The New Jersey Devils have ten games left to play before the regular season ends. (Written before Thursday night's game versus the Coyotes) While the Devils have not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they are five points out of the final wild card spot and eight away from the third Metropolitan Division spot. This amount of points is not insurmountable, but it'll be tough. The Devils play six games at home and four games away. The four away games are listed below:
The New Jersey Devils have ten games left to play before the regular season ends. While the Devils have not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they are five points out of the final wild card spot and eight away from the third Metropolitan Division spot. This amount of points is not insurmountable, but it'll be tough. The Devils play six games at home and four games away. The four away games are listed below:
@ Islanders, Sabres, Hurricanes, Senators
The Devils have a better record than all three of these teams, which is good news for the remaining away games. Of the six home games, The Devils have better records than four of those teams, one of them being the Islanders, who they also play an away game against. Another interesting thing to note is that the Devils have three back-to-back sets remaining. The back to back sets are below:
3/31-4/1: vs. Panthers and @ Sabres
4/4-4/5: vs. Capitals and @ Hurricanes
4/10-4/11: @ Senators, vs. Islanders
The back to back sets are worrisome as the Devils should be able to beat the teams in the second half of the back to backs. However, the games against the Capitals and Senators will be very intense as all three teams are fighting for a wild card spot. The way the Devils have performed this year has me believing that the team will not put forth 100% effort in the later half of the back to backs. Not to mention, back to backs will lead to Martin Brodeur playing more games, which doesn't give the Devils the best odds of winning those games. Below is table showing the remaining ten games left to be played by the Devils.
|Date||Team||Location||Opponent's Record||Devils' Season Series|
Looking at the last column, the Devils have lost one game to each of these opponents, which isn't too concerning as they've only played one or two games against most of these opponents. Now, each of these games are important as the Devils desperately need points. However, a few of these games are must-wins. Those games are below.
Wild Card Teams
The Capitals and Senators are fighting with the Devils and a few other teams to make it into the wild card spots. These games will be pivotal in that if the Devils take two points directly away from these teams, it will hurt these playoff chances significantly.
The games versus the Coyotes and Flames are slightly less important than the wild card games as losing two points will not be as demeaning as losing them to Eastern Conference teams. These teams are also the two teams the Devils haven't beat this season out of the remaining nine teams.
These are the games that the Devils need to win as these teams have been sub-par all season. The Devils can't afford to take less than two points in these games. Thee teams include the Panthers, Islanders, Hurricanes, and Sabres. The Devils have beat each of these teams at least once, so they have the ability to do it again and they better.
Realistically, each of these games are important, but each will be a struggle. Do you think the Devils will pull it off? Which games have you most worried?