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A few notes from New Jersey vs Detroit:
The Devils started the game in rather embarrassing fashion. While the scoreline was even after 20 minutes, the flow of the game was anything but. The Red Wings – one of the worst teams in recent memory – generated chance after chance and controlled nearly 75% of the expected goals. You shouldn’t need your goalie to keep you in the game against a team like that but, somehow, the Devils made it necessary.
I thought they played a much better 2nd period, even though they lost the frame 1-0, and were rather dominant over the final 40. The Devils broke down the Red Wings’, uh, suspect defense and had little trouble getting to the front of the net.
Wayne Simmonds banged in a couple of goals there and the opportunities were certainly there for others to join in on the fun.
It was a rather rocky ride but, ultimately, the Devils ended up getting the result they deserved. They can feel good about themselves for a few hours before (likely) being on the wrong end of a one-sided game tonight.
Jack Hughes has done a much better job of creating offense for himself of late. That was the case again vs Detroit, as he attempted five shots and had a couple of scoring chances. His on-ice results were also very strong. Hughes posted a 60 Corsi For%, bested only by Jesper Bratt up front, and an Expected Goals For% above 70%.
I know everyone wants to see big production numbers but, at this point, I’m not really expecting that this season. The Devils don’t have a supporting cast conducive to scoring and, more often than not, he’s on the 3rd line. He also needs to develop more individually. And, no, he’s not a bust so relax with that garbage.
I thought PK Subban had a really rough game. I know the season as a whole hasn’t gone the way anybody would have liked but, even by this year’s standards, last night was not good. He had a few brutal turnovers and his defensive zone play with Andy Greene was spotty, to say the least. It’s one thing if he can make plays in the offensive zone to get back the looks he gives up. That was far from the case. The Devils generated only one high-danger chance in ~18 5v5 minutes with Subban on the ice.
John Carlson. Shea Theodore. Quinn Hughes. Anthony DeAngelo. Those are the only defenders in the NHL with more points than Damon Severson (13) over the last 15 games. I know he makes mistakes defensively, especially while being used as a No. 1 defenseman – which he is not. But at least Severson is creating a ton of offense to help negate some of the things that are happening defensively.
People give Severson a hard time but if the Devils actually had the personnel to use him like what he is – an offensive minded 2nd pairing guy that would benefit from somewhat sheltered usage (like some of the defenders mentioned previously) – the results would probably be a lot better.
He’s paid to be what he is – a 2nd pairing guy. It’s not his fault the Devils have nothing and he’s not used like one as a result.
numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
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