Jan 10, 2012, 2:33 PM EST
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?
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 3
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 14
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 58
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 36
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5