Not many people expected the Devils to be a playoff team this season, but through 17 games, they’ve managed to keep themselves in the hunt.
They’re currently in the final Wild Card position with a 9-5-3 record at this point and their ability to win at home (6-0-1) is a contributing factor.
One of the areas that hasn’t been as positive for New Jersey, is their power play.
The Devils are 0-for-26 in their last eight games and they’re clicking at just 12.5 percent so far this season. Only the Canucks, Islanders, Senators and Flames are below them.
Their last power play goal came off the stick of Travis Zajac in a 4-3 OT loss to the Panthers on Nov. 3.
Even with their power play in a slump, they managed to win five in a row between Nov. 6-15. But now, they’ve dropped back-to-back games to Anaheim and Los Angeles.
The fact that they’ll be without star winger Taylor Hall (he’s second on the team in PP points with four) for the next few weeks won’t help, but head coach John Hynes is confident they’ll cash in at some point.
“We’ve had some opportunities where the puck hasn’t gone in the net and it’s our job, collectively, the coaches and the players, to understand when the power play doesn’t go, it gets magnified,” said Hynes, per the Bergen Record. “But for it to get going we can’t grip our sticks. We can’t force things.
Don’t expect Hynes to make any drastic changes to the personnel he’ll throw out on the power play. The Devils coach says regulars like Damon Severson (leads the team in PP points with five), Kyle Palmieri, Beau Bennett, P.A. Parenteau, Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac will all continue to get minutes on the man-advantage.
“The one thing I do know is the group of players that are on it, and have been on it, they’ve all had success doing it. They care. They’re good players and it’ll come around. It comes and goes. It’s a bit of a dry spell here, obviously, but it’ll turn.”
Things won’t get any easier for the Devils tonight, as they travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks, who have the fourth-best PK in the league at 87 percent.