By: John Carroll Jr.
The New Jersey Devils are heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2018 and will play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in Game 1. That is a fact and no one can argue otherwise. Yes, the Devils are based in New Jersey but are still part of the NY, NJ, Tri-state market we cover here.
The Devils are playoff bound! If you are a Rangers fan this must pain you to see. If you support the Isles this might pain you but a little bit less. Aside from where both of those teams sit right now, this Devils team is one to get behind. They are a great team and their players deserve it. I’m going to try to convince you why.
The Devils are often over looked in New York City because they don’t play their home games in the state of New York. But back when the Devils franchise had the likes of Marty Brodeur, Patty Elias, Kenny D, Scott Stevens, too many great legends to count, them and the Rangers hated each other.
There has been a rivalry between them ever since.
As for the Islanders and Devils, they were never really good at the same time so no true rivalry exists aside from envy.
However, regardless of where you stand, this 2017-2018 New Jersey Devils team is different. It is not the same old Devs and there is no reason to hate them if you do.
This year, Taylor Hall is the man carrying the Devils. His 26 game point streak was truly something special. He now makes his first career playoffs. All his years in Edmonton never gave him that. So, there is no reason for the rivals or anyone to hate him. Hall only came on strong this year.
He has not been a thorn in anybody’s side long enough to hate him. He honestly deserves it for his commitment to the game alone. Taylor Hall is an MVP candidate and has not done a single thing besides carry his young team into a playoff birth.
Alongside him is a group of young studs. Nico Hischier was the first overall pick last draft and he is still just a prodigy. However, even he found himself to be a valuable part of this Devils team.
He has the potential to be one of the game’s next great players so enjoy him now.
Aside from all else, the Lightning are an Eastern conference powerhouse.They have had their opportunity almost every year. It will be nice to see the Devils, who are far from a fresh playoff face, end their run early.
The Devils have overcome adversity all year. They all well-coached. They are resilient and can keep up with any team.
The playoff jitters and youth can play a factor but by watching the Devils during their run, you are almost guaranteed a great hockey game. No matter what. You would have to go back to March 14th, 2018 to find a game that was decided by more than 4 goals. That was in Vegas and an 8-3 Devils win.
No matter what colors you bleed, this Devils team is so much different than every other one of their teams. Aside from just being flat-out good, they are a bunch of fresh faces and are entertaining. I’m not saying to root for them. I’m just saying you might not have a difficult time getting behind them.
They will always put on a show especially if you just love a solid hockey game.