Monday, October 25, 2010
Is this the end of the line for the Devils?
It's October 26, 1983. The New York Islanders are still Stanley Cup Champions. Chris Chelios is in training with the US Olympic Team -- he won't be a Montreal Canadien for another 4 months. The Baltimore Orioles are World Champions of baseball, having won the title ten days earlier.
And the New Jersey Devils are shutout by Al Jensen in Washington, 2-0, to drop their record to 1-8-0.
That's the last time that the Devils had a worse record through nine games than the 2-6-1 the team currently sports. New Jersey is last in the Eastern Conference and the only team in the NHL 4 ganes below the league's version of .500.
The Devils have scored 15 goals in 9 games (1.67 per); they've allowed 17 goals in nine 2nd periods (1.89 per). They're 0-4-1 at home and just 2-28 on the power play overall. Heck, they can't even count to 18 -- dressing fewer players multiple times due to cap issues. Did I mention that a player with 16 years and 74 games left on a contract at the center of those cap issues was a healthy scratch on Saturday?
In a word, the Devils are a mess.
The Devils have gotten off to slow starts before. With Kovalchuk, Parise, Zajac, Elias and Marty the potential is certainly there to turn it all around.
Come April, the Devils, as usual, may be laughing at all of us. Or they may be reminding locals of the 1991 New York Mets.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick