A Look At Devils’ Best Starts And How Those Seasons Turned Out

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey Devils are surprisingly off to the best start in franchise history, but some are still wondering if they’re for real.

The Devils (8-2-0) have 16 points through 10 games, matching their previous best start in 1993-94. We decided to take a look at past seasons in which New Jersey had at least 14 points through 10 games and see how those years turned out. The conclusion: It generally means pretty good things, but there’s no guarantee.

2012-13

The start: Coming off a year in which they reached the Stanley Cup Final, the Devils raced out to a 6-1-3 start (15 points) in their first 10 games in the lockout-shortened season. They actually started 8-1-3 before finally losing their second game in regulation.

The result: New Jersey ultimately struggled, going 5-14-6 at one stretch, and missed the postseason.

patrik elias A Look At Devils Best Starts And How Those Seasons Turned Out

The Devils’ Patrik Elias, right, reaches for the puck against the Senators’ Chris Phillips during the first period at the Prudential Center on April 12, 2013. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

2008-09

The start: The Devils went 6-2-2 (14 points) over their first 10 games, a span in which Zach Parise registered seven goals and five assists.

The result: New Jersey went 51-27-4 (106 points) and won the Atlantic Division. The Devils, however, lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils

The Devils’ Zach Parise skates against the New York Islanders on Oct. 3, 2008, at the Prudential Center. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

MORE: Lichtenstein: Devils’ Unforeseen Depth Has Triggered Strong Start

2002-03

The start: New Jersey began 7-3-0 (14 points). Two of its three losses came to the defending Eastern Conference champion Hurricanes.

The result: Not only did the Devils figure out Carolina, winning their final two meetings, they went on to capture the Stanley Cup for the third time in nine years the following June.

Jamie Langenbrunner

The Devils’ Jamie Langenbrunner in November 2002 (Photo by A. Marlin/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

1993-94

The start: The Devils won their first seven games in Martin Brodeur’s rookie year and were 8-2-0 after 10 games (16 points). They went one four-game stretch scoring six or more goals in each contest.

The result: New Jersey went 47-25-12 (106 points) and reached the Eastern Conference finals, where it lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Rangers in seven games — three of which were decided in double overtime.

Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur won the Calder Memorial Trophy for being the NHL’s top rookie in 1993-94. *(Photo by Robert Laberge/Allsport)

1987-88

The start: The Devils started 7-3-0 (14 points), which included a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers, who had won the Stanley Cup three of the previous four years.

The result: New Jersey finished 38-36-6 (82 points) and earned a trip to the playoffs for the first time since the franchise relocated from Colorado five years earlier. The fourth seed in the Prince of Wales Conference, the Devils upset the division champion Islanders and also knocked off Washington before finally falling to the Bruins in seven games in the conference finals.

Pat Verbeek

Pat Verbeek led the Devils with 46 goals during the 1987-88 season. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

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