It’s safe to say this season was more than disappointing following that magical run to the playoffs in 2018. The tank has been rolling along for a few weeks now and the injuries on this team have not helped. Lets recap what the injury list looks like now:
Jesper Bratt – Lower body, return TBD
Nathan Bastian – Upper body, return TBD
Taylor Hall – Knee, return TBD
Nico Hischier – Upper body, return TBD
Mirco Mueller – Shoulder, return TBD
Kevin Rooney – Illness, day to day
Sami Vatanen – Illness, day to day
Miles Wood – Fractured ankle, return end of March
Pavel Zacha – Upper body, return TBD
That right there pretty much tells the tale of the season. That list in conjunction with other key guys like Palmieri and Coleman missing a few game along the way has made life relatively hard for John Hynes.
The bottom six of the lineup consists of all AHL callups. There is some silver lining in this. Having some of these guys out of the lineup has made room for young prospects like Michael McLeod, Joey Anderson, Blake Pietila, Kurtis Gabriel and John Quenneville to crack the lineup and get some big minutes.
Letting these guys get a solid amount of NHL experience can only help for next season. Granted, most nights they are completely outmatched offensively against teams like Washington and Calgary. They will have a great opportunity to learn the little things that go into playing a complete NHL game.
The Devils have a decently tough schedule left starting with a trip to Western Canada to face the Flames tomorrow. I would expect to see a good amount of Mackenzie Blackwood in net splitting time with Cory Schneider.
I think we’re all looking forward to draft day at this point. But for the love of god, lets not get swept by the Rangers this year.