The New Jersey Devils had a very mediocre March at best. The team went 5-5-5 in 15 games. Not terrible, but in a truncated season with little games to play, it is damaging.
The month of April did not start off well either, the Devils dropped the first two games. Since March the Devils have seen themselves drop from one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, to out of the top-eight.
The main problem has been offensive production. The Devils have only scored more than two goals twice in their last 10 games, one of which they lost (March 29 at Tampa Bay, 5-4 SO).
With only 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Devils are in desperate need of a victory. They play back-to-back games this weekend, Saturday vs Toronto Maple Leafs and Sunday at Buffalo Sabres. If the Devils lose both of those games it is time to hit the panic button.
The road is getting bumpier as the Devils play eight of the 11 games remaining against teams in the top-eight of the Conference. Also, Ilya Kovalchuk is not likely to return until the last week of the season.
So what are they going to do?
The Devils need to search from within. Players like Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, and Adam Henrique have to rise up and start producing more goals. Martin Brodeur is holding down the fort the best he can, but it is teetering on the edge of destruction.
The Devils also look to their trade deadline pickup Steve Sullivan to manufacture as many points as he can.
There is no question the Devils needed a bigger deadline trade, but nothing else matched the Devils needs. Instead, the team needs to stick together, not get down on themselves, and play like how they started off the season (6-1-3).
The Devils are down, but they are not knocked out yet. The playoff race is tight, no one knows what the outcome of the regular season will be. What we do know is that the team is in need of a win streak.
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