New Jersey Devils Start Hot But Blow Lead In Boston

New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44): ( Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44): ( Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils finished off a hard stretch against two top teams and came out 1-2-1, which in all fairness is not that bad. Both the Capitals and Bruins are Stanley Cup contenders this year and a rebuilding young team one would expect to have trouble against. The final game against the Bruins Tuesday night was a back-and-forth affair and one the team as a whole should be feeling pretty good about. They put up some points and the effort was there with only small things that should be fixable from a coaching point of view causing the problems.

The Good

Miles Wood and Michael McLeod really set the tone early again both scoring a goal. Despite being split apart, the two are managing to make stuff happen. While McLeod was quiet after his goal, one must remember he was with Jesper Boqvist who has struggled in a big way in the NHL and Johnsson who is a black hole for offense and is hurting anyone on his line’s production. He also put up a fantastic 70% win rate on faceoffs which is just impressive. Wood had a team leading 6 shots and at least 4 fantastic scoring chances that he gained with his blazing speed and willingness to drive the net. This game showed the very best of him and these are the teams the Devils need him to be playing his best against.

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Jesper Bratt had an assist but his best play was the two minutes for roughing in his fight against Brad Marchand. Seeing the young small player stand up for a team mate is great to see and was quite unexpected.

Kyle Palmieri continues to be the bane of the Bruins existence, scoring again and at this rate will have half of his goals scored against one team for the season. His play away from the puck was a lot better than it has been most of the year as well and this was shown best in overtime when he made the hard play to fight the defender off the puck and maintain position giving the Devils a chance to win. Unfortunately, he had a bad fall that looked like he landed on the skate of the Bruins defender and we will all have to hope that he is ok.

The Bad

The last ten minutes of the third was bad to say the least. Two goals from Boston defenders tied it up and the momentum was all on their side, the Devils were lucky to hold on to get one point. With multiple shots from the slot including one timers and players like Krejci walking right in for shots only feet from Blackwood the Devils needed to control the pace way better. If they can however play like the first 50 minutes of the game they should be competitive against any team.