Ramblings: Early Devils and Golden Knights Success; Necas and Karlsson; Updates on Norris and Boeser – November 8

Michael Clifford

2022-11-08

We have reached the one-month mark of the season. With St. Louis finally playing their 10th game of the 2022-23 campaign on Monday night, every franchise has reached the double-digit mark in games played. It is no longer early as we are settling into the rhythm of the season and teams/players start falling into their expected ranges for the year. There are some stats and predicted outcomes that will shift, and players will rebound or regress, but most players shouldn't vary too much from what they've shown to be capable of in the league's first four-plus weeks.

As I like to do every couple weeks, let's take a look at some numbers from across the league. We are going to take a gander at teams, players, lines, whatever is of interest. Data will be taken from our Frozen Tools or Natural Stat Trick, unless otherwise indicated.

New Jersey Devils

In my estimation, other than maybe the Boston Bruins and what they've done without Brad Marchand for a few weeks and still without Charlie McAvoy, the biggest news story in the Eastern Conference is the New Jersey Devils. As we sit on Monday afternoon, the Devils lead the Metro Division, are tied with the Bruins for most regulation/overtime wins in the East, and have reeled off six straight wins. There were a few easy games in there but they also shutout Colorado and beat both Alberta teams on the road. On the year, the team has an expected goal share over 65%, leading the entire league in both expected goals for and expected goals against per minute at 5-on-5. That has translated to the fourth-highest 5-on-5 goal share, trailing only Dallas, Vegas, and Colorado.

The kicker out of all of this: New Jersey's goaltending is bottom-5 in the league at 5-on-5. That they are doing so well at limiting chances against is what is keeping goals against in check. There are a few reasons for all this, and I'll try to get through it as quickly as possible.

First, the blue line has been excellent.