New Jersey Devils Drop Game 2 To Arizona Coyotes

Oct 13, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal with center Jack Hughes (86) against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal with center Jack Hughes (86) against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Jersey Devils fell in a shootout 4-3 to the always-bad Coyotes on night two of their season. This is not a good look, but all things considered, three points out of four isn’t bad. It was against two probably less-than-stellar teams, and this didn’t look like the same team from preseason.

The Good

The Devils have had two games and two good goaltending performances, which was a big question mark going into the season. The team started slow again and Akira Schmid, much like Vitek Vanecek Thursday night, held this team in the game early with multiple massive saves. In the second, he also came up massive on a two-on-one robbing Matias Maccelli.

Jesper Bratt hit a crossbar in the first, scored a pair of goals in the second, and almost completed the hat trick on a breakaway. The guy was on fire on Friday night, and Jack Hughes made it look easy when he made a pass on a 2-on-1 as the two continued their ridiculous chemistry.

They carried the team points-wise again and are a big reason the Devils have three points on the season. They also both drew penalties by being so fast and just moving their legs at all times. That makes them a constant threat to blow by the opposition, so defenders will have to use their sticks to slow them or clutch and grab giving this team opportunities on a nightly basis.

Dougie Hamilton let another cannon go and already has two goals on the season and has been the Devils’ best defender unsurprisingly. As a whole, the defense was pretty good on the night all around despite a few hiccups but once they settle in this team could be very good on the back end.

The Bad

This team started slow in both games to start the season. While it is only two games, the team can’t afford to make this a habit. They need to wake up for puck drop next game.

The game had some very weak penalty calls again for both teams. The Devils should have noticed right away everything was going to be called especially stick infractions. Timo Meier’s slash was not smart, and he should have known better late in the game. The team already got into enough penalty trouble early in the game. While some were unlucky, they made it too easy on the refs to call things. That being said, the calls in overtime were bad. While yes, Dougie Hamilton tripped somebody, John Marino was hauled down seconds before, and they let it go for some reason. Inconsistency is bad.

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The Line of Hischier, Meier, and Mercer was bad again. They generated nothing. They had Holtz with them in the preseason, and it went great. Then switched it up for the regular season, and it got worse, so the team should (if Holtz is okay after taking a puck to the face) consider moving him back with the pair of Swiss players and giving them a few regular season games. The team’s third line has been okay, but forward depth was supposed to be their calling card going into the season, and it can’t just be the Hughes line carrying the team.