Yesterday, we talked about the Devils had to stop worrying about what other teams were doing and just win a game. Well, that didn't happen. They didn't even get an overtime point and now likely have to go 6-1 the rest of the way to make the playoffs, which includes a two-game sweep of the Rangers in the final week.
So tonight, the Devils have no choice but to sit back and root for the other teams. The Senators are off tonight, but they're completely out of reach. The Islanders are not "untouchable" but they're a pretty difficult team to catch.
That leaves the Rangers and Jets as the two teams the Devils need to keep both eyes on. Well, no Jets hockey tonight, which means there's only one game Devils fans should be focused on tonight -- Rangers-Islanders. The Devils NEED the Isles to win that game in regulation. Yes, if the Rangers win the Devils would be closer (ideally speaking) to catching the Islanders, but as we said above -- it ain't happening. The Rangers are the target. So, for tonight only, Devils fans need to pull on their orange and blue and hope Evgeni Nabokov continues taking whatever "supplements" he's currently cycling.
The full slate of games today/tonight that affect the Devils' playoff picture:
- Flyers at Sabres, 3 p.m. ET
- Rangers at Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
- Lightning at Capitals, 7 p.m. ET