2 Takeaways From New Jersey Devils Series With the Pittsburgh Penguins


The New Jersey Devils went into their three-game collection towards the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 20 two nights after dropping 4 straight to the New York Rangers, extending a two-game shedding streak to 6. With Mackenzie Blackwood out with an upper-body damage, the crew referred to as on Scott Wedgewood and Aaron Dell in web for the primary two video games to point out their expertise, hopeful to alter the momentum and begin this subsequent collection off on the proper foot. Because the collection ultimately resulted in three extra losses to deliver the shedding streak to 9 straight, let’s check out some takeaways from this collection.

When the Targets Occur, They’re Too Late; Too Many Are Being Let In

Sport 1 did something however take that robust first step as the primary interval resulted in a 4-0 Penguins lead, some powerful ones to make it even worse. The Devils took residence one more loss after pulling Wedgewood for Aaron Dell after the primary. Though the hassle confirmed ultimately as they scored six targets within the third interval, it was too late to chop the deficit the Penguins already placed on them, finally shedding 7-6.

As for the following sport, the targets by no means actually confirmed up. Matt Tennyson notched his first of the season, a slapshot within the first to tie it up after Sidney Crosby’s aim 41 seconds in to offer the Penguins the early lead, however that was it for Devils scoring. Dell began this one however Wedgewood ended up enjoying the second half of the sport, as Pittsburgh scored two within the first and three within the second to as soon as once more give New Jersey nearly no likelihood of coming again. This one ended 5-1, one other exhibiting that they should put extra behind the online and the goaltending must be higher, particularly with Blackwood out.

Aaron Dell, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Jack Hughes acquired his eleventh of the season and second of the collection and Miles Wooden continued his spectacular run together with his fifteenth on the season in Sport 3, however each got here too late once more. The Devils have been already three targets down earlier than they may web one, finally resulting in a 4-2 loss.

The hassle appears to be there, however the communication is off. They have been with out P.Ok. Subban and Ty Smith all the collection, gamers which were key to the crew, however that doesn’t clarify all the pieces. Wedgewood, like Blackwood, regarded like he wanted extra consciousness on the ice in each video games he performed. Letting in 4 targets in simply the primary interval is just not the extent he must be at, and would have helped a ton as soon as the Devils ultimately began to attain in that sport on April 20. The identical goes for Dell; though he has not performed as many video games the crew wants strong backup when Blackwood’s not in web, one thing that has been a recurring battle this season.

Nathan Bastian New Jersey Devils
Nathan Bastian, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Pertaining to the positives that helped the Devils each offensively and defensively, Nathan Bastain was noticeable this collection together with his third aim of the season and bodily play. He led the crew in hits all three video games with 4, eight and 6. So as to add to that, Connor Carrick has been a defensive standout subsequent to Will Butcher since his readmittance to the Devils lineup with just a few blocks per sport. 

New Jersey had 30 or extra pictures in every sport (30, 31, 36) and outshot their opponent in all however one, the place the Penguins had yet one more shot than them. It was particularly obvious in Sport 2, the place the Devils ended up with eight extra pictures than the Penguins. Whereas captain Nico Hischier and Hughes’ face-off wins fluctuated all through the collection, they each raked up a bunch of pictures together with Will Butcher and Bastain. So the pictures are there, and it’s confirmed that they will rating ultimately, however it’s all coming method too late to offer them any likelihood at a win. All of it must be higher.

They Want Extra Management From Hischier and Others

The Devils may benefit from just a little extra affect from veteran gamers and Hischier, particularly after Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac have been traded to the New York Islanders. He has not performed that many video games as captain but, however it could assist the crew general as soon as he settles into the place extra and actually focuses on main them. He does have 4 targets and two assists this season between his accidents, one in every of which got here as a power-play aim in the course of the first sport of this collection. It will be good to see extra from him each the management and delivering as a prime participant facet, as it could have helped on this streak of video games.

Nico Hischier New Jersey Devils
Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It is a younger crew now after the commerce deadline. New Jersey must look on these gamers like Hughes to step up and assist present some cohesion to this crew. Lacking Smith this collection was a unfavourable due to the hassle he’s supplied in his standout rookie season. Andreas Johnsson is now the oldest ahead at 26-years-old and Subban is the oldest defenseman at 31. A mix of those extra skilled gamers alongside Hischier is what’s wanted to excel sooner or later, and once more may have made the distinction towards Pittsburgh.

Solely a Few Video games Left

There was another positives, like Nolan Foote’s first NHL aim on April 20 and Yegor Sharangovich’s aim and help that very same evening the place a bunch of Devils took residence factors, however primarily it was not a superb streak for them. Targets want to come back earlier, targets have to be prevented and management is barely going to assist these conditions. There’s solely the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders left on the Devils’ checklist earlier than the season is over. As a lot won’t enhance at this level, there are tons to stay up for for a hopeful enchancment subsequent season. This collection must be put behind them and solely stay up for attempting to finish the yr with just a few extra factors.


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