John Moore returned to the lineup Sunday after missing time with a concussion. He will bolster the bottom half of the Devils defense.
It’s been 42 days since John Moore wore a New Jersey Devils sweater getting ready to take the ice for a game. That changed on Sunday, when Moore was cleared to play after a concussion took him out in December.
He didn’t do anything spectacular in the 4-1 loss, but just having him on the ice for the first time in 2017 was more than a welcomed sight.
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According to the Devils twitter account, Moore says he needs to improve and admits to rust. He goes on to say how excited he was to be out there with his teammates. That’s exactly what you want to hear from a guy coming into a team that’s still fighting for a playoff spot.
Moore went out on New Year’s Eve, when the Washington Capitals Tom Wilson crushed his head into the glass behind the Devils net. The defenseman did not get up, and had to be stretchered off the ice. He was later diagnosed with a concussion.
Moore even had to go to the hospital after the hit, a hit that was deemed legal by the NHL. The team was clearly not the same after watching their teammate getting wheeled out of the arena. They ended up giving up six goals to the Capitals en route to a huge loss.
It doesn’t help that the Devils were also missing their captain Andy Green for 12 of the 17 games Moore was out. That meant the Devils were missing two of their top four defenseman, a position they are notably weak at, for close to a month.
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Moore had been giving the Devils 19 minutes per game prior to his concussion. In his first game back, he was able to give the team 16 minutes, showing he is ready to get right into the thick of things.
The Devils play the worst team in the NHL next in the Colorado Avalanche. This game can get the Devils back on the right track, but more importantly it could give Moore the opportunity to get his confidence back. He clearly needs to shake off rust, but if he can play like he did in the first 110 games with the Devils, then he will play a pivotal role in their win-loss record.