The Devils had five chances to win in the shootout and came up short every time. The Sabres were 1-10-1 in their previous 12 games entering tonight. In many ways, it was the same old story.
After coming out of the gate slow and lethargic for the umpteenth time this year, the Devils eventually dominated puck possession for much of the game. None of it mattered, as they were completely unable to take advantage. Their offense is so appalling that they could probably posses the puck for the full 60 minutes and still find a way to lose.
Are the Devils eliminated from the playoffs? Not yet, but they deserve to be. The only good news for Devils fans happened on the out-of-town scoreboard, with the Washington Capitals losing to the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets losing in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche. The Devils remain three points behind Columbus for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, but they still need to pass both Washington and the Toronto Maple Leafs to get there.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A team this horrible should never make any sort of sporting playoff, and if they do manage to squeak in they will be promptly eviscerated. It doesn’t matter what their record is, how many points they have or how badly they play in shootouts (worst in NHL history). Any fan who has objectively watched this team play hockey in 2013-14 has witnessed one atrocity after another.
The Devils next chance to embarrass themselves in a must-win game comes this Friday night, when they host the Capitals at the Prudential Center. There are six games left in the season.