Here we are just past the one quarter mark of the 2022-2023 season and the New Jersey Devils are off to their best start ever, currently sitting an impressive 18-4 mark after last night’s 5-1 home win over the Washington Capitals. A win that was capped by the first ever hat trick for 1st pick in the 2019 draft Jack Hughes.
So at 36 points in just 22 games and the second-best record in the NHL, just how good are they compared to years past? Big surprise, pretty damn good. But as always, stats are more important than opinions when it comes to arguing on the internet, the bar or the water cooler. So here we go:
Through 22 games:
Their 18 wins is the most in team history.
Their 36 points is the most in team history.
Their 82 goals is tied for second highest in team history (1993/94 had 85)
Their 4 losses is tied with the 03/04 season for fewest ever (that team had 6 ties in the pre OT loss era)
And lastly, their +34 goal differential is most in team history.
This team is on a roll. PlayoffStatus.com gives the club a 98% chance of reaching the postseason and a 67% chance of winning the division., both second best in the East. So how far can they go? One big advantage (and something that doomed the New York Yankees from August onwards) is age.
The Devils are the 8th youngest team in the league at an average 26.29 years old, which will play a factor when it comes to stamina come April. However this is not a team with a ton of playoff experience so that may hinder the team’s long term run come playoff time and will be relying on head coach Lindy Ruff’s experience in the postseason as they learn by doing. Coming into this season the goal of making the playoffs was a valid one given the past decade. However I think with this club playing as it is that bar needs to be set higher.
Nothing short of a trip to the Eastern Conference Final would make for a successful season. It’s odd at the one quarter mark to start thinking postseason but as a Devils fan since the beginning it’s hard not to. The New Jersey Devils fanbase has endured the hell of the last 10 years so we need this. And with a magic number of clinching first in the division at 57, not gonna lie, I’m watching that after every game now.
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