Devils proving they’re real with a 13-game winning streak

They have shown the rest of the NHL that they are not the same Devils of the past decade, a team that has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once since 2013. But more importantly, the best team in the NHL has proven itself. same. knows what it takes to win.

“That’s the main thing, we’re just playing our game as a group,” center Nico Hischier said. “If we play our way, at least we’ll give ourselves a chance to win every game.”

They have done so since Oct. 25, winning 13 in a row, tying the team record for longest winning streak when they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 at a sold-out Prudential Center on Monday.

The Devils can break the record with a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center on Wednesday (7 pm ET; SNE, SNO, SNP, MSG, MSGSN2, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The Devils last won 13 in a row from February 26 to March 23, 2001. That team reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the Colorado Avalanche. It’s too early to tell where this team will go, but in 19 games the Devils (16-3-0) have done enough to show the rest of the NHL that they’re a threat, and a big one.

“They’ve certainly earned a lot of respect in the league,” the Oilers center. Connor McDavid he said before Monday’s game. “You don’t win (13) in a row by accident.”

Former Devils goaltender and current NHL Network and ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes said the NHL is taking notice of New Jersey’s success.

“They’ve shown the league that this is a team you have to take seriously now. You can’t say, ‘No, really, the Devils? Really?’ You can’t do that. Everyone I’ve talked to says, ‘These guys are so fast. We couldn’t breathe. They’re on top of us. They choked us. They skidded down our throat. They play so fast. They don’t get tired. And they’re defending a lot. better and their goalkeepers have been sweet too”. That’s what I hear from opposing teams.”

The demons attack and are never far behind. They skate fast and move the puck faster.

“Too many players try to dust it off. Hold it, dust it off, hold it, dust it off,” Weekes said. “You allow me as a goalie to prepare. You allow defenders to establish themselves. The Devils realized that this year and they cracked that code. Very few players are willing to do that and understand it, and they do.”

They are not running away with victories.

Six of the 13 winning streaks have come by three or more goals, and the Devils have outscored their opponents 56-24, scoring first in eight games. They have a goal differential of 20+ in the first two periods; plus-12 from the third half, in overtime.

Eighteen Devils have at least one point on the streak, ranging from center jack hughes with 18 (six goals, 12 assists) at defense Brendan Smith (one assist).

Video: NJD@MTL: Hughes charges a turnover for the second

They have led by 450:34, the equivalent of seven and a half games. They have trailed for 61:36, the equivalent of about a game.

“I see a young, fast team that is playing a certain level of pace in their game,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “They have multiple ways they can hurt you. If you’re careless with your details, it’s your risk. We live that.”

The Devils have scored at least four goals in 10 of 13 wins, including two in wins against the Oilers. There has been an average of 6.4 goals per game this season in the NHL, so if you get four in a game, there’s a good chance you’ll win.

They have outshot their opponents in 10 of the 13 games and have a difference of more than 108 in total shots on goal (455-347), an average of 35.0 shots for and 26.7 against.

“The only word for me with them is control,” Weekes said. “They’re controlling the game. They’re controlling the tempo. They’re controlling the pace. They’re controlling the puck. They’re dictating a lot. Even when they defend, they don’t spend a lot.” of time in your ‘D’ zone”.

His goal has also been stellar; in the streak of 13 games, Vitek Vanecek is 9-0-0 with a .933 save percentage and 1.81 goals-against average, and akira schmidNo. 3 on the depth chart behind Vanecek and the injured MacKenzie Blackwood, he is 3-0-0 with a .941 save percentage and a 1.34 GAA.

There is also a maturity in the way they are playing, shown in a game like Monday.

They didn’t like how they played in the first half, and at 1-1 they regrouped and controlled the second, beating Edmonton 2-0 and thrashing them 12-7. The Oilers scored to make it 3-2 at 4:52 of the third period, but never gained momentum.

The Devils regained their two-goal lead 2:15 later with a spectacular goal from Thomas Tartarus and save it with 5:15 remaining, when you go ahead Yegor Sharangovich he scored to make it 5-2.

Video: EDM@NJD: Tatar grabs the puck and slams it into the net

They have allowed consecutive goals in four of their 13 wins, including against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 1, when they already led 4-0. They have not given up more than two goals in a row in any game.

“We got hurt a lot last year on this part,” Tatar said. “For some reason we shut it down for a few minutes and the team gets on their horse and suddenly they score more than one goal. This year we’re much better. If they score, we just want to focus.” in our game and keep playing our way”.

All the stats, including the underlying numbers they’re keeping at home, like chances for and against and possession metrics, make the Devils believe that what they’re doing isn’t just a hot streak, but a sustainable one.

They also feel they can build on what they’ve done in these 13 games when they have to play after a loss, when adversity finally hits.

“We know we’re kind of hunted now,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “We know we’re going to hope for probably the best that each team can bring because we’re getting recognition. That part we have to deal with.”

“But in 19 games you can’t say we sent a message to the whole league. We just have to keep playing hockey hard. Keep playing our game and show the league that we can keep playing the kind of game we want to play.” you are playing”.

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