New lines come with a message at Devils' practice

New lines come with a message at Devils' practice

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Devils coach John Hynes discusses the performance of veteran forward Adam Henrique and potential lineup decisions. Andrew Gross/NorthJersey.com

The Devils went through a brisk practice today at Xcel Energy Center here in St. Paul, Minn. and, apparently, there will be new lines for Monday night’s game against the Wild.

Pavel Zacha, 20, the sixth overall pick in 2015, skated among the top six forwards after being a healthy scratch in four of the last five games, including Saturday night’s 5-2 loss at Winnipeg.

Adam Henrique, bumped to the third line when Travis Zajac returned for Thursday night’s 1-0 overtime loss at Toronto after being the second-line center most of the season, skated on the fourth line.

Pavel Zacha (Photo: AP FILE PHOTO)

Drew Stafford, too, was not among the top six.

Zacha has two goals and three assists in 15 games and both his goals came in the third game of the season a 6-3 win at Toronto on Oct. 11.

Henrique has three goals and six assists in 19 games and he’s gone four games without a point and has just two assists in his last 10 games His last goal came in a 5-4 shootout win over the visiting Senators on Oct. 27. Stafford has five goals and three assists in 16 games but has gone four games without a goal.

Here’s how the Devils skated today:

Taylor Hall-Nico Hischier-Kyle Palmieri

Pavel Zacha-Travis Zajac-Jesper Bratt

Miles Wood-Brian Boyle-Drew Stafford

Adam Henrique-Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons

Andy Greene-Steven Santini

John Moore-Damon Severson

Will Butcher-Ben Lovejoy

Forwards Stefan Noesen and Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dalton Prout were the extras at practice.

Devils coach John Hynes said he was not ready yet to announce which goalie would start on Monday.

Here’s Devils coach John Hynes on what it all means:

On the lines: “We thought we played OK the last couple of games but we still need more. We didn’t find ways to win games. A couple of different combinations to give some guys different looks with some different linemates. It’s really a combination of some different things but also a message to some guys we need more from them.”

On Henrique’s game: “We’d just like to see him skating. If you take the month of October, Adam is a guy when he’s playing his best hockey, he can help drive your team. He’s on the puck. He’s creating chances. He’s a threat to play against. He’s skating and moving his feet and when he does that he’s an excellent, excellent player and we’d just like to see a little bit more of that.”

New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) and Miles Wood (44) celebrate after Henrique scored a goal against the New York Rangers during the second period of an NHL hockey game game, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in New York. (Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP)

On what Zacha needed to learn from watching as a healthy scratch: “How hard you need to compete. How consistently you need to compete and it’s a league you have to move your feet and you have to play. For a guy like him, who has offensive talent, he can’t wait for the puck to come to him. You have to really work without the puck and when you get it back, make plays under pressure and in tight areas.”

On why that’s slipped from Zacha’s game after he looked good in preseason and earlier in the regular season while playing with Taylor Hall: “That’s the challenge. That’s kind of what we’ve talked with him about. What’s the reason for it? You see pockets of it. When he does that, he can be very effective. Therein lies the challenge for young players: the ability to understand daily in this league how hard you have to play and when he was playing like that, he was having success. It’s what we’re trying to work on. We’re trying to get some emotion for him to get back. He’s going to get a good opportunity tomorrow and he’s got to respond.”

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Source : http://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/fireandice/2017/11/19/new-lines-come-message-devils-practice-pavel-zacha-healthy-scratch-adam-henrique-fourth-line-hynes/879231001/

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