The New Jersey Devils took down the Columbus Blue Jackets by a finals score of 8-1. They outshot them 36-17, showing it was a very well-played game for New Jersey. The offense was as good as it gets for this Devils team. Some would assume a lack of motivation could impact a team already primed for playoff positioning playing the worst team in the league. On the contrary, it seemed as if Devils players were motivated by the fact that they could reach major milestones this year. It really makes you realize that the Devils have some outstanding players on this team.
First off, Timo Meier was a player that actually reached his milestone in this one as he scored two goals to become a 40-goal scorer for the first time in his NHL career. That is an amazing accomplishment, as it is really hard to do.
Meier scored 31 of those goals with the San Jose Sharks and 9 of them with the New Jersey Devils. This is turning out to be a really good trade for Tom Fitzgerald. It will be interesting to see how many more he scores this season and how impactful he will be in the playoffs.
Everything seemed to go right for the New Jersey Devils’ offense.
Meier’s countryman Nico Hischier can reach 80 points this season with a strong final week. He came into this game against Columbus needing five more points over the final four games. Well, he got two to reach 77.
Hischier only needs three more to reach 80. If he gets there, you’d think that it would help his Selke Trophy case, which he absolutely is in the conversation for despite the narrative around Patrice Bergeron. Hischier is so good on defense as a forward, and now that the offense is there, he is a true superstar.
Jesper Bratt collected an assist in this game, earning him his 70th point. He has been the model of consistency this year and will only get better as the years go on. It will be fun to watch him in the playoffs again.
Now, the main person we will discuss here is Jack Hughes. He came into the night with 91 points. Of course, 9 points in four games to reach 100 seemed like a large ask from New Jersey’s best player. That was until he had two goals and two assists for four points in the win over Columbus. It was one of his best games of the season as he was absolutely flying.
Hughes sits at 95 points with three games left. He has a chance to reach that century mark which is the true sign of an elite season from an elite player. People will think that way about the 21-year-old anyway, but it would be nice to see him get there.
That isn’t it for Hughes, either. Those 95 points are the second most in Devils’ history. He is only one point shy of Patrik Elias’s all-time mark in franchise history. With two more points, he will break that record.
All of these guys are great players and have played big roles in New Jersey, reaching the 50-win mark for only the second time in franchise history. The most in franchise history is 51. With three games left, breaking that record is certainly possible.
That quest will continue on Saturday night, and it will be a huge test. They will be on the road to take on the Boston Bruins who are one of the only teams in the league that New Jersey hasn’t beaten yet.
The Bruins are the best team in the league in terms of wins, points, and pretty much everything else. They are also trying to make history as the winningest regular season team of all time, so they will bring their best. It should be an amazing match.