Devils’ hot start is proving to not be a fluke

The New Jersey Devils’ 2022-23 record as of Nov. 29 is 19-4-0 – with 87 goals forward and 51 goals against – and they currently stand first in the Metropolitan Division and first in the NHL.

The Devils’ season began with two blowout losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, falling 5-2 to both of them. This made fans unnerved to start the season. The next three games saw the Devils turn the corner a bit with three straight wins — 4-2 over the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2 over the New York Islanders and 2-1 over the San Jose Sharks. This small streak showed everyone a glimpse of what the Devils could become, but another blowout loss to the Washington Capitals ended their streak, and fans questioned if it was a fluke. However, what we saw next showed it was not.

The Devils played their next game against the Red Wings, who entered the game with a 3-3 record through their first six matches. The Devils would end up winning their next 13 games, beginning with the game against the Red Wings on Oct. 26 and concluding on Nov. 23 against the Maple Leafs.

During this streak, the Devils’ record rose to 16-4-0, and with a current record of 19-4-0, they did some things that few have ever done before. They are the first team to win both eastern Canada — including the Canadiens, Senators and Maple Leafs — and western Canada — including the Flames, Oilers and Canucks — road trips in the same season. Additionally, they are one of 61 teams in NHL history to win 10 or more games in a row. They also set a record for the most wins in the month of November with 13.

The Devils have 10 players with 10 or more points, with the top three being Jack Hughes with 12 goals and 14 assists in 23 games played, Jesper Bratt with eight goals and 18 assists in 23 games played and Nico Hischier with 10 goals and 15 assists in 22 games played. The Devils have also had incredible goaltending from starter Vitek Vanecek, who has posted an 11-2 record with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. While those are only the top players, every single Devils player has done their job, and they have been able to consecutively roll every line.

The Devils’ next three games are home against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 1, away against the Flyers on Dec. 3 and home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 6. The Devils are doing everything right and finally have put all the pieces together. They are putting the league on notice that they are not just lucky but are actually the real deal.

Photo courtesy of Jim.henderson, Wikipedia.