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Henrique wants to score more than just clutch goals for Devils


James OBrien

If it’s possible for an athlete to be “clutch” - and there are plenty of people who cringe at that term - then the label probably applies to New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique.

He told the Newark Star-Ledger that he’d like to sprinkle more mundane, run-of-the-mill goals in with that large quantity of game-changers, though.

“I want to be the guy that is counted on from start to finish through the season,” Henrique said. “When the team is down, I want to score the big goals to turn things around. I want to be that guy who is looked upon from the guys in here as a leader. I think it just takes time to slowly develop into that, but I think my progression has gone the way I’ve wanted it to in that sense.”

Don’t believe that a big chunk of his production is during crunch time? Just consider his career numbers.

Seven of his 39 career regular season goals are game-winners and three of his five postseason ones (all from the Devils’ run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final) were GWGs. That’s about 18 percent of his career regular season goals and more than half of his postseason ones.

To give you an idea of how big a percentage that is, consider his teammate Jaromir Jagr. He owns the NHL record with 122 career game-winners, yet that represents a slightly lower percentage (17.5) of Jagr’s career tallies ... and that’s the all-time leader in the category.

Scoring goals is difficult enough in the NHL that Henrique, 23, only has so much control over when he scores. Still, if he wants more opportunities to collect even more memorable tallies, the Devils need to get quite a bit better. Getting more from Henrique wouldn’t hurt that cause.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins