INJURIES NOT UNCOMMON FOR NEW JERSEY
Early in the 2023-2024 NHL season, the New Jersey Devils have had a plethora of injuries. It started early and seems to keep overlapping as one returns another goes. Have these injuries cost the Devils more losses, or is it a nonfactor? Injuries to Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Timo Meier, Erik Haula, Dougie Hamilton, Curtis Lazar, and Tomas Nosek in the first 20 games have clearly cost the Devils a regular start to the season. Many fans, while they may have their heart in the right place, had unrealistic expectations to this season in the first place, and now with the injuries, it’s not what was expected. With many of the Devils star players out, it has to be hard on the coaching staff to figure out what to do when you lose your top two centers or now, with Dougie out, your number one Defenseman. As of 11/30/23 Luke Hughes seemed to almost become another victim.
WITH HAMILTON OUT, WILL LUKE SHINE?
Already in the conversation for the Calder Trophy (which seems will go to Bedard even if he misses the rest of the season), Luke Hughes has also been the Quarterback on the Devil’s first power play. With Dougie Hamilton being listed Day To Day, Luke will surely get some more ice time. This hopefully will lead to some more of the beautiful plays he has shown us already. Luke Hughes has the ability to go end to end like a modern day Scott Neidermayer. The Devils Power Play is at the top of the league, and Luke has been a huge part of that. Luke Hughes (D), at the time of writing this has played 20 games with 13 points. Let us not forget that most of those points were not secondary assists. They were excellent plays and two great shots. Regarding the Calder Trophy, on paper right now, Luke Hughes looks like he has the upper hand on Bedard. It will be hard even for the unbiased voters to pick due to each of these players play a different position. You cannot deny that both Bedard and Hughes are playing Calder-worthy Hockey for their respective positions.
THE NEW JERSEY HUGHES BROTHERS
The New Jersey Devils have been lucky enough to draft two out of three of possibly one of the best Hockey families in history. Time will tell if that is the case, but I think we are pretty sure, with Quinn Hughes holding the C in Vancouver that this idea is not far-fetched. The one question that is being asked regarding the Brothers Hughes in New Jersey is this. Why do they not wear their first initial before their last name on their Jerseys? A lot of us old-school fans remember players who were related or even with just the same surname with have their first initial before their last name. I personally think that L. Hughes and J. Hughes would look really good on the Devils uniforms and it also dates the jerseys for fans to a specific time. Please leave a comment at the bottom of this article and tell me what you think about this! It may even help regarding the giveaway going on over on X (formerly Twitter).
DEVILS JOINT ON X
As some of you may know, the account on X/Twitter @DevilsJointX is my account. The origin of the account was to bring out-of-market Devils fans together in one place for every game. So, fans worldwide could communicate in real-time with each other in a chat room situation. So, yes the Devils Joint is on YouTube as well. Devils Joint does a lot of giveaways, currently, there is a large one going on. Following the Devils Joint YouTube channel would not hurt your chances with this or any giveaway. You can find the Devils Joint on YouTube by just typing Devils Joint into the search bar, and you will see my logo or you can use the handle @TheDevilsJoint. There are some things going on there that are not on X so please enjoy the Devils Joint experience no matter where you follow. Devils Joint has turned into an account that provides the Devils goal replays, as well as other plays and clips you won’t see anywhere else. Occasionally, you will find videos live from The Rock (The Prudential Center), MSG or UBS Arena. Here are some examples of the footage taken for the Devil’s Joint from the Rock on 11/28/23.
All in all it is inexcusable the way the New Jersey Devils defense has been playing, leaving both Goalies out to dry very often. However, the injuries have been a large part of the Devils recent woes. For instance, Timo Meier went out right when he started getting the hot hand. Luckily, Alexander Holtz and Dawson Mercer are both starting to step up. Both with hot sticks as of late. Brendan Smith in forward position seemed to be a smart move. The only issue there is that New Jersey has depth at both Defense and Offense and that spot could go to one of the many talented forwards down in Utica; at this point, Graeme Clarke looks like he could get the next nod to take the drive from Upstate, NY to Newark. Make sure to go follow the Devils Joint on YouTube and X to get involved in the fun and the giveaways. Devils Marvel Comic Books, Old School Memorabilia, and more are given away almost weekly and of course, every Devils game is streamed live to the Devils Joint X account (barring I am not at the game myself).