New Jersey Devils: Pucks and Pitchforks Massive Playoff Preview

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) high fives a fan after the game against the Vancouver Canucks at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) high fives a fan after the game against the Vancouver Canucks at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils, Nico HIschier
Nico Hischier #13 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

3. What’s one thing, as a Devils fan, you want to see happen?

Villano: I want to see the Devils sweep the Rangers, obviously. If we’re being realistic, I want to see a Jack Hughes hat trick.

Parise: I want to see Nico Hischier rise above. We know he is the second-best player on the team behind Jack Hughes, but the gap isn’t as large as people may think. The captain shining in this series would be huge.

Rice: One thing to happen – I’d like to cover at least two rounds of the playoffs after not covering any for the past five seasons. Also, would like to see the HC get an extension, no matter how far the team goes from here. He’s earned that, at least, after guiding the team to (insert one of the many accomplishments here). The Devils have been in the top-5 of the NHL standings since late November and never looked back or dropped out.

Borges Jr.: I want to see the Devils put up a fight. Many fans and experts say the Devils are not tough enough to make a deep playoff run. They are small and fast but not as tough as other teams in the playoffs right now. I want to see them prove people wrong, have a spine, and hit back when necessary. I am not calling for Hanson Brothers-level fighting. However, hitting back is a must come this part of the year.

DeLuca: Devils fans in MSG. Believe me, I know. The prices are higher than Prudential Center. But they invade NJ constantly. They finally got a taste of that in November 2022. Bring it in the playoffs! It’s time to push back in the stands.

Stanislau: Jacob Trouba falls short on his head-hunting expedition while Kevin Bahl knocks him out cold.

Bailey: Given how ineffective most of the Devils lefthanded defensemen have been, especially lately, I want to see Luke Hughes get a chance to play.

Annaluru: I’d love to see a home win in Game 1. Obviously, you want the team to win, but winning the first home playoff game in 5 years would be huge and give a ton of momentum for the team.

Williams: I want to see the young guys without previous playoff experience step up here and prove everybody wrong. The knock on New Jersey is the lack of playoff experience. I want them to shut out that noise and prove people wrong.

Goldstein: During this series, I want to see the resurgence of the BMW line. While they’ve been frustrating of late, people forget how great they were during the team’s 13-game win streak. Teams who go for in the playoffs are deep, and if the Devils want to be a major contender, they need decent production out of their 4th line.

Garrison: One thing I would love to happen in this series is Tomas Tatar contributing essential plays in this series. Tatar needs a rebound playoff performance run after not contributing during the 2021 Canadiens playoff run.

Holiday: Let’s see Jack Hughes dominate. This team needs him to be a playoff player moving forward, but also because all the Kaako is better Ranger fans on that draft day/year would be annoyed.

Fink: I personally want to see the Devils light up Igor Shesterkin. The combination of getting in his head at the rock with the infamous (and very loud) “Iiiigorrrr” heckles and also the Devils piling in goals would be awesome.

Russell: The Devils to play solid hockey and not look nervous. They are very young so I am expecting to see some nerves.

Woo: Bench-clearing brawl. This Hudson River rivalry is intense. Let’s kick it up a notch!