The New Jersey Devils found a way to take a point out of their game with the Phoenix Coyotes last night. While they really needed the win, the fact that they got a point makes the uphill battle even steeper.
The Devils have an extremely easy schedule coming down the wire. There is currently a four way tie for the final two Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference. The free-falling Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals all have 80 points. They seem to all be in different positions when it comes to momentum, but none of them can be categorized as ‘hot’.
With how the schedules play out, the Devils probably need to win the next eight games to get into a playoff spot. It is going to be a tall task to ask a team that has only one three-game winning streak on the entire season. They are playing the bottom of the league for most of their final nine games. Their next three opponents have an average of 57 points this season. If they lose one of these next three games then their season is over.
This is a daunting task. Winning eight games in a row (I am assuming they are going to lose to the Boston Bruins, since they always seem to) is something most teams haven’t even accomplished, let alone one that is a fringe playoff team.
They have the pieces in place. Their offense has been playing much better as of late, and they have an extremely easy schedule coming up. Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider have both played much better as of late (meaning their last games), and the team is completely healthy for the most part. The run needs to start tomorrow night against the New York Islanders. It could be one of the best Devils runs in recent memory, but it is possible.