Club .500 Through 20 Games Since Coaching Change; Zajac Closing In On Milestone

By John Schweibacher
» More Columns

After matching their season best three-game winning streak, the New Jersey Devils have dropped four in a row, including a pair of 3-1 losses to two of the best teams in the Western Conference this past weekend.

The Devils have won nine of 20 games (9-9-2) since firing Peter DeBoer on Dec. 26.

Here is how the four NHL teams that have made coaching changes this season have fared (through Feb. 15):

* Ottawa: Paul MacLean 11-11-5 (.500); Dave Cameron 11-11-5 (.500)

* Edmonton: Dallas Eakins 7-19-5 (.306); Todd Nelson 9-13-4 (.423)

* New Jersey: Pete DeBoer 12-17-7 (.431); Lou Lamoriello 9-9-2 (.500)

* Toronto: Randy Carlyle 21-16-3 (.563); Peter Horachek 2-13-2 (.176)

The Devils lost in Nashville, 3-1, Saturday night, giving up two goals in the final 3:27 to the club with the best overall record in the NHL.

New Jersey is now 6-4-1 all-time on Valentine’s Day:

* 2/14/15, 3-1 loss at Nashville
* 2/14/12, 4-1 win at Buffalo
* 2/14/07, 5-2 win vs. Montreal
* 2/14/04, 4-1 win vs. Carolina
* 2/14/01, 3-2 loss vs. Ottawa
* 2/14/93, 5-2 win at Philadelphia
* 2/14/91, 3-3 tie vs. Winnipeg
* 2/14/88, 7-2 win at Toronto
* 2/14/87, 5-1 loss at Detroit
* 2/14/85, 4-0 loss vs. Hartford
* 2/14/84, 6-4 win vs. Los Angeles

The Devils lost to Chicago, 3-1, on Friday night. New Jersey led 1-0 after two periods but faltered late. The defeat marked the first time this season New Jersey did not get at least one point when leading after two periods.

The loss to the Blackhawks came on Friday the 13th. New Jersey is now 5-6 all-time in regular season games played on that “unlucky” date.

* 2/13/15, 3-1 loss at Chicago
* 12/13/15, 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh
* 2/13/08, 1-0 win vs. Boston
* 1/13/06, 3-0 win vs. Vancouver
* 10/13/00, 3-1 loss at Ottawa
* 11/13/98, 4-3 win vs. Pittsburgh
* 11/13/92, 3-0 win vs. Washington
* 12/13/91, 4-3 loss vs. Pittsburgh
* 10/13/89, 4-3 loss vs. Montreal (OT)
* 1/13/89, 5-3 loss vs. NY Islanders
* 3/13/87, 4-1 win vs. NY Islanders

The Devils are 1-1 in postseason games played on Friday the 13th, beating the Panthers, 3-2, at Florida in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals on April 13, 2012 and losing to Washington, 4-3, in Game 5 of their Patrick Division semifinal back on April 13, 1990.

Travis Zajac’s next game will be the 600th of his NHL career, becoming the 14th player to appear in that many regular season games for New Jersey. Check out the following list, where * denotes the players that played their entire careers with the Devils:

* Ken Daneyko, 1,283*
* Martin Brodeur, 1,259
* Patrik Elias, 1,201*
* Scott Stevens, 956
* John MacLean, 934
* Scott Niedermayer, 892
* Jay Pandolfo, 819
* Bobby Holik, 786
* Sergei Brylin, 765*
* Randy McKay, 760
* Colin White, 743
* John Madden, 712
* Bruce Driver, 702
* Travis Zajac, 599*

Schwei’s Plus/Minus

Plus: Steve Bernier. The veteran forward scored his 10th goal of the season and third on the power play in the loss at Nashville. Bernier has now scored seven goals over his last 12 games.

Minus: Poor 4. New Jersey has lost four straight games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 4-10.

Comments

Leave a Reply