With the season now halfway done, here’s my mid-season grade on the New Jersey Devils:
That’s pretty much all I’ve got.
The Devils are the worst team in the league right now with an 11-29-2 record. Those 24 points are nine less than the next two worst teams, The New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers, who both have 33 points.
The Devils have scored 78 goals on the season, by far the worst in the league.
Second worst is Ottawa with 93 goals for.
There are only four teams who have allowed as many or more goals than the Devils (133).
Edmonton (141), Colorado (138), Tampa (137), Columbus (134) and the Islanders (133).
The Devils’ leading scorer, Patrik Elias, has a total of 30 points (9g – 21a).
There are two players, Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos, who have more goals than Elias has points.
Overall, Elias is ranked 67th in the league in scoring. There are nine defensemen in the league that are ranked higher.
Martin Brodeur, who was injured for a few weeks, and Johan Hedberg both have goals against averages of over three and save percentages of under 90% (3.05 GAA, .887 SV% for Brodeur; 3.04 .891 for Hedberg)
Hedberg and Brodeur are ranked 35th and 36th out of 46 ranked goalies with at least 14 starts in GAA.
They are ranked 41 and 44 out of 46 in SV%.
The Devils 100 million dollar man, Ilya Kovalchuk, is on pace for his worst offensive season ever, including his rookie year. He has just 10 goals and 13 points in 41 games, and has a league worst minus-29 rating.
He was also benched for one game by John MacLean, who has been replaced by new (old) coach Jacques Lemaire.
Captain Jamie Langenbrunner was traded to the Dallas Stars for a draft pick. It signals what should be the first of many moves.
There have been more injuries on the team than you can even remember.
I can go on and on, but I won’t. It’s depressing. While some older Devils fans (like myself) remember the days of losing many games and missing the playoffs, most fans aren’t used to that. Even the older fans have gotten used to not only winning, but making the playoffs year after year.
My point is this: The Devils have set themselves up for one of the greatest second half comebacks of all-time!!
All they have to do now is prove me right in thinking it’s possible.
LET’S GO DEVILS!