After coming off several disappointing seasons that did not meet the expectations of a young but talented team, the odds appeared against the New Jersey Devils again at the start of this Stanley Cup season.
Following back-to-back 5-2 losses to Philadelphia and Detroit to open this season, the boos already began raining on the team and head coach Lindy Ruff from the frustrated Prudential Center crowd.
A three-game winning streak quieted the fans a bit, and after a 6-3 loss at home to Washington on Oct. 24, New Jersey was at 3-3 on the young season.
That’s the last time these Devils lost a game.
When the Devils host Toronto tonight, they will be vying to break the franchise record with 14-straight wins and also go without a defeat in over a month.
Inside the Devils’ Long Winning Streak
New Jersey tied the franchise record with 13 consecutive victories in a 5-2 win over Edmonton in front of an now-appreciative sold-out home crowd Monday.
- A 1-0 win over defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado.
- A perfect 6-0 run on the road in Canada.
- Two wins over Edmonton, who reached the Western Conference Final a year ago.
- Scoring at least three goals in 12 of the 13 wins, and at least four goals 10 times in the streak.
The Devils are also spreading out the wealth in scoring. The team doesn’t have a player in the NHL’s top 10 in goals or assists, but three of the top-five skaters in plus-minus are on New Jersey: Jonas Siegenthaler (+19), Ryan Graves (+17), and Tomas Tatar (+16).
In addition, goaltender Vitek Vanececk is 9-1 with a 2.14 goals against average, which ranks third in the NHL.
Is This Run Sustainable?
Well as far as a winning streak, given that the NHL record is 17-straight wins, no, the winning streak is not sustainable. The Devils, however, have set themselves up nicely with this run to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
While New Jersey is getting the headlines because of the long winning streak, they don’t even have the best record in the Eastern Conference. That designation belongs to the Boston Bruins, who enter play on Thanksgiving Eve at 17-2-0 (34 points). New Jersey’s 32 points, however, is good enough for an eight-point lead over Carolina, the New York Islanders, and New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.
On Monday after the win over the Oilers, Ruff tempered expectations given that we’re not even 25% through the regular season.
“I feel like we haven’t proven anything yet. I think we’ve done a lot of good things. We’ve played good hockey. But we’re 19 games in,” he said. “We’ve had a great run, but we know we’re the hunted now. We can expect the best that every team can bring because we’re getting recognition. That part we’re going to have to deal with.”
Devils’ Updated Stanley Cup Odds
Prior to the season, the Devils’ Stanley Cup futures odds sat at +5000. To say they have changed considerably would be an understatement. Here’s a look at the current Stanley Cup odds from BetMGM along with where each team stood prior to the season’s first game.
|TEAM||CURRENT STANLEY CUP ODDS||PRESEASON ODDS|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1000||+1000|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1200||+900|
|New Jersey Devils||+1600||+5000|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1600||+1000|
|New York Rangers||+1800||+2000|
The Devils represent the biggest shift in Stanley Cup odds, followed by Boston. Not to dump water on the Devils, but there will be some natural regression to the mean, which will likely see those futures odds get a bit more value later in the season, so now is not the time to hop on the Devils’ bandwagon as far as Stanley Cup odds are concerned.