The New Jersey Devils have tried every single form of lines that you could on this team. The only line that seems untouchable at this point is Travis Zajac, Jaromir Jagr and Dainius Zubrus, and even they at one point had Patrik Elias on the line. They have experimented with Mattias Tedenby on every line from first to fourth to healthy scratch.
Sometimes situations randomly come together. After a very good first game back, Ryane Clowe was put on a line with Adam Henrique and Michael Ryder. Reid Boucher had a terrible game against the Columbus Blue Jackets which caused him to be dropped to the fourth line where he bounced back just one night later. That fact made Peter DeBoer choose Boucher to replace Clowe when he got into a fight later in the game.
This replacement was a main component in the Devils’ first goal against the New York Islanders. Boucher got a pass into the zone from Ryder on which he made a no-look backhand pass to Henrique in front of the net that he put past Evgeni Nabokov.
This new unit is going to get a chance to show what it can do on the power play. Unless something changes by tomorrow, Ryder, Boucher and Henrique will be the second unit on the man advantage. This will show what this line can do.
This line hopefully will become a new staple in the lineup. I think it has great possibilities to be up to par with the first line if everything works out. Henrique has been inconsistent to say the least, but a player like Boucher could get their motivations at an all time high. Ryder has been a scoring machine as of late with six goals in the month of December after only one in November.
This line could be a true scoring line for the Devils and may be what they have been searching for all year — a line that doesn’t have Jagr on it but can score at the same intensity.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NFL, MLB and NBA content. You can follow him on Twitter here.