I know that headline reads as over confident, but - more than anything - it's tone should be considered suspicious. I know the wins came over a hopeless Avalanche team and a Sabres team whose superstar is probably already trying to find an opt-out loophole in the 8 year extension he signed last week, but it's the fashion in which they came that really has me scratching my chin. The last time the Devils scored ten goals in a two game stretch was probably right around the same time they won two afternoon games in one season, and - without doing a single second of research - that had to be during the era in which wearing a helmet wasn't a requirement.
Obviously the schedule is about to get a hell of a lot harder in Toronto, but I was led to believe that I shouldn't read too far into a dominant preseason, only to see that same type of performance carry over once the games started counting. It's one thing to ride a 40 save performance from Cory Schneider to victory over a bad team in an emotional home opener, but beating the brakes off Buffalo in Buffalo with a depleted lineup that was even more heavily dependent on rookies? It's impossible not to get excited about this team's ability to put up points out of the gate, even if a step up in competition undoubtedly makes those points harder to come by.
There honestly aren't enough good things that could possibly be said about Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Will Butcher, and their NINE combined points in two NHL games. Coming into the season, most Devils' fans were just looking for proof of a better tomorrow and they already got it as of yesterday.
Never mind that Taylor Hall has been all over the ice, because somehow the Devils' best forward has been an afterthought. Never mind that Marcus Johansson had three points yesterday, because the most proven acquisition of the offseason has basically been a footnote. Cory looks like Cory. Adam Henrique seems rejuvenated after a disappointing season. Kyle Palmieri appeared to have gone through the adult version of puberty before going down to leg injury temporarily. The defense seems deeper and improved (although it would be pretty impossible for it to be any worse). Yet, all that seems secondary to the fact that this team's future has arrived, even if the road to relevance only stands to get rougher from here on out.
Starting 2-0 shouldn't be giving anyone (d)illusions of a potential playoff berth from a ludicrously deep division, but the manner in which it was achieved should solidify the preseason promise of exciting hockey in New Jersey. I'll be damned if that's not a massive step in the right direction after the nightmare that was almost the entirety of last season.