I know what you are thinking. You are looking at this title and thinking to yourself, “The Devils have 14 games left and are dead last in the Eastern Conference, so there is no shot at the playoffs.” While the probability of the New Jersey Devils making the postseason is extremely low- we are talking more than a miracle, there is still plenty of reason to continue watching your favorite hockey team play out the rest of the 2016-17 season.
Here are my three reasons on why you pull through until the final buzzer of game 82:
- The rookies and call ups are still playing in New Jersey
Whether you like what you’re seeing out of them or not, this is the future of the team and part of the rebuild. Miles Wood, Joseph Blandisi, Blake Coleman, Blake Pietila, Nick Lappin, Pavel Zacha and Steven Santini have all seen their fair share of time up in the NHL this season. Zacha and Wood have been here for more than 50 percent of the season and have performed rather well for being so young and inexperienced. These guys are going to be a big part of this future because they have already been such a big part of this season, as catastrophic as it may have been. Even though most of them are getting bottom six line minutes, they are still performing just as admirably as the top six guys.
- Technically, the Devils can still make the playoffs
I am fully aware of how much of a long shot this is. The New Jersey Devils will most likely not be making the playoffs this season. However, miracles have happened before. I was only 11 years old but I vividly remember the 11-game winning streak that the Devils ended the 2005-2006 regular season to propel them to win yet another (then) Atlantic Division title. Those 11 wins were monumental because it tied us in points with the Philadelphia Flyers at 101. The Devils were awarded the division because of the next tiebreaker, total number of wins. The streak gave New Jersey 46 wins in comparison to the Flyers’ 45. So think about this- the Devils were not even going to make the playoffs because they only had 79 points with 11 games left, but then they won every single game and it propelled them to a division title and a first round sweep against our hated enemy, the New York Rangers. While this team is not the power house it used to be, I am just saying that anything can happen over the next 14 games.
- Really, what sports can you watch besides Devils hockey right now?
Come on, be honest with yourself. Football is not in season. Baseball is only in spring training, unless you consider the World Baseball Classic entertaining, but be real, its not. March Madness does not play every time the Devils are on, so that’s no excuse. What were you really going to watch full-time? Knicks and Nets basketball? Rangers hockey? Islanders hockey? Yeah, that’s what I thought. There are 14 games left in the 2016-17 New Jersey Devils season. Enjoy every single minute of it, because there are not many left.
Let’s Go Devils!
Next game: March 14 vs. Winnipeg Jets