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31 in 31

New Jersey Devils key statistics

Goal support for Schneider, shootout struggles among areas that need improvement

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the New Jersey Devils.


[DEVILS 31 in 31: Season preview | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown | 3 Questions]

1. More goal support needed

Goalie Cory Schneider likely would have been a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2014-15 and 2015-16 had he received more goal support. A goalie's win-loss record carries a lot of weight in the Vezina race, but winning games requires a certain level of goal support that's been hard to get from the New Jersey Devils.

In 2015-16, the Devils finished last in the NHL with 182 goals, and they scored fewer goals last season (180). The Devils haven't scored 200 goals in a season since 2011-12, when they reached the Stanley Cup Final in their most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This lack of scoring puts Schneider in a difficult situation. His .922 save percentage in 330 NHL games is the same as Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who won the Vezina in 2015-16 and was runner-up last season. However, the Devils averaged 2.14 goals per game when Schneider was in net in his first four seasons in New Jersey. In that span, Washington averaged 3.03 goals per game with Holtby in net.

Schneider therefore has a much lower points percentage than Holtby, .532 to .700. Schneider has received serious Vezina consideration once, getting one second-place vote and seven third-place votes in 2015-16.

Video: NYR@NJD: Schneider denies Hayes on odd-man rush


2. Shot-based struggles

From 2010-14, New Jersey outshot its opponents 11,215-10,001 at 5-on-5, for an SAT of plus-1,214, which ranked seventh in the NHL. Over the past three seasons, the Devils had an SAT of minus-1,024, which ranked 27th.

They also have struggled generating shots on the power play. The Devils rank last in the NHL with an average of 80.5 shot attempts per 60 minutes on the man-advantage the past three seasons, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Video: 31 in 31: New Jersey Devils 2017-18 season preview


3. Shootout slump

The Devils have the fewest wins (12), most losses (36), second-lowest shooting percentage (22.1) and lowest save percentage (.596) in the shootout in the NHL the past five seasons. These struggles have cost New Jersey an average of 3.6 points per season.

Of the 14 players to have scored at least one shootout goal for the Devils in that span, forwards Taylor Hall (1-for-3), Adam Henrique (1-for-13) and Travis Zajac (1-for-13) remain on the roster.

Zajac is expected to need 4-6 months to recover after having surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle sustained during training; that time frame would have him sidelined until mid-December at the earliest.

Players are evaluated on the number of goals they have scored in the shootout, relative to how many the League-average shooter would have scored in the same number of shots. In their NHL career, Hall is minus-0.7, Henrique is minus-3.0, and Zajac is minus-3.5.

Video: CAR@NJD: Hall beats Ward's blocker to win shootout

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