Detroit Red Wings Villains: 2015 New Jersey Devils


Over the next 30 days, Octopus Thrower profiles every Detroit Red Wings “villain” in the NHL. Today we take a closer look at the New Jersey Devils.

Team Name:

New Jersey Devils



FanSided Foe:

Pucks and Pitchforks

Games Against Them:



December 22




December 11


January 4

Last Year’s Results:

Detroit won the regular season series 3-0. Results: 11/7 – Red Wings 4, Devils 2; 11/28 – Red Wings 5, Devils 4 (SO); 12/31 – Red Wings 3, Devils 1

Head Coach:

John Hynes

Watch out for these guys:

RW Patrik Elias, G Cory Schneider, C Adam Henrique, D Adam Larsson

Farmhands worth Noting:

C Pavel Zacha, C John Quennville, D Damon Severson


Cory Schneider

Sieve or Savior?


8 Quick Thoughts about the Devils

4 Things We Respect About You:

1. Cory Schneider is one of the top goalies in the league, finishing 2015 in the top 10 in GAA, 5-on-5 Sv%, and TOI (minimum 25 games played). This guy is underappreciated in some circles around the league.

2. The legendary Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is arguably the greatest goaltender of all time, and he led the Devils to three Stanley Cups and five Finals appearances over his career. Other than a forgettable stint with St. Louis, he spent his entire NHL tenure in New Jersey.

3. Finally made the move into the “new age” NHL this summer. Longtime GM/President Lou Lamoriello finally gave up the reigns and hired new general manager Ray Shero. Lamoriello was a great leader of the Devils’ organization for many year, but while the rest of the league was transitioning towards new analytics, Lamoriello continued to assemble his teams with grit, heart, toughness, and other qualities that tend to take a team not very far.

4. Like Detroit, New Jersey has never had a third jersey. Good for them. Those alternates are nothing more than marketing campaigns to sell more jerseys.

4 Things We Hate About You:

1. They employed Claude Lemieux. Twice. That’s inexcusable.

2. They defeated the Red Wings in the 1995 final. Though the Wings made up for it a few years later, a Cup that season would have meant Detroit won three in four years. That would have had a nice ring to it, eh?

3. They’ve been downright painful to watch. Aside from one magical (and improbable) run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012, the Devils have been one of the worst teams in the league in recent years, with only a single playoff berth in the past five seasons.

4. Scott Stevens. That guy wouldn’t last a single pre-season game in today’s NHL before being suspended for some hit to the head on a defenseless opponent.

Playoff Threat Level (1-10, 1 being minimal)

1. New Jersey is expected to push for the honor (dishonor?) of selecting first in 2016’s Entry Draft, and they’d be right to do so. When you finish 22 points out of the playoffs and six of your top seven scorers from a year ago are on the wrong side of 30, management has some work to do. In his first managerial gig, Ray Shero was able to turn the Pittsburgh Penguins from bottom-dwellers into Stanley Cup Champions within three seasons. His secret? Building around four players who were drafted #2 overall in their respective years. Young talented players are the path to success in today’s NHL, and Shero knows this first hand. With hardly any skilled youth to speak of, Shero is expected to begin a Buffalo Sabre-like rebuild, and that starts with bottoming out this year.

Final Thoughts

The 2012 New Jersey Devils that reached the Stanley Cup Finals were a perfect storm of talent, luck, and a clear path through the playoffs. Every Devils team since? A mess. Part of that isn’t their fault, with the untimely departures of Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. However turnover is part of any professional sport, so here we are. Instead of trying to convince themselves they could contend for a playoff spot, New Jersey seems ready to turn the page and start over. They have an elite goaltender in place, so that’s a start. The rebuild could be long and painful, and will likely start in 2016.

Next: Check out our fancy stats here!

More from Octopus Thrower