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Playoff bubble watch — Devils edition

Mar 14, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

When the New Jersey Devils missed the playoffs last season, coach Pete DeBoer felt his team deserved a better fate.

If they miss them again this season, he may feel exactly the same way. Or possibly even more so.

Take New Jersey’s record in the shootout — zero wins, eight losses. The only winless record in the league. If the Devils were simply .500 in the “gimmick,” they’d be in a playoff position. Alas, they go into tonight’s game in Florida on the outside looking in, with Sports Club Stats giving them a 58.8 percent chance of qualifying.


You may be surprised to hear that goaltending has been an issue for New Jersey. Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider both rank near the bottom in even-strength save percentage, and the Devils’ overall team save percentage (.905) ranks 25th in the NHL. (The pair has also combined for the third-worst save percentage in shootouts, at .560.)

Which has to be frustrating, since no team gives up fewer shots on average than the Devils (25.5).

Based on a stat like Corsi, the Devils possess the puck more than they don’t. And while no stat tells the entire story, there’s something to be said for the teams that do well in it:


After tonight’s game in Florida, the Devils play in Tampa Bay tomorrow before returning home to take on Boston Tuesday.

If there’s one reason for optimism, it may be the remaining schedule for New Jersey. Of its 16 games, 10 are against clubs not currently in a playoff position.

  1. nj666 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Yeah two points out of a playoff position in a horrid division and haven’t won a glorified skills contest… they’re clearly screwed for the playoffs…

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      ain’t no shoot-out in the playoffs (thank gog)

  2. 950003cups - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    They have no excuse not to make the playoffs. Teams in front have given them so much needed help. Last year the reason was simple. Injuries to Kovalchuk and Brodeur had crippled the team in the final stretch.

    So, if they make the post season, which has no shootouts, the Devils will be in a viable position to make some noise.

  3. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    I really like the chances of the Devils making the playoffs.

    Detroit is hurting, NY seems to be in a slump, Columbus and Philly are both up and down at times this year (yes Philly has been on a tear the last little while)

    Washington, Ottawa and Carolina all seem to be on the back-end of the bubble.

    With the schedule being much more favorable than their counterparts

    1) Philly has Pittsburgh (x2), St Louis (x2), LA, Boston (x2) and Chicago in the next 3 weeks. Thats a tough schedule in a tight playoff race.

    2) NY has a lax schedule similar to the Devils as well.

    3) Columbus has Pittsburg, Chicago and Colorado over the next 3 weeks as well.

    The Devils only have one tough match-up with Boston, the rest are games against mid rank teams and a few against Calgary, Buffalo, NYI etc…

    • samsonsimpson9 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      That Philly schedule is brutal. They could easily find themselves on the outside looking in.

  4. samsonsimpson9 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Really cherry picking those goalie stats. Guess shots against on the penalty kill don’t count? Schneider currently ranks 13th (actually tied for 7th) in total save %, at .918%, and is tied for third in GAA, at 2.07. He’s also been one of, if not the, best goalies since Jan 1. His win-loss would be much higher if the Devils gave him any goal support early in the year, but either way, his goaltending hasn’t been an issue all year. It’s actually been a strength.

    • Jason Brough - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      FYI, you lose a lot of credibility when you cite GAA.

      • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        I agree with sampsonsimpson9. Also, how does anyone lose credibility on siting Goals Against Average while ALSO mentioning Save Percentage? That’s the first stats you look at for a goaltender.

      • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        Not really…it shows that a 2.07 GA with a great SV% as well shows that the goalies are not the issue if wins a not there.

        The Devils probably had a 1.25 goals against their opposition….they gave no support for the goalies.

        Finally the Devils are putting some numbers on the board to help out the goalies…I’m just thankful its right now during the playoff rush.

      • Jason Brough - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        GAA says nothing. If you stop 2 of 4 shots in a game, your GAA looks pretty good. Doesn’t mean you played well.

      • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        Jason, I said “citing Goals Against Average while ALSO mentioning Save Percentage” that’s what simpson9 did. Not just GAA. If you mention either one without the other its useless. If you stop 51 of 55 shots and lose 4-2 your GAA looks bad and you get a “L” to boot. Just like Michal Neuvirth did.

        *yes, I know I corrected “siting” to “citing”

      • Jason Brough - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Win-loss record is useless too, if you’re trying to identify how a goalie has played.
        Curious: do you think it was a joke that Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young in 2010 when he went 13-12?

      • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Felix was a victim of poor run support. It was definitely debatable though. But the year before he was 19-5 and still lost to a 16-8 Grenkie. So in short, I think the entire Cy Young voting system award is a scham. So to answer your question, I don;t think it was any bigger a joke than several other Cy Young winners in the past.

      • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        Also, to me, as much as I hate seeing the Yankees play against him, I think Justin Verlander deserves the Cy Young every year. That’s just me. But of course you have to throw out April and May stats to do so. I’m a big fan of his.

  5. jb8383 - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Yep. Frustrating. “If the Devils were simply .500 in the “gimmick,” they’d be in a playoff position”

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