After 30 minutes delay to start the game, because Minnesota Wild stuck in traffic over Thanksgiving in the Lincoln Tunnel, the Devil of New Jersey and the Wild Man hit an iceberg at the Prudential Center. NS The last devil fell 3-2 in a shootout after rallying to end the game in the third inning. But they certainly deserve a better fate than last night. Here are some notable lessons from one of their better attempts in this season’s loss.
Hischier leads the comeback
Nico Hischier has been the subject of some criticism on social media from fans this season. Sure, he may only have two goals, but those criticisms are largely unfounded. He’s accomplished everything else head coach Lindy Ruff asked of him, and last night was another example. Taking a 2-0 lead in the third half, Hischier led the effort back up, taking the main assist in both of the Devils’ goals.
It was another strong night for Hischier in fifth, as he finished with a Corsi percentage (CF%) of 65.22 percent and an expected goal percentage (xG%) of 62.14 percent. He has 12 points from 17 games this season – close to a pace of 58 points in 82 games. And he has been particularly outstanding at the end of the year, with 10 points in the last 11 games. It’s nice to see him scoring more goals, but he’s setting them up. He is also arguably the team’s best defensive forward. There’s nothing else he can do right now, and that’s what the Devil needs while Jack Hughes keeps working his way. shoulder dislocation.
The Devil deserves two points
Even though Hischier helped the Devils earn a point, they should have gone on with a second. It was one of their better efforts in the 2021-22 season, as they dominated the game by a score of 5v5 across three periods. They have a 55-33 shot effort advantage (62.5 CF%) and have an xG ratio of 67.76%. And as we can see in the game flow chart from Natural Stat Trick, there is rarely a drop in their play:
There were a few reasons the Reds lost. One is that Cam Talbot is particularly excellent in the Wild grid. He saved 40 of 42 shots and finished with a save efficiency of over 1.67. The demons also attack four turrets, so when they get past Talbot they’ll have a lot of luck. That’s how hockey works sometimes. But if they can fulfill their chance, it’s very much a performance they want to repeat when they meet the Nashville Predators tomorrow night.
The devil’s power game continues to fail
If there was anything glaringly negative about the Devils’ effort last night, it was their power play once again. They shot puck more often, which is a step in the right direction. One of their four posts also appeared in Jimmy Vesey’s power fight late in the third round. However, it ended on the night of 4/4. They dropped a brief goal in the first half that proved to be quite important in the final score. And they had a 5v3 result just over a minute at the end of the third half, but failed to convert.
Ultimately, the Devil’s power play was an important reason why they couldn’t win by regulation. They only connect with their 13.7% chance of playing strength, which is simply not good enough. The team is currently on track to finish the season with 96 points. But to maintain that, their power play needs to be much better. Bringing Hughes back would help a bit, but they clearly have systemic issues that need to be worked out in order to exert their power where it’s needed.
If there’s one player who was the poster kid for the Devils’ poor luck last night, it was Damon Severson. He hit post twice and set Dougie Hamilton with a beautiful pass to open the net wide in the third half. But Hamilton could not control the ball clearly and hit a shot narrowly wide of the goal.
Still, Severson was probably the team’s best defender last night. He ended the night with 69.23 CF% and 68.29 xG% in game five and had four shots on target, seven attempts and two scoring opportunities from all sides. He could easily have a game of points, but it doesn’t have to be. With that said, it’s a performance the Devils will want and need from Severson going forward. If he can help create attack when Hamilton isn’t on the ice, it will be long-lasting, especially when Hughes returns.
- Jesper Bratt couldn’t find his way into the scoreboard, but he made it through them all. He has 67.86 CF% and leads the team with 82.9 xG% hitting five. That comes with seven shots on goal, seven shot attempts, four scoring opportunities and a high danger chance at all points. He’s been the Devil’s best attacking support in recent weeks, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.
- Yegor Sharangovich once again owns an own goal, with the strike tying the match up with extra attackers in the third inning. It’s another great attempt by him at five against five, as he has 61.9 CF% and 60.99 xG%. It was also the second game in a row that he performed well in the center position. Will Ruff keep him there and move Dawson Mercer to the right wing of the team’s top six when Hughes returns? He will need Sharangovich to maintain it in the center, but that is something to keep an eye on over the next few games.
- PK Subban is not the PK Subban of the old days, but he has been playing well since the end of this year. Last night was no different as he finished with 65.71 CF% and 70.59 xG%. He and Jonas Siegenthaler are clearly the team’s second defensive pair at the moment.
- Tomáš Tatar got off to a slow start with the latter Quỷ Sign up as a free agent this summer. But it seems it is slowly starting to come back to him. His second assist on Pavel Zacha’s goal was his fifth point in the last seven games. His on-ice results at 5/5 are also slowly starting to increase.
- Colton White signed up for the squad for Ty Smith, who was a scratch heals. White had pretty good results in Smith’s position, finishing with 66.67 CF% and 60.66 xG%. Smith is a key part of the Devils’ future, but he’s struggled a lot this season. White provides a steady presence alongside Severson, so I wouldn’t expect him to be out of the lineup tomorrow against Predator. A few matches for Smith can clear his mind and reset things.
As mentioned above, the Devils host the Predators tomorrow in Nashville. They will close the week on Sunday night with their first game of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers. Victory over both teams will put them in the top spot in the Metropolitan Division which will take place in December.
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Advanced stats from Natural statistical tricks
Alex Chauvancy is a New Jersey-based Devils writer for The Hockey Writers who has a penchant for advanced stats, prospects, contracts, and deals. Before that, he wrote for the Demon Army Blog, a New Jersey Devils fan blog, from 2015-2017
https://thehockeywriters.com/devils-takeaways-loss-wild-november-24-2021/ 4 points drawn from the New Jersey Devils’ penalty shootout loss to Wild