5 Must-See New Jersey Devils Games In December
5 Must-See New Jersey Devils Games In December
The New Jersey Devils have moved on from a treacherous start to the 2013-14 season to claw their way back into the Metropolitan Division. They went from being the last team to win a game to being 11-11-5 and one point away from a guaranteed playoff spot. November saw the Devils beat powerhouse teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. What a difference a month makes.
The next month has some interesting matchups coming up. The usual divisional games are always interesting, and they will also take on some of the best Western Conference teams that the NHL has to offer. These are great games to see where the Devils actually are. Are they as good as fans hope?
November saw arguably one of the best goalie tandems in the league emerge for the Devils. Martin Brodeur went on a stretch where he seemed like he could go the rest of the season without surrendering a goal. He has slowed a little bit lately, but he is still one of the best in the league at 41-years-old. Cory Schneider has done more than his fair share. In the six games he played in November, he allowed 11 goals total. That is less than two goals per game.
The offense has left something to be desired. There are some slumping players that are very, very due to break out. That will be fun to watch when it happens. Speaking of fun to watch, let's talk about the month Jaromir Jagr had. He was by far the best player on the ice every time he was out there. He scored multiple game-winning goals, enough to tie for the most ever with Bobby Orr at 121. His great season will be another thing to watch throughout December.
These five games are the top must-see contests of December for the Devils.
Friday, December 6 vs. Detroit Red Wings
This Friday, the Devils welcome the Detroit Red Wings to the Rock. It is the first time they will play in New Jersey as a part of the Eastern Conference. This is the first time that Damien Brunner will play his former teammates. Hopefully that will help him with the slump that he has been in. Sometimes seeing what you used to be a part of helps you play better. It is the first time the Devils will play Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson as part of the Red Wings. The Wings are currently trying to catch the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic, so they will bring their A game against the Devils.
Saturday, December 7 at New York Rangers
Every matchup with the New York Rangers is a big one. It is the Devils' biggest rivalry. With the way the new alignment works, these two teams play each other less. This is the last time these two teams will face off until the end of January. These two teams are currently in a neck-and-neck battle for that last guaranteed spot in the playoffs. You may say it is too early to be thinking about the playoffs, but it doesn't matter where the points come from. Also, this is the first time the Devils will see Rick Nash this season. It will be a great game to watch.
Wednesday, December 18 vs. Ottawa Senators
The Devils say that their game against the Ottawa Senators on October 17 was their first sign of life. They had yet to win a game at that point, but it all turned around after that. The Devils will look to avenge the loss on that night as they seem to be playing much better hockey at this point. The Sens are still trying to keep pace in their first year in the Atlantic Division. They had a lot of expectations coming into this season that they aren't living up to. They need to win as many games as they can at this point in the season.
Friday, December 20 vs. Anaheim Ducks
The Devils stole one earlier in the year against the Ducks when a puck went off of Corey Perry's leg and went into his own net in overtime. That happened after Jagr scored to tie the game with just over a minute left. The Ducks are playing better since the next game ended their losing streak. They have received seven out of 10 points since playing the Devils. They are back to playing their best hockey. Being one point out of the Pacific division, they are going to look to win a game they feel like they should have won in the first place.
Monday, December 23 at Blackhawks
By far the best matchup for the Devils, they will go to the United Center to face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. The wait will be worth it to see stars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford. They are currently the best team in the NHL. The Devils still believe they can play with the best, so that theory will be tested on this night. Make sure you tune in to this game.
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