Should New Jersey Devils’ First Line Be Separated?
The first line on the New Jersey Devils has been the only one that has produced among all three forwards. Between Jaromir Jagr, Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus, they have five goals. The other three lines have a combined six goals, which includes three from Damien Brunner. So should Peter DeBoer look into moving those players around to provide a more all-around offensive game?
The Devils as a whole have had serious troubles scoring. They have been shut out twice already this season. They continue to get complacent any time they have any kind of lead. In their current six losses, they had the the lead in four of them. That kind of choke job cannot be tolerated from such a veteran team.
The severe slumps of the other nine forwards are alarming. So much was expected of some of these players when the opportunities were given with the defections of Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson. As has been said before, Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique need to provide much more than they have offensively. Ryane Clowe has not lived up to his nearly $5 million per year paycheck through six games.
The fourth line has not given this team anything, which is unfortunate since they are fan favorites. Andrei Loktionov is not playing as well as he did when his fellow Russian was in the lineup.
Henrique and Zajac need to feed off line mates that are doing well to get out of their own slumps. Putting Elias with one of them and Jagr with the other would do great things for this team. Letting Zubrus move down with Brunner moving up would make an even greater impact.
There are moves that need to be made, but they don’t have to go outside the organization to do them. They have plenty of talent inside that locker room. If they can find a system and line pairings that work, then this team can be just as good as they have been bad. Hopefully DeBoer will take note of the issues and fix them on this long layoff.