We all love to sit and discuss the nuances of the game. The critics and cynics pick apart a bad pass, a bad save or a great PK that turned around the New Jersey Devils’ play. I’d like to step back and see the bigger picture that is forming. With coaching changes four times in the past three years, a slew of injuries, players leaving and a lot of young guys coming in, it is hard to say that the Devils have had a solid identity.
The players are coming together as a team under Peter DeBoer and are creating a new Devils’ identity. They are sustaining increased pressure on the forecheck (as seen by all the SHGs) and an offense that takes chances. We also can see that the players trust their coach. Parise has been quoted saying, “We would run through a wall for him.” Their coach has a mutual respect and has returned it with positive comments about his players.
Team chemistry is one element we don’t always use to describe the organization. We see across the NHL that teams sometimes have cliques or stand alone players. We also see how much this disrupts team chemistry. With pairings like Elias/Sykora, the Henrique line and the fact that the Devils have 7 players with more than 10 goals; I don’t believe they have any issues with chemistry. The players have built off of their coach’s attitude and are coming together as a team, Jersey’s team.