It may be a bit early, but the New Jersey Devils have been on a roll as of late. Sure, they lost 4-3 at home to the Carolina Hurricanes last Wednesday evening, but they did bounce back two nights later in the second meeting of their back-to-back down south with a 5-2 victory. In that game, they hit the net four times in the final period to earn the points.
Then, on Saturday night, they held the Buffalo Sabres scoreless thanks to heroics from Cory Schneider and eventually won the game by a goal at 1-0 after an OT strike courtesy of Steve Bernier.
After two decent victories, the Devils are riding on a confidence-high that they have been lacking all season. Some of the games that they lost could have easily been victories were it not for unlucky plays on both ends of the ice. However, in hockey that can happen a lot of times during a season of 82 games. They just need to keep their heads up and let games go as soon as they are played to mentally prepare for the next one which is always sooner than they would expect.
The Devils are trusting coach Peter DeBoer after a shaky start to the season which is actually good. Admittedly, at the beginning of the season it was a bit scary to see how badly they were playing since they had no superstar. Now with the guidance of the coach and the addition of veteran winger Jaromir Jagr, the team is gaining its old confidence back and playing as a unit. This is exactly what this franchise needed from the beginning.
Who knows? Maybe if the team finishes high in the standings they can match up well against other teams in the East and perhaps make yet another Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Can they win? The most likely answer to that is no, but one can never really predict that outcome without watching them in crunch time.