The Devils begin their road-trip on Tuesday against a competitive Sharks team.
The New Jersey Devils begin a new week with some significant news. Center Jack Hughes will return to the lineup after missing 17 games on Tuesday night… and he signed an eight-year, $64 million extension Tuesday afternoon.
The Devils have a significant challenge in their schedule, however. They begin Week 8 on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks, who are currently just one point out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Offensively, both the Devils and Sharks are below-average teams, but the Devils are better. Both also have below-average power plays, but the Sharks’ is superior: the Devils have one of the worst power plays in the game.
Defensively, the two teams are similar. Both are above-average, but not among the best defensive teams in the league. The Devils have a slightly below-average penalty kill, but only the Pittsburgh Penguins are better than the Sharks while short-handed.
A bottom-four power play in the league against the second-best penalty kill doesn’t really bode well for New Jersey.
In terms of goaltending, both teams are about average. The good news is that at even-strength, the Devils probably have the advantage.
Devils players to watch:
C Jack Hughes
This season: 2 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 PTS*
* – Returning from injury after missing 17 games
LW Andreas Johnsson
This season: 19 GP, 9 G, 17 PTS
RW Jesper Bratt
This season: 19 GP, 5 G, 17 PTS
G MacKenzie Blackwood
This season: 8 GP, 4-1-2, .922 SV%, 2.72 GAA
Sharks players to watch:
RW Timo Meier
This season: 16 GP, 9 G, 20 PTS
G James Reimer
This season: 13 GP, 7-4-1, .933 SV%, 2.06 GAA
Career vs. NJD: 16 GP, 7-6-3, .911 SV%, 2.61 GAA
C Logan Couture
This season: 20 GP, 7 G, 18 PTS
RW Nick Bonino
Career vs. NJD: 19 GP, 6 G, 14 PTS
RHD Brent Burns
Career vs. NJD: 19 GP, 4 G, 16 PTS