The New Jersey Devils have had a terrible season thanks to injuries and goalie ineffectiveness. However, one positive is the scoring boom the Devils have enjoyed. Four players have 20 goals or more this season, something the Devils haven’t done in a decade. It’s nice to see the Devils finally scoring. It’s at least exciting, something fans haven’t had in a while.
However, is their scoring a product of great play from great players, or is it just a trend that’s hitting the entire league? Players are scoring more this season. The league is averaging 3.13 goals per team per game this season. We haven’t seen scoring like this since 1996. Last season, teams were averaging less than three goals per game.
It’s not even like the league is scoring that many more power-play goals. The changes from year to year are minimal.
The Devils are getting scoring, as they are averaging over three goals per game. However, that’s still just 18th in the league in scoring totals. Will the Devils scoring go back down if scoring as a whole goes down next season? With the massive scoring streaks of Jesper Bratt and Yegor Sharangovich go down as a fluke?
The major issue here is Jesper Bratt is in a contract year. If this is a one-hit wonder that follows a trend of scoring across the league, the Devils are sure to overpay for his services in the offseason. If they pay Bratt $7+ million for six or more seasons and then he goes back to the 40-50 point player he was in seasons past, the Devils are going to be in bad shape.
That part seems slightly unlikely. While Bratt might not be a consistent point-per-game player, it seems like his inconsistency is in the past.
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The rest of the scoring might be a trend due to scoring as a whole, but even if the rest of the team falls back with the league averages, the league will be falling back as well. This is obvious but deserves mentioning. The Devils shouldn’t be too worried if the league falls back to averages. Even if the Devils goals per game go down, the games will still be as competitive. They really just need a goalie.