New Jersey Devils: Another Injury Could Put Team In A Bind

The New Jersey Devils have had terrible injury luck this season. Now, another injury could make them shorthanded at the forward position.

New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer, defenseman Luke Hughes, and Timo Meier before the game.
New Jersey Devils center Dawson Mercer, defenseman Luke Hughes, and Timo Meier before the game. / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Jersey Devils had a terrible night on Saturday. They lost to the Boston Bruins. While that was bad enough, it was made even worse since they had a 2-0 lead, but Vitek Vanecek blew the lead. It was the second half of a back-to-back, which has been a problem with the Devils all season. The loss isn't terribly surprising, but the way it happened was an upsetting way to end the year.

The game was bad, but it was made worse by the news we learned in the third period. It started with Alexander Holtz playing on the line with Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer. That broke up the MMM line. That wouldn't be too surprising because Lindy Ruff has broken up lines too early in the past. Also, they didn't have a good game before the injury.

Oh yeah, the injury. The reason Holtz was on the line is not because Coach Ruff put the lines in a blender again. It's because Timo Meier played just 16 seconds in the third period. He stayed in the locker room, and we have no idea why.

After the game, Meier was top of mind for the reporters. They asked Ruff if he could elaborate on the injury. In true Devils fashion, we got no information. We don't know what the injury is, why it took until the intermission to become a serious issue, and if he was going for further tests.

This is especially bad because of who it's impacting. The Devils have already dealt with a Meier injury. To be frank, they've dealt with most injuries this season. Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier both missed time. Dougie Hamilton is probably out for the regular season. Nolan Foote hasn't seen the light of day since getting hurt in the preseason. Now, Meier could miss time for the second time this season.

Meier was finally looking like himself for the first time since he returned from injury. He went into a terrible slump after surprisingly missing a game earlier this month. Then, he found his way on a line with McLeod and Mercer. Since then, he had four goals in five games. That includes the most recent game where he missed the third period.

Prior to that, Meier went goalless in nine games. So, if the injury does impact his play again, it's like the Devils are missing a player for twice as long. Meier was one of the worst players on the ice prior to his hot streak. Now, he's a game changer. If he misses time or turns back into the bad player, that's really bad news for the Devils. It's even worse because it happened during Meier's 500th game.

For now, we have to take a "wait-and-see" approach. It could be minor and the pain was too much to bear this period. However, with the luck the Devils have had with injuries this season, we're not confident.

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