5 New Jersey Devils Who Need To Start Scoring
New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Who Need To Start Scoring
The New Jersey Devils have had an up and down season through the first 24 games. They are at 9-10-5 and currently sitting in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Devils have won in unconventional ways. They have had some of the most exciting wins of any team as well as some of the most heartbreaking losses. Their team is great at holding other teams off the scoreboard as they rank eighth in the league with 2.25 goals against per game. The problem is they rank 27th in the league with 2.08 goals per game. They seem to be wasting two great seasons by Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider. The defense is even playing well, which is something that hurt them last season.
The forwards outside of the first line need to step up. Jaromir Jagr has been one of the best forwards in the league, but at 41-years-old he needs some help. Patrik Elias has been very good since he came off of his injury. He scored the only goal for the Devils in both of their last two games. Even with missing eight games he is still the third highest scoring player on the team. Sadly for the Devils, the second highest scorer is Marek Zidlicky. The problem with that is Zidlicky is a defenseman.
The Devils need the second, third and fourth line to start putting the puck in the net. To replace all the goals they have lost through retirement and free agency the last two years they need a full team effort. These five players are where the turnaround is needed most.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their MLB and NFL content. You can follow him on Twitter for more information.
5. Adam Henrique
Adam Henrique is fresh off a brand new six-year contract that he signed this offseason. He is a playoff hero for the Devils from the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals run and is the future of this franchise. He needs to start that journey now. By the time the next game comes around, Henrique will have gone more than 20 days without a goal. That isn't something that can happen with the future of your franchise. He needs to find the touch that he had when he came off his wrist injury last season. The team's scoring seems to go with him, and when he starts to score at the rate his talent will allow then the team's scoring will be much better as a whole.
4. Steve Bernier
Steve Bernier was the one player from the CBGB line that seemed like he could really break out into a great player. Despite the hit during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals that sealed the Devils' fate he was still a pertinent part of this Devils unit. This season has not been so kind to Bernier. He is last on the team with a -9 plus/minus. He has played better than an awful beginning, but he needs to start scoring goals. He doesn't need to score a ton, but he needs to score more than one. Ryan Carter is playing better offensively, and hopefully Bernier follows suit.
3. Michael Ryder
Michael Ryder was brought into this team for one reason: to score goals. That seemed to be in the first part of the season, but that has stopped over the past month. Although he has been robbed on multiple occasions, he needs to get points on the board. The nine-year veteran knows how to score. He scored 30 goals on three different occasions. In 27 games for the Montreal Canadiens last season he had 21 points. In 24 games this season he has eight. That needs to change and change quickly. He needs to see that this team needs his goal scoring ability above all else.
2. Andrei Loktionov
Let's call a spade a spade here; Andrei Loktionov was brought back because of the chemistry he had with Ilya Kovalchuk. Once he left the wide open looks he was getting left with him. Now Loktionov is looking to find a place on this team as he only has one goal Last season he had eight in 28 games. The production has disappeared for the young center as he has bounced around lines trying to find a good chemistry fit. He hasn't scored since the Devils' first win of the season, so you know it has been a while. If he can score just one he would probably get out of his slump.
1. Damien Brunner
Here is the source of pain for Devils fans. Damien Brunner looked like the signing of the year at the start of the season, but he hit rock bottom this weekend when he was a healthy scratch. Brunner's best attribute is his ability to find the back of the net. He is average on defense and doesn't get a lot of assists, but he can score. He has been held scoreless throughout the month of November. He needs to find the scoring touch that helped the Devils early in the season and motivated Lou Lamoriello to give him a two-year deal.
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