The New Jersey Devils might as well be in Dante's Inferno at this point of the NHL season. Three weeks into October, the Devils have managed just one win to the similarly struggling New York Rangers and have had five losses in regulation. The Devils have scored a cumulative 18 goals to 30 allowed and have had a dismal 1-3 overtime record as well. Right after what seemed to be a breakthrough win, they promptly dropped a 1-4 game to the Columbus Blue Jackets. As a result, the Devils are just above the Rangers in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Vancouver Canucks are not out of the woods, but they're not safe either. Even though they have a 6-4-1 record, they are tied with the Los Angeles Kings at seventh. The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators are not far behind either as they tote 5-1-1 and 5-4-1 cards, respectively. The Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames are also within striking distance.
The difference between the two teams is very clear. The Canucks have scored 32 goals, good for joint second in the Western Conference behind the San Jose Sharks which have scored 40. Three players -- Ryan Kesler, Brad Richardson and Mike Santorelli -- have scored four goals each. Henrik Sedin, with 10 assists, is one of the leading passers in the league so far in 2013 and has a total of 13 points so far. On the flipside, they have allowed more goals against them, with 33 for the season.
Meanwhile, defense is also a problem for the Devils, which have allowed 30 goals for the season, good for second-to-last in the Eastern Conference. The bigger problem, though, is scoring, or the lack thereof. The conference's best scoring team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, have scored 34 so far; the Devils have been able to score just a little over half that number, managing just 18 for the season. Aside from Damien Brunner, who has three goals, there is very little offense from the rest of the skaters. Yes, even the aging star Jaromir Jagr, who has bounced from team to team the past three years.