Will the New Jersey Devils make a deal before this season’s April 3rd trade deadline?
Only General Manager Lou Lamoriello has the answer to that all important question and of course, he isn’t talking on that subject.
However, the Devils also are not winning. At the start of the lockout shortened season, the team appeared to pick up where it left off from last year’s dramatic and unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Finals. The players seemed to be bent on proving to all the naysayers that their playoff performance last spring was not a fluke.
So what happened? After a comeback win against the rival Philadelphia Flyers on February 15th, the Devils have only won once in the last five games, including a shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators. In those games, they have only scored a total of six goals.
Even before the team hit the skids, goal production was an area of concern after the free agent departure of workhorse Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild over the summer. However, the Devils do have players that are extremely capable of putting the puck in the net, Ilya Kovalchuck, Patrick Elias, and Travis Zajac to name a few. They just haven’t been getting the job done lately.
“When you’re losing,” Coach Pete DeBoer said in an interview with the Star-Ledger, “You’re not comfortable with the entire group. I don’t think we’re as bad as our record over the last five or six games indicates. And I think we probably weren’t as good as our record through the first six or seven games indicates.”
DeBoer has been juggling the lines in search of that magic combination, but hasn’t found it yet.
The answer to their scoring woes seems to be adding another top gun forward to help jump start the failing offense.
Obviously, you have to give up something to get something and the higher the quality of the player, the higher the price.
Only time will tell if Lamoriello will make a trade within the next few weeks before the NHL’s deadline. In past seasons, he has done just that.
In the meantime, the Devils need to find what they lost a couple of weeks ago because valuable points are slipping away.