The New Jersey Devils pulled out its toughest win of the 2013-14 season when their injury-depleted team came back to beat the Washington Capitals 2-1. The team ended the night with only two full forward lines after injuries to Jacob Josefson, Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique.
There is no word yet on what the severity of these injuries are, but if Henrique is going to miss any time, that could spell the end of the Devils’ season. He has been on fire for over a month now. Since the end of the break, he has 11 goals and five assists. He has been the team’s best five-on-five player during the stretch run. The Devils are 6-2-2 when Henrique gets a point since the end of the break.
Henrique and Jaromir Jagr are the closest things the Devils have to superstars. They are No. 1 and No. 2 on the team in goals. They both should get over 25 on the year, which is a lot for a team that had trouble scoring all season.
If Henrique is out for an extended period of time, it will be hard to replace his scoring. He has been a threat every single time he touches the puck. With the scoring slumps of players like Michael Ryder and Damien Brunner, along with the injuries to Elias and Ryane Clowe, the team just doesn’t have enough firepower to make a comeback in the Wild Card race. There isn’t some superstar forward who can replace them and motivate this team.
The onus will be on Jagr and Travis Zajac to carry the offense if Henrique can’t go. It will be similar to how it has been all season. Everyone will be holding their breath waiting to hear the prognosis of Henrique’s injury. If the team can overcome their three-point deficit to the Columbus Blue Jackets with five games left, they will need a healthy Henrique in the lineup.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also writes for the NBA, MLB and NFL sections of the site. You can follow him on Twitter here for more talk on all sports.