The New Jersey Devils came into Saturday’s night game on a low note. Their loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night made it three losses in a row. It also was their seventh loss in their previous nine games. Most of the losing came without Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier.
They at one point had a 7-3-1 record before the injuries started to pile up. Injuries to consequential players like Hughes and Hischier will always cause issues in terms of wins and losses. There is a reason that winning those lotteries was so big for them.
Hughes came back from injury last Saturday against the New York Rangers. The Devils played a good game but some bad goaltending late in the third period cost them the game. It was starting to become more and more clear that they needed Hischier back.
Jack Hughes is the team’s superstar. He scores a ton of points and brings a sense of flare to his game. He is one of the best players in the NHL.
The New Jersey Devils are lucky to have Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier
Hischier had 80 points last season which is a great total but he isn’t really expected to be pushing 100 like some of the other stars in the league. Think of guys like Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, and Anze Kopitar when comparing Hischier to someone.
He is an elite two-way forward. Last year, he came in second place for the Selke Trophy which goes to the best defensive forward in the league. He only lost to Bergeron who somewhat became a perennial winner of the award.
It is nice to get all of that offense from Hughes but Hischier is just as important to the team. His ability to bring elite play in all three zones is amongst the best of any player to ever put on a New Jersey sweater which is saying something because there have been some good ones.
Nico returned on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres after missing 11 games and his impact was felt right away. For one, the home crowd at the Prudential Center was so happy to see him. Everybody loves the captain. It seemed his presence also put a little extra jump into his teammates.
It is nice knowing that your all-world two-way centerman is back in action. It showed in the way the team played too. All of the wingers in the top nine love having all of the centers lined up in the right spot. It showed with how well they all played.
The Devils played their best game of the season. They held the Sabres to 12 shots on goal and won the game by a final score of 7-2. Everybody played as well as they possibly could and the results showed.
In his return, Hischier scored a goal and had an assist. His ability to dominate games showed as he is finally healthy. It is very obvious that he is just as important to the Devils as Hughes although the points not might be the same. There is a lot to hockey and Hischier is good at it all. It is good to have him back.