Is This New Jersey Devils Worst Losing Streak Ever?

Jack Hughes - New Jersey Devils: (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Jack Hughes - New Jersey Devils: (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils have had some really bad stretches over the past 10 years. This isn’t the same team from the 90s and 2000s that was a perennial playoff contender and Stanley Cup threat. They are bad. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The Devils are just bad this year. It likely has a lot to do with the COVID-19 outbreak that put the season on ice, but that doesn’t take away from the fact the team is not very good.

However, this current stretch feels different. The Devils literally went winless in the first six games of the season last year after an offseason full of hype and a preseason where Cory Schneider looked like he was back (he wasn’t). Still, the Devils were able to get two points out of those losses (although blowing a four-goal lead in the opening just to get one point out of it wasn’t great). However, they finished the losing streak by wiping the floor with the New York Rangers.

In this current stretch, the Devils got the doors blown off by the Rangers twice in a row. Both times, the beating happened in front of a home crowd.

The Devils are currently in the midst of a five-game losing streak, all at home. They have also lost eight of nine games. The losing seems endless, and the schedule is about to get harder. When weighing the expectations after a really strong start, the anticipation after a two-week hiatus, and the young talent that was blossoming before our very eyes, has this losing streak now become the worst in team history?

It’s highly unlikely. It’s still way too early for these losses to matter as they have in years past. It hurts now, but let’s go back in time and revisit some really painful experiences.

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In 2015-16, the Devils were four points out with eight games left. Instead of going on a true push to the postseason, they lost six of their next seven and finished the season in seventh place. Woof.

The Devils worst streak of recent times was back in the 2013 lockout-shortened season. The team lost Zach Parise in the offseason, Ilya Kovalchuk teased staying in Russia after the lockout was over, and Martin Brodeur was coming close to the end of his career. This might be their last chance at a Cup. They started off scorching hot with a 10-3-3 record. It was early, and eventually, they had a 15-11-6 record. They were holding on to seventh place in the conference, and once Brodeur was fully healthy, they could go on a run. Well, they went on a run the wrong way. They lost 10 games in a row. As one could imagine, it did not end in a playoff berth.

In the 2008-09 season, the Devils were in second place in the Eastern Conference as of March 20th. It looked like it was another banner year for the franchise. Then, they lost six in a row. They still won the Atlantic Division, so it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

Outside of this, the Devils have lived a pretty charmed life. They only have three 10-game losing streaks since coming to New Jersey. They’ve had six eight-game losing streaks, but six of them came in the lowly 80s. There aren’t many times where losing streaks really hurt, but there are definitely worst streaks than right now. That doesn’t make this streak hurt any less.