Struggling Devils Shake Things Up on Monday

The New Jersey Devils have lost three of their last four games, and appear ready to shake up the lineup. Monday morning's practice saw wholesale changes to lines and defence pairings. 

The Devils now have Michael McLeod back as the top line pivot, with Timo Meier and Jesper Bratt on the wings; former 1st-rounder Alexander Holtz jumps to the second line with Tyler Toffoli and Dawson Mercer; while a notable change on defense finds Luke Hughes pairing up with Dougie Hamilton. 

Head coach Lindy Ruff says he wants to try out an all-lockdown and all-offense duo look on the blueline. 

"Take a look at (Jonas Siegenthaler) & (John) Marino being more of a shutdown pair; and with (Luke) & (Dougie), you're looking at an offensive pair that can help create. Anytime we've got down, we've gone to them and we've had pretty good success creating ... in the offensive zone."

Holtz was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 Draft, and after some impressive stat lines in the AHL over the past couple of seasons, he could finally get a chance to try to create some offense with a couple of talented linemates in the top-six. He's produced five points in 13 games this season.

The Devils are at 7-5-1 on the season, a bit of a disappointment thus far, and Ruff is apparently looking for something new to shake things up. Their next game is Tuesday night at Winnipeg.

Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports