The Jets – maybe thankfully – don’t have any time to dwell on last night’s loss to the New York Rangers as they are right back at it tonight against the New Jersey Devils. As we prepare for the game though, here are a few things to think about based on Opening Night and what we’ll see from the new look Devils.

1) Brossoit’s Turn

If you’re of the mindset that last night’s game against the Rangers was more about how bad the Jets defense played than it was Connor Hellebyuck’s .897 performance, you might be having that theory tested tonight. Laurent Brossoit as expected gets the start in goal tonight and he’ll do so behind the same defense that Hellebuyck played behind the night before with a couple of differences. For one, the Jets are playing a fresh Devils club that hasn’t played since last week. Secondly, the Jets are playing the second game of a back-to-back set, so expect at least some fatigue both physical and mental even though this is just game two of the season.

For what it’s worth, I thought the Jets defense was ok outside of some critical errors that led to a couple of goals against that Hellebuyck couldn’t cover up. Now we can have a debate later on just how much we should expect him to given his salary and what the Jets expect from their starter – but the “big save” just wasn’t there for the Jets last night. If Brossoit comes in and faces the same kind of pressure and does come up with those saves, we may have to have that conversation about Hellebuyck sooner than later.

2) Top Line Ehlers

It’s kind of hard right now to hear how Nikolaj Ehlers obsessively studied a ton of his own game film in an effort to learn from his mistakes, see how he played through the preseason and, see how he played in his first game last night and not be at least a little bit giddy that we may have Ehlers 2.0: now with forward line driving ability.

Paul Maurice talked about how Ehlers got the spot on the top line because he is able to keep up with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, but if anything it sure felt like Scheifele and Wheeler were keeping up with Ehlers more than the other way around. The first two goals were directly set up by both the work of Ehlers along the boards behind the net, and then the work of Ehlers speed flying down the wing. The third Jets goal was maybe more about Wheeler creating a play on his own, but if you look at the replays, Ehlers was right there ready for a one timer if Blake had felt the need to pass off.

We may have to take back anything we suggested about splitting up Scheifele and Wheeler. Patrik Laine may have to get use to a second line role for now. 55-26-27 was on fire last night and it would be silly to break that up.

3) Ok, the second line was good too

They didn’t quite have the same impact the top line did, but Andrew Copp centering a line with Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor seemed to work out as well. Since Bryan Little is still going to be out for a game or two at least, we won’t mind seeing this line continue to gel. Connor and Laine did combine on a goal in the third period, but it was on the power play… Just need that to kick in on standard five on five play.

4) David’s Debut?

When I heard TSN’s Kevin Sawyer mention how David Gustafsson had his family flown in overseas to see a potential debut in Madison Square Garden only to really see him sit in a press box, I was about to do some heavy tsk-tsk’ing online. But then you realize that New York and Newark are split by a single body of water and that there is a grand total of 14 miles driving distance between MSG and the Prudential Center and suddenly it’s not that bad.

Tonight though the Gustafsson family might/should/maybe/will get to watch their boy David play in his first NHL game proper.

If he does get into the lineup, let’s hope for a strong performance by Gustafsson to hopefully win over Paul Maurice which really should have happened after the preseason that he had, but maybe Maurice just wanted Letestu to get one more opening night before an eventual trip to the minors. Knowing Maurice’s history though, we’d all feel a bit better on his chances to stay on the roster if he plays a clean, limited mistake game with an assist or two on the side.

His fellow countryman Carl Dahlstrom might also draw into the lineup after being picked up on waivers by the Jets earlier this week. Maurice did hint yesterday that he would be “available” to the Jets tonight after arriving in New York yesterday, which is usually a strong indication that the head coach plans on using him.

5) Devil Debuts

The Jets got a look at number two pick Kappo Kakko last night, now they get to test out the first pick overall Jack Hughes who had a really good camp with New Jersey and has been getting rave reviews through the preseason. The Jets will also get looks at Nikita Gusev, Wayne Simmonds and some guy named @P.K. Subban who all make their New Jersey debuts tonight. The Devils will certainly be more improved than they were last season, but then that isn’t a very high bar to clear.

Also interesting to note that the Devils will be dressing three number one overall picks in tonight’s game. Hughes, 2017 first overall pick Nico Hischier, and 2010 first overall Taylor Hall. Not sure if going the route of the Edmonton Oilers “play all the first round picks you can but do nothing to improve your goaltending” style of management is the best way to go, but the Devils are going to give it a shot.

Game Prediction

If the Jets can tighten up a bit defensively but maintain the high tempo offense, they should get their first W of the season that they had in all honest earned last night. 5-3 Jets win.