Back in July, I took a look to see whether the New Jersey Devils tended to slump in March in recent seasons, only to find that, well, they did. But what about October? Do the Devils tend to start strongly or slowly? With the regular season starting this Saturday against Philadelphia at the Rock, another October begins anew. What can recent Devils' records in October lead us to expect for this coming month of games?
As you can see, the past 5 Octobers weren't exactly roaring starts to the season for New Jersey. OK, yes, last season's October was pretty good in terms of points percentage. And yes, 2007-08 was the only one where the team finished the month below 50% in terms of points earned over potential points. Still, 6 wins and 13 points is the high mark and that came out of an 11-game October 2006. Not exactly a ridiculous record to match.
Now, the Devils have 12 games this month, starting off with two home games against our most hated rivals, the most in October after these 5 seasons. Still, based on past results, 5 or 6 wins shouldn't come as a surprise - and I think that should be a baseline for any expectations. Yes, that would only be 41.67-50% of all potential points for the month, which isn't great. Any more wins than that and/or a couple of overtime/shootout losses would make this October the most successful in recent memory. Something to keep in mind in case the Devils only go 7-5 or some such.
Nevertheless, given the past few Devils' seasons, a not so great October will historically be followed up with a strong December, January, and/or February to make up the difference later on.