Got Wood?

Miles Wood that is, in your hockey fantasy team?

It’s been a month since I’ve posted about the New Jersey Devils, and what a month it has been! The Devils have since won games against:
– Tampa Bay Lightning
– Ottawa Senators (twice)
– Arizona Coyotes
– Vancouver Canucks
– Florida Panthers
– Chicago Blackhawks

They’ve gotten at least a point against:
– Calgary Flames
– Edmonton Oilers

And lost in regulation against:
– San Jose Sharks
– Edmonton Oilers
– St Louis Blues

Not a horrible month in the grand scheme of things, and has actually left the Devils atop the Metropolitan division with games and points in hand. What an amazing effort. The rookies are contributing, the fourth line is contributing, and the team is finding ways to win, coming back when down, and close, tight games.
Case in point, the Chicago Blackhawks game. The Devils were down 4-2 at the end of the first period, yet rallied to finally win in an epic showdown.

Devils at Hawks

Miles Wood finished the game with 4 points (3 goals 1 assist), with his first ever NHL hat trick. Nico Hischier finished with a 3 point night (1 goal 2 assists), and Taylor Hall with 1 goal and 1 assist. Everyone on the team contributed (less some defensive brain farts), and had their first 3 goal deficit comeback win in regulation since April 2006. Just epic.

Which then leads me to the next point. Electronic Arts’ NHL video game series.
As of writing this, I had checked the New Jersey Devils’ roster on NHL 18. The current roster has the Devils’ overall offence rated at 86, defense at 88, and goalies at 92. There hasn’t been an update to the rosters since November 3rd, so I have to cut EA some slack, however I need to point out the following: the Devils are currently tied for 4th in Goals For (total goals scored by the team), and 5th in Goals Per Game Average (somewhat self-explanatory).

Now, the Devils have been in front of the Metropolitan division pretty much all season so far. So that’s fighting for a spot against the teams Columbus, Washington, Pittsburgh, both New York teams, Carolina and Philadelphia. When I scroll through those team rosters in NHL 18, respectively speaking, those teams are rated 89, 91, 93, 90 (x2), 88 and 91 respectively. Can someone please explain to me how the Devils are rated so poorly on offense when every single one of the same divisional teams listed above are below the Devils, or at the same level as the Devils? Case in point, the Devils are tied with the Islanders for 4th in Goals For, Rangers are in 3rd place by a difference of one goal. All the other divisional teams have scored less goals to the point they are outside the top 10. As for goals average per game, Devils are tied with Islanders for 5th, Rangers are 6th, and again, all other divisional teams are outside the top 10.
On top of that, three (3), yes three, of our rookies are currently in the top 7 for the Calder trophy – i.e. the highest points total by a rookie. Nico Hischier with 14 points, Jesper Bratt and Will Butcher with 13 points, all three players have played 17 games. That’s not far off a point a game average.

All I can say is, the next NHL 18 roster update better have an improvement with the Devils or I will not be happy. I want to play Online Versus against other players with my favourite team, however if I’m going against badly assigned player statistics, that’s just nothing short of frustrating and I’ll spam the hell out of EA for it.

Something very cool also happened over the last few weeks. I am visiting California for hockey for the first time since 2010 in March 2018, where I will see the Devils play in Vegas, LA, Anaheim, the up to San Jose, before flying back out east to watch the Devils finish off the season in New Jersey, and even the final regular season game in Washington, DC against the Capitals. My dad is joining me for my west coast portion of my vacation, and I will be taking him to his first ever (and second) NHL game against the Ducks and Sharks. It will be a great father and son moment sharing my passion with him, and will ensure he is wearing a Devils jersey in the crowd.

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