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New Jersey Devils Top Line Making A Case To Stay Together

It is only pre-season, but there is plenty to be excited about. Wins are wonderful, but it is about the big picture as each team heads into the regular season. In regards to the New Jersey Devils, they have made their first roster cuts, and they are getting close to finalizing the opening night roster. One New Jersey Devils pre-season line that has stood out the most is the line of Jack Hughes, Ondrej Palat, and Alexander Holtz.

New Jersey Devils Top Line Making Its Case To Stay Together

Even though it is only pre-season, this line of regulars has been a bright spot. The trio has been together for two games and together has been a factor in each of them. After receiving high praise from head coach Lindy Ruff in training camp, it has translated onto the ice. You try not to put a lot of stock into it, but this is a line that should be together on opening night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

What Makes This Line Complete?

They call them the H2O Line. This line has a bit of everything you could ask for. Palat is a player who isn’t afraid to go into the corners and forecheck. His two-way game is good and what he does along the boards helps create open space for the others. Holtz has the ability to finish as he displayed last season with the Utica Comets. Hughes will be able to generate offence with his speed and his playmaking power. All around this is a line that has the blend of ingredients to be successful.

The Line So Far

The line has been featured in two games. In game one against the New York Islanders, the line had a CF% of 55.56. The line was even better in the high danger area, having an HDCF% of 66.67 and generating four shots in that area of the ice. The goal the line put together came from that area of the ice.

This goal is appealing for multiple reasons. Teamwork does make the dream work. Palat and Holtz together fight for the puck along the boards, and Holtz gathers it to find an open Hughes for the lethal shot. The line was clicking in training camp, and it was on full display in that game.

In a game where the Devils got dominated by the New York Rangers, it was this line that shined through. The line generated the best CF% out of the entire lineup with 55.45%. The next best line was at 42.86%. Leading to a CF% Rel of 21.21. The impact this line has on the ice is being shown. The lone goal of the game came from this line as well. After the puck turned loose in the corner, Palat threw the puck across the ice. Hughes skates right into the faceoff dot and rips it top shelf.

Other Aspects Of Production

It is only two pre-season games, but the line has been easy to notice when it is their turn to play in the game. Hughes has two goals, Palat has two assists, and Holtz has one assist and leads the line with six shots on goal. Is it too early to say they should stick together?

The Case That’s Being Made

The New Jersey Devils pre-season line has given them something that was missing last season. Depth and scoring ability. It is not a guarantee this line stays together on opening night, but they should at least start together. The line has shown what it’s capable of, and the chemistry seems to be there. They have proved to be the best line during the pre-season play and, come opening night should remain the top line. It’ll be good for Holtz and his development to ply alongside Hughes, and veteran leadership from Palat will not go unnoticed.

Devils fans should be excited because the youth is finally working it’s way to the top.


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