The New Jersey Devils (9-3-3) are among the hottest teams in the NHL, currently riding a five-game winning streak. Let's take a look at some of the largest contributing factors to the clubs current success.
Home is where the wins are if you're the New Jersey Devils. The club is 6-0-1 defending The Rock this season, marking the first time the Devils are without a regulation home loss in their first seven games since 1990 (7-0-1). New Jersey took care of business, sweeping back-to-back home-and-home series with the Canes and Sabres.
Emergence of Damon the D-Man
Twenty-two year-old Damon Severson's off to an explosive 2016-17 and is currently tied with Taylor Hall for the Devils team-lead in points (3g-9a-12pts). Keep in mind, last season Severson totaled 21 points (1g-20a) through 72 games played.
After the off-season departures of Adam Larsson and David Schlemko, the Devils were looking for a young d-man to step up in a big way, and Sevo has delivered. Severson has flourished as Andy Greene's partner on the blue-line and is hopefully only scratching the surface of what can be a breakout season.
Next Man Up!
The Devils depth has been on full display in October and November, where on any given night, a different player has been the difference-maker. PA Parenteau has found a home in Jersey after being claimed off waivers, Vern Fiddler has provided a veteran presence on the fourth line and Cory Schneider's been…Cory Schneider.
One of the biggest surprises has been the play of rookies Pavel Zacha and Nick Lappin. Zacha, although finding the back of the net only once, has the talent and smarts to succeed in the pros. He's a big body that has proven to the front office that he's NHL ready.
Nick Lappin has made the most of his opportunity in the NHL since being recalled from Albany on Oct. 28. He's registered two goals and two assists in nine games played. The 24 year-old right winger has been a reliable source on the Devils third line with Sergey Kalinin and Vern Fiddler. The longer Lappin's contributions continue, the more-likely he is to be in the Devils' plans for the remainder of the season.
The true test of the Devils mettle and depth will be on full display this week. Without Taylor Hall (out 3-4 weeks with a left knee injury) and Michael Cammalleri (personal) the club will need to find new ways to put the puck in the net. Production in the attacking zone will be something to watch for when the road trip continues on Thursday in Anaheim.