The New Jersey Devils are currently in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division after a pair of brutal losses to the St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers. This sounds worse on paper because of the fact that they are only two points out of a playoff spot, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to have a sense of urgency.
The Devils are currently six points off of second-place New York, a deficit that was only two a couple games ago. Now they are looking up at every Metro team outside of the New York Islanders.
The last five periods for the Devils have been some of the worst all season, and that is saying something. They have allowed eight goals and scored none after the end of the first period of their Stadium Series game. Their offense hasn’t even gotten close in that time.
They are facing Western Conference teams in the next four games, and they are currently 5-10-5 against the other conference. The Devils have only won 25 percent of their games, home or away, when facing the West. That cannot happen on this current trip.
They are taking on the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche in the next four. These aren’t exactly the best of the best that the conference has to offer. If they don’t go over .500 in those games the playoffs may soon become a lost cause for this team. They could find themselves in a playoff spot by the end of it or they could be very close to out of it.
Some will say that since it is the other conference it doesn’t mean as much, but I feel contrary to that. These games mean everything to this team’s season if they want to be taken seriously as a Metropolitan contender.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to the site’s NFL, NBA and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter here.