The New Jersey Devils had a rough start to the season. Well, the results aren’t terrible. They have three points in three games. It’s not the pace they want, but it’s not devastating. Still, the Devils need to pick it up. The on-ice results have matched the ho-hum standings. Currently, the Devils are in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division (although it’s way too early to look at standings).
There are a few things that have to change in order for the Devils to be competitive with the New York Islanders. The Islanders haven’t lost a game this season. They’ve averaged one goal against per game (in two games). Now, the Devils look to end a skid against a team known for its suffocating style. Here’s what we need to see from them Friday night and beyond.
Last season, the New Jersey Devils dominated even strength. Teams could not keep up with them, both offensively and defensively. This season that hasn’t translated. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Devils have recorded 21 high-danger chances and have given up 23. They are still eighth in terms of CorsiFor Percentage in the NHL, but they need more quality chances.
Right now, the Devils have three goals at even strength. Only two teams have fewer 5v5 goals this season. One is the Boston Bruins, so that’s not terrible company to keep. However, the Devils need to start scoring at even strength. Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamilton, and Michael McLeod are the only players who have 5v5 goals. No Jesper Bratt, Timo Meier, Nico Hischier, Dawson Mercer, or Alex Holtz. The Devils made some big line changes, so hopefully that gets the scoring going.