Odds of a Devils’ Stanley Cup Win

Fans of the New Jersey Devils have had a lot to celebrate over the past few regular seasons. They’ve been one of the most dominant teams on the ice leading up the playoffs, giving the home-team faithful months of chest-painting, white-knuckled, devil-shouting opportunities.

When the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around, however, the Devils have a nagging little habit of being a habitual one-and-done squad.

What are the odds that all changes this year? It’s still very early in the NHL season, but based on the offseason moves, the current momentum the team is carrying, and the weight of the Devils’ competition, it’s the perfect time to lay down the lines and to call things like they are.

New Jersey has an extremely talented team. With their 38-year-old lock-down, never-say-die staple goalie, Martin Brodeur, the Devils rarely have to put up big offensive numbers to win. And forward Ilya Kovalchuk was a great addition when he came along halfway through last season.

They’ve also won four of the last five Atlantic Division titles. But don’t risk it all just yet. This isn’t a casino online; we’re talking about hockey. Sure, the Devils are regular season juggernauts, but out of those four division wins, they’ve only won two playoff series and, out of five straight postseason appearances, haven’t made it past the first round in three years.

Kovalchuk couldn’t get the Devils over the hump last year. Some say the mid-season acquisition was the reason, and that things will flow more smoothly this year. But it’s hard to forget that five-game beat-down New Jersey took from the Flyers.

Overall, the Pittsburgh Penguins are favored to win the Atlantic this year, at -150, but are essentially a .500 team to date. This does leave the door open for New Jersey to knuckle-up and handle business in the regular season, surpassing their +300 odds and taking down the title again, but they have to prove it out on the ice.

To get to the Stanley Cup Finals, we’re looking at a completely different set of odds. The fact that the Devils fall short year after year has to be factored in, even if you’re approaching it through pro-Devil bias. The odds of hitting a big win playing slot online are better; New Jersey is +1500 to get to the Finals.

Nothing is outside the realm of possibility. New Jersey is a great team with a few weak runs on their schedule that could bode extremely well. However, the team has to show up during the playoffs and prove that they’re worthy of a Stanley Cup. Until then, all the odds in the world won’t help the Devils.

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Clemmer.

Perhaps THE league-wide storyline of the season thus far has unfolded between the pipes on Mulberry St in Newark, NJ.

Put yourself in this situation: The new NHL season is still in its infantry, less than a month old. Your team has high expectations going into said season and so far is playing well. Everything looks peachy.

Then it happens. On a seemingly harmless and routine play, your whole season changes completely. Your all-star goaltender is toppled on the ice, and you soon find you’ll be without him for at least the next FOUR months.

Shit.

What’s a team to do? The answer was obvious — call on your third-string minor league starter to handle the workload of a sure-fire hall of famer who is regarded as the best the league has ever seen.



Wait, what?!

That is exactly what Scott Clemmensen was called upon to do. Instead of curling into the fetal position on the shower floor of the teams locker room — rocking back and forth like a rape victim (which is exactly what I would have done) — the man from the hockey hotbed of Des Moines, Iowa rose to the occasion and embraced the challenge with open arms.

The league laughed. Rival fans laughed. Everyone gathered with open eyes to watch the public humiliation that was supposed to be the remainder of the New Jersey Devils season.

Fast forward. Sixteen weeks have passed — almost to the day. With the duo of Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes taking care of business, the New Jersey Devils are sitting comfortably atop the Atlantic Division. They own winning records against the leagues top teams in Boston and San Jose. The offense has compiled 31 more goals than the “offensive machine” across the Hudson, and Clemmensen boasts a .917 Save %, compared to “King” Henrik’s .913%. But Ranger-land is far too consumed in their own self-loathing to notice.

Call it a miracle, call it a team coming together, call it downright luck for four months. The one thing you cannot deny is that Scott Clemmensen has saved the season for the New Jersey Devils.

However, this story could have an almost tragic ending as Martin Brodeur is slated to return tomorrow night when the Devils host the Avalanche. The possibility is high that Scott Clemmensen will not be with us come March 4th. As much as it would hurt to see the man go, I can only say Thank You. If your fate does bring you to a different locker room next week, we wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors for the remainder of your NHL career. This whole season will be talked about for quite a long time and you, my friend, are a huge part of the reason why.

From the crew here at 2ManAdvantage.com, and on behalf of Devils fans across the Nation and around the globe, we thank you for everything. Thanks to you, we’ll never have to hear “You’re nothing without Brodeur” from another fan ever again.

The best part of the season is about to get underway, and I haven’t been this optimistic in years.

Let’s Go Devils!

Mo-Town, Mo’ Problems.

With the dawn of each new NHL season, I wait very impatiently for the schedule to be released. When it finally is, I plan which games I want to attend, whether or not I’ll take a road trip, and other fun and extremely expensive ordeals. Then there is that game… that one single game that you want more than any other one. The one that makes you more wide-eyed than an all-night eight-ball-induced hallucination. That’s the way I always feel when I see the Devils squaring off with the Detroit Red Wings. So, let’s take a look at what tonight’s contest has to offer…

Ever since that fateful day back in 1995 the Devils have enjoyed very limited success against the fellas from mo-town. Winless at “The Joe” since 1996, the Devils will take to the ice against the defending Stanley Cup Champions without the likes of Brian Rolston, Bobby Holik, Andy Greene, Paul Martin, and world-class goaltender Martin Brodeur.

Wait… I was looking forward to this?!

Tonight’s contest had the potential to be one of the most entertaining showdowns of the entire season. Instead, it is shaping up more and more to be a crime scene with the victim being the Devils’ pride. However, I’m doing every little bit that I can to remain optimistic… and who else to supply a little pep than Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner. Langs issued the following statement in the Nov. 6 edition of The Bergen Record:

“We’re still a very good team and if anything it’s a chance for us to prove that it isn’t just him [Brodeur] like all of you always write.”

That’s exactly the mentality that I’ve had since I learned that Marty will be out for an extended period of time. This isn’t just a period of survival for the Devils, it’s a chance for them to silence the critics once and for all. It’s a chance for the team to show everyone what we, the fans, have known all along. That the Devils win because they are the Devils. The fans are united, and apparently (and more importantly) so are the players.

With enough emotion and heart, tonight could still be one to look back on come the end of the season. Then again, it could also give us flashbacks from those Devils teams of the ’80s.

I’ve officially tweaked myself out. Is anyone else scared sh!tless?!