New Jersey Devils having fun with a franchise-record 13-game successful streak

New Jersey’s Jack Hughes, proper, congratulates goaltender Vitek Vanecek after the Devils defeated the Canadiens on Tuesday in Montreal. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press by way of AP

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils can’t sneak up on groups anymore.

The once-laughable also-rans have gone from a crew that has missed the Stanley Cup playoffs 9 of the previous 10 years to at present the NHL’s hottest crew.

Coach Lindy Ruff’s younger, principally no-name crew past prime picks Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes tied a franchise document Monday evening, beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 for his or her thirteenth straight win. The mark might fall Wednesday in opposition to the Toronto Maple Leafs at dwelling.

“It’s one thing I don’t even need to speak about as a result of I don’t need to jinx it,” Ruff stated. “However I do know we’re discovering plenty of alternative ways to win, plenty of totally different personnel and I feel the vital half is it actually has been in regards to the crew. In any given time, any individual has come up huge for us, scored huge objectives, huge saves and particular groups has performed an enormous a part of that.”

The Devils’ different 13-game successful streak got here in 2001, a yr New Jersey misplaced the Cup Last in seven video games to Colorado. The 13-game run is tied for the fifth longest in NHL historical past, 4 shy of the document set by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993.

The earlier time the Devils misplaced was a 6-3 setback to Washington on Oct. 24.

Since then, they’ve outscored opponents 56-24, averaging 4.31 objectives and 35 photographs. They’ve swept two journeys by way of Canada, beating Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa twice within the run and Montreal and Toronto as soon as. In addition they have a win over the reigning champion Avalanche.

New Jersey’s 16-3 document is second greatest within the league to the Boston Bruins’ 17-2 mark.

“I don’t know if it’s us needing to show something, actually,” stated Hughes, the No. 1 general decide in 2019. “I feel it’s extra like we set ourselves up rather well within the standings thus far. We’re getting to twenty video games and we set ourselves up properly. I feel groups are beginning to notice we’re not a pushover sport and we’re a reasonably good crew. And so they’re coming to New Jersey now and they’re going to need to work for a win.”

Within the earlier 4 seasons, the Devils gained 31, 28, 19 and 27 video games, ending both seventh or eighth within the Metropolitan Division. Their longest successful streak in every of the previous two seasons was three video games.

“Undoubtedly for me it’s one of the crucial enjoyable stretches I’ve ever been part of and I don’t need it to finish,” stated Hischier, the Devils’ captain who was the No. 1 general draft decide in 2017. “It’s enjoyable, satisfying. Simply hold using the wave. We’re taking part in some good hockey and hopefully the wins hold coming.”

This crew may be very totally different from the one former basic supervisor Lou Lamoriello assembled within the Nineteen Nineties and the early 2000 that gained three Cups. That was a crew of stars. Goaltender Martin Brodeur was a Corridor of Famer. Defensemen Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer have been perennial All-Stars and the forwards, equivalent to Patrik Elias have been nice two-way gamers.

Normal Supervisor Tom Fitzgerald’s group is extra of a crew. There’s little doubt the 21-year-old Hughes is changing into a star and Hischier is beginning to ship together with ahead Jesper Bratt, who may be one of many NHL’s most underrated gamers.

Dougie Hamilton, an enormous free-agent signing a yr in the past, leads a strong protection that isn’t permitting plenty of photographs. Those which are getting by way of are being stopped by free-agent signee Vitek Vanecek, who’s 9-1.

That was the Devils’ huge weak spot final season, they went by way of seven goaltenders in an injury-marred season that noticed Hughes and Hamilton additionally miss substantial time.

Of the 20 gamers who dressed for New Jersey on Monday evening, a dozen have been 25 years previous or youthful.

Bratt, who leads the Devils with 24 factors (eight objectives, 16 assists), stated the Devils are capitalizing on their depth, velocity and dedication to the defensive zone.

“Now we have 4 strains and three D pair makes a big effect and our goaltending benefit has in all probability been the most important affect,” Bratt stated. “So our crew effort general is what’s making us win video games proper now.”

If there was one phrase that was repeated by the Oilers after the sport after they have been requested in regards to the Devils it was: “they’re quick!”

“They transition the puck properly, they usually maintain on to the puck properly within the O-zone,” Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie stated. “They’ve obtained plenty of talent they usually don’t offer you an excessive amount of room offensively. They’re taking part in crew sport proper now. They’re getting good goaltending and issues are going for them.”

Remarkably, the season didn’t begin that approach. New Jersey misplaced its first two video games and was trailing early at dwelling to Anaheim within the subsequent sport when followers began chanting “Fireplace Lindy.” Earlier this month with the Devils successful, the mantra modified to “Sorry Lindy.”

That’s the way in which issues are going for the Devils nowadays. All people is joyful.

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