Assessing New Jersey Devils Performance Since Travis Green Took Over

The New Jersey Devils fired Lindy Ruff this week, giving the reigns to Travis Green. How have things looked different since?

St Louis Blues v New Jersey Devils
St Louis Blues v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils are 1-1 (going into Saturday's game against Carolina) since firing Lindy Ruff and letting his assistant Travis Green take over. While that is a very small sample size, the team has also done a lot and spoken a lot more since then, so today let's dive into this.

First of all, we do wish the best of luck to Lindy Ruff and will say he always seemed like a very nice guy. Hopefully, he can find another job if that is what he wants, and if not, then he enjoys a long retirement after coaching for so long.

The team still puts out some weird lines. Alex Holtz playing with AHL players on the 4th line is just going to be a thing, and we need to accept it, but it is also weird to see Dawson Mercer on a third line with AHL players, especially with Tyler Toffoli out. The team can't be thinking highly of either, but not having them at least together with Curtis Lazar as a center to form a competent third line is a tragedy. The comments made by the team on Alexander Holtz also sound like they are moving him in any deal they can with how down on him they are. It is not smart to keep the guy drafted to be a sniper away from one of our elite centers.

On a positive note, it's Timo time finally. Timo Meier has been improving over the last while, and these last two games have been his best. That being said, hearing that he was not 100% till the last 10 games was not surprising. The guy couldn't skate, and if they just let him heal, he probably would have been back to this far sooner, and they would have been far better off with half a season of him at this speed than a nearly full one at what we got. Also, it is absolutely nuts that a guy who said he wants to play right wing gets a hat trick on his first game back to his natural position. Fans, It might not always be right, but it doesn't look too good on an organization that didn't figure that out when everyone else did months ago. He also has started to play that strong front-of-the-net game and toss his weight around like he did as a Shark. He looks like the guy we paid big for.

Sitting Simon Nemec or any young defender is fine if they are banged up or for load management reasons. The NHL is a tough league, and going from some of these junior leagues/programs or even European leagues to the NHL can mean you play twice as many games. What really irked a lot of Devils fans was saying his play dipped and that is the reason. Everyone on defense has been terrible, and quite frankly, Nemec has been one of the better ones, if not the best, and the underlying numbers back all of this up. It is also painful to see how many pucks the team gives up and Nemec has the least giveaways on the team so maybe don't punish him for that?

Sitting Toffoli while waiting for a trade is smart since the season is cooked regardless. The guy is a great sniper and will help another team in a big way. However, his age and the big contract he's about to get are not right for the Devils.