The stat you won't believe that says the Devils should be a playoff team

The New Jersey Devils had a bad year but it isn't as bad as some people think.
New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils have had a tough season. They did not live up to the expectations set on them after the marvelous year that they had in 2022-23. There was a lot of turnover with their roster but the core remained the same. With that, the depth was tested when some of the top guys were injured. 

Not only did they deal with a bit of that injury bug this season, but there was also some bad goaltending and questionable coaching decisions along the way. Because of this, there are a lot of reasons to have hope that they can bounce back next year with a few changes in the right areas. 

There is one stat, however, that might make people realize that the Devils should be a playoff team despite their actual place in the standings.

The top three teams in each division earn automatic bids into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Well, the Devils have the third most wins (37) of any team in their Metropolitan Division. Only the first-place New York Rangers (53) and second-place Carolina Hurricanes (49) have more. 

The Devils are not going to the playoffs but have more wins than teams that are

The New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburg Penguins are all ahead of the Devils in the standings but have fewer wins. It is a result of those teams having more losses in overtime than the Devils.

A lot of New Jersey's losses came in regulation while the other teams were able to at least get a point in overtime or a shootout. This is more of a knock against the current points system in the NHL. Teams are rewarded for simply pushing the game past regulation.

In any other sport, the Devils would be headed to the playoffs because they won more games than the rest of the teams in their division. In the NHL, you are rewarded for losing the right way.

The reality of the situation, however, is that the Devils play in this league and they need to get better. During the summer, they need to get back to being healthy, fix the goaltending woes, and add a little more depth at forward and on defense.