Devils Winning Streak Up to Six
The New Jersey Devils have somehow managed a six game winning streak which so far has made for a 6-2-3 record in January. The month started off disappointing but since the 4-1 loss in Montreal the team has turned a corner. By team of course, I mean Ryan Miller, as he's playing some of the best hockey in his career for the Devils with 3 shutouts in the 6 game stretch. Not only that but because of his ability to keep teams from scoring more than 2 during the stretch, the team has come away with two separate 3-2 wins (over Phoenix and Colorado) as well as two separate 1-0 road shutouts over both New York division opponents. This great run by Miller has managed to pull his personal record over .500 for the first time since game 1 and the teams record now stands at 21-21-6. With 48 points the team is still sitting tied for 11th in the conference with Montreal and are still 9 points back of the Rangers and Jets who both have 57 points. Still a very long way to go, but for a team that not too long ago sat on the bottom of the conference at least there is still some hope to the season.
Also on the defensive side of the and possibly as big a contributor, has been the recall of Michael Stone on defense. Coming up from the farm on December 27th, Stone has been a rock defensively as well as contributing a few points along the way. At a +9 in only 13 games, Stone is #1 on the team for defensemen in that category as well as 3rd on the team behind only Clarkson and Laich. With only one minus game so far this year Stone has been a key contributor to a defense that has otherwise been underwhelming. It's aggravating to wonder what the teams record could be if Stone had been with the team since day one, but because of his big raise to $2,150,000 over the summer (with 1 GP) the team couldn't afford to play him as they were right up against the cap. After the trade of Ryder to Boston that opened up the cap space, Stone has been with the team and performing great and has firmly locked himself up a role for the forseeable future with the team.