The New Jersey Devils had a successful road trip beating a few teams they shouldn’t have, but back on home ice they got right back to playing like themselves as quick as possible. The team started out with a pretty solid effort all things considered, but the same things continue to happen and it is up to the extended offseason to fix it.
Jesper Boqvist now has goals in 3 straight games and he is starting to put up a very respectable season as he comes into his own. He is continuing to move his feet well and is willing to go to the blue paint which not all players can on this roster. He might not be a star, but right now he looks like he is making a strong case to be the third line center moving into next season, especially if Dawson Mercer continues to be on the wing.
The fourth line had a lot of pressure and Andreas Johnsson has been fitting pretty next to them with Miles Wood out. He even managed to throw the body around a few times which is not the norm for him. While I still want to see the BMW line reunited, the third line is wide open for next season and Johnsson needs to keep playing well to have a spot as this team can not go into the year looking the same.
Pavel Zacha. O boy he just continues to play awful and it was only partway through he first that he already had missed and bobbled passes right at his stick and he cant land anything near his teammates when dishing it out. He continued his normal play in this manor in the second period and caused another shorthanded goal with a lazy, soft, zero thought pass at the blueline that was intercepted to put the Sabres ahead by a pair. This guy needs to be gone as soon as possible.
The power play once again shined going -2 in one attempt and the Devils are unsurprisingly leading the league in shorthanded goals against. They also continue to make questionable personnel decisions and while I personally am on team tank the coaches are playing for jobs so one would think the best shot on the team in Yegor Sharangovich should be on the top unit not Fabian Zetterlund. This is beyond beating a dead horse at this point, but none of the coaching staff should be surviving after this season.
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Andrew Hammond despite the team winning some games and him getting his first win the other game is still doing a great job as Devils tank commander. Tonight he rocked a mighty .821 save percentage and let in some truly awful goals including a dropping wrist shot from past the blueline and one from beside the net with 0 angle to go in on its own. With five games left hopefully he can start in four and drop us a spot in the all important draft.