble scoring with consistency. His real saving grace last season was strong defensive play and being on the penalty kill, but there are a lot of forwards who can play his role now. Zacha will need to step up or he will become expendable. He lacks energy on the ice and sometimes the passion doesn’t seem to be there. Showing emotion in the hallway after missing that empty net might actually be a good sign.

Yegor Sharangovich has been quiet all week. After a hot start, he needs to pick up his game. The time on the ice versus the time you actually notice him are quite different and he needs to get back to focusing on pushing the play and getting shots off. With a hard push from other players, he is closer to being out of the lineup when they return than being slotted back in the top 6 so hopefully, he can get it back together after we all saw the clear talent he has.