Update — Crisis averted. Hughes is in the lineup for Game 5 vs. the Hurricanes despite missing line rushes. We don’t have an explanation as to why Hughes didn’t take line rushes as you normally do before a game. We can operate under the impression that he’s fine until we get a reason why he didn’t go through rushes.
New Jersey Devils C Jack Hughes did not take line rushes during pregame warmups prior to Game 5 of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. At this point, it’s unclear if Hughes is injured and will miss Game 5. Here are line rushes for the Devils:
Jack Hughes did not take #NJDevils line rushes…— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) May 11, 2023
Here’s how the lineup looked during warmups for Game 5:
▫️L. Hughes in
▫️TBD on Smith/Siegenthaler, swapping out with Severson
▫️Let’s wait on Roster Report to see who is officially in or out
Goalie Akira Schmid will return to the crease in place of Vitek Vanecek, who started the previous two games for New Jersey. Jesper Boqvist would be the forward drawing into the lineup for Hughes if that’s the case. Tomas Tatar moves up the lineup and Erik Haula is centering the second line in place of Hughes. Jack’s brother, defenseman Luke Hughes, appears to be in the lineup again and on the top pairing with Dougie Hamilton. The Devils had gone 11-7 the past few games but it’s unclear if that’s the case for Game 5.
Hughes finished the warmup with Timo Meier and Dawson Mercer and was the last one off the ice, per usual. That could be a good sign. It would be a hell of a message to send for head coach Lindy Ruff to bench his best player in an elimination game. We’ll know more once the official lineup is released.