The New Jersey Devils have been one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference so far this season as goaltender Martin Brodeur continues to be one of the best in the game despite being 40 years old. The Devils have also been boosted by a strong offense, led by Ilya Kovalchuk, David Clarkson and 2012 playoff hero Adam Henrique.
Henrique missed the first three games of the season while recovering from a thumb injury he suffered while playing in the AHL during the NHL lockout. He scored a goal against the New York Islanders in his first game back, and now has points in six of the eight games he has played in this season, including a five-game point streak. His four goals are good enough for third on the team, and a year after finishing third to Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers in Calder Trophy voting, Henrique is showing he is not only one of the best players on New Jersey’s roster but is also one of the best young stars in the game.
Henrique scored three game-winning goals during the Devils’ run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, with two of them also being series-winning goals. He scored the goal that eliminated the Florida Panthers in double overtime of the seventh game in the first round and later scored an overtime goal in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals to send the New York Rangers packing. He has one game-winner this season (against the Pittsburgh Penguins) and two points on the power play as he continues to be an asset for the Devils in all situations. There was some concern about his injury heading into the season, but he has shown no ill-effects from it and should continue to be a huge contributor for the Devils the rest of the season.
New Jersey faces a tough match-up against the division rival Philadelphia Flyers tonight as they try and pad their lead in the standings.