It’s time to talk about a player who took this team by storm through the first 24 games of the season. Team-leading goal scorer Brian Gibbons is having a start to the season that nobody (and I seriously mean nobody) expected. He has 11 goals so far, and exceeded everyone’s expectations, especially since he plays on the bottom six.
Looking back to September, it was unknown what kind of season the Devils would have. Having said that, everyone seemed to have a good feeling the Devils wouldn’t be a contender for the playoffs and they would be lucky to finish in the top-25.
However, everyone did seem sure of the roster they would get. Following the additions of Jimmy Hayes and Drew Stafford it only seemed certain there was room for a couple of AHL players. It almost appeared certain those spots would be given to Joe Blandisi and John Quenneville (or so the fans thought). At the preseason’s conclusion, the roster was released and those two spots actually went to Gibbons and Blake Coleman. There was a lot of confusion among fans as to why this decision was reached and many didn’t agree.
While Coleman has been your average fourth line player, Gibbons on the other hand has taken off in goal-scoring and in big moments I may add. As of right now, it looks very likely that Gibbons and Coleman are here to stay and we may not be seeing Quenneville anytime soon as long as the rest of the roster maintains health. Blandisi as we all know, was dealt in yesterday’s shocker deal that landed the Devils Sammi Vatanen.
All credit to these moves on who goes to the AHL and who stays up here go to head coach John Hynes. This is one of many reasons as to why he is one of the lead candidates for the Jack Adams trophy or better known as “coach of the year” award. The Devils are off to a great start through the first third of the season and they do not seem to be showing signs of a major decline.
The ultimate thing to do is to keep giving Gibbons lines three and four time, the old saying is “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” So let us follow that and not fix what isn’t broken.