In an effort to sure up the void left by the wrist injury to Dainius Zubrus, or in an effort to give fans purchasing personalized jersey’s more bang for their buck, the Devils re-acquired Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Winnipeg Jets for some late-round draft picks over the next two years.
Ponikarovsky adds size, speed, skill and more veteran experience to the Devils team. Not to mention, that the guy knows the Devils system and more importantly Coach Pete DeBoer’s style.
In 33 games with the Devils last year (he was acquired mid-season from Carolina), Ponikaovsky scored seven goals and tallied 11 assists and just eight penalty minutes.
He was also instrumental to the Devils playoff run last season. He had an assist on the Adam Henrique overtime series-clinching goal against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Championship. He also had a magnificent OT goal to put the Devils up 2-1 over the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.
More than likely he’ll slide into the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, considering how well the Patrik Elias-Adam Henrique-David Clarkson line and the Gummo line (Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Steve Bernier) have been playing.
The big question is who comes out?
The fourth line, Krys Barch-Jacob Josefson-Bobby Butler, has been buzzing lately. Butler and Josefson are instrumental on special teams and Barch has filled the role of enforcer rather nicely for the Devils. The only other option is Stefan Matteau. But do you want to sit the kid after he has gotten some points and has played well in pressure situations?
I don’t know what Coach DeBoer will do, but I think he will act wisely.
Let’s go Devils!