The New Jersey Devils have lost four straight games and are firmly positioned at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings. That lack of success has only been furthered by injury lately, as the team is missing a huge chunk of their regular skaters. Team reporter Amanda Stein details all those who are missing practice today as the team prepares for their trip to Washington. Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Miles Wood, Kevin Rooney, Nathan Bastian, Sami Vatanen, Pavel Zacha, Will Butcher and Mirco Mueller are all absent. John Quenneville and Kyle Palmieri who have missed games recently due to injury both took part.
The Devils will take on the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers in a back-to-back situation over the next two days, and very well could find themselves slipping even further down the standings over the next month. With so many injuries and other key players shipped out at the deadline, it appears as though New Jersey might have another good shot at the draft lottery this season. They are currently ahead of just Ottawa, Detroit and Los Angeles in the “Lose for Hughes” race.
Hall’s absence is the most notable obviously, as the reigning Hart Trophy winner continues his rehab from minor knee surgery. With just a single season left on his current contract, many have wondered about Hall’s future in New Jersey. GM Ray Shero unequivocally told Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required) that he did not consider trading his offensive star at the deadline, and that he will approach Hall this summer to try and work out a contract extension.