New Jersey started the NHL season hoping to make the playoffs but on a franchise-equalling win streak and flying high on top of the Metropolitan Division, should the Devils now be considered legitimate Stanley Cup contenders?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: What about the New Jersey Devils? They're leading the Metro Division. They're looking really good. As of this recording, it's very possible it could change by tomorrow, they're still on that 12-game winning streak. Are the New Jersey Devils making the playoffs? Avry.
OMAR: They're in.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Oh, all right, Omar.
OMAR: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I was going to let Avry start.
OMAR: No, yeah. Let Avry go. I just said, they're in.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Yeah, no, they're in. The [INAUDIBLE] they've had, they put themselves in a spot in which they're not going to fall off. It's clear that-- it's clear right now they are for real. They're getting great goal scorer. They're getting great goaltending. And this is a well-balanced team right now. And the young core in that team has been amazing to watch. New Jersey, they're making the playoffs.
And you know what too? Remember how the [INAUDIBLE], there were two teams in hockey that were as boring as watching paint dry. It was New Jersey. It was Minnesota. Both are fun teams to watch. Devils are very fun to watch. They're making the playoffs with that young core right there.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: All right. Cool. What about you, Sam?
SAM CHANG: Yeah, I agree they're making it. They're like, they're so far ahead. And I don't see-- I don't know. I guess somebody could go on a run in that division. But I don't see them falling out.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: OK. All right. Omar, you kind of already said yes.
OMAR: Yeah, yeah. They're good, man. They're just like, I want to say, like, their four top scorers, or at least like some of their most productive players are like on each line. So they're like running all four lines. And then like-- and Lindy Ruff isn't afraid to play, like, his fourth line against, like, anyone. Like, his fourth line was like seeing time against Matthews. And then they were handling it pretty well. And you know, Avery, Rob, the goaltending.
I don't know how frickin'-- how did Benishek, like, leave Washington? Was he unqualified or something, or do they trade him? I don't know.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I forget what the reason was.
OMAR: I don't know how it happened, but like, he's been a difference maker. Like, the goaltending. So like everything is working well. They have the offense. He sure has stepped up as a great-- as a great two-way threat. Jack Hughes is being Jack Hughes. Like, everything is working well.
So like, yeah, like, regardless of where they are now, like, I think they're going to continue going on for the rest of the season. Now what they do in the playoffs, who knows. But I think they're good, man. I think they're going to make it. And I think they're going to actually I think catch a lot of teams off guard.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, I think at this point, they'd have to fall off a cliff and lose like 20 in a row to somehow miss the playoffs. Not a lot of teams who win more than 10 games in a row miss the playoffs. I can't think of any team that has done that.
OMAR: 30 of 36 points. That's nuts. That's insane.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: And I think at this point you have to consider Lindy Ruff for Jack Adams contention as well.
OMAR: It's his.
SAM CHANG: Hey, Julian, remember the start of the season when they were like fire Lindy Ruff?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yep. I remember that.
SAM CHANG: I go back and dig those out because people were like-- people were-- I put up that poll that was like, does Sheldon Keefe or Bruce Boudreau get fired first? And I think like, I had like 15 people be like, no, Lindy Ruff. And I was like.