The New Jersey Devils have had a very interesting start to the season. Things were going well early, then they were bitten by the injury bug. Things started to get better over the last week though as they came into Thursday’s game on a two-game winning streak.
That Thursday game took place on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils won the game in overtime thanks to an amazing play by Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Luke Hughes. The younger Hughes brother scored the winner.
They blew a 3-1 lead in that game which is why it went to overtime in the first place. They got the win in the end though which is always the end goal in hockey. Their now three-game winning streak had to have them feeling good.
They had to play the second half of a back-to-back on Friday night. They liked their chances against the San Jose Sharks who are the worst team in the league right now. However, the Sharks have been much better lately and it showed in this game.
The Devils didn’t play well enough in all areas of the game to get the win. San Jose ended up snapping the win streak by a final score of 6-3. It was a tremendous game for them and one that left New Jersey looking for answers.
This team needs to play better on a game-to-game basis if they want to be in the playoffs by the time the season is over. They have a few days off now to get things right.
The New Jersey Devils are a team that has a lot going on with them right now
Dougie Hamilton has missed the last handful of games due to injury. On Friday, the Devils announced that he would be out indefinitely after having successful surgery on his left pectoral muscle. This is a tough injury for the Devils to have right now.
This is an injury that could keep him out anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Hamilton has been amazing for the Devils since signing with them in free agency so this isn’t good news. So far this season (20 games played for him), he has five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.
That is great production for him as a defenseman but it is even more impressive knowing that Luke Hughes has taken over the QB role on the top power-play unit. Hopefully, Hamilton will be back soon.
They also announced that Tomas Nosek is going to be out indefinitely as well as he underwent surgery on his right foot. It will be interesting to see how long the forward is going to miss games.
Timo Meier returned from injury in Friday night’s loss to his old team. That is good news as Meier’s game will always help the Devils be a better team. As he gets his legs under him again over the next few games, it’d be nice to see him stay healthy.
The Devils were missing Brendan Smith on Friday and will be missing him again on Tuesday as he is suspended for two games for an incident that occurred in the Philadelphia game. He slashed Flyers forward Travis Konecny in a way that warranted supplemental discipline.
With that and the Hamilton news, they needed help on the back end. They finally called up 2022 second-overall pick Simon Nemec to make his NHL debut.
Nemec was incredible in his first NHL game. He was a shooting machine and he made outstanding passes to his teammates throughout the game. He will only get better over time at defense but his offensive skills are great right away.
There were even a few times that Nemec and Luke Hughes were out there together. Both of them have the potential to be stars in this league so it is great to see them develop the way that they have.
Nemec collected two assists in his first game for his first two career points. It would have been nice for him to be a part of a win in his first game but he played well regardless. There will be plenty of games won in the future with him on the blue line.
The New Jersey Devils are off for a few days. They have a few days to regroup, practice, and be ready for a big-time road trip. They are leaving for Western North America to take on the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Kraken, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers.
The first one against the Canucks will be very special for the Hughes family. Jack Hughes has already played against Quinn Hughes a few times but this will be the first time that all three Hughes brothers are involved.
These are four tough teams that the Devils must play well against to win. It is a good chance for them to get back on track and feel good about their game. They have won three of their last four which is something to build on.