The New Jersey Devils, already off to a 3-0-2 start, got even better Thursday when 2012 playoff hero Adam Henrique took the ice for the first time this season.
Henrique had been out since late November, when he had to have thumb surgery after an injury suffered while playing for the Albany Devils in the AHL. In 16 AHL games he had five goals and three assists, while waiting for the lockout to end. After one AHL season in Albany, Henrique spent almost the entire 2011-12 season with New Jersey, scoring 16 goals while notching 51 points. He made himself known to the entire league during the 2012 playoffs, scoring the double-overtime goal that eliminated the Florida Panthers and then later also scoring the overtime goal that eliminated the New York Rangers. He finished with five goals and 13 points in the playoffs, as the Devils fell just short of winning the Stanley Cup.
The Devils haven’t had a problem winning games this season, despite being 21st in goals per game. David Clarkson, Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk have led the way so far, and Henrique’s return will be a big boost. Martin Brodeur is having another great season in net, and has been the difference in getting at least a point out of four games decided by one goal.
The team sent tough guy Cam Janssen to Albany to clear a roster spot for Henrique, and young defenseman Adam Larsson also made his season debut tonight. Coach Pete DeBoer will likely limit Henrique’s minutes tonight and keep him on the third or fourth line, but expect to see him on the second line soon and used on the power play frequently.