The all-star weekend has come and gone, and Jack Hughes couldn’t have represented the New Jersey Devils any better. In both events he participated in, his talent was on full display, and the NHL rewarded the young star by snubbing him of an MVP and first place. In the breakaway challenge, Hughes’s brought out a kid who’d be able to earn a spot in the Devils shootout lineup. As for the all-star game itself, Jack was one of the most notable players on the ice. He was tied with Flyers Captain Claude Giroux for most points in the all-star game tournament, yet Giroux took home MVP honors. Hughes represented the Devils franchise well from a performance standpoint, but his performances being overlooked for a larger market player/team represents the story of the Devils franchise.
Jack’s Magic Move
For the first time since 2016, the NHL decided to reincorporate the breakaway challenge in the all-star game, and boy did drop the ball on this one. The event is purely for entertainment purposes, which is why participants are encouraged to be as creative as possible and use costumes and props. For those who missed Jack’s act, he decided to use some “magic” in honor of Las Vegas. After missing on a breakaway, Jack had a big black box wheeled out on the ice and threw some equipment in. Once the magic trick was set to go, Hughes skated around the box a few times, and poof, a mini-Jack Hughes shot out of a black box. Mini Jack proceeded to score on the breakaway and do Jack’s signature move and toss his stick into the stands.
Was Jack’s act the best of the five? Just look up Anaheim Ducks rookie sensation Trevor Zegras’s move, and you’ll have your answer. But Jack’s was undoubtedly better than Alex Pietrangelo’s, who only took home 1st place because he’s a member of the hometown Vegas Golden Knights, and actor Jon Hamm awarded Pietrangelo 19 points, although the max is 10. Of course, it doesn’t matter that Jack didn’t win the contest, but it would have been nice since the Devils haven’t done all too much winning this season.
All-Star Game MVP snub
Not only was Hughes the youngest all-star game participant since 2011, but he finished with four points in the two games, which was tied for best with Claude Giroux. The Metropolitan Division were the biggest underdogs going into the tournament and were led by the representatives for the two worst teams in the division, being the Devils and Flyers.
In game one, Hughes finished with two goals, one being an empty netter that was assisted by Chris Kreider of the rival New York Rangers. The other goal was a chip shot over the Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko. It came off a beautiful feed from New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.
It was a lot of the same from Hughes in game two, making plays and having chemistry with rival Ranger Kreider. On the Metro’s third goal, Hughes made a beautiful pass to Kreider on a 2v1, and all he had to do was chip the puck into the empty net. Jack’s third goal of the day, a bar-down snipe on the breakaway, ended up being the game-winner for the Metropolitan Division. Yet, the tournament-winning goal, tie for the team lead in points, and being the youngest kid at all-star weekend wasn’t enough to award Jack the Most Valuable Player trophy.
A look ahead to next week
Monday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators marks the start of the second half for the Devils. It isn’t going to get any easier. On Sunday, it was announced that Jack Hughes is headed to Covid protocol, meaning the Devils are once again going to have to survive without Hughes. When Hughes first missed an extended amount of time, the Devils were able to navigate to a .500 record, and they’ll have to do it again. Followed by the game in Ottawa, they’ll travel to Montreal, then St. Louis, and will round out the week with a home game against the Penguins where Sidney Crosby will score his 500th career goal.
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