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Hockey Tough

Jack Hughes goes face first into the boards, somehow survives, dishes out game-winning apple

At this current juncture, the New Jersey Devils are not a good hockey team, and they might not be a good hockey team next season either. Two, three years from now, though, the Devils should be back in the mix again, so long as the franchise, also known as former No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes, becomes the superstar many expect him to become.

Preserving the franchise should be the Devils No. 1 priority right now, and yet the franchise nearly went up in flames on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. Late in the game, Hughes gained the zone and ripped a shot on net, losing his footing in the process. Unable to move his body in time, Hughes went face first into the boards, causing Devils fans everywhere to collectively gasp and begin to pray to god, or satan, or whoever Devils fans pray to: 

Terrifying is putting this moment lightly. This is the type of bad luck that can kill a franchise's rebuild. Sure, it's the end of the season and perhaps he'd recover just fine for next year, but what if he didn't? What if the injury was so serious that it legitimately affected the future of his career? Nightmare fuel. 

Turns out, this scrappy little 19-year-old is as #hockeytough as they come. Not only did he return to the game, he dished the damn game-winning apple to Pavel Zacha, another former top-six pick by the Devils. Can you say ... FUUUUTUREEEEEE

Pretty awesome moment for all 12 Devils fans in attendance. Not so awesome for Jaroslav Halak:

Yeah, losing to the Devils will do that to ya.