Abbey Mastracco North Jersey Record
Published 11:38 PM EST Nov 15, 2018
PHILADELPHIA — There was a lot to like about the Devils’ win over the Flyers on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center and even a little to celebrate. Joey Anderson scored his first NHL goal and it was assisted by another rookie, Brett Seney, and the Devils finally got their second road win of the season.
But they may be in trouble when it comes to the blue line. The schedule does the Devils few favors over the next week and there’s no way to know whether or not Sami Vatanen will be able to play.
Here are three takeaways from the 3-0 win.
The kids are alright
Anderson and Seney never played with one another in Binghamton of the American Hockey League but they’ve managed to develop some chemistry on the third line with Blake Coleman over the last week, giving the Devils some scoring depth and taking pressure off the top line.
“Their attention to system detail is just fantastic,” coach John Hynes said. “Whether it’s on the forecheck, a line rush against defense, offensive zone play or the way they play the D-zone is really strong, they’re all extremely competitive on the puck.”
Anderson was signed out of Minnesota-Duluth in the spring so he didn’t have the same experience with or knowledge of the system as Seney, who has been in the Devils’ minor league system for a few years. The learning curve wasn’t a steep one but it still took a few games before Anderson was fully comfortable at this level. But he’s felt himself grow more and more at ease with each game and has grown more confident with the way his game fits into the New Jersey system.
“I’m getting more comfortable with the pace of play and things like that,” he said. “The older guys have been great in helping me adjust to this lifestyle and the style of play.”
It shows on the ice.
“When you come up and play your first few NHL games, you’re just sort of out there trying not to make a mistake,” Hynes said. “He’s getting more comfortable offensively and that’s the thing is understanding his time and space, using his talent and he’s got a good shot.”
So is Kinkaid
Kinkaid stopped all 29 shots he faced and he already has more shutouts this season (three) than he did all of last year (two). It appears as though the No. 1 job is his to lose.
But Vatanen may not be
There’s no getting around the fact that the blue line is significantly thin without Sami Vatanen. Andy Greene played over 25 minutes and Damon Severson and Mirco Mueller played well together but there’s no making up for the loss of Vatanen. Should Vatanen not be able to go this weekend, the Devils are carrying Egor Yakovlev, a 27-year-old KHL veteran who has played in one NHL game this season. Eric Gryba could also be called up from Binghamton.
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