by PATRICK ROBERTSON Staff Writer
The New Jersey Devils had a very disappointing season this year. Coming from last year’s season that took them to the Stanley Cup, they are currently a disappointing 18-18, and are eliminated from the playoffs.
The Devils were eliminated from the playoffs on their second to last regular season game against the New York Rangers. The Rangers won the game 4-1.
Although they had an awful season, they were not the worst in the NHL at everything. They were 18th in stopping power plays, stopping them 80 percent of the time.
Over the last few years, the Devils have been up and down in their win-loss record. In 2009-2010, they were 48-27, and in 2010-2011 they were 38-39, very similar to this year.
There are many reasons why the Devils had such a rough season this year. One of those is the loss of team captain Zach Parise. After he left, the team did not score as much and were not as productive on defense.
The Devils also played the first half of the season without their goalie, Martin Broduer. Johan Hedburg took over and did not fare so well. On average, Hedburg allowed 2.73 goals a game. Even Broduer, one of the greatest of all time, allowed 2.23 goals a game, one of the worst GAA’s of his career.
The Devils other star player, Ilya Kovalchuk, was also injured for a major portion of the season. Kovalchuk missed almost a month after he was injured in a game against the Florida Panthers. He came back in a game against the Panthers, but did not score any goals in the Devils 6-2 victory.
Patrik Elias lead the team in points with 34, and David Clarkson had the highest amount of goals with 14. The Devils were 28th overall at scoring. Their offense was very unproductive this season and that also lead to their defeat.
Freshman Frankie Rocca said, “The Devils are my favorite hockey team and I watch every game. This season was truly hard to watch. It was like they were an entirely different team.”
Elias also scored his 375th career goal in the Devils game against the Canadians. Unfortunately, Elias was the only stand out player on the Devils this year. Clarkson was the only other player that was productive on offense.
However, all of the blame cannot be put on the players. Some of the blame has to go to the Devils’ head coach, Pete DeBoer. His coaching has been very unreliable this season. He did not utilize their offense and focused on the defense, which was not even effective.
Freshman Cameron Browne said, “I cannot believe that the Devils were so bad this year. It has to be the coaching or chemistry problems. Hopefully, they will get their problems fixed over the offseason.”
Do you think that the Devils were as bad as described or do you think they are better and deserve more credit?