After just three games into the 2016-17 NHL regular season, it’s evident the New Jersey Devils are still missing pieces.
It might just be three games, but the New Jersey Devils have proven they still don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. This doesn’t mean that the Devils can’t find those pieces throughout the remainder of the season, but fans would certainly hope they find them all before it’s too late to make a playoff push.
The unspoken rule for a successful offense is three goals. That is one thing red and black have yet to achieve thus far.
All things considered, they started the season against the Atlantic Division Champions. Roberto Luongo between the pipes along with the Panthers’ youthful offense and defense, Florida is not the team they once were four, five years ago. In contrast to the youth, Luongo is certainly in the ladder years of his career but he still competes with the elite goaltenders of the NHL. He proved exactly that in the Panthers home opener, keeping New Jersey to just one.
Just a few miles away for game two of the season, Tampa Bay wasn’t a much easier team to score on. Despite the fact that head coach Jon Cooper benched Ben Bishop, starting back up Andrei Vasilevskiy, New Jersey was kept to lighting the lamp just twice. Striking quickly, taking a first period two-goal lead, the game slipped away when Tampa took advantage of the Devils new and undeveloped defensive core. Putting up the two first goals of the game showed improvement, but their inability to strike thrice to tie the game, showed the team is still ways away from being in “playoff condition.”
The Devils first home game brought good news, however. Beside the fact that New Jersey won two points, Cory Schneider played like an All-Star, yielding the Anaheim Ducks to just one goal. Even on top of that, Taylor Hall scored both goals for the Devils, his first two regular season goals in red and black. Hall’s goals came in the second period on the power play.
The Devils next contenders are the Bruins up in TD Garden. New Jersey needs to repeat their goaltending excellence as well as continuing to score on the power play. The Bruins are not the club they were when they won the cup. The Devils can win their second game of the year tonight.