Hughes, Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils
Photo Credit: Mark Fischgrund

Devils Biggest Problems and Needs so far This Season

So far into the New Jersey Devils’ season, the team has only won a handful of the games they've played. The team stands 6th in the Metropolitan Division, below the Pittsburgh Penguins with 17 points . Even with the obvious improvement in how they play, the Devils seem to always fall short. But why is that?

Devils Biggest Problems

The season started out with some expected problems like goaltending, but some hidden problems also occurred within the team. The Devils defense seemed to have many problems securing the puck, and the defense also struggled with odd man rushes.

Trade rumors swirled after Nikita Zadorov, who is a defenseman, requested a trade out of the Calgary Flames. If the Devils become interested in him, he could solve a lot of their defensive problems while also bringing physicality to the team.

Physicality is also another problem that they have been facing lately.

During last season's playoffs, the Devils used their bodies a lot, but lately they've been lacking in that department, which has cost them many injuries. When they faced the New York Rangers Saturday night, it was a perfect example of this problem. If the fans' backlash on this problem wasn't enough, even center Jack Hughes spoke out about it. In a post-game interview Saturday night, Hughes revealed his thoughts on how the team played.

He would go on to say, “I think they [the Rangers] played physical, and we didn't match that.” 

As if the Devils did not have enough problems already, another one would rise. Their power play is arguably one of the best in the league, but the Devils seem to be relying on it. Most of the goals this season so far have been scored on power plays, which is concerning because their 5-on-5 should also be this good. The Devils have the talent and skill to make their 5 on 5 good, so why is it not?

Even with all these problems, the Devils have been improving and showing their true worth throughout the last few games. They definitely have a bright future if they can rectify some needs. 

Devils Biggest Needs

The Devils need to get their defensive strategies locked down. New players may be the key to this problem, trading for Zadorov may be the best idea we have at the moment. On top of defensive strategies, the Devils also need to be attentive with their goaltending. This could become a huge problem if it isn't fixed soon.

The last need is the Devils physicality. This could affect their roster easily by riddling players with injuries. It's happened before and if someone doesn't step up soon it's more likely to happen again. The Devils need to step up their game before it's too late.

Even with all these problems, there are some positive plays the Devils have been making. Their offensive strategies have been amazing lately. Players like Jack Hughes, Tyler Toffoli and Jesper Bratt have showed they are able to play at a high level and keep the momentum going throughout the whole game. Lindy Ruff has also attempted to help the team get going by changing up the lines to help the team regain their footing. This is a smart move by ruff because it doesn't let the players get too comfortable with losses.

The Devils need to maximize plays and players like this to help the team get going once again.