After six straight days of no games for the New Jersey Devils, they returned to the ice for back-to-back matchups on home ice against the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes. Last Friday’s and Saturday’s games proved the time away from the ice was a non-issue, with the Devils beating both teams by a one goal margin. Among the goals scorers (9 goals were scored between both games) were Brian Gibbons, getting a tally in both, Taylor Hall, who scored two against Arizona and Jesper Bratt, who buried the game winner against the Coyotes bringing his season total to four. Gibbons, who was a last-minute surprise for the opening day lineup, has proven his worth with five goals, the most on the team.
At 8-2-0 after their first ten games, the Devils are officially pushing the envelope of being a newer, better team than they were last year. Still, unbeaten away from home, the three straight games against Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton on the road can really show how powerful the New Jersey Devils are.
Here’s a look at how they stack up to last year after 10 games played.
10 games into last season the Devils were 4-3-3. As stated earlier, they are currently 8-2-0. At this time last year, the Devils had just scored 22 goals, whereas now they have 40, including two via shootout victories. Interestingly, the Devils had let up fewer goals last year after ten games than this year, which goes to show how poor it is to score only 22 goals in 10 games. At 16 points out of a possible 20, the Devils look much sharper than last year where they only accumulated 11 out of a possible 20.
Truth be told, the Devils’ first ten games last season weren’t too bad. It was the remainder of the season that was horrendously disappointing. It certainly looks like they are moving at a better pace, but only time will tell.
In addition to the exciting start to the season, Brian Boyle made his debut last night for the Devils against the Canucks after being diagnosed with a form of leukemia a few weeks before the start of the season. Sitting away from the team for the start of the season, Boyle said early Wednesday, “I’m so blessed to be able to do this.” Boyle received love from one of his former teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning, where they tweeted: “All the love [for Brian], can’t wait to watch.”