5 Things That Must Happen For New Jersey Devils To Make Playoffs

The New Jersey Devils skate in warm-ups (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The New Jersey Devils skate in warm-ups (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils are looking to finally make the postseason after five years away. What must go their way for that to happen?

‘Why can’t that time be now?’

That was the quote New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald gave to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun when they sat down for a one-on-one interview earlier this month. They were talking about making the playoffs. The Devils have been knocked out of the playoffs before the midway point of the season for the past four years. Every year, the Devils are major sellers at the trade deadline. A big reason for that is their putrid record.

Last season, the Devils thought they might have the right formula to make a run. So, we did this same article back then. Here is what they needed to make the playoffs:

  • Mackenzie Blackwood bounces back
  • Dougie Hamilton leads the defense
  • Major jumps from Hischier and Hughes
  • Massive improvements on special teams
  • Young players stepping up

The Devils got some of that, but they definitely didn’t get all of it. This year, they need more to go right. It all starts with health if the team wants to make the playoffs.

New Jersey Devils
Nico Hischier #13 and Damon Severson #28 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

1. Devils must stay healthy

Last season, seemingly every important player got hurt at one point or another. Even with Jesper Bratt’s miraculous season, he even missed a few games. Nico Hischier got hurt. Jack Hughes got hurt. Dougie Hamilton spent time on the IR. All the important goalies spent time on the shelf. Health was not anything the Devils could expect at any point last season.

This season, the Devils need to get much luckier in the health department. The announcement that Hischier is starting the season on injured reserve (along with Tyce Thompson) is not a good start. However, that could just be a paper move. Hopefully, the Devils can stay healthy this season. If they don’t, hope could be gone pretty quickly.