Poll: Can The New Jersey Devils Make A Late Playoff Push?


When the New Jersey Devils lost at home to the Edmonton Oilers two weeks ago, it seemed all but certain that the playoffs were unobtainable. They followed up that loss with a pair of losses in Chicago and Nashville – no slouch teams – but it felt like the season was over. However, the Devils started a fairly easy homestand and were able to defeat Buffalo and Vancouver. Currently, they sit ten points out of the playoffs with 24 games remaining. Is it likely? Probably not. Is it possible? Anything is possible.

What Does The Schedule Hold?

Feb 6, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save through a screen by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Stephane Robidas (12) during the third period at Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The rest of February is pretty favorable for the Devils. They have Carolina, Arizona, Calgary and Boston all at home and then finish the month in Columbus. I feel like all of those games are winnable, especially if the Devils play the way they should. Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid are going to perform; the key is for the other 18 skaters to do so as well. When the Devils get to March and April, the schedule still remains an advantage. Their home games are ridiculously tough with matchups against Nashville, Pittsburgh, Anaheim and others. However, the Devils play much better at home than on the road so they should be able to win some of those. Of the remaining 11 road games, the Devils only face three teams currently in the playoffs.

Stop Being Inconsistent

The schedule is fine and dandy, but the New Jersey Devils need to be consistent for it to matter. As we’ve seen, “easy” games aren’t always easy. Logic dictates that the Devils should take care of Carolina tonight and Arizona Monday night, but then you remember the game against Edmonton. Even the win over Buffalo wasn’t as convincing as it should have been. Then you see a game like last night against a playoff team in the Canucks and you wonder why they can’t play that way every night. The Devils have just two three-game winning streaks this season and if they want to make an unlikely run to the postseason, they’ll need to put together some serious wins in a row.

Other Teams Struggling

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One thing the Devils have going for them is the fact teams ahead of them aren’t pulling away. Boston, who is currently in eighth place, is just 3-5-2 in their last ten games. That has allowed teams like Florida, Philadelphia and even all the way down to the Devils to still believe they have a shot. The Devils still have games remaining with four of the five teams ahead of them and if they want to sneak into the eighth seed, those games are must-wins.

Are They For Real?

We know Lou Lamoriello believes the Devils are a playoff team, but are they? Personally, I don’t believe they are. There are just too many flaws, as it stands, for them to make a serious run. Can it be fixed? Absolutely. I just haven’t seen enough this season that tells me that it will be. The Devils need a reliable veteran defenseman to compliment Andy Greene in mentoring the younger defensemen. They also need to get much younger and more skilled at forward. There are too many forwards on the current roster that add nothing to the picture such as Michael Ryder, Dainius Zubrus and Martin Havlat. If Lamoriello makes a few smart trades and lets some guys in Albany get a shot, then maybe just maybe the Devils can make a run.

What do you think? Can the Devils pull it off? Can they make it into the postseason? Cast your vote!

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