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Playoff bubble watch — Devils edition

Mar 31, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

Brock Nelson, Cory Schneider AP

It’s been more than two weeks since we last checked in on the New Jersey Devils’ playoff chances. Since then (Mar. 14), those chances have fallen from 58.8 percent to just 14.3, according to Sports Club Stats, and — in a very related story — the team’s record in the shootout has fallen from 0-8 to 0-10.

Consider: if the Devils were .500 in the “gimmick,” they’d be tied with Columbus for the second wild-card spot in the East.

Alas, they are not .500; they are .000, the only team in the NHL without a shootout win.

Consider now the probability of losing 10 straight shootouts. Even if the Devils are just plain bad at the exercise and you only give them a 25 percent shot of winning each one, the chances they drop 10 straight are around 5 percent.

The chances of losing 10 straight coin flips? Around 0.1 percent. Or, one in a thousand.

“We’re at the point we can pretty much try everything because what we’re doing is not working,” forward Damien Brunner said of his team’s shootout woes. “Maybe we have to start throwing some jokes around on the bench. It can’t get any worse.”

If there’s reason for optimism as the Devils prepare for their final eight games, starting tonight versus Florida (on NBCSN), it may be their less-than-daunting schedule:


Seven non-playoff teams, plus Boston on the last game of the season when it’s likely the Bruins will have nothing on the line.

It’s estimated the Devils will have to earn 14 out of a possible 16 points (so 7-1-0 or 6-2-0) to give themselves a better-than-50/50 shot at making the playoffs.

“We’ve played games that we can win,” goalie Cory Schneider said, per The Record. “We haven’t gotten ourselves out of any games. Right now, we’re not getting ourselves extra points. We’re going to need some help. We’re going to need some teams in front of us to lose, which they did (Friday). But we got to get twos and not ones and zeros right now.”

Related: Are the Devils doomed by the shootout?

  1. pastabelly - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    I wouldn’t count on the Bruins having nothing to play for on the last game of the season. The Bs are neck and neck with the Blues for the best record in the league and home ice throughout the playoffs. If that game means something, the Bruins will try to win it.

  2. jb8383 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    The 0-10 shootout record is ridiculous. Whether it’s bad luck or lack of talent, I don’t know and don’t care because they have to win games and they aren’t. No excuses. They haven’t had the toughest schedule the last 2 weeks either and they can’t seem to win the games they should be winning.

  3. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I despise the shootout too, New Jersey. We’re almost as bad. But my god how did the Devils hit the jackpot with that schedule? If they think they deserve a playoff spot then 7-1 or 6-2 should def be achievable. The Flyers have had to play (recently and going forward) Pittsburgh (twice), Chicago, LA, Boston (twice), St. Louis (twice), Stars, Blue Jackets, and Lightning.

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