If you're one of the die-hards who won't give up until the playoffs are yanked from the Devils cold, dead fists (like me); then this post is for you. The Devils are 5 points out of the final playoff spot, with 10 games to play. The 5 teams fighting for those last 2 spots all have 9, 10, or 11 games left (as of first writing of this post). For this exercise, I'm going to assume the Devils won't catch the Rangers or Flyers. Honestly, if they do that, the rest of the teams are probably moot since they'll make the playoffs by being in 2nd or 3rd place in the division. Anyway, the following chart contains all the remaining games that involve the Devils, Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Capitals, and/or Blue Jackets. I have 2 additional columns, Who to root for in that game to most help the Devils playoff chances (in my opinion, although sometimes all we can hope for is a 2 point result), and going forward, whether the game had a good result for the Devils or not.
Games Remaining / Points
Philadelphia - 3 / 91
Detroit - 3 / 90
Columbus - 3 / 89
Devils - 3 / 84
Toronto - 3 / 84
Washington - 4 / 83
Ottawa - 3 / 82
|DATE||VISITING TEAM||HOME TEAM||TIME /Result||ROOT||Good Result? (Challenge accepted)|
|TUE MAR 25, 2014||ST. LOUIS ( C)||TORONTO (A)||STL 5-3||STL||Definitely|
|TUE MAR 25, 2014||LOS ANGELES (P)||WASHINGTON (M)||LA 5-4 SO||LA||Fair|
|TUE MAR 25, 2014||DETROIT (A)||COLUMBUS (M)||CBJ 4-2||2 Points||No OT, so OK|
|THU MAR 27, 2014||PHOENIX (P)||NEW JERSEY (M)||PHX 3-2 SO||NJ||Eh|
|THU MAR 27, 2014||MONTRÉAL (A)||DETROIT (A)||MON 5-4||MON||Great|
|FRI MAR 28, 2014||TORONTO (A)||PHILADELPHIA (M)||PHI 4-2||PHI||Hard to be happy about|
|FRI MAR 28, 2014||PITTSBURGH (M)||COLUMBUS (M)||PIT 2-1||PIT||Sweet|
|SAT MAR 29, 2014||BOSTON (A)||WASHINGTON (M)||BOS 4-2||BOS||Tremendous|
|SAT MAR 29, 2014||DETROIT (A)||TORONTO (A)||DET 4-2||TOR - 2 Points||Marginally OK|
|SAT MAR 29, 2014||NEW JERSEY (M)||NY ISLANDERS (M)||NYI 2-1 SO||NJ||Awful|
|SAT MAR 29, 2014||COLUMBUS (M)||CAROLINA (M)||CBJ 3-2||CAR||Ugly|
|SUN MAR 30, 2014||TAMPA BAY (A)||DETROIT (A)||DET 3-2||TB||Very Bad|
|SUN MAR 30, 2014||WASHINGTON (M)||NASHVILLE ( C)||NAS 4-3 SO||NAS||Not Helpful|
|MON MAR 31, 2014||FLORIDA (A)||NEW JERSEY (M)||NJD 6-3||NJ||Nice|
|TUE APR 1, 2014||NEW JERSEY (M)||BUFFALO (A)||BUF 3-2 SO||NJ||Gross|
|TUE APR 1, 2014||CALGARY (P)||TORONTO (A)||TOR 3-2||CAL||Not good at all|
|TUE APR 1, 2014||DALLAS ( C)||WASHINGTON (M)||DAL 5-0||DAL||Awesome|
|TUE APR 1, 2014||COLORADO ( C)||COLUMBUS (M)||COL 3-2 OT||COL||Almost acceptable|
|WED APR 2, 2014||BOSTON (A)||DETROIT (A)||DET 3-2||BOS||Pffffft|
|THU APR 3, 2014||COLUMBUS (M)||PHILADELPHIA (M)||CBJ 2-0||PHI||Stupid Flyers|
|THU APR 3, 2014||BOSTON (A)||TORONTO (A)||TOR 4-3 OT||BOS||Disappointing|
|FRI APR 4, 2014||CHICAGO ( C)||COLUMBUS (M)||CHI 4-3||CHI||YESSSS|
|FRI APR 4, 2014||WASHINGTON (M)||NEW JERSEY (M)||NJD 2-1||NJ||Pretty|
|FRI APR 4, 2014||BUFFALO (A)||DETROIT (A)||DET 3-2||BUF||Thanks Sabres|
|SAT APR 5, 2014||WASHINGTON (M)||NY ISLANDERS (M)||WAS 4-3 SO||NYI||Boooo|
|SAT APR 5, 2014||WINNIPEG ( C)||TORONTO (A)||WIN 4-2||WIN||One in the plus column|
|SAT APR 5, 2014||DETROIT (A)||MONTRÉAL (A)||MON 5-3||MON||Quite fine|
|SAT APR 5, 2014||NEW JERSEY (M)||CAROLINA (M)||NJD 3-1||NJ||Yee Haaaaa|
|SUN APR 6, 2014||NY ISLANDERS (M)||COLUMBUS (M)||CBJ 4-0||NYI||Ouch|
|MON APR 7, 2014||CALGARY (P)||NEW JERSEY (M)||CGY 1-0||NJ||Unreal|
|TUE APR 8, 2014||DETROIT (A)||BUFFALO (A)||DET 4-2||BUF||Going|
|TUE APR 8, 2014||PHOENIX (P)||COLUMBUS (M)||CBJ 4-3 OT||PHO||Slipping Away|
|TUE APR 8, 2014||TORONTO (A)||TAMPA BAY (A)||7:30 PM ET||TB|
|TUE APR 8, 2014||WASHINGTON (M)||ST. LOUIS ( C)||8:00 PM ET||STL|
|WED APR 9, 2014||DETROIT (A)||PITTSBURGH (M)||8:00 PM ET||PIT|
|WED APR 9, 2014||COLUMBUS (M)||DALLAS ( C)||8:30 PM ET||DAL|
|THU APR 10, 2014||WASHINGTON (M)||CAROLINA (M)||7:00 PM ET||CAR|
|THU APR 10, 2014||NEW JERSEY (M)||OTTAWA (A)||7:30 PM ET||NJ|
|THU APR 10, 2014||TORONTO (A)||FLORIDA (A)||7:30 PM ET||FLA|
|FRI APR 11, 2014||CHICAGO ( C)||WASHINGTON (M)||7:00 PM ET||CHI|
|FRI APR 11, 2014||CAROLINA (M)||DETROIT (A)||7:30 PM ET||CAR|
|FRI APR 11, 2014||COLUMBUS (M)||TAMPA BAY (A)||7:30 PM ET||TB|
|FRI APR 11, 2014||NY ISLANDERS (M)||NEW JERSEY (M)||7:30 PM ET||NJ|
|SAT APR 12, 2014||TORONTO (A)||OTTAWA (A)||7:00 PM ET||OTT|
|SAT APR 12, 2014||COLUMBUS (M)||FLORIDA (A)||7:00 PM ET||FLA|
|SUN APR 13, 2014||BOSTON (A)||NEW JERSEY (M)||3:00 PM ET||NJ|
|SUN APR 13, 2014||TAMPA BAY (A)||WASHINGTON (M)||3:00 PM ET||TB|
|SUN APR 13, 2014||DETROIT (A)||ST. LOUIS ( C)||3:00 PM ET||STL|
Fortunately there are no games where the Rangers have to help the Devils and only 2 where we have to look to the second rate rivals for assistance. I have no idea why some of the entries have reddish brown text....
Day 1: the out of town scoreboard was pretty favorable. The teams that had to, lost, Washington in the shootout unfortunately, and the head-to-head game ended in regulation. Devils still 5 points out, but all 4 other teams each have 80 points.
Day 3: OOTS friendly again, Montreal beat Detroit in regulation. Devils lose in the shootout and pick up the Bettman point. Gained a point in the standings. Could have been worse.
Day 4: Another good night. Both Toronto and Columbus lost in regulation. Could the pieces be starting to fall into place?
Day 5: Only highlights are that Washington lost and the Detroit/Toronto game didn't go to OT. Picking up a point made the fall a bit less painful, but the hill just got a little steeper.
Day 6: Washington loses in the shootout, so they gain another point. Detroit beats Tampa Bay, so they move closer to being out of reach.
Day 7: Devil close the gap to 3 points on 8th. The fat lady had to put her fork down for a day.
Day 8: Washington gets blown out, Columbus and the Devils get one each. Toronto gets a win. Devils still 3 back of a playoff spot. But if they tie Columbus, they lose the ROW tiebreaker.
Day 9: Detroit gets a 3-2 victory at home against the Bruins. 6 points behind Detroit with 6 games left, the Devils are now pretty much limited to chasing the Blue Jackets for the 8th spot, along with Toronto and Washington. Ottawa is 2 more back and aren't dead yet, but their hill is extremely steep.
Day 10: Bad night on the OOTS, both teams the Devils needed to lose, didn't cooperate. 5 points back with 6 games to go. That golden ring is slipping away.
Day 11: Devils win, Columbus loses with seconds left. Still alive. Detroit beats Buffalo, like I said Wednesday, Columbus is the target.
Day 12: Do you believe? Devils are now 1 point behind Columbus. Devils win 3-1 in Carolina. Washington beat the Isles in the shootout, but they're back behind the Devils. Toronto loses 4-2. Detroit loses 5-3, 4 points behind them, maybe they're not unreachable. Although Philadelphia may be back in the mix with only 87.
Day 13: Islanders roll over and play dead to the Jackets. Probably doesn't matter, but the Flyers won too.
Day 14: The hill is huge now. Tragic number is 4. Columbus goes 2-2 and the Devils are done. Looks like I'm going to a meaningless game Friday.
Day 15: Carolina and Ottawa are officially eliminated. Columbus won 4-3 in OT, that means the Devils tragic number is 2. That also means a Columbus win in Dallas tomorrow puts the Devils on the outside looking in.