The New Jersey Devils are basically out of the playoff race in the middle of January. Here are some things they can accomplish for the rest of the season.
It’s been such a strange season for the New Jersey Devils, but like most of the seasons for the past decade, it was highlighted by way too many losses. The losses do come with excuses, but there are so many teams overcoming such excuses it’s hard to feel bad. Yes, the team has had injuries to basically every major player. COVID took out players for days on end. They lost Miles Wood, Jack Hughes, and Jonathan Bernier to months-long injuries. This is all true, but the Devils needed to do better overcoming the odds.
There is a lot to do before the Devils can realistically make a run towards the playoffs. It’s not happening this season, but the foundation for competing for the postseason can come this season. When teams finally work themselves out of rebuilds, it comes in the seasons leading up to it. Too many times the Devils puttered down the stretch after slashing the budget at the trade deadline. The Devils should reconsider that this season.
The team needs to find some hope. Hughes is still a very optimistic player, but that can eventually go away if the losing continues. There are frustrations that come with losing. However, if the Devils keep winning, they should at least go into next season with a little confidence.
That leads us to the goals for the rest of the season. As the Devils approach the halfway point of the season, what should their goals be moving forward? They obviously changed from the beginning of the year. The goals we set for Tom Fitzgerald were almost all failed. Let’s find some new goals that we can hit.