Another sub-par week for the New Jersey Devils has come to its conclusion. This week saw the Devils go 1-2, with the boys in red scoring a whopping five goals in three games. To further highlight the struggles of their current offense, all five goals came in their 5-3 victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Devils opened their week by getting shutout 3-0 in Vancouver by Roberto Luongo, and then ended the week with a 3-0 loss to the Rangers in their return home from the west coast.
Despite another week of under-performing, the real concern has to be the injury sustained by Martin Brodeur in the second period of Wednesday night’s contest against the Blackhawks. After saving a shot by Patrick Kane, Chicago winger Troy Brouwer hit Brodeur on the elbow with his stick. Marty stayed in the game after being looked at by the team trainer, but he immediately took himself out of the game during the next stoppage of play. Brodeur thought he would be able to return to action on Friday night after his injury was described merely as a bruised elbow, but that was not the case as Johan Hedberg manned the net in Friday’s loss to the Blueshirts.
At this point, the Devils laundry list of injuries is almost laughable. Although it appears as if Brodeur will be returning to action shortly, his injury probably put the heart of every Devils’ fan in their respective throats. That injury would have sealed this season as a lost cause. However, all is not lost as there looks to be hope on the horizon. Brian Rolston – who has been out since October 9th with a sports hernia – practiced in full for the first time this week. Matt Corrente was also practicing with his fractured hand, and he will bring some much needed toughness to the defensive corps upon his return to the lineup.
We all know we won’t be seeing Zach Parise for another three months, but getting some of players back from injury will add some consistency to the lineup. John MacLean has had to juggle line combinations almost every night, making it hard for any of the players to develop legitimate chemistry with one another. Moreover, adding inexperienced rookies to the mix just further complicates things because they are thrown into the fire and must quickly become accustomed to the fast pace of the NHL. I believe that veterans like Rolston and Bryce Salvador – when he returns – will add stability to the Devils lineup.
So Devils fans, after 15 games I don’t think it’s time to hit the panic button just yet. Ilya Kovalchuk is too good of a talent to stay dormant for an extended period of time. Martin Brodeur is still going to keep us in most games. Let’s just continue to keep at it and string together some good performances in the next few games at home against Buffalo on Wednesday night and Edmonton on Friday.
About the Author
Written by Matt Pellicane
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. While at Quinnipiac, I covered various sporting events on campus for the online newspaper The Quad News. I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey and have been an avid sports fan all of my life. I am a fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Boston Celtics.