During my “rookie season” here at All About the Jersey, as the Thursday writer/contributor, I wrote an article about things that the New Jersey Devils had to be thankful for that would go up on Thanksgiving of 2014. While I skipped writing that week last year, holidays are about traditions, and this year I will start what I hope will be a long tradition of somewhat serious/somewhat lighthearted things that our New Jersey Devils should be thankful for. While I won’t address every player, I’ll try to touch on many players and some relevant topics. Without further ado, here we go!
Travis Zajac: Having an Elite Player Wearing #9 Next to Him Again
While he has had a great start to this season himself, part of Zajac’s good start can be attributed to Taylor Hall being a frequent linemate this season. It hasn’t been all about Hall, but Travis has seemed rejuvenated playing with an elite level talent beside him again. Speaking of Zajac’s great start, who had him pegged as our leading scorer at around the quarter-way point? As much as I like what Trav brings to this team, I can honestly say he wasn’t in my top 3.
Adam Henrique and Kyle Palmieri: That Other Devils Are Scoring
It’s not a whole lot of goals going into the back of the net for New Jersey (currently 23rd in goals for in the league) the Devils still hold a respectable 10-6-3 record despite the fact that their pair of 30 goals scorers from last season so far combined have a mere 6 goals. I think the scoring will come for both, but right now they should both be very thankful that the team is finding ways to win without them contributing much offensively.
P.A. Parenteau: Not Being an Islander
The Devils and Parenteau have both benefited from New Jersey claiming him on waivers at the start of the season. The Devils have gotten a player who has been an excellent contributor for them so far and Parenteau has gotten away from the train-wreck that has been the New York Islanders so far this season.
John Moore: Anyone Who Has Been Partnered With Him
Our very own John wrote an article about Moore earlier this week and took an amazing in-depth look at how he has fared with a variety of other Devils on the ice. Moore in particular should be thankful for Kyle Quincey who has had a positive influence on his play, but with Moore being our weakest defender, he should be thankful for whoever it is playing opposite of him.
Jon Merrill: Still Having a Spot on This Team
CJ summarized it best when he referred to Merrill as deadweight; when you’re a healthy scratch instead of Moore as Merrill was last night, you know you didn’t make the most of the opportunity you had. Merrill might still be on this team next season (he’s signed for one more year and it seems unlikely that Vegas would take him) but I don’t foresee him being in New Jersey’s long-term plans.
Jacob Josefson: Ditto
Josefson through 19 games has been pretty bad this season; we’ve seen players waived for the purpose of designation in the minors for less and honestly there are some guys down in Albany who could probably replicate if not improve upon his production. Part of the problem might be that he’s still too high in the lineup; I think he’s honestly a 4th liner at best. I guess we can keep him for shootout purposes at least until Hall returns.
John Hynes: Having Cory Schneider
Maybe this one should be John Hynes, the rest of the team staff and the players, but despite a less than stellar performance last night against a young Toronto team, Schneider has been our rock. He comes ready to play game in and game out and he’s stolen us quite a few wins during his tenure in Jersey. I honestly shudder to think where we might have been the past few seasons (and even this season) if Cory wasn’t backstopping us.
Michael Cammalleri: Being Able to Have the Holiday With His Entire Family
Completely serious on this one; after news broke about why Cam’s been away from the team, it’s good to hear that everything is okay and that his daughter will be home to spend Thanksgiving with her family and the rest of the Cammalleri family will be able to have a normal holiday.
All About the Jersey Writers: You, Our Readers
Okay, I might be cheating on this one a bit since we writers are not part of the team, but we are thankful for each and every person who comes and reads this blog; we literally would not exist without you all coming here and reading our articles. Thank you all for reading this as you always do, feel free to add any “Things Devils Should Be Thankful For” that you have in the space below and Happy Thanksgiving to all!