EDITOR'S NOTE: You've arrived at the CBJ Power Rankings, our weekly breakdown of the top-five players, statistics, trends and many other Blue Jackets-related categories. If you're looking for the traditional power rankings, you've come to the wrong place. We'll go in-depth and outside the box, and hopefully give you something to think about.
For this week's rankings, we're taking a look at the five best home-ice penalty killing units in the Eastern Conference. Every coach in the NHL wants his team to win the special teams battle in every game, and there's added emphasis on both specialty units on a nightly basis. Home ice success is also a huge factor in overall success, so why not break down a statistical category that includes a little of both?
One final note: these statistics were compiled and placed in our Power Rankings as of Dec. 29 - they do NOT include Sunday's games in the percentages.
We're ready, but are YOU ready? Let's get it started.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
HOME ICE PK %: 91.2
STANDING: FIFTH PLACE (METRO)
It's no secret that the New Jersey Devils - regardless of who's coaching the team or which names fill out the roster - are a team and organization focused on taking care of their own zone first. For years, the Devils perfected the art of owning the neutral zone and they relied on strong special teams to carry them in front of one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, Mr. Martin Brodeur.
As the Blue Jackets have seen three times this season (in three victories against New Jersey), the Devils still possess that sturdy team defense and an occasionally-maddening patience in their game. With that comes strong penalty-killing and they've done their best work at Prudential Center, killing off 91.2 percent of the opposition's power play chances. There are ways to beat the Devils, and the Blue Jackets have found a few this season, but it's not wise to rely on your power play against this stingy group.