This may surprise you, but the main thing that has impressed me the most about the Devils this year (other than Taylor Hall being faster than my first sexual experience) is that the Devils have not been all that impressive. That's right, the fact that they have only shown occasional flashes of improvement is what has me most hopeful going forward. That may sound like raving of an overly optimistic lunatic, but the team that should probably have gotten off to a slow start given their daunting schedule and significant roster turnover is currently holding down a playoff spot (Yes, I know it's October) yet they've looked fairly mediocre in doing so.
Look no further than who has carried the all-too-light offensive load. Taylor Hall? The player whose relying solely on superior talent since he can't possibly be fully integrated into a new system when he has different line mates every other period. Travis Zajac? The player who some fans wish would stand in front of a microphone and vehemently apologize for his contract after every single game. P.A. Parenteau? The guy who was scooped up for the NHL equivalent of pennies after being dropped like a bad habit by a team below them in the standings. The Devils projected first line center - who most thought was destined for a career year - just scored his first intentional goal of the season and the Devils have gained 9 of their last available 12 points in the standings. Their bottom 6, while being much improved, hasn't contributed all that much on the scoresheet. Half of their top 6 has only occasionally peeked their heads out from their own asses to take a glimpse at what they are missing. The defense, while finally potting a few goals, has shown that it's still very much a work in progress.
Hell, the only thing that this team has proven reliable in doing on a nightly basis is icing otherworldly goaltending and picking up points. That can only be a good thing considering they are only going to get better as the season progresses. We've seen the increase in talent. We've seen the defense make a concerted effort to produce offense. We've even seen a motherfuckin' even strength goal or two. When we start seeing those things consistently this team should look much more formidable than their record says they are. Some might call the Devils commendable start a product of luck, but considering their shooting percentage currently borders on abysmal and impossible...well...tell 'em Vern...