New Jersey Devils Must Find Ways To Win At Home Again

New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Jersey Devils must get back to shooting pucks on net at will. It is an essential first step before getting John Marino back on defense. Marino, a right-handed defenseman, provided a very strong two-way play from his position. His heads-up defense and offensive performances helped push the Devils during their 13-game win streak. He helped lead by example as a young veteran who led the charge in the offensive output on the Devils blueline. It is integral to get this team back to winning at home once again and getting more points consistently on a game-to-game basis.

As a winger, Ondrej Palat gets accustomed to playing in the lineup; it’ll be a matter of time before he starts kicking in as a points-maker. It is imperative to get guys like Fabian Zetterlund and Nikita Okhotiuk in the lineup. Kevin Bahl has made some mistakes, Erik Haula has been underwhelming as a finisher, and there are others that need to be scratched as well. Those are just a few ideas that can fix some conundrums ASAP.

Coach Lindy Ruff has to hold the guys who make silly mistakes accountable. That’s the only way they’ll learn from their underperformance. He did it to Damon Severson, even sitting him for one game before Marino’s injury.

The power play was working against Detroit, and that has to be going against the New York Rangers. The Devils need to go out and out muscle the Rangers, pound them hard along the walls, and show them no mercy. Players like Okhotiuk have to tenderize their opponents and tire them out.

When the Devils tire out their opponents, they are one of the more dangerous scoring teams that can do a lot of damage. The Devils had some success versus St. Louis due to the help of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier producing in key moments.

If the secondary scoring can get balanced out and the defense gets going, the Devils can certainly take over games again. It is time for Lindy Ruff to put the pedal to the metal, get back to winning on a more consistent basis, and get back to winning at home again, where games mean the most. Get back to winning consistently before Nathan Bastian and John Marino get back in the lineup. There is no room for overthinking and ignoring what improvements need to be made. It is crunch time for Tom Fitzgerald and Lindy Ruff to fix things.