The New Jersey Devils have found their way to the top of the Atlantic Division this season, boasting a record of 47-23-4 for 98pts.
As of this post, they are seated 3rd in the Eastern Conference, although they have 2 games-in-hand on the Washington Capitals (2nd Place/seed).
Just like with the Bruins, Lets take a good look at what New Jersey brings to the table…
Earlier this season there was a lot of talk about Zach Parise being the first Devil to reach 50 goals and 100 points. That talk has quieted down considerably, although the team, and Parise, has been anything but quiet this season.
Parise leads the Devils in points with 42g-47a-89pts
Elias has 30 goals. Langenbrunner 25. Zajac 20. Gionta 18.
222 goals for the Devils this season through 74 games. Not only a respectable stat, but they’ll finish with a higher goal total this year than any since the 1999-2000 season when they finished with 251.
Paul Martin leads New Jersey defensemen in Points with 30. He’s trailed pretty closely by John Oduya(28pts).
Paul Martin +23, John Oduya +23, Mike Mottau +26, and Colin White+23.
Devils Defensemen are playing pretty responsible hockey, managing to chalk up some impressive +/- ratings.
The team has given up 182 goals.
With Martin Brodeur in net, [insert team name] has a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Brodeur has played 23 games going 15-5-3 with 5 shutouts, meanwhile recording a .922 Sv%, 2.18 GAA
He also broke the NHL’s career wins record (Brodeur has 553) and will inevitably break Terry Sawchuk’s shutout record(103)…still a possibility this season with Brodeur only needing 2 shutouts to take it.
Not too shabby, but the real hero in New Jersey is Scott Clemmensen.
25-13-1. 2 Shutouts.
Losing Martin Brodeur early in the season prompted a lot of hockey fans and followers to write-off the Devils. Big Mistake. Clemmensen was no walk in the park to play against. He’ll be an Unrestricted Free Agent this summer; perhaps his stellar play will merit him a starting job elsewhere in the NHL.
The Devils have the 9th lowest PIM/game at 12.9
They’ve taken a total of 318PIM(6th) including 55 major penalties(23rd).
Their Penalty Kill ranks 21st in the League at 80%.
On the Power Play…New Jersey is clicking at a rate of 19.7%, good for 13th in the league.
So the New Jersey Devils have an improved offense over recent years, with a potent scorer in Zach Parise, and solid secondary scoring.
How important is Martin Brodeur? Can anyone really know?
He appears to have not missed a step. If he can maintain his health down the stretch…New Jersey is a contender.
Can the Penguins beat the Devils in a best-of-7 series?
The Devils are 3-2 against the Pens, but the Pens are 2-1-2 against the Devils this season. The Pens lost twice in overtime…not the shootout.
This is a dangerous team, but they haven’t seen the Penguins since late January.
The Devils won’t see the Penguins again this season unless the two meet during the playoffs.