It’s been a rough season for the Devils. Coming off a playoff season last year, the fans had high hopes but those hopes have disappeared. Instead, other hopes have begun to stir (like tanking for draft picks, but that’s another conversation). Despite what is shaping up to ultimately be a lost season, it has been such a roller coaster for the team and the fans and it feels good to finally get a win at home.
The Devils last win at home was back on January 14th, where they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 8-5 in what was a spectacular hockey game. Over the past 5 home games after that victory, it’s been dismal. The most upsetting loss was the one to the Los Angeles Kings on February 5th (because, you know, Kovalchuk). I was actually at that game and when Kovalchuk of all people scored, it was heartbreaking.
But, yesterday the Devils got the win. They got the win against a tough Carolina Hurricanes team, who have a lot of weapons: Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teräväinen, Jordan Martinook. All of the Devils players played strong, especially the number one star of the game Nico Hischier, who had a three point game. Goaltending also was a plus for the Devils yesterday. Keith Kinkaid stopped 33 of 35 shots on goal, posting a save percentage of .943 for the day. The win came at a good time, because the Devils are getting ready for a 3 game road trip over the next few days.
Despite getting a win, it does have it’s down side. The Devils have a next to nothing chance of making the playoffs this year. With that being said, they do have a high chance of getting the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL entry draft (bring on Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko!) I understand it’s tough for fans to get behind their team losing. However, losing has its positives. The Devils are in a rebuild period and during a rebuild period, not everything can be great.
It was sad to see Brian Boyle go to the Nashville Predators, but the return on that was worth it. Hughes and Kakko are two impressive prospects that would bring a lot of needed offense to the team. The Devils definitely struggle on offense and with shooting the puck.
Adding these players, along with making any other necessary trades can make the team so much better in the long run, because we do hope to win the Stanley Cup again one day…
Stats: nhl.com; thehockeywriters.com; Photos: sportsnet.ca; Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports