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Why Resurgent Devils Finally Give Their Opponents Hell Again

It may seem like it happened overnight, but that’s not entirely accurate. Finally, the devils have become equal to their shares – and perhaps even greater. Talent plays up to its elite level.

What’s even more impressive — and, frankly, unexpected from this corner — is the structure the Devils have played with under this coaching staff, led by Lindy Ruff, whose recent teams have been notoriously bad both in their own end and trying to escape it.

Not these Devils, who are playing with confidence bolstered by goaltenders who can do more than the routine save that has eluded a handful of their goaltenders over the past two years. The puck moves quickly. The 200 foot pace is fast.

The most impressive feature of the Devils’ 3-2 overtime win in Toronto on Thursday was their ability to defend at even strength and kill two penalties in the third period before the home team tied the game late…and before Yegor Sharangovich didn’t pounce to win that in extra time. The victory preceded their 5-1 victory Saturday at Ottawa, which extended the Devils’ warm-up to 12 straight games, one shy of the franchise’s all-time record winning streak, set in 2000-01.

Jack Hughes is the most compelling player in the New York area and will join Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel in the middle stack for Team USA whenever the next international best-on-best event takes place. There’s potential for magic every time Hughes takes a shift. It is an unmissable event.

Why Resurgent Devils Finally Give Their Opponents Hell Again
Nico Hischier handles the puck against the Flames on November 8, 2022.

The 21-year-old is the icing on the cake in a pretty deep group that includes one of the league’s most underrated players in Nico Hischier, whose consistent work on both sides of the puck has been exemplary since. his first selection overall in 2017, ahead of Nolan Patrick.

(Yes, there was a debate, perhaps a little more than there was two years later, when the Devils had to choose between Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, who quickly dominates the world championship. )

The problem with Hischier is and always has been to maintain his health. The Swiss had missed 71 of 289 games – just under 25% – in the previous four seasons after playing 82 of 82 in his 2017-18 rookie season. The 23-year-old is too important for the team to lose for an extended period.

There’s size, speed and defensive awareness through this team’s attacking group that doesn’t seem to have any issues with museum-loving Dougie Hamilton. Defense is mobile. The final two first rounds, both defenders – fourth-ranked Luke Hughes in 2021 and second-ranked Simon Nemec in 2022 – are on their way.

Admittedly, it is still relatively early. Admittedly, there are challenges to overcome, although 15-3 offers great protection against adversity. But just as surely, the Devils are building a season. Just as surely, the Devils are building a program focused on winning hockey, not alien social media activity.

It’s been a long time.

It’s nice to have them back.

New Hated Out-of-Game Video Review Rule Hour:

A team wins the offensive zone on an entry that will be challenged by a coach for offside, but proceeds in real time without a whistle. The defensive team takes control of the puck, but is unable to punt. An exchange or two of possession ensues before the offensive team scores a goal about 45 seconds after the initial entry.

Under the current rules, the scoring team issues a challenge after taking the time allowed by the refereeing team. Three minutes later, the offside is confirmed. The goal is removed from the scoreboard, those 45 seconds are erased and added to the game clock even though those present have lost about five minutes which they will never recover.

New Rule: The NHL should institute the delayed penalty approach for continuation plays on offside challenges. Once the defensive team takes possession of the puck, the possibility of a review would end and everyone in the rink would be better for it.

Just when I thought the Bruins had completely missed it with their inverted retro design by not reverting to their football-style numbered jersey popularized by Milt Schmidt and his ilk, come the Blues with what appears to have been a team of Sweden-inspired yellowish and blue uniform which is an aesthetically pleasing outfit that has been introduced for years.

These all-green Minnesota North Wild outfits aren’t too shabby either.

Why Resurgent Devils Finally Give Their Opponents Hell Again
Former Ranger Pavel Buchnevich celebrates the goal in a shootout against the Capitals on November 17, 2022.
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Phil Kessel, the laconic hot dog eater himself, holding the mark of the NHL’s iron-man at 1,000 cool games and counting as his Golden Knights enter the weekend, must be the holder on most incongruous of all mainstream sports records.

That would equate to Jose Altuve, at 5-foot-6, 150 pounds, holding the Major League Baseball record not only for career home runs but also for the longest shot putter of all time.

Kessel in the Hockey Hall of Fame? You never know with the secret committee and its lack of transparency, but here’s a virtual yes on No. 81’s long and winding path to candidacy.

That Guy Carbonneau is in the HHOF, but Butch Goring is not is counter-intuitive. That Dick Duff is present and Claude Provost and Dean Prentice are absent is counter-intuitive.

That Alexandre Mogilny has to wait at least another year is inexplicable. And there’s no real credible explanation for The Sedins and Daniel Alfredsson skipping the line on Patrik Elias.

If John Tavares’ career were to end today, no.

The most interesting Will-They-Or-Won’t-They Snub to come is Ilya Kovalchuk, who will become eligible for the Class of 2024.

So the Rangers had Vic Howe instead of Gordie, but what about the 1980s Devils who could have opened a pizza chain called “Wrong Brothers”, with Rocky Trottier instead of Bryan, Aaron Broten instead of Neal ( at the time) and Jeff Larmer instead of Steve as the lead men for the operation?

Of course, the 2005-06 Rangers could have opened their own shop, with Fedor Fedorov instead of Sergei and Marcel Hossa rather than Marian acting as owners.

New York Post

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