New Jersey Devils Mid-Term Report Card

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Special Teams

Oct 14, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Mike Cammalleri (23) scores a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. New Jersey Devils defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For a good chunk of the season’s first two months, the New Jersey Devils’ penalty kill unit was atrocious, and that would be putting it politely.

The unit hovered under a 70 percent success rate for quite some time, directly resulting in the Devils losing game, after game, after game. But since Bryce Salvador was injured and no longer a part of the Devils’ penalty kill (again, coincidentally enough), the Devils’ penalty kill unit has seen a stark improvement.

Through 47 games, New Jersey’s penalty kill success rate sits at 79.5 percent, ranking 20th in the NHL. Considering how poor the unit was as a whole, to be where they are now is very impressive. By no means is this a good number, as the Devils penalty kill has consistently been a top-10 unit over the past several seasons. But there is no doubt that it has improved.

As for the power play unit, it has been quietly very good. While it seems like the Devils don’t capitalize on power play opportunities often, their 20.9 percent success rate is good enough for ninth in the league. Mike Cammalleri has been a large part of the success, as he ranks tied for sixth in the NHL with six power play goals this season.

While the Devils began the season on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of penalty kill and power play success, the more recent accomplishments of the penalty has made New Jersey’s special teams units one of their strong suits.

Mid-Term Grade: B

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