At this point in the season, there really isn’t any doubt left: the New Jersey Devils are the worst team in the NHL.
You can make arguments regarding their on-paper talent or perhaps you’d rather point to their almost-as-inept Conference mates in Buffalo, but for pure results, it’s no contest. They’ve produced a league-low nine points despite being tied for the second-most games played (15 … only the Chicago Blackhawks played more with 17). They’ve scored only 25 goals and allowed 48, making their -23 goal differential the NHL’s worst by eight. (The closest “contender” is their free-falling division rivals, the New York Islanders.)
So, again, the Devils are the worst team in the league by just about any big picture, objective standard.
Despite these facts, embattled first-year coach John MacLean is saying all the right things. At least, he’s saying them publicly, as he told Rich Chere of the Newark Star Ledger.
“I’m fine. We’ll get through this,” MacLean said today. “As a (coaching) staff we’re going to get through this. We have to keep believing, and we do.
“It’s not easy and it’s not going to be easy. We have to keep our energy up and our enthusiasm up, come in every day and do our workl and get this thing turned around. I have confidence in myself and in the coaching staff that we’ll get this going in the right direction.”
While a few games might skew the numbers, click here for some of the numbers from the Devils’ rocky start. We’ll see if MacLean confidently leads the Devils out of their bleak situation or gets fired soon enough.