The New Jersey Devils need to get back on track ASAP

The second half of the season needs to be much better for the New Jersey Devils.
Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils
Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

There are a few teams that didn’t perform like they’d want to in the pre-All-Star Game portion of the schedule. One of them is the New Jersey Devils who are coming out of the break at 24-20-3. 

That is good for 51 points in the standings. They are five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third in the Metropolitan Division and seven points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the last Wild Card spot. 

Those are the two doors for them to get into the postseason so they have some work to do. It isn’t easy to make up ground in the NHL but that’s what they have to do if they want to be a postseason team. 

What are some of the issues that have caused them to be in this position? Well, injuries have played a big part in it. For one, Jack Hughes hasn’t played since January 5th and that is his second injury of the season. 

Things need to get better for the New Jersey Devils in the second half

The hope is that he returns as they come back from this break. He is their best player and helps make them a dangerous team when he is in the lineup. There are things that he can do offensively that only a handful of players in the league can. 

Nico Hischier, Timo Meier, Erik Haula, Ondrej Palat, and Tomas Nosek amongst others have also missed a fair amount of time throughout the year. 

Like Jack Hughes, Jonas Siegenthaler and Dougie Hamilton remain out. In the case of Hamilton, the Devils would have to make the playoffs for him to even have a chance at returning. Likely, he is out for the season. 

Another issue for them this season has been goaltending. Nico Daws has been up and down but he has only been back from his injury/the AHL for a few weeks. Before that, Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid formed the worst tandem in the league. 

It will be very interesting to see how Tom Fitzgerald handles the trade deadline. Will he be a buyer or stay put based on how this team plays between now and then? Is there even a world where he is a seller? That is something to consider too. 

Their first game back will come on Tuesday. It will be a home match against the Colorado Avalanche who are one of the best teams in the league. If the Devils can find a way to get a win in this one, it will be a great start to what needs to be a winning second half.