5. 5v5 Numbers Will Even Out
The Devils have one of the worst counting stats at even strength in the NHL. We went through the numbers on Wednesday night after the disgusting loss to the Red Wings. The Devils are sixth worst in the league at goals per 60 minutes at 5v5. This team, with players like Hughes, Meier, and Bratt is having terrible trouble scoring when not on the power play.
The thing about those numbers is when digging deeper, this seems like luck and finishing more than anything. That usually figures itself out. Tyler Toffoli and… John Marino have the most 5v5 points on the team with eight. This team will not succeed with Marino being the top point contributor.
The team is getting chances. Timo Meier, Michael McLeod, and Toffoli all have 20 or more individual high-danger chances. Hughes and Bratt will work themselves there eventually, as will Nico Hischier when he returns. The scoring will get better. We already mentioned the defense, but as far as total chances, they are about league average. They just need to avoid the mistakes and score more, and this team will be going far. Yeah, it sounds like a lot to ask, but they are doing close to that already.
This has been a bad start. It’s about as bad as it could be with this level of talent. The coaching staff has the tools. Now, they need to execute. Start on Black Friday with a win against Columbus.