5 Questions New Jersey Devils Must Answer In Playoffs

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with defenseman Dougie Hamilton (7) and center Dawson Mercer (91) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with defenseman Dougie Hamilton (7) and center Dawson Mercer (91) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86): Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

 Question 4: Will Jack Hughes Take That Next Step?

The New Jersey Devils will go where Jack Hughes takes them. While they have stars up and down the lineup, Hughes is clearly the top guy. He just tied the New Jersey Devils franchise record for points in a season. He and Patrik Elias both have 96 points in their top season. Hughes needs one more point to break that franchise record.

Elias did that in 2000-01, a year where the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Final. The Colorado Avalanche won the Cup, but Elias kept his scoring going. He had 23 points in 25 games, the most points Elias ever had in a postseason.

It’s too much to ask Hughes to score like that in his first postseason. Elias did have five points in his first postseason performance, which lasted eight games total. Hughes just needs to show he has superstar tendencies in this year’s playoffs.

This is especially true if the Devils are facing the Rangers in the first round. We do not want to hear from our arch-nemesis if Hughes doesn’t dominate. It’s hard to imagine Hughes falling off that much. His brother is now here. There’s no reason to feel pressure. He should be light and breezy.