It seems that the All-Star break provided the rest the Devils needed. Devils took the max points from the New York, Montreal, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Prior to the break the Devils had lost 3 straight. In those three games the Devils only scored 3 goals. Since then, the Devils have posted 19 goals in 4 games. The team is doing a lot of things right. Their special teams and defense are producing. The players that you expect to score are, as well as some you don’t expect.
One thing that is exciting to watch is the confidence that is building with this team. We saw a weak first period against the Rangers to start this past week. The Devils bounced backed in the 2nd and 3rd; coming from behind 3 times propelling them to win in the shootout. Each game New Jersey showed more confidence. Against Montreal the Devils had to come from behind but won in regulation. The weekend against Pennsylvania the Devils never trailed; scoring quickly against Philly and Pittsburgh.
The Devils D made their presence felt, scoring 3 goals and had 6 assists. Scoring came from Foster with 2 PPG against Philly and Volchenkov was able to get his first, as a Devil, against the Penguins.
Another factor, comes from Adam Oates’ special teams. They have produced 5PPGs and 2SHG, and remain in the top few on PKs in the entire NHL. On the power play the team have been able to move the puck setting up goals from the point for Foster and Kovalchuk.
The Devils’ top players have been leading the way but have received substantial support from the second and third line players. Parise has scored at least 1g in all 4 games and Kovalchuk has had 3 straight games with 3 points. Zubrus, Clarkson and Ponikorosvky have all added to the Devils scoring. Combined these three players have 20 pts in 4 games.
I am looking forward to this week’s games starting off Tuesday at MSG against the Rangers. Don’t forget we have a viewing party at Texas Arizona in Hoboken, NJ.