Are the New Jersey Devils the Team the East Needs to Keep an Eye On?

Is it possible the New Jersey Devils go from worst to first this season in the Metropolitan Division? It would be surprising considering the talented teams that play in their division like the Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New York Islanders.

John Hynes has established an identity for the Devils this season. They are faster and players are contributing every night. New Jersey’s record is 16-7-4 with 36 points. They sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division at the moment.  The Devils have scored 84 goals this season and have given up 81 goals.

Taylor Hall has scored nine goals and recorded 20 assists so far this season. Rookie Nico Hischier has scored five goals and recorded 15 assists so far this season. Rookie Jesper Bratt has scored nine goals and recorded 10 assists. Rookie Will Butcher has scored two goals and recorded 16 assists. Brian Gibbons leads the Devils with goals scored at 11.

New Jersey traded Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi, and a conditional draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks for Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick. The Devils needed another defenseman and Henrique wasn’t having a sharp season.

Brian Boyle has been an inspiration for the Devils this season because of his fight with Leukemia. He has scored four goals and recorded two assists in 17 games so far this season.

Cory Schneider’s record is 11-5-3 with a .923 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA, along with one shutout. Keith Kinkaid’s record is 5-2-1 with a .896 save percentage and a 3.29 GAA. Even though Kinkaid is 5-2-1 they might need a different backup goalie. Would they call up Ken Appleby (3-5 .887 save percentage 3.20 GAA one shutout) or Mackenzie Blackwood (4-6 .885 save percentage 3.29 GAA one shutout) from the Binghamton Devils (AHL) or would they make a trade?

New Jersey has beaten the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Columbus Blue Jackets at least once this season. The Devils are going to have to continue winning games against top-notch teams and have a good divisional record in order to make the playoffs and be a serious threat in the postseason.

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