The NHL Season Ending Early Benefits the Devils

March 23, 2020 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article
It is unknown when the next time the Prudential Center will see occupants. (Photo by: New Jersey Devils)

Introduction

We here at Devils Army Blog hope this article catches everyone safe and more importantly, healthy! Given these recent unique circumstances, the sports world has been turned upside down. Almost every sport in the world has been suspended, postponed, or canceled. This article is here to explain although not having the NHL to watch may be tough, a cancellation of the remainder of the season would benefit the New Jersey Devils — from a draft perspective — greatly.

The Current Circumstance

Recent rumors are making it seem exceedingly likely the remainder of the 2019-20 NHL season is not going to continue. Especially given the fact two Ottawa Senators’ players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in the past week. If the season is ultimately canceled, this makes you wonder how they would handle the order for the upcoming draft and conditions on certain draft selections. 

To speculate, the most reasonable and realistic way the NHL handles this situation is by determining the draft order, and subsequent conditions surrounding picks by the current league standings. Specifically, based on point percentage, as each team has different games played. This, of course, if it gets to the point where the NHL cancels the rest of the season.

If the Season Ended Today…

The Devils can own up to three first-round selections in this upcoming draft. Given how deep this draft is supposed to be, the more the merrier. If the NHL cancels the remainder of the season and then implements the process in determining the draft order I mentioned above, the Devils would be thrilled. 

They own their first-round pick and have each of the Canucks and Coyotes first-round picks (each subject to conditions). The condition on the Coyotes pick is simple: if the Coyotes win the lottery (select anywhere between picks one through three) the Devils would receive the Coyotes’ 2021 selection instead. The condition on the Canucks pick is also relatively simple. If they do not make the playoffs, the Devils receive their 2021 first-round pick instead of this year’s. 

The current landscape of the standings is as perfect as it gets for the Devils. The Canucks sit at 17th in the league, which qualifies them in a “playoff position,” so the Devils would receive that pick. The Coyotes currently sit at 10th, and as long as they do not win the lottery the Devils would receive this pick as well. Lastly, the Devils themselves sit at sixth.

The above snapshot is courtesy of tankathon.com. It shows what the current draft order would be if the season were to end right now.

If the NHL ended the season and awarded the draft order while abiding by picks’ conditions based on the current standings (point percentage), the Devils would own the sixth, 10th (if Coyotes do not win the lottery), and 17th selections in the upcoming draft.

Conclusion

Given what is happening in the world, although many may not like it, it seems exceedingly likely we are going to see cancellations of already suspended seasons. This, of course, would be no different for the NHL. Although this would mean no more hockey, it would benefit Jersey’s team – from a draft perspective – immensely. And this crop of high-quality talent in the first round of the 2020 Entry Draft would help a team that is in need of more special, young talent.

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Recap: Devils Extinguish Flames in Offensive Game

March 20, 2020 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article
Jack Hughes Scores a Goal in NHL 20

Game Overview

Yeah, I bet you did not think we would have hockey again, did you? Yesterday, the New Jersey Devils announced they would utilize NHL 20 — the video game — to stream their schedule for the foreseeable future. This process started yesterday against the Calgary Flames.

The Devils picked up right where they left off with more red-hot play. They defeated the Flames in a thrilling 6-4 game! In the victory, Pavel Zacha stayed hot scoring two goals. The Devils also saw goals off the sticks of Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, Michael McLeod, and Miles Wood. Cory Schneider got the nod in between the pipes against Calgary’s backup netminder Cam Talbot. Schneider made 98 saves on 102 shots, while Talbot let in six goals on 86 shots in a back and forth game.

Ok, we understand this is only a simulation from NHL 20. But who cares! To some degree, we got Devils’ hockey back, baby!

As was mentioned above, the Devils will be live-streaming the rest of their games on NHL 20 matching-up with their regular-season calendar. I will include a link below to the post of the game on YouTube. Other avenues in which you can view upcoming games are the Devils’ Twitter and Facebook page as well as njd.tv.

Let’s be real, we are getting the closest thing to a sense of normalcy when it comes to our Devils given what is going on around the world, the country, and the tri-state area. While we learn to adapt to the new adversity life has thrown our way, there is one aspect we can still enjoy and that is Devils’ hockey, whether it is live-action or a live broadcast simulation from NHL 20.

Goal and Statistics of the Game

Cory Schneider finished the game with an astounding .961 save percentage (see an awesome post-game interview above). I expect to see Mackenzie Blackwood receive the next start which will be on Saturday night against the New York Islanders. While Pavel Zacha scored two goals in the game, the goal of the game goes to Miles Wood. This is more so due to the beautiful complete line effort of a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play almost like it was drawn up on the whiteboard.

The game was not perfect, obviously, but more steps in the right direction are being taken. For example, Janne Kuokkanen was wearing number three. This is surprising because it is usually impossible to assign retired numbers in the video game.

Game Replay

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