Jan 10, 2012, 2:33 PM EDT
Did you know? New Jersey is one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Since starting the season 12-12-1, the Devils have gone 11-4-1, a stretch that’s seen them climb the standings to sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Tonight in Calgary, they kick off a three-game Canadian swing against the Flames. Tomorrow they’re in Edmonton; Saturday it’s a visit to Winnipeg.
Then, after returning home, they play six straight at the Prudential Center against the Jets, Bruins, Flyers, Sabres, Rangers and Habs.
The back-to-back versus Winnipeg looms especially large, with both sides fighting for the final playoff spots in the East.
Despite the 17 teams below them in the standings, the Devils have just 15 regulation/overtime wins, tied for the 23rd most in the league. An 8-1 record in the shootout is what’s pushed them into a postseason position.
Consider: Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Patrik Elias are a combined 16-for-23 in the shootout. That trio’s been so good that only three other Devils have been forced to make a shootout attempt (Adam Henrique twice, David Clarkson and Petr Sykora once each.)
It begs the question, are the Devils a playoff-caliber team or just one that’s taken advantage of a contrived way to decide games in the regular season?
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- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 14
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 35
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25