Todd Cordell: Trending Downwards

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Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell

We’re getting to the point of the season where teams are as good as their record indicates, and unfortunately for the Devils that’s not very good.

They’re only four points out of a playoff spot and there’s over 50 games to play so it’s hard to say they’re out of it, but they’ve played two more games than the Caps, who are 3rd in the Metro.

The Devils have half the firepower they do, and in reality look half as good, so at this point it’s hard to imagine the Devils catching them.

Injuries have factored into New Jersey’s struggles, but more goes into it than that.

Their 1-1-1 record over the last three would lead you to believe they’re playing OK hockey, but don’t let that deceive you.

The Devils have had goaltending ranging from very good to exceptional in that span and have still lost two of three. That’s tough to do when Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid have combined for a .946SV% in that span.

New Jersey has also been out attempted by almost 100 shots (225-128: 36CF%) in those three games – two of which came against teams near the bottom of the East – and have looked terrible for long stretches in each game.

They can’t score on a basis that’s remotely consistent, their team speed is at or near the bottom of the league (up front, anyways) and they’re being outshot 2:1 routinely.

That’s not exactly a great recipe for success, and it’s showing. Recent posts Hotstove: which player has been the biggest disappointment? On Kinkaid, Bernier, shootout woes & more Power Rankings: Pens remain on top; Hawks right behind Hotstove: Should Paul MacLean have been fired? Hotstove: who will finish last?

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