3 X-Factors that will make or break the rest of the Devils season

The Devils haven’t taken the step forward we all expected, but they also haven’t taken so many steps back that the postseason is out of the question.

Feb 17, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) skates
Feb 17, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) skates / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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The Devils must take advantage of winnable games down the stretch

Of the Devils remaining games, over half of them will occur against teams that currently hold at least a wild card spot. This means that New Jersey must take advantage of the games against teams that either aren’t currently vying for a playoff berth or find themselves well outside the wild card race. 

Given their struggles this season, it would be hard to see New Jersey pull off too many upset wins over teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs (three games), the New York Rangers (three games), and the Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, or Vegas Golden Knights, to name a few. By winning the games against teams they should beat, the Devils would have a much more manageable time moving up the rungs in the Eastern Conference, and ultimately even into a wild card.

But with just a handful of games remaining against struggling teams, they also need to find ways to beat some of the NHL’s best. However, if they stay healthy and find a solution for their goaltending, then the Devils are still very much in the wild card race and perhaps even a top-three spot in the Metropolitan. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of February 19th)