In a couple of hours, the New Jersey Devils will take on that team from New York in their second meeting of the season. If you were reading the blog earlier in the week, you might have seen John’s article urging Devils fans to get out to the game, which hopefully should be a good one. As he noted, every one of these rivalry games is important, even if neither team is relevant in the standings. And being early enough in the year, in truth it is early enough for anyone to turn it around, so that makes it even more relevant.
With the decade coming to a close, and with the game starting in a short while, I thought it would be prudent to take a look back on the decade to see how the rivalry has gone. Has one side really taken it to the other over these past 10 seasons, or has it been a rivalry between equals, duking it out punch for punch? I went back through the schedule and compiled this chart, including home and away records for the Devils, as well as goal differentials. The first number in the goal differential is NJ’s goals, and the second one is NY’s goals.
So when you add that all up, the Devils’ record against their biggest rival this past decade is pretty close to .500, sitting at 22-23-3. And it was a tale of home vs away for both of these clubs, with near identically opposite records when in Newark vs in Manhattan. They have one more regulation loss at home than win on the roadm and an extra OT/SO loss at home. That’s it when you boil it down.
Now, when you look at goal differential, it becomes a little worse for the Devils. They Devils score well at home, potting 70 goals against NYR this decade, but only managed to score 41 of them on the road, an abysmal number. Meanwhile, New York does have 64 goals in Newark, although again, that only came out to 9 wins there for them.
So realistically, if the Devils want to have a realistic argument that they finished in the positive this decade against them, they have to win this game today and poach both of the away games when the calendar turns into 2020 (yes, I know that technically is a different decade. But I started the count in October 2010, so realistically the 10 seasons this decade end in April 2020. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it). That would give the Devils a final record of 25-23-3. That is of course more losses than wins, but with three of them coming after 60 minutes, it still leads to a positive record where points are considered. It is not going to be an easy feat to win all four games against NY this year, they haven’t swept the series in a season this entire decade. But why not start this season, you know?
Again, this gives more credence to John’s take that today is a very important game, and definitely one that is worth being invested in. A positive outcome is very much needed; let’s hope they can pull it off.