Good feelings are in the air right now for the New Jersey Devils, with the biggest buzz coming from Tuesday’s trouncing of the Canadiens 4-1 in Montreal. The Devils are now two games over .500 for the first time this year!
The Devils scored a power play goal for the second consecutive game when Eric Gelinas blasted one in from the point, breaking a one-all tie in the second period. Ryan Clowe and Jaromir Jagr both broke out of scoring slumps in big ways with two points each. Jagr’s 695th career goal propelled him pass Mark Messier into seventh on the all-time NHL list.
Since Clowe and Gelinas have skated back into the Devils lineup, the results have been excellent. Watching the Devils power play on Tuesday, I was pleasantly surprised how well they played to their strengths. They kept feeding the puck to Eric Gelinas whose big shot was bound to find the back of the net sooner or later — and boy, was it a beautiful goal that slipped just inside the post. Ryane Clowe sharing a line with Adam Henrique looks great as well, combining for some excellent shifts on the ice last night and producing a goal. This kind of teamwork should lead to bigger and better things.
The best is yet to come, however, as the Devils begin to get healthy at the right time to make a run. The team expects assistant captain and 25-point-scorer Patrick Elias back when they visit Colorado.
On a less-happy note, former Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner has retired after 16 NHL seasons. Langenbrunner, a Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils in 2003, played with the Devils from 2002 until he was dealt in the 2010-11 season. As a fan of hockey, it is sad to see one of its finest workers retire, but the Devils organization and Devils fans alike proudly remember all the cheers he elicited with his outstanding play.