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What to Watch for in the final game

The Devils close their season tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs. We look at what season achievements are on the line in this game.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

30 Goal Scorers

As of this writing, Adam Henrique and Kyle Palmieri both have chances to get 30 goals this season. This would be the 41st time in franchise first time since 2011-2012 that a Devils player scored 30 goals. Why does it matter you say? Well for the individual player it is a hugely important achievement. This is the list of players who scored 30 goals last year.

Name pos Team Gm Age AAV 2016AAV G A P
Alex.Ovechkin LR WSH 81 29 9.538 9.538 53 28 81
Corey.Perry R ANA 67 30 8.625 8.625 33 22 55
Rick.Nash LR NYR 79 31 7.8 7.8 42 27 69
Zach.Parise L MIN 74 31 7.538 7.538 33 29 62
Steven.Stamkos CR T.B 82 25 7.5 7.5 43 29 72
Vladimir.Tarasenko R STL 77 23 0.9 7.5 37 36 73
Joe.Pavelski RC S.J 82 31 6 6 37 33 70
Tyler.Seguin CR DAL 71 23 5.75 5.75 37 40 77
John.Tavares C NYI 82 24 5.5 5.5 38 48 86
Nick.Foligno RL CBJ 79 27 3.383 5.5 31 42 73
Jamie.Benn L DAL 82 26 5.25 5.25 35 52 87
Radim.Vrbata R VAN 79 34 5 5 31 32 63
Max.Pacioretty L MTL 80 26 4.5 4.5 37 30 67
Jiri.Hudler RL CGY 78 31 4 4 31 45 76
Sean.Monahan C CGY 81 20 0.925 0.925 31 31 62

Notice that the only player with a cap hit less than $4 million is Sean Monahan who is still on an entry-level contract, but is expected by many, including our SBNation counterparts over at Matchsticks & Gasoline, to get a contract similar to Aleksander Barkov's 6-year/$35.4 million contract ($5.9 million AAV). Kyle Palmieri is a castoff from an uber-talented Anaheim Ducks team that lost him and is still good enough to be the #1 seed in the Pacific despite losing him. Being able to grab a $4+ million contract would have to be sweet for someone who was underappreciated where he was, and probably will be for a long time by virtue of being a Devil.

What does it mean to the team? Well, not a whole lot. As a fan, it's important to me that our elite get some kind of accolade or recognition even if it doesn't come with any hardware. In particular, Henrique and Palimeri have meant so much to this team this year. This is the list of the top 10 players in percent of teams goals scored.

Name Team Tm Gs G % of Tm Gs
Alex.Ovechkin WSH 240 47 19.6%
Patrick.Kane CHI 229 44 19.2%
Vladimir.Tarasenko STL 216 37 17.1%
Kyle.Palmieri N.J 175 29 16.6%
Steven.Stamkos T.B 218 36 16.5%
Adam.Henrique N.J 175 28 16.0%
Corey.Perry ANA 207 33 15.9%
Jamie.Benn DAL 258 41 15.9%
Brad.Marchand BOS 230 36 15.7%
Daniel.Sedin VAN 180 28 15.6%

Yup. Two of the top six players are Devils. That's not really a positive commentary on the team, but it makes what they've done all the more impressive.

Something From Defense

David Schlemko is at 19 points. John Moore is at 18 points. Damon Severson is our ace on the blueline with 1 goal and 20 assists. If you are looking for obscure accolades to bestow upon this offensively inept gang, Severson is 5th in the NHL in assists among defenders 21 or younger. Hey it's something. Anyway, as Cangy and Dano were saying last night just before Kalinin scored his goal, we need more from this group. We've got a crop of guys here on the brink of 20 points so just to save face let's get one over. If not, we get the dubious distinction of joining the Edmonton Oilers as the only 2 NHL teams with less than 2 defenders over 20 points.

Team D >20 P Team D >20 P Team D >20 P
EDM 1 PHI 2 S.J 3
N.J 1 TOR 2 STL 3
PIT 2 VAN 2 T.B 3
MTL 2 L.A 3 NYR 4

Whenever you join the Oilers in a category, you know you're in trouble. Also something to watch is how much Adam Larsson will add to his time on ice. He is 4th in the NHL among age-23-or-younger players in ice time. He has also already set the record for 23-or-younger Devils in ice time. Only Paul Martin has logged more as a 25-or-younger player.

Root for a Win

Because screw it. We're not going to be in a decent position to get Auston Matthews. If you multiply the SportsClubStats probabilities that every team ends up in every seed by the actual NHL lottery percentages, you get the AMP - Auston Matthews Percentage.

Detroit Nashville Boston Philadelphia Minnesota Carolina New Jersey Colorado Ottawa Buffalo Montreal
0.15 0 0.45 0.4 0 2.06 2.84 2.93 3.715 4.85 5.75
Colorado Ottawa Buffalo Montreal Arizona Winnipeg Calgary Vancouver Columbus Edmonton Toronto
2.93 3.715 4.85 5.75 6.25 8.36 8.76 9.345 10.59 14.28 19.22

The Devils are sitting pretty at 2.84% chance. If everything falls right for this years odds, I guess the mathematical maximum would probably be somewhere around 6% as of this writing, but more likely we will end up at either 2.5% or 3%. This is not something worth sacrificing pride for. Furthermore, it's a home game, against the worst team in the NHL, and their GM Lou Lamoriello.

In true Lou fashion, the Maple Leafs just took the Flyers to OT in a game that the Flyers desperately needed to win, and the Leafs should have tried to lose. How disappointed would Lou be to see his old franchise not put their best team on the ice and try everything in their power to win. I mean he'll be even more angry if he accidentally wins and gives the Oilers a best shot at getting their 5th #1 overall pick in the last 7 years.

Side note: It's one thing when you're the 76ers and you're intentionally losing. That's an insult to the sport. On the other hand, I'm not sure it's better to be so woefully inept that you can get 4 supposedly-franchise-altering players and still be the worst team in the league. "But CJ, they didn't have McDavid most of the year..."

Okay true:

With McD 17 25 2 40.9%
W/O McD 14 18 5 44.6%
Total 31 43 7 42.6%
You were saying?

Finally, this could very well be the last game in a Devil's sweater for the greatest forward in franchise history, Patrik Elias. If you think I'm overstating his peruse the Devil's record books. His number will be the next one retired and in my humble opinion, he is undoubtably a Hall of Famer. I want to be in the building to see his last game, whenever it is.

Last game of the year. Check

Home. Check

Return of Lou. Check

Doesn't help our draft chances much. Check

Drafting 1st doesn't mean you'll be good anyway (ahem Edmonton). Check

Possible last game of a Devil great. Check

There is no reason not to root for our guys on this last game. Let's finish off what has been a surprisingly competent season the right way. Who's with me?!?!

Your Thoughts

What do you want to see in the Devils final game of the 2015-2016 season?

It's been a pleasure ladies and gentlemen.