The New Jersey Devils aren’t the most successful NHL team out there, but this nifty named team do have quite a history. The professional hockey team is based in Newark, New Jersey but originally came from Kansas City in 1974, when they were known as the Kansas City Scouts. They would move to Colorado to become the Colorado Rockies in 1976, before finally moving to their current state in 1982. What else do we know about the New Jersey Devils, though?
The New Jersey Devils
The Devils have a long-standing rivalry with the New York Rangers, as well as the Philadelphia Flyers. Their earlier years were spent trying to assemble a core squad of players who could take on the Patrick Division of the Wales Conference in the early eighties. They made it to the playoffs in 1988 but to no real glory.
For the 1993-1994 season, the Devils joined the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference and results improved immediately finishing second overall, and conference champions in 1994-1995. They would go on to become division champions three years in a row from 1995-1999, 2000-01 and 2002-03. They also were division champs in 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10, as well as conference champions in 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, and 2011-12. The story since then is rather different. As has been the case throughout the New Jersey Devils history, their success ebbs and flows.
Stanley Cup Success
The Devils currently have 3 Stanley Cup victories under their belt, to sit alongside their 5-conference championship and 9 division championship titles. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup in the 1994-1995, 1999-00 and 2002-03 seasons. They could have made it 5 were it not for defeats in 2000-01 and 2011-12 to Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively.
Since then, the Devils have enduring mixed fortunes, finishing no higher than fourth in their division (previously the Atlantic now Metropolitan divisions of the eastern conference). Last season’s disappointing finish of 8th was their lowest finish since they moved to New Jersey. This season, though, a brighter future could be on the horizon.
Although the New Jersey Devils missed out on a direct playoff spot via the Metropolitan Division, they are currently flying in the Eastern Conference Wild Card competition. Sitting top of the pile, five points clear of their nearest rivals (the Columbus Blue Jackets), and 9 points above third-placed New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils are primed to pocket one of the two coveted wild card spots.
Having failed to make the playoffs since making the Stanley Cup final (and losing) in 2012, it is an exciting time to be a New Jersey Devils fan. They aren’t home and dry yet, and there can no doubt that a lot tougher challenges await the Devils is they acquire the wild-card spot and proceed to the playoffs, but following a handful of dismal and dreary years, things are starting to look up for this NHL team.