There's not really a place on here to talk about the Devils - we used to start threads based on TG articles but social media kinda blew that up. Anyway just a couple of things I've noticed about the team, maybe interesting, probably not:
Josefson shooting more: One of the biggest impediments to Jacob Josefson's success in the NHL has been his inability to generate shots on goal. DeBoer certainly benched him for this in years past - for passing when he had an open shot. Josefson ranked 378th out of a 407 qualified players in shots on goal per 60 minutes since he came into the league. Certainly it seemed like this year, despite the obvious improvements to his game, was going the same way - Jacob had only 10 shots in his first 12 games. He's really turned it on in the last 5, getting 18 shots on goal over that time. I don't expect him to sustain that, but in his career before this year he's gotten 4.93 S/60 and this year he's got 5.97. Of course, he still hasn't been on the ice for a goal at even strength, which is insane.
Palmieri on the power play: I was pretty wary of using Kyle Palmieri on the PP point, given that he hadn't really done it in the NHL and didn't seem to have the characteristics that would lead to success there. So far though, he has a nutty amount of shots on the 5 on 4 PP - 15 shots. Next highest is Severson with 9. And somehow Palmieri's 3 PP goals were all in situations other than 5 on 4, so those shots don't even count. He's 2nd in the league in PP shots/60 5 on 4.
Everyone's shut up about David Schlemko: There was a lot of talk about how bad Schlemko was when NJ started using him in the lineup over people like Gelinas, Merrill, and Severson, but he's deserved his spot in the lineup. He still gets some pretty sheltered minutes but is 2nd among the D in shots against per 60. A nice pickup by Shero and company.
I haven't gotten much of a chance to see Devils games so far this year - I've missed the last 3 and I think I wasn't able to watch all of the Winnipeg and Washington games. That said, there are two interesting stats trends so far that bear watching.
1: The Devils' shots against totals are back to DeBoer levels:
Devils' SA per 60 minutes totals by season:
Now this 21.7 number is not sustainable - the Devils have basically been either trailing or tied for the entire season so far, and that usually means fewer shots against. Still, the Devils are without Patrik Elias who was a giant shot suppressor over this period up until last season, and it sure seems like NJ can achieve 25 SA/60 if they can stay relatively healthy. Remember also that last year's numbers are boosted by DeBoer being here - they had to be over 30 SA/60 with the horrible coaching triumverate.
2: The Devils are using nutty deployment with their defensemen so far
This feels very much like an analytics move by Hynes so far - right now of the shifts started in the offensive or defensive zone by Damon Severson, he's started 84% in the offensive zone. Schlemko is up in the 70s as well. Meanwhile Larsson and Greene are around 25%. The range in the NHL last year was 34.7% (Josh Gorges) to 68.8% (David Rundblad) - we'll have to see how this progresses. I can't imagine it stays at this rate, but using Larsson and Greene as D-zone warriors makes perfect sense to me.