The San Jose Sharks were a steamroller of sorts last season in what turned out to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NHL. With the surprise run by the Phoenix Coyotes as well as the rise of the LA Kings, despite the Sharks coming away as the top team in the division and the conference, they had their hands full with everyone. Even Anaheim and Dallas weren’t a total cake walk.
So who takes the division this year? Do the Coyotes build off last season to overtake the Sharks or can the Kings continue to impress all the way to the top? Let us know in our poll and we’ll share the results with you next week.
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When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
Stempniak on Devs in playoff race: “At this point, you can't say it's a fluke this far into the season and we take a lot of pride in that.”