Once-surprising Devils are now ‘hovering around mediocrity’

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After a 3-2 win over Detroit on Dec. 11, the Devils found themselves at 15-10-4 and holding the first wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

But in the two weeks since, plenty has changed.

The Devils have gone just 3-4-2 in their last nine games, the offense has started to sputter, they’re now three points back of the last postseason berth and, on Monday, head coach John Hynes fired a warning shot.

“Right now, we’ve been hovering around mediocrity,” Hynes said, per NorthJersey.com. “We’ve had trouble putting back-to-back games together. We haven’t necessarily liked how well we’ve played collectively whether it’s our shot totals, our total time in the offensive zone, being a difficult team to play against.

“So, we need better performances from a lot of guys.”

Among the guys New Jersey could use better performances from:

Adam Henrique, who has no goals in his last seven games.

Lee Stempniak, who has one goal in his last eight.

Mike Cammalleri, who has one goal in his last nine.

To that end, Hynes shook up his lines at Monday’s practice, possibly in an effort to spread out the scoring.

For the first couple months of the season, the Devils’ offense was coming primarily from Henrique, Stempniak, Cammalleri, Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri. In speaking to PHT a couple weeks ago, GM Ray Shero acknowledged that, eventually, points were going to have to come from somewhere else.

“We need some secondary scoring from some other people,” he explained. “At some point, those top guys that have produced for us will go cold, like anybody.

“We need guys to kick in and chip in some goals.”

Finally, it’s worth noting that both Shero and Hynes have lamented New Jersey’s lack of shots on goal. The team sits dead last in shots for per game — 25.0 — and there seems to be way too heavy a reliance on Cory Schneider to win games in which the Devils aren’t firing on the opponent enough:

Devils

Related: Shero: Schneider isn’t just Devils’ MVP, he ‘could be in the MVP voting for the league’