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Abbreviated Thursday Thoughts

Today I take a quick look at some topics surrounding our New Jersey Devils while attempting to get over a stomach flu/food poisoning!

We look at Martin Brodeur's prediction as to the next number to ascend to the rafters.
We look at Martin Brodeur's prediction as to the next number to ascend to the rafters.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Good afternoon All About the Jersey readers!  For the last few days, I've been sick and feeling like a truck has run me over, so for today's article I will be doing a shorter list of shorter topics surrounding our New Jersey Devils right now.  Without further ado:

1.)  Martin Brodeur says Patrik Elias Should be Next Devil to Have His Number Retired

Tom Gulitti over at Fire and Ice reported that after his ceremony, Marty stated that he believes the next jersey to be retired would logically be Patrik Elias' #26.

"I think so, but that's me," Brodeur said after tonight's ceremony. "The organization will decide, but don't tell him because he's still playing. He'll be mad at you if you talk about jersey retirement already."

In my opinion, Marty is spot on here; while he is still active, it's apparent that Patty is approaching the end of his career.  Elias would be an excellent choice for the first Devils forward to have his number taken out of circulation by the team, as he was a huge offensive contributor to the Devils' latter 2 Stanley Cups.  He's also the team's all-time leader in goals, assists and points.

2.)  Can Joseph Blandisi Keep Up This Pace?

Since being recalled for a second time by the Devils this season, Blandisi has been an injection of freshness into what was becoming a stale Devils lineup.  Playing on the top 2 lines since his recall, Blender has tallied 10 points (3-7) in 13 games, including a breakout game against the Ottawa Senators playing alongside Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri.

While Joe has been bumped to the top line in Michael Cammalleri's absence, I expect he will rejoin Zajac and Palmieri while knocking Sergey Kalinin back down a line once the team is healthy, which leads to a whole other problem that I'll get to later.  Blandisi's hustle and ability have endeared him to the fan base, so here's hoping he can keep up the pace.

3.)  What to do with Reid Boucher?

Bouch has 5 points in the 10 games he has played since his return to the team last month, but it is worth noting that all of those points came across 3 games (his first two and the team's most recent) so his 0.5 PPG should be taken with a bit of a grain of salt.

If Reid hopes to remain with the team once everyone is healthy, he will need to start contributing on a more consistent basis, as well as playing a strong game like he did on Tuesday.  I feel that if he winds up playing well, he should stay in the lineup over say Kalinin (unless you push Kalinin down to the fourth line and send Stephen Gionta or Jordin Tootoo somewhere far away) because the team needs some scoring threats outside of the top 6.  If Boucher can bring secondary scoring, the team will be forced to keep him and move someone else.

4.)  Defensive Dilemma

The team currently has 8 defensemen on their roster (with one in Jon Merrill being injured) and again when the team gets healthy, there will be some decisions to be made here.  First and foremost the team has to decide who to send down if there is no other injuries and secondly they have to decide who will be the healthy scratch.

To me, the easy decision is to send Seth Helgeson back to Albany; while he hasn't played badly and brings an element of physicality that our other defenders really don't, the fact is even if he required waivers (which I do not believe he does) I don't think he would get picked up.

As per the healthy scratch, I think it's time to reign in Eric Gelinas; despite the fact that again he brings a unique element to the table (The Truth), he's just not using it enough to merit playing him over more competent defenders.

5.)  Retro Night!

Don't forget that Tuesday the 16th will be retro night for the Devils at home when they battle the Philadelphia Flyers/Second Rate Rivals for the second time in four days.  The Devils desperately need to take all 4 possible points from those two games, hopefully without going to overtime and giving Philly a loser point or two.

Now I'd like to hear your thoughts on any and all of the above topics while I attempt to rest and get better.  Thank you guys for reading as always!