3 New Jersey Devils Players Igniting a Late Surge

The New Jersey Devils are making one last push at the end of the 2023-24 regular season. These three players are sparking their late surge.
Timo Meier
Timo Meier / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s an understatement to say the New Jersey Devils have been disappointing this season. They have underachieved in 2023-24 following a strong 2022-23 season. Almost everything has gone wrong this season, from injuries, to terrible goaltending, to struggling defense, to the disappearance of the power play, and more. What's puzzling is that the Devils tend to play up to the level of great teams and play down to the level of bad teams. They have been inconsistent and frustrating, and they will likely miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Despite their struggles, the Devils have hung around just below the surface of the playoff race. They seemed dead in the water for a chunk of March. But the team seems to have a renewed spark, propelling a late surge near the end of the regular season. The Devils have won four of their last five games. To make the playoffs, the Devils would have to beat out several other teams above them and below them for that spot. It's improbable, but the Devils are making one last push.

Even though they probably won’t make the playoffs, it’s still positive to see what the players are capable of and what they’ll hopefully bring to the table next season. Several players have found a different gear lately. Here are three Devils providing a spark during the last few weeks of the 2023-24 season.

1. Timo Meier

For much of the 2023-24 season, Devils fans wondered what happened to the Timo Meier the Devils traded for last season. Injuries and questionable coaching decisions kept the power forward from contributing to the team. Lately, a healthy Meier has changed the narrative. He has nine points in his last five games, with five goals and four assists. He has 17 points in his last 12 games.

Meier is contributing in multiple ways. His game has been noticeably more physical than it was earlier in the season. He has 21 hits in his last 10 games. In the Devils’ March 24 win over the New York Islanders, Meier took issue with Anders Lee’s bad hit on Nico Hischier and started a fight with the Islanders’ captain. While it isn’t ideal to have one of the team’s best players off the ice for 17 minutes, Meier made an important statement when he stood up for his captain.

Although health has been a big factor, coaching has been another. Meier struggled under Lindy Ruff’s system. Travis Green isn’t the long-term answer, but at least for now, he’s giving Meier opportunities to be the power forward he can be. It’s clear what a healthy Timo Meier can do.