New Jersey Devils Sit Atop Metropolitan Division as Calendar Turns to November
After 10 games, New Jersey leads their division with 16 points.
New Jersey Devils are in 1st Place in the Metropolitan Division
If this was last season, I would be telling you to have faith in John Hynes. I am going to be humble since we are only 10 games in and not say “I told you so”. As of Halloween, the New Jersey Devils are sitting above the Metropolitan Division with 16 points. This team earned those 16 points.
Playing with Physicality
Watching this Devils’ team is unlike watching teams in the past, they have key players who are taking on key roles. One such role that has been missing since the days of Ken Daneyko and Randy McKay is the enforcer. Yes, they briefly had one that one season David Clarkson was good.
Miles Wood though is taking on that role. He is also transforming that role. He is not just someone who will throw the gloves down. Wood is someone who defends his team which was seen towards the end of last season. However, he also has the talent on the ice to make plays and score goals. Physicality has been missing from Devils teams of the past and did not seem like it was part of management’s plan during the Lou Lamriello and Pete Deboer reign. Yet, teams that win the Stanely Cup are known for it i.e, the Penguins with players like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
Not Just Nico
Nico Hischier might be the number one pick and doing amazing things on the ice but the youth of this team as a whole is pushing them into what could be the makings of a dynasty. As someone who grew up watching the core 4 on the New York Yankees, homegrown youth and talent is the recipe for a winning and winning a lot. Along with Nico and Wood there is Will Butcher and Jesper Bratt making plays and scoring in shootouts. There are also players like Joe Blandisi and John Quenneville who are waiting in the wings when they need to be called up from Binghamton.
After a weird non-bye week off the Devils won their last two games against the Coyotes and Senators. They are now heading to the west to face the Canucks, Oilers, and Flames. These games are a litmus test as to how this team can stand up to teams that grind out games. Especially the Canucks and Oilers who will be tough opponents for this energized team.
In terms of personal Brian Boyle has been medically cleared to play. He is practicing at this point and should be ready soon according to reports. His size alone will make him a force on the Devils’ D-line, something that in previous years has been the source of team’s downfalls.
Kyle Palmieri is still out of the line-up as he recovers from a foot injury he sustained earlier this month. While Palmieri is someone you miss in a line-up the talent the Devils have right now should be able to make-up for it over the next few games until he is back on his feet.
The Devils start their road trip Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks at 10 PM.
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