Friday Has A Chance To Be Very Special For New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 19: Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Winnipeg Jets at the Prudential Center on February 19, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 19: Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Winnipeg Jets at the Prudential Center on February 19, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils wake up on Friday with a chance to make it a very special day. Of course, thanks to the loss sustained by the Florida Panthers on Thursday, the New Jersey Devils can clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win on Friday night.

That would obviously be very special, as this young team came into the season with very mixed expectations. Some people thought they’d be decent, but few expected them to be the third team that has a chance to clinch a berth out of anyone.

Not only would a win clinch a spot for them, but it would also put them up six points on the New York Rangers and tie them with the Carolina Hurricanes for first in the Metropolitan Division. Obviously, a lot is on the line here.

This isn’t going to be an easy game by any means, either. The Devils are in Western New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres, who have had a very interesting season. With studs like Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, and Owen Power amongst others, they have been great but are going to come up just short of the playoffs.

The New Jersey Devils have a tough game ahead of them as they try to clinch.

With that in mind, they aren’t mathematically eliminated yet, so they are going to be going all out as the season comes to a close. Because of this, the Devils need to be on their toes if they are going to win. After a crazy overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, they will be equally as motivated.

How did the Devils get to this point? Well, it was a team effort, but a few people deserve their props a little bit more. Jack Hughes has been a borderline MVP candidate for most of the season and has led the Devils offensively in every way. He is a legit superstar and one of the best players in the world.

Captain Nico Hischier has also been a huge part. As the team’s second-leading scorer and best two-way forward, he means so much to them every single night. They’d be nowhere without their two number-one overall picks.

Dougie Hamilton may get some Norris Trophy love when the ballots are revealed after the season. He has been absolutely unbelievable for the New Jersey Devils. He is third on the team in points, logs big minutes, and brings a clutch gene that few defensemen in the league bring. He has been worth every penny.

Other good players like recently acquired Timo Meier, Jesper Bratt, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Dawson Mercer amongst many others all deserve their praise. Without them, the stars wouldn’t be able to lead anything worthwhile.

Goaltending has also been at a premium for most of the season. Vitek Vanecek, Akira Schmid, and Mackenzie Blackwood have all had their turn and have all done their job well enough if not better. They need this to continue to have a chance in the postseason.

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Again, this game against Buffalo isn’t going to be easy, but the Devils can clinch a postseason berth and get into a tie for first with a win. We’ll see what they are able to do with this kind of pressure and/or motivation.