Devils ends first half with strong run

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Expectations were about as low as they could be for the New Jersey Devils after Ilya Kovalchuk left them and their 0-4-3 start to the campaign did nothing to change people’s minds.

Lately though, they’ve managed to turn things around. With their 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh this afternoon, the Devils are now 5-1-2 in their last eight games. They also only lost two contests by more than a single goal in the month of December.

“We’re doing a good job staying in games and getting points,” Martin Brodeur said, according to the Star-Ledger. “And, as of late, winning games also. For sure omce in a while we’re going to have off games. When you do, it’s how you respond.

“Early on we didn’t respond very well to some of the adversity. We seem to be a little more fit for it now.”

They still have a lot of work to do with half their season now in the books. Their offense is still a weakness and they’ve been relying heavily on Jaromir Jagr, 41, to lead the charge. If he slows down as the season wears on, they could be in serious trouble.

Devils fans also have to hold their breath as they await for news about forward Patrik Elias, who left Tuesday’s contest due to an injury. Devils coach Pete DeBoer said that he would have an update tomorrow.

At the same time, the Devils have the benefit of playing in the Metropolitan Division. If they were in the Western Conference, they’d have a daunting uphill climb ahead of them from their current 17-6-8 record. As it is, they’re tied with the Flyers in terms of points for third place in their division, although Philadelphia has played in two fewer contests.

In other words, with half the season left, the Devils still have plenty to play for.