We are just past the quarter point in what has been an incredibly fun and interesting NHL season. There have been some tremendous games played and storylines being played out. Here are some things that have had me talking:
◼ Is there a team that has surprised more (in a good way) than the New Jersey Devils? After a 2016-17 season that was disappointing, to say the least, this year’s Devils have been consistent and very fun to watch. GM Ray Shero was intent on making this team capable of playing a style similar to that of his former employer, the Pittsburgh Penguins, by adding speed, skill and attitude. And he has done it with the help of six former Boston College standouts.
Cory Schneider (Marblehead, Mass.) has rebounded in goal this season and looks much more comfortable with the hiring of his former goalie coach in Vancouver, Roland Melanson, now in New Jersey. Steve Santini, who started training camp as depth defender, has established himself as a legit reliable defenseman playing big minutes against opponents’ better skaters. After being bought out by his hometown Boston Bruins with one year left on a deal, Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) was offered a tryout and came into camp motivated and in great shape. He has filled a role as a depth player well and is vocal in the room.