Devils coach DeBoer: We deserved better

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Pete DeBoer probably has to take a few deep breaths when he sees teams like Toronto and Columbus consistently getting outshot, yet still winning games.

The Devils’ head coach — whose team is surrendering an NHL-low 23.3 shots per game — has suffered through pretty much the opposite.

“It’s difficult. This is one of the most difficult things I’ve gone through,” DeBoer said today, per the Star-Ledger, “just because I’ve coached teams that didn’t deserve to make the playoffs. Most times life gives you what you deserve. In this case I don’t feel it’s necessarily the case. That’s what makes it more difficult, because then you’re searching for the reasons why and I don’t have the answers yet.”

The Devils’ average shot differential (+5.3) is right up there with Los Angeles (+5.5) and Chicago (+5.2).

Except New Jersey has been eliminated from the playoffs.

Goaltending has been an issue for the Devils, with Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg combining for a .891 save percentage, the third-lowest in the NHL.

Both Brodeur, 40, and Hedberg, 39, are signed through next season.