Something Must Change With New Jersey Devils Power Play

The New Jersey Devils power play was once the best in the league, but a change in philosophy has them as one of the worst. It's time to figure out what worked and stop what doesn't.

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils power play went from first to worst, and it's really impacting how much they score. Despite leading the Flyers 4-2 at the time of this writing in their Stadium Series game on Saturday night, it was no thanks to the power play. The Devils were given five opportunities against the second-best penalty-killing unit in the league, and they went 0-for.

This comes just two days after the Devils went 1-for-5 against the best penalty kill in the league. While it is a rough week for this unit, opportunities in this adundance must provide better results. This is a team with Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Tyler Toffoli, Timo Meier, Luke Hughes, etc etc etc. This much offensive talent should yield much better results with the man advantage.

And it certainly did earlier in the year. A lot got thrown off with all the injuries. The Devils were forced to rely on the tried and true "one insane unit-one much worse unit" approach to the PP. The Hughes brothers and Nico Hischier join Bratt on the first unit. Dawson Mercer, Meier, Alex Holtz, and Erik Haula usually play around Simon Nemec on the second unit. Unfortunately, it seems with so much talent in the first unit, they prioritize the perfect chance. If it doesn't come, they keep passing.

It usually leads to no chances at all. On Saturday night, through 40 minutes and 7:26 of PP time, the Devils had six shots on the power play (and two shots against). They had four high-danger chances (and two against). They aren't even averaging one HDCF per power play.

Over the last 10 games, only the Winnipeg Jets have scored fewer power-play goals. They have just two goals in 53 minutes of PP time. If you add Saturday night's game, the Devils have two PP goals in a full game's worth of power-play time. Yet, their xGF is just 14th in the league according to Natural Stat Trick. They are getting chances but just not finishing.

The Devils need to make changes to the unit. The injuries aren't an issue anymore, so it makes sense to go for two equal units. For now, the Devils have to find some rhythm with the unit, and that starts with getting shots on net.