New Jersey Devils: Jack Hughes Is Allowed To Feel Frustrated

Boston Bruins center Pavel Zacha (18): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins center Pavel Zacha (18): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Sports is this weird place where we expect our athletes to care more than anything possible, but we don’t want that passion to come off in the wrong way. It’s one thing for it to boil over on the ice, in the case of hockey, but when it happens off the ice, everyone has a cow. It can be something as small as skipping a routine media availability. Every time it happens, fans constantly call the players soft minded or something even worse.

So, when Jack Hughes didn’t have much to say after the Devils lost another game on Wednesday night, we should have expected what came next.

The reaction was predictable. Hughes didn’t have anything to say, and he left the situation. In most situations, it’s not what you want to see from the team’s star. Not many stretches are like this current stretch. The Devils are losing important pieces seemingly every game. When there isn’t an injury, there’s an impossible shot that gets through the goalie.

The Devils also can’t score. Jack Hughes has 13 points this month. The Devils have scored 29 goals this month. Only 16 goals didn’t come off the stick of Hughes, whether by shot or by pass. Say what we will about the impact of a star player, but they shouldn’t be directly impacting close to half of the goals.

Hughes likely won’t act like this again. He will learn a lesson from this he didn’t necessarily need to learn. The Devils need the most they can get from Hughes, and the fact he is showing emotion shows they have higher expectations for themselves.

Next. Dreadful December Sinks Devils. dark

Now, it’s Lindy Ruff‘s job to get this team back on track. The team is feeling dejected. That much is clear based on the body language and what we just saw from Hughes. Hopefully, the Devils can steal wins from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes to get the team where it needs to be. The frustration is real, but they need to stay the course to get out of this funk.