The New Jersey Devils can clinch a playoff spot as soon as Tuesday night in their game against the New York Rangers.
The New Jersey Devils are about to clinch their first playoff spot since the 2011-12 season. The kicker is they might be able to do it at home Tuesday night against their archrival, the New York Rangers.
The Devils’ magic number to clinch sits at four.
The Devils have three different scenarios that allows them to secure a playoff spot:
- The Devils win their game against the Rangers on Tuesday, AND the Panthers lose one game in regulation on Monday or Tuesday.
- The Devils beat the Rangers AND the Panthers suffer two overtime/shootout losses on Monday and Tuesday.
- The Panthers lose in regulation on Monday AND Tuesday.
If things don’t work out for the Devils Monday and Tuesday, all is not lost. The Devils just need to pick up four points over their final three games against the Rangers on Tuesday, Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday and Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Should the Florida Panthers lose twice in regulation out of their final five games, the Devils would clinch a spot (backing in, yet a spot) automatically even if the Devils don’t record another point this season.
Head coach John Hynes spoke with the media and Chris Ryan of NJ.com reported how excited the team is about making the playoffs.
“I think we’re excited about it, but the big thing — we’ve talked about it, too — it’s about our game,” coach John Hynes told media after Sunday’s game. “Whether we’re up seven or three points, you can’t get too wrapped up in those situations. We need to make sure our focus level is one our game and where we’re going and making sure we’re ready to continue to play and not get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. That’s something we’ve talked about with our team, and I think we all believe, too, we can play better.”
The New Jersey Devils have been in a playoff position since the first game of the season on Oct. 1.