Devils head coach Peter DeBoer is toying with the idea of loading up his top line following Thursday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Islanders.
During Friday’s practice, Adam Henrique — last year’s Calder Trophy finalist — was moved to left wing and skated alongside center Travis Zajac and right Ilya Kovalchuk.
The move comes after Henrique shifted to the Zajac-Kovalchuk line midway through last night’s defeat.
Henrique, normally a center, does hold the advantage of being a left-handed shot, meaning he can move to the top unit and allow Kovalchuk to remain on his familiar right-hand side.
The move also gives DeBoer a high-profile top scoring unit featuring arguably his three best forwards. Kovalchuk led the team in scoring a year ago (37G-46A-83PTS) while Henrique finished fourth with 51 points, 18 points back of third leading scorer Zach Parise.
Parise’s worth mentioning here because, prior to signing with the Minnesota Wild, he was part of the “loaded-up first line” strategy with Kovalchuk and Zajac.
The trio didn’t play together all that much during the regular season — serious injuries to both Zajac and Parise played their roles — but were reunited during last year’s Stanley Cup run.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger