The New Jersey PowerPlayers
Well, let's just say it hasn't been your average winning streak. In fact, if you had watched the games for any extended amount of time you would have to see the box score to believe that the Devils came out on top in every single one of them. It's not often that a team manages to win consecutive games despite playing a losing brand of hockey, but that's exactly what has happened. The Devils have done everything that you're not supposed to do if your goal is winning, yet they've won in the process. Five goals in three games? A whopping ZERO at even strength? The Devils are defying what constitutes "winning hockey" in 2016. If the mark of a good team is an ability to win games in which they play poorly then it would be hard to categorize the Devils as anything less than a good hockey club at the moment. Sure, their goaltending has been overworked (and exceedingly spectacular). Sure, their 5-on-5 offense has been non-existent. Doesn't matter. The New Jersey Devils are the exact opposite of what they have been the better part of the previous two seasons. A team that snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.
We have gotten to the point where I don't even care that Devils haven't played the most aesthetically pleasing style of hockey. Just knowing how frustrated the other fanbase must be as they watch their team continuously pepper Cory Schneider (or Keith Kinkaid) with chances is enough to make up for the lack of goal scoring they have been doing. The scariest thing is that it's not a fluke. The Devils are are now 20-0-4 when they score the first goal of the game. They have lost one game, ONE GAME, in regulation when Cory Schneider has started and the offense given him more than a single goal to work with. This team just knows how to win. They looked good doing it earlier in the year, and now injuries and fatigue have forced them to do it ugly. Either way they have gotten the job done, and they've actually been more consistent doing so against some of the best teams in the league. What some call boring I call gritty, and I can't believe one of the least offensively skilled teams in the league still has an opportunity to grit their way into a playoff spot by riding, of all things, their powerplay.
P.S. Joseph Blandisi has been an absolute godsend with Mike Cammalleri out. I don't know if the Devils could have kept pace without his offense, no matter how good the goaltending and defense have been. It's no secret the Devils are looking for young, fast, creative players. I am just not sure they expected one to come from within the organization this quickly...
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