The New Jersey Devils are a very impressive hockey team right now. Last season, they had the third most points in the league and won a round in the playoffs against their biggest rival. It took one of the two teams that had more points than them to eliminate them.
That is very impressive for a team that is one of the youngest in the NHL. They went out this summer and made themselves even better which is truly cool to see. They are Stanley Cup contenders and are going to be for a long time.
They played in game one of their season on Thursday night at home against the Detroit Red Wings. They pulled out a big win by a final score of 4-3. They had a sluggish start but started to really heat up as they got into the second period.
The New Jersey Devils really stepped up and earned a big win on Thursday.
Every player on the team was good enough for the team to win but a few players had really solid games in the opener. These three stick out above the rest:
1. Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes made a name for himself in 2022-23 as one of the top players in the entire NHL. It looks like he is ready to take that a step further in 2023-24. He scored two goals on Thursday and they were the first two goals of New Jersey’s season.
They were also both incredibly spectacular to see as he made two plays that very few people in the world can. He is going to lead this team in scoring this year and is going to score a lot of goals in the meantime. Without him, they wouldn’t win this game.
2. Jonas Siegenthaler
A lot of people expect Jonas Siegenthaler to be a stay-at-home defensive defenseman. He is that on a usual basis but he is clearly capable of contributing on offense. That showed in a big way on Thursday night as he had three assists.
Getting involved in the offense is important for almost everyone from time to time and Siegenthaler is one of the people who can do that. Don’t expect multi-point efforts from him every night but you can expect him to make a play if one is there for him to make.
3. Vitek Vanecek
The New Jersey Devils had a lot of people questioning their goaltending during the off-season. Vitek Vanecek had to have heard it all and he responded in a big way on opening night. He made 32 saves on 35 shots.
Yes, he gave up three goals but they were largely not his fault and he kept this team in the game when the Red Wings dominated play in the first period. If he hadn’t given the team in front of him time to get their legs under him, this game would have had a very different result.
The Devils need Vanecek and Akira Schmid to be outstanding this year. Both of them are going to be big pieces to the puzzle. Thursday was a good sign for Vanecek coming into this year and he should be proud.
New Jersey is back in action on Friday night when they take on the Arizona Coyotes at home. It should be a lot of fun to see how this goes against them. Will the three stars of the game look a lot different? With the depth of this team, count on it.