New Jersey Devils Continue To Make No Sense

The New Jersey Devils beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on the back of Jake Allen. Another win against a top team has the losses against the bottom dwellers hurt even more.

New Jersey Devils center Max Willman (46) celebrates scoring
New Jersey Devils center Max Willman (46) celebrates scoring / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. Jake Allen was brilliant again, stopping 42 of the Leafs' 45 shots. Meanwhile, Max Willman scored the game-winning goal and Jack Hughes added two late in the third period to seal the game (including an empty-net goal). 

This was another great performance by the Devils as a whole. Yes, they gave up a lot of shots and made some defensive blunders, but the overall quality of shots was coming from New Jersey. They had the puck in front of the net a lot, and their passes were getting where they needed to. It was a confusing performance in that the Maple Leafs needed the win, but the Devils just outperformed in the most important moments. 

This comes just two days since the Devils beat the desperate New York Islanders with their first shutout of the season. The Devils are beating teams fighting for playoff position or playoff spots. Then, literally the night before, the Devils no-showed a game against the Ottawa Senators, one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. 

How is this team doing this over and over again? Let’s just lay it out there to give us context. In the past two months, the Devils have beaten:

Philadelphia (at the Stadium Series)
Winnipeg among others.

Meanwhile, losses to the likes of Anaheim, Arizona, Calgary, and Washington have the Devils on the outside looking in for the playoffs. After the Capitals and the Red Wings went to overtime on Tuesday night, the Devils find themselves five points behind the Capitals while playing two more games than them. 

Things look incredibly bleak for the Devils. Yet, if they just won three of the games against the Flames, Coyotes, Ducks, and Senators, the Devils would be in a playoff spot. Heck, if they won the Capitals game, they would be one point out of a playoff spot.

This team, with all of the issues it has and all the hurdles it needed to overcome, still shot itself in the foot with the playoffs still within reach. They lost games they absolutely had to win. It’s the reason why they will miss the playoffs this season.