by PuckStopsHere on 03/27/14 at 09:25 PM ET
Last season the New Jersey Devils missed the playoffs. I argued that they were a better team than their record showed as they had a very good team Corsi. In fact it was second best in the NHL. Many people looked at the Devils as a team that missed the playoffs and had their top offensive player in Ilya Kovalchuk leave on them and saw a poor season. Some even picked them to finish last in the East Conference. I bucked the trend and picked them to make the playoffs. That is starting to look unlikely. They are four points out of the playoffs right now and would have to pass at least two teams to get there. They only have nine games left to get there.
I still see the Devils as a team that has played better hockey than their record shows. They are the only team in the NHL that has not had a single win in a shootoutd. They have no wins in shootouts this season. Winning in shootouts is necessary to do well in today's NHL. The average team in a playoff spot as games began today has five or six shootouts wins. Had the Devils merely been average in this area they would be seventh in the East Conference. They would be in a playoff berth. New Jersey will again miss the playoffs, but again they have played well enough that they should be there.
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