New Jersey Devils Booed Off Ice In Home Opener

New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff watches the action against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff watches the action against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Jersey Devils have had a lot of bad seasons in a row. For the second straight year, Lindy Ruff has a team that comes into the season with actual expectations. It might only be game two, but fans are beyond fed up after yet another loss.

The Devils fans booed the head coach during the introductions and had “Fire Lindy” chants going in the third period. It might be early, but they need to do just that sooner rather than later or we might as well just fall hard for Connor Bedard. It’s another disappointing day in Devil land but let’s take a quick look at the home opener.

The Good

The team’s best players Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Dougie Hamilton were their best players and showed effort all night. Hamilton had two points and was solid enough to be the only defender to go positive on the night. Bratt had another assist and drove play all night while Hughes was all over the ice driving the net and making big plays. They led by example and the rest of the team just needs to follow it and put the maximum effort in every shift.

Miles Wood scored and drove the net like he always does. What was most impressive was what he said before this game. He is tired of being on a losing team and it is about time someone said it. We need more of his fire on this team. Wood and Haula both showed some grit as far as third liners go.

The Bad

Let’s start with Lindy Ruff. Even the commentators pointed out the lines were all over the place and it looked like they didn’t stick to anything for the entire first period. Yegor Sharangovich was almost never on with Hughes despite the established chemistry. The man with perhaps the best shot on the team played a mighty 10:56 when they needed a goal. Next, let’s look at Holtz who was brought up to score goals and played 9:20. Why are you not playing your snipers more when trying to score? It looks utterly ridiculous.

The guys who got deployed like top-six players and should be in that position (besides the previously mentioned Hughes and Bratt) were terrible. Ondrej Palat was noticeable twice losing board battles and then floating in the defensive zone. Tomas Tatar showed some fire but took a stupid penalty that cost the team and spent four minutes in the box.

Nico Hischier might have been the worst of all. The captain was -3 and was so invisible that fans had to check their phones to see if he had actually played. He already missed a game this year so it is more than likely that he is banged up. If he is not 100% or if this is the best he can give us he needs to sit and heal.

And what do we need to do to get a save?

Vitek Vanecek had a rough night and finished with a .773 save percentage looking like a normal Devils goalie already. While the first few were not his fault and the Wings sniped a few of them the team needs one guy who can just make a few saves in high-danger chances. The shots were 39-22 and the defense might not have been perfect but letting in more than 2-3 with that many shots is just bad.

Next. What's Next For Jack Hughes?. dark

The team has a few days off to think about this loss. They need to come out of the gate on fire this Tuesday. If the Ducks beat them, the fans will lose it and turn on this team. People are very mad already. While it is only game two of this season, it is also year 10 of being bad. Anger is one thing, but if it turns to apathy things will be worse in Jersey and the team could be looking at a lot of empty seats in the arena early on.