Another week and another installment of Hot and Cold. Last week, I had Patrik Elias on the list and boy did he prove me wrong. We’ll take a look at three more players for each side.
1. David Clarkson – I think Clarkson is fueled by doubters who don’t think he has the skill to be a perennial 30-goal scorer. So far, the right winger has four goals along with three assists in just five games. He seems to be benefiting from playing with Patrik Elias.
Clarkson seems to have added a whole separate element to his game. No longer is he just a player who can crash the net and score, but he’s passing the puck well and is more confident in shooting from difference spots on the ice.
2. Patrik Elias – When we had Patrik on the cold portion of this list, he only had one assist. Now, a week later, he’s got two goals and five assists. The Devils second line has been good and they will need to continue to do so. Against Montreal, Elias picked up three points against Montreal to give him 900 points for his career, a remarkable number.
3. Johan Hedberg – Moose hadn’t started a regular season game in almost a year prior to his start in Boston. It didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Hedberg was sensational in net, making 27 saves in the 2-1 shootout loss. If he can keep up his solid play, it’ll give Pete DeBoer much more confidence in sitting Brodeur when needed. So far, Hedberg has shown that he can shoulder the load if needed.
1. Andy Greene – Greene has been struggling some in his own end and his time on the power play has been even more fruitless. A few years ago, Greene looked to be an offensive threat, but now, he has been struggling in both ends. With Adam Larsson waiting, any one of the defensemen may be called to sit. Much like hot potato, you don’t want to be the defenseman who’s playing poorly when DeBoer decides to make a change. Right now you can make the case that Greene is exactly that.
2. Steve Bernier/Ryan Carter – When was the last time you heard the name Steve Bernier? Probably during his penalty in Game 6 of the SCF last season. It’s been as long for Carter, as well. These two were great along with Stephen Gionta during the playoff run, but so far, that line has failed to regain their magic of last year. The two of them need to start contributing, or they might get split up. Gionta has been pretty solid, but right now, Carter and Bernier aren’t making such a good case to be getting third-line minutes.
3. Cam Janssen – He doesn’t play, he doesn’t score, he doesn’t even register any points. I have no clue why this guy is still an NHL hockey player, other than his ability to fight. He was put on waivers this week and he didn’t play against Boston. There are so many other players in the Devils system that deserve a spot over Janssen. Hell, I’d even put Peter Harrold at wing just to get him some playing time.