Time is Running Out on New Jersey Devils' Playoff Hopes

The season is coming to a close fast for the Devils as they cling to the slightest bit of playoff hopes
Feb 17, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Gritty chases NJ Devil during the first period in a
Feb 17, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Gritty chases NJ Devil during the first period in a / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils currently sit at 32-32-4 with just 14 games left in the season, which leaves them six points behind the Red Wings for the final playoff spot. Between the Devils and the Red Wings are four teams making the Devils' path to the playoffs nearly impossible.

The Devils' playoff percentage sits at just 8.9% in a season they were expected to be contenders to win the East.

In the Devils' favor is five games against the teams ahead of them, meaning if the Devils win big in that stretch, they could find themself right in the thick of the playoff race heading into the final week of the season.

The team needs to start winning now if they plan on making the postseason, but their current stretch has seen them going 3-7 in the team's last ten games. The offense has been decent scoring 3.4 goals per game over the last ten, which should be good enough to win games, but the Devils' young defensive core and poor goalie play have held them back.

There are reasons however to be optimistic in the Devils making a surge for a playoff spot. Acquired goalies Jake Allen and Kaapo Kahkonen have shown promise against playoff contenders in the Rangers, Stars, and Golden Knights while facing many high-danger chances.

If either Kahkonen or Allen can get hot for a week, the Devils could pick up some valuable points and put themselves in striking distance.

The New Jersey Devils have the firepower to make this interesting

The Devils have that many teams on the outside are missing, which is top-end scorers that can carry the club across the finish line. It hasn't been the best season for Jack Hughes but, a solid final fourteen games could change how his and the team's seasons are viewed.

Jesper Bratt, Timo Meier, and Nico Hischier all have the offensive talent to carry this team down the final stretch, though the things have to turn around starting on Tuesday.