New Jersey Devils: Back-To-Back Showed The Good And Bad

New Jersey Devils defenseman John Marino (6): John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils defenseman John Marino (6): John Jones-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Jersey Devils‘ back-to-back games were two completely different tales, to say the least. It showed what they need to do to find success. In both games, the Devils outshot their opponent 41-22, which seems to be a common thing this season. It could continue all year, though not to this extent.

They are firing the puck on all cylinders, and defensively, they haven’t had this kind of shot suppression since we were graced with Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, and Brian Rafalski. This team’s goaltending is its Achilles heel. Mackenzie  Blackwood looked like he usually does against the Capitals, stopping 7/10 at even strength while holding up a mighty .722 save percentage. Vitek Vanecek had an alright game against the Red Wings. While a .909 isn’t incredible, seeing a Devils goalie with a percentage that starts with a 9 is nice.

Jack Hughes has been a giveaway machine this season. He had his worst game since his rookie season against the Capitals. He was -3 and couldn’t find the tape of a friendly player during some shifts. In others, he was just blindly passing it right to the Capitals players. It was visible to anyone watching except whoever credited him with only one giveaway on the stat sheet. The next night, he turned it around with a goal and an assist. More importantly, he played a more structured game away from the puck. The points haven’t come for him like they did last season, but he has been close so many times it is clear that he will break out and go on a hot streak very soon.

Jesper Bratt is continuing to look like an All-Star. Four points in the two games and 12 in seven games this season shows he’s easily the best player on this team. He had an egregious giveaway against the Capitals during the team’s awful performance, but he was still the best forward on the team that game. He followed it up by dominating the Red Wings.

John Marino has been an absolute stud since coming to the Devils. The trade for Ty Smith looks like an absolute steal right now. In the back-to-back, he had 3 points and was a +4. He was noticeable in a positive way on both ends of this ice. The coaches have taken notice, as he was the defender with the most ice time between the two games.

Next. Can Devils Keep Up Shot Pace?. dark

On Friday, the Devils have a massive test as they take on the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Colorado Avalanche. It will be interesting to see if this offense can continue to outshoot the opposition. On top of that, they need to keep it up with the shot suppression because if the Avalanche take 30 shots, they are likely to score six times.