New Jersey Devils All Star Game Snub Could be a Blessing
The New Jersey Devils are not sending any players to the NHL All Star Game this year. But for a team that struggled last season to make it to the playoffs, the lack of selection of a Devil player maybe a blessing in disguise. The Devils will send rookies Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson to the event. However, they will only participate in the skills competition. Henrique’s status for the event may be up in the air due to a groin injury. Henrique missed the last two games with the injury. If the organization was smart, management would keep him out of the event to rest and recover for the rest of the season.
The New Jersey Devils are in the midst of bounce back season. The team sits in third place in the Atlantic Division and sixth place in the Eastern Conference. At this time last year, the Devils hit rock bottom plummeting to dead last in the NHL. The Devils are led by a balanced scoring on three lines. The Devils have seven players that have 12 or more goals. This type of play could be a reason why a player from the Devils was not picked to play in the All-Star game during All Star Weekend. There is no one player standing out amongst the rest. Yet, there are more than a few talented players which should have deserved consideration to play.
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During last season’s miserable campaign Patrik Elias was voted into the All Star Game to represent the Devils. His performance so far this season could make a strong case for him to be selected this year. In addition, players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique, Zach Parise, and David Clarkson are having a good year’s statistically as well. Parise, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is finding his groove again during a contract year. Devil Fans believe at least one if not two players should have gone to Ottawa to play in the game.
The Devils are more focused on winning actual games than about an exhibition game. After winning their third straight game, the Devils will look to go up against the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. The Devils will find out what the team is made of this Thursday. The Bruins are second in the Eastern Conference and they bring a potent lineup to Prudential Center on Thursday. The last time these teams played, the Bruins embarrassed the Devils 6-1. If the Devils want to make any deep run in the playoffs, they will have to play with the big boys of hockey.
The Devils will welcome the All Star break as key players can rest and refocus their energy on the second half of the season. New Jersey played well last year in the second half making an incredible run to the playoffs, but they fell short. This year the team wants nothing more than to return to the playoffs again .The players feel they need take care of some unfinished business. The players on the Devils roster, who were not selected as All Stars, can take some time off and get ready for a knock down drag out fight to the finish.
Whats Your Verdict?