One of the biggest questions you’ll hear around Cardiff Devils fans lately is “why aren’t there more seats in the bar?”.
Not really, the real hot topic is regarding players, and whether or not the Devils will be bringing in an extra body on defense any time soon.
Since Tom Parisi did a U-Turn and left the team before even suiting up for a game, it has been a question I’ve heard a couple of times.
But even with a guy like Parisi who came in with a lot of potential to be a game-changer, do the Devils need to go out and replace him?
The short answer is no, so if you don’t want to read any further here’s your exit point.
The long answer is still no, but it also requires an explanation.
You could argue that a big reason why the Devils don’t need to is Josh Batch. The 27-year-old is playing the best hockey of his career right now, and after a couple of seasons rotating between forward and defense, it’s good to see him get that stability that’s allowing him to play his role.
He’s an incredibly calm presence on the ice and has a great partnership going on with Mark Richardson right now. Both a very gifted players who have at least at one point in their careers played forward so they have that offense instinct, but there so reliable going into their own zone and so comfortable doing so.
Batch has shown signs of how he’s made it on to a couple of highlight reels over the years, he’s not going to play with the finese of Gleason Fournier for example, but when he gets going he can glide into the zone with ease and set up the play or finish it himself.
So with Josh Batch doing so well, why is he a reason the Devils don’t need to add an extra body?
Well, if you bring in another guy that means someones got to give up their spot. You bring in another guy you upset the balance the Devils have with one of the best defensive units in the league right now.
The combinations of Bryce Reddick and Ben Blood, Gleason Fournier and Mark Louis as well as Batch and Richardson, adding in the goalies Ben Bowns and Tom Murdy is working perfectly right now so why change anything?
And if a change is made that just means one guy is either dropping into a rotation, or being moved forward and you’d just imagine that guy is Josh Batch.
If you don’t count the Champions Hockey League, the Devils have lost just two games so far this year, and only one of them at home last weekend against the Guildford Flames.
Obviously the Devils are going to suffer a few losses on the road the a potential three-peat, but they’ve skated off on the right foot right now, and while bringing an extra guy in could work as cover, they Devils don’t even need that with Craig Moore also an option to drop back if needs be.
The Devils will be just fine without an extra body. If the right guy presents himself then of course they’ll take it, but I doubt they’re even looking too much right now.
Featured image – CardiffDevils.com