Hello All About the Jersey faithful! As I am currently entrenched in the midst of parent-teacher conferences, today’s article is both a bit delayed and a bit shorter. Today, I decided to bring back our every so often format of looking at a few smaller pieces of New Jersey Devils news in one article; so here are the Thursday Thoughts for 3/9!
1.) Appleby Called up from Albany
In an interesting move, the Devils have called up Ken Appleby from the A-Devils, and Andrew Gross at The Record doesn’t know if it is indicative of any problems with either Cory Schneider or Keith Kinkaid, nor if this (or bullet #2) are emergency call-ups. In either case, injury or not, it’s interesting to see Appleby getting a chance with the big club; his play in Albany has been good this season, yet not great. It is only his second pro season, and the fact that he will meet the team in Colorado for tonight’s game could mean he gets his first taste of NHL hockey.
2.) Rooney Returns
Per the same article, rookie center Kevin Rooney has returned to New Jersey; while Rooney has yet to stand out from the crowd, he has not been a liability either, and if he’s slotting in as the 4th line center, we could certainly do worse. At the same time, we have some players lighting it up for Albany that could be better served getting another taste of the NHL (John Quenneville, anyone?) so this recall is a bit puzzling to say the least. Perhaps the team just feels Rooney’s ceiling is bottom six and would rather not put somebody they perceive to have a top six ceiling (such as JQ) into bottom line minutes.
3.) Someone Score...Please?
Jersey’s offense has been anemic at best over the last four games, with a mere two goals scored and the team being shutout three times. While the shutouts were against two of the best teams in the East, tonight’s opposition is the opposite end of the spectrum; Palmieri, Hall, Zajac, and Henrique should run roughshod over Colorado’s defense, and hopefully Pavel Zacha can get going back to his pre-injury form in this game. While a loss here could help improve our draft position, it certainly isn’t good for morale or for the future; we’re facing a 39 point team, there’s no excuse to not get a W.
4.) The Impending Entry Draft
As a realist, at this point I know the New Jersey Devils are not making the playoffs, so it comes time to look forward to the off season, more specifically, the draft. New Jersey currently owns the 4th worst record in league, and would pick 5th (due to Las Vegas’s positioning) provided no one under them wins a lottery spot, or the Devils themselves do not win to move up.
Interestingly enough, there’s an NHL Lottery Simulator with current percentages attached to it; I simulated a few drawings yesterday and determined the site is rigged, and the actual draft must be as well! After 30 lotteries, the Carolina Hurricanes were picking 1st in 12 of those 30, and top three in 18, while our Devils were in the top three only 10 times and picking first in only two of those simulations! Have some fun with a bit of a time killer guys, and I’m only joking about the actual draft being rigged...or am I?
5.) Lean, Mean, Greene Defense?
For tonight’s game, we still do not have word as to whether Captain Andy Greene is with the team or not after missing the past three games due to the unfortunate passing of his father David. The team has certainly missed their captain, but family situations certainly come first; my thoughts are with Andy and his family during what must be a very difficult time for them. If Greene is unavailable again tonight, I would assume as this point that we will see him back in uniform on Saturday in Arizona.
If you have any thoughts/comments regarding any or all of the issues above, please leave them below. Thank you guys as always for reading!