Monday night will be the third time that centre Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils will take on his older brother Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks in NHL action. The 20-year-old forward presently owns bragging rights over the 22-year-old blueliner.
“It’s kind of a problem, especially tonight when we need points so bad right now,” Quinn said Monday morning. “It’s not so much about changing the narrative (head-to-head vs brother), but we need to keep climbing the ladder and yeah, hopefully we’ll be 1-and-3 after tonight (against Jack, in overall careers).”
Jack presently owns a 3-and-0 record against Quinn, that includes a 2018 win for USA Hockey’s Under-18 National Team Development Program team over Quinn’s University of Michigan squad. He’s also beaten his brother twice in the NHL.
On October 19, 2019, Jack scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over the Canucks. It was the younger Hughes’s 1st NHL goal. Jack also beat Quinn on November 10th, 2019 with an assist in a 2-1 Devils win.
“Obviously, tonight’s another great opportunity to pad my lead, so we’ll see how it goes,” Jack said. “But it’s important for the Devils and it’s extremely important for the Canucks. We’re both looking for a win.”
While there’s a playful rivalry, the two brothers, 19-months apart, are best friends. They played together for the United States at World Juniors and also at the World Championship in 2019.
“He’s the older brother and I’m sure it’s like this in every house,” Jack added. “He was my first role model just because I followed everything he did, and I learned a lot from him. It’s pretty funny that we are where we are now, and I think everyone will enjoy watching us play.”
“I never really tried to set an example; I was just always myself and I never really looked at it as an older brother,” Quinn said. “I just looked at it as if they were my friends and I’ve always felt like me and Jack were the same age because most of my friends are his friends and vice versa.”
“They” refers to Luke, an 18-year-old offensive defenceman and prolific scorer in his first year at the University of Michigan. The Devils picked him 4th overall in last summer’s NHL Draft.
The Canucks presently own 58 points, three back of the 2nd NHL Western Conference wild card spot with three teams to hop, all four with a different number of games played. That’s Dallas (52 GP), Edmonton (53 GP), and Anaheim (55 GP). The Vancouver Canucks (54 GP) sits four points back of the 3rd-place Vegas Golden Knights, who have a game in-hand, in the Pacific Division.
The Devils have a much taller task, if not impossible. They’re dead last in the Metropolitan Division, 24 points out of a playoff spot with 30 games to play. Let’s face it, they don’t have a prayer. But they can play spoiler against Vancouver and have one Hughes brother keep his perfect sibling rivalry record intact.