Tuesday, March 08, 2011

N.J. DEVILS ~ Can Devils Beat The Clock?

NEW JERSEY DEVILS:  Only Time Can Beat The Devils Now.

Last 24 games

Since taking the second game of a home-and-home series against Philadelphia back on January 8th, the New Jersey Devils have been playing like a team possessed and spitting green pea soup on anyone in their path.  The power of Jacques LeMaire compels them.  In the second half of this season they are winning games at a rate of eighty-seven percent.

Yesterday's 3-2 win over the New York Islanders featured a Shoot-Out with extra-extra shots needed for a decision.  Brian Rolston, while continuing to laugh in the face of adversity after suffering through an earlier release by the Devils, netted the final Shoot-Out goal that notched win number twenty for the Devils in their last twenty-four games played.  They trail the eighth place Buffalo Sabres by eight points now with seventeen games remaining in their schedule.

Against the Islanders, I saw some saves made by Martin Brodeur that looked like they were made by a Brodeur ten years younger.  They were just flashes.  But they could be haunting glimpses of the near future.  If the Devils can indeed close an eight point gap between them and eighth place, and gain a playoff spot; and if Martin Brodeur sharpens his game between now and then and establishes a rhythm again....  You know what I'm thinking right?

Oh Hell!

At this point achieving a .500 record is inconsequential to the real prize which is well in sight.  So, that plateau of mediocrity is mute in this conversation even though they can achieve the feat with a win over the Senators.  Eight points is what matters after being as much as 25+ points away from a playoff spot at one point.  And with Zach Parise coming back any game now, the Devils just might get enough help here in the end to pull this improbable season out of the depths Tartaros and deliver the Devils into the playoffs where they are sure to unleash chaos on the rest of the Conference if their current play is any indication.

The Devils' next game is Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators.  Buffalo will be playing Pittsburgh.  Carolina and the Rangers will be idle.  We'll pick up this improbable chase for a playoff spot when the Devils/Sens goes final tomorrow.  At stake; Devils' points sixty-five and sixty-six.  The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing a key game for themselves and for the Devils' interests against the Islanders.

This is not a drill.


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