The New Jersey Devils’ current hot streak is impressive in several ways, but one of the most underrated facets of their 2011-12 season is that they’re getting things done without Travis Zajac.
OK, the top center did play eight games, but he didn’t really seem himself as he produced three points. The Devils decided to shut him down for a bit longer and it looks like the team will continue to be without him for some time, as Mike Morreale reports that he’s expected to miss another month recovering from his Achilles injury.
Zajac is expected to take about two weeks to get back on the ice and two more to work up to game action. That slates him for approximately mid-March, which could potentially give him about a month to ramp up for the playoffs (if the Devils remain on that trajectory).
Zajac tends to get overshadowed by Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk while Patrik Elias’ resurgence and Adam Henrique’s emergence have made him reasonably replaceable this season. That being said, he’s been one of the league’s more underrated forwards, so the Devils could be downright dangerous if he can come back close to 100 percent.