The New Jersey Devils made the huge trade deadline move to bring in Timo Meier. The cost was high, but it felt worth it. While the Devils were playing well, there seemed to be something missing. They didn’t want to just get another offensive weapon like Patrick Kane or Vladimir Tarasenko. Meier brings a toughness to the lineup they sorely need.
That was evident in the Devils Game 3 win over the New York Rangers. Meier was everywhere. While he didn’t score or even record a point, he was evident on every shift. The Devils needed to play with an edge their way. They tried to play with an edge the traditional way, and it didn’t work out.
Meier brings the type of edge the Devils can play around. Take out the penalty near the end of the second period, and this is exactly what the Devils need out of Meier.
The play that sticks out is when he crashes the net and runs over Igor Shesterkin. He was pushed into him by Braden Schneider, but rushing the net caused the ensuing play. That rush caused Schneider to stay behind and send an extra hit Meier’s way. That caused a scrum at the other side of the ice, which led to a Devils power play.
Meier tied for the team lead with five shots on Shesterkin. He also tied Dougie Hamilton with 10 individual chances for, three of which were high-danger chances. He had two recorded hits, but we know how hard it is to track down that stat. Still, we like seeing him up there, only trailing Curtis Lazar on the stat sheet. Meier also blocked a shot and recorded a takeaway without giving the puck away once.
The Devils needed someone to play with physicality. At the same time, they didn’t want to do it at the expense of offensive production. Meier proved on Saturday night that he can do both. He can bring that physicality and play within the offensive system. He has speed and skill for days, but he can also come off as a pest. He rarely crosses the line, but he doesn’t have to get the penalties in check.
The Devils are getting exactly what they bargained for at the trade deadline. Meier was the premium piece, and the Devils added him to be a superstar for a long time. Things were looking bleak for the Devils before Game 3. The Devils needed a spark. It came from the second newest member of the roster (along with Akira Schmid).