So are you scared about the Devils swooping in and taking a playoff spot now? You should be.
The law of averages says they have to cool down. But what if they never do? Jacques Lemaire's team is an incredible 23-3-2 in its last 28 games. Once 27 points out of a playoff spot, the Devils are now a stunning six back of the Sabres -- with a game in hand that they'll play Thursday night in Ottawa.
"You'd think there'd be a little chance," a coy Lemaire said after practice today when asked about his team making the playoffs. "Ask Buffalo coach and New York Rangers coach if it’s easy to make the playoffs, and Carolina coach. They’ve been there all year, and I know they still worry."
(A side note: The Newark Star-Ledger story linked above was written by former Buffalo News intern Jackie Friedman)
Once 10-29-2, the Devils finally climbed over .500 with Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Thrashers that moved them from 12th place in the East to 10th. The Sabres play them here March 26. When you look at the Devils' schedule, five of their last seven are at home. They could set themselves up very nicely on the four-game roadie that ends here.
Lemaire, meanwhile, has set himself up nicely for plenty of coach of the year votes. Amazing job. Just imagine if the Devils make the playoffs. Imagine if you're the Flyers or Capitals and your reward for the first round is the Devils. Yikes. The Eastern Conference would be well advised to make sure the Devils don't make the postseason party.