If you’re looking for insight about scrappy teams, David Schlemko‘s a pretty good source.
The defenseman cut his teeth with the (then-Phoenix) Coyotes. Most recently, he played for the 2014-15 Calgary Flames and now the upstart New Jersey Devils.
You know that comparison between last season’s Flames and this year’s Devils? Schlemko told NHL.com that he could see it.
“I can see some similarities,” Schlemko said. “We’re a young team in here and going through a cliché ‘rebuild’ or whatever people want to call it. We’ve had a better start than people think. It’s a little early, here in November, to be talking about a playoff run but so far so good …”
As you can see in the video above, there are reasons to believe that this may not amount to much more than a month-and-change of better-than-expected play.
Perhaps the more interesting question may be: what happens if they stick with it? Could an unexpected run to the playoffs affect the “rebuild or whatever people want to call it” in some way?
We can’t watch this season’s Devils face last season’s Flames, so we’ll instead settle for both of the 2015-16 models squaring off on Tuesday night.