If New Jersey Devils Win Every Game, Would They Make Stanley Cup Playoffs?

The New Jersey Devils have put themselves a hole after a year of inconsistency. Would even an impossible run of 11 straight wins put them in the playoffs?

Ottawa Senators v New Jersey Devils
Ottawa Senators v New Jersey Devils / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils have had one goal the entire season. Even when things felt dire, they still made it clear that the playoffs were still what this team was striving for. Yet, they haven’t been in a playoff position since the first month of the year. We don’t need to rehash all of the issues; you can find them here

What we do want to do is play the hypothetical game. If the Devils go 9-0 for the rest of the season, finishing the season on a beyond comprehension 11-game win streak, would that even be enough to make the playoffs? The Devils are playing their best hockey in a long time, possibly their best hockey all season. 

However, it appears to be too little, too late. The Devils are currently six points behind the Philadelphia Flyers and five points behind the Washington Capitals (who have one game in hand). Those are really the only teams even remotely still within reach for the Devils. The Tampa Bay Lightning are 11 points ahead of the Devils, so that’s not even a possibility within the second Wild Card spot. The Devils have two spots up for grabs, but they need basically a collapse from multiple teams to make it happen.

That’s because the Devils aren’t the only team chasing a playoff spot. The Detroit Red Wings are much closer, sitting two points behind the Capitals as of this writing. The New York Islanders are still in the race, as well, but they likely have as much a shot to make the postseason as the Devils. 

So, if the Devils finish the season on this 11-game win streak, they will end the year with 94 standings points. That is the benchmark we are working with. 

To get to 94 points, the Flyers need 12 points in its last eight games. So, they have to go a minimum of 5-1-2. With games against the Islanders, Capitals, Rangers, and one more against the Devils, finding four losses on the schedule not only seems possible, it might be likely with how the Flyers are playing. They just lost to the Montreal Canadiens, so that tells you how their end of season run is going. 

Meanwhile, the Capitals have 10 games left on the schedule. To get to 94 points, the Caps need to obtain 13 points in this final stretch. That seems pretty doable. However, their schedule is even harder than the Flyers. They have two games against the Bruins, a matchup with the Flyers and Penguins still to come, tilts with Tampa and Carolina who are fighting for positioning, and a one-v-one matchup with the Red Wings for positioning in the Wild Card race. The Capitals record has to be a minimum 6-3-1 to get to 94 points.

The best part about this? The Devils have the top tiebreaker against both the Capitals and Flyers. They have three regulation wins more than Washington and Philadelphia. When added regulation and overtime wins, the Devils' lead grows to four games. They also have the tie breaker on Detroit. 

So there you have it. If the Devils win out, it puts the other teams in the mix in a very hard position. Losses on Thursday night already have the pressure on for everyone (including Detroit, who got shut out by Carolina). The Devils season isn’t over, but one more unnecessary loss would put them in the dirt for good.