Expectations For Timo Meier and New Jersey Devils Come Playoff Time

Timo Meier #96 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)
Timo Meier #96 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images) /

It seems as though Timo Meier has finally had his breakout performance in a New Jersey Devils uniform. On Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Meier delivered in the clutch, scoring twice in the third period to help the Devils secure a point against the reigning Eastern Conference champs. Meier went five straight games without finding the back of the net prior to Thursday. However, his impact came in the way of hits, shots, takeaways, and rush attempts.

When the Devils traded for Meier, there were a lot of questions surrounding the team’s expectations and how Lindy Ruff would slide him into the top six. Ruff told Pucks and Pitchforks recently that he knew Meier was clearly a big addition to the roster, but he was still focused on trying to grow the roster cohesively.

"“We want Timo to make us a better team,” Ruff said. “We’re having a good year, we know we’re surrounded by a lot of other good teams. We want to continue to get better and we want to continue to grow as a team. He’s a big piece for us now.”"

It’s evident that Meier likes to hang in front of the net and isn’t afraid to play aggressively. He possesses a beautiful shot which is why he’s able to produce huge scoring numbers. Meier explains his personal expectations moving forward, saying that it’s nice to have teammates that know how to create offense, so that way he can focus on his defense as well.

"“You want to be good in all three zones,” Meier said. “That’s the most important thing. You gotta play well defensively. If you play with guys like [Jesper] Bratt and Jack [Hughes] you don’t have to worry about the offense, that’s gonna come if you do a good job of getting pucks out of the zone and defend the right way. So, once we’re in the O-zone, that’s where we let our skill takeover.”"

Check out the full postgame (March 5th) discussion on a recent episode of Locked On Devils.

The Devils got Meier in order to add grit, toughness, and offense to their already well-established top-six lineup. Nico Hischier says that the ultimate goal hasn’t changed, even with the addition of Meier. However, he’s excited to see this team potentially reach its full potential.

"“We came into the season without Timo with high expectations,” Hischier said. “It’s no secret we want to make the playoffs, and we want to make a great playoff run. That’s our goal, and we have a couple of games left to finish the season strong and get better as a team. That’s what we’re focusing on right now, but in the locker room, we always had high expectations.”"

This has so far been an adjusting period for both Meier and the Devils organization. Because for the first time in a while, the Devils were buyers at the trade deadline. Meier will start to have a huge offensive surge come playoff time, which would be tremendous for the Devils. I know it’s still early in his Devils tenure, but I’m sure people expected just a tad bit better from Meier. Meier was brought on to help the Devils primarily in the playoffs. Let him settle his way into the organization for the rest of the season, and then come playoff time we might witness the vintage Meier from last season.