Already off to a strong 3-0-2 start, the New Jersey Devils will see their lineup bolstered tonight against the Islanders with the return of forward Adam Henrique.
Henrique – a rookie of the year nominee in 2011-12 – has been recovering from thumb surgery, which he underwent in November.
The 22-year-old finished fourth in team scoring last season, with 51 points in 74 games. He was also a key player on New Jersey’s top-ranked penalty kill.
Henrique will apparently be eased back into action, starting tonight on the Devils’ fourth line with Krys Barch and Matt Anderson.
“We discussed things today and came to the conclusion this is the best way to do things because there are no practices for a couple of weeks for us,” said Henrique, per the Star-Ledger. “The coach will control my minutes and I’ll be on the fourth line.”
Tonight will also mark the season debut of defenseman Adam Larsson. The 20-year-old has been a healthy scratch the first five games, but will play against the Islanders in place of injured Mark Fayne (arm).
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”