It’s been a very long struggle, but Sunday the Devils finally took first place in the Eastern Conference from the Ottawa Senators, and now sit 3rd overall in the NHL.
The Devils did have first for a few hours on Saturday, but Ottawa took first back with their victory over Pittsburgh.
Nevertheless, the Devils have won 5 games in a row. They have 7 wins in their last 8 games. They are on their best stretch of the season. And Devils netminder Martin Brodeur has been the star in the accomplishment.
He has been in between the pipes for the past 22nd consecutive games and is showing no sign of needing a break. In fact since February 8th, the start of his streak, the Devils have gone 14-6-2.
The Devils have been playing well together as a whole, making better passes, connecting on key plays, and scoring in the clutch. In fact, the Devils in the past month have never really dropped an entire 60 minutes.
It is probably no longer possible to play a consecutive 60 minutes all the time anymore with the division of talent that you now have. What this means, aside from more close games, is that teams need to be conscious of this and understand that if they do play poorly for a period, they need make sure to return to the ice for the next 20 minutes and play harder.
Looking back on Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Capitals, the Devils played poorly in both the first and second period. Not so bad that the Capitals were able to score, but the Capitals certainly outplayed them. At the end of the second period the team spoke up as a whole in the locker room and the Devils came out with 18 shots on goal, nearly double the amount they had in the first and second periods combined.
Martin Brodeur was given the first star of the game stopping 37 of 38 shots on goal by the Capitals.
Martin Brodeur has been a star of the game 19 times this season. He was a star 27 times last season and 24 times the season before that.