Devils make big improvements and make the second round of the playoffs


Ari Rosen

5 sophomore students celebrating the Devils’ season and success at the school

Jake Ballard, Staff Writer

The New Jersey Devils are a team that saw tremendous improvement from the previous season. They found a lot of success in the NHL regular season, posting a 52 win, 22 loss, and 8 overtime loss record. Entering the playoffs they went through multiple trials, and by the second round, their Stanley Cup hopes were snuffed. 

In their 2022 season campaign, the New Jersey Devils finished with the third worst record in the NHL Eastern Conference, earning them the second overall pick and the draft selection of Simon Nemec. Despite this draft selection, Nemec never suited up for the Devils in their 2023 campaign. In the offseasons the Devils swung multiple moves, bringing in a ton of fresh faces. 

The 2023 New Jersey Devils season proved different than the previous season. The Devils went from the third worst record in the Eastern Conference and having the second overall pick to being one of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference, record wise. Their record earned them a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs where they found themselves in a matchup against last year’s playoff shocker in the New York Rangers. 

Despite being the better team on the ice, the Devils struggled against the Rangers as both teams won back to back games to make it a two to two series four games in. The Devils then pulled ahead by winning game five, but the Rangers stuck around forcing a game seven by winning game six. Rangers fan alike thought that once again, they would take out big teams in the Eastern Conference. “I felt like the momentum was swinging in our way” said senior and Rangers fan Matt Lesnik. Despite New York sports fans’ hopes and prayers, in the end, the Devils were finally able to dish the fatal blow to the Rangers in game seven. 

By beating the Rangers, the Devils earned themselves a matchup in the second round against the Carolina Hurricanes who, record wise, were near equals to the Devils themselves. The Hurricanes came right out of the gates strong, winning the first two games of the series in a dominating fashion. The Devils were able to respond, winning the next game, however it appeared that in the grand scheme of things, that game did not matter. The Hurricanes went on to win the next two games, winning them the series, and advancing to the conference final. 

Although the Devils put up a great season, when it came to playoff time their weaknesses began to show. They struggled in the first round of the playoffs and despite advancing, were never able to get back into their regular style of play, becoming a second round exit.