Reason #2: High Danger Chances
The New Jersey Devils were the top team in the league in high-danger chances for 5v5 play and fourth at all strengths during the regular season. In head-to-head play, only three teams had the HDCF advantage. The Edmonton Oilers, Seattle Kraken, and Florida Panthers all had the advantage.
They haven’t faced Edmonton since November, and they won both games. Two of the three Panthers games came in December when the Devils were playing some of its worst hockey (at least on the scoresheet). The last Seattle game was in early February.
The Devils had the HDCF advantage against every other team, including the other four in the playoffs. While the Hurricanes held a serious Corsi advantage, they were peppering the Devils with shot attempts. Meanwhile, the Devils dominated in meaningful chances. They had 65 high-dangers chances in four games.
We know how those Toronto games went. The Maple Leafs came out with two wins in three contests, including the most controversial game of the season. In those three games, the Devils had 72 percent of the high-danger chances. They only allowed the high-powered Leafs offense to have 19 HDCF in three games. The Devils had 49. That’s wild.