How many points do devils need to make the playoffs?
More than they're going to get. Like others have posted, NJ needs to win ~15 out of the remaining 23 to have a realistic chance of making it, and nothing points to them being able to do that. Unless big positive changes are made at the trade deadline, NJ won't be in the postseason.
First up it's the Blue Jackets. We haven't showed up to play this team once. The best effort we had against them this season, was a game in which we gave up 5 goals and blew a 3-1 lead. Also lost the game with less than 2 minutes left in regulation.
Then we got the Islanders. We usually don't get up for this team like the other division teams (minus the Blue Jackets) we regularly drop a giant deuce to this team. Make the Michael Grabner look like Gretzky and make the skeleton of Nabokov look better than he did when he was actually still living. The good news is that we didn't play horribly against them the two times this season. Well we did let Grabzky run wild in the first game, but it wasn't horrible.
Then the Sharks. This is a lost cause. We played them pretty decently last time, but still lost. This is just a far superior team to us.
Then two against the Red Wings. Not sure what to expect from them. The 11 shot game against them last time was among the worst efforts of the season. I don't think that had **** to do with how they played that night. They were very depleted that night. Their lineup was HORRIBLE that night, but we just put in a garbage effort.
Oh and I think we have the Flyers coming up after the two against Detroit. Or we have them in there sometime soon. Can't wait to lose to Ray Emery for the THIRD time this season. You just KNOW they're gonna start him again against us. They won't start Mason against us once this season. Their coaches know that he ****ing sucks, but playing us is always a good occasion to give their workhorse the night off. Cause he knows we won't test him at all, other than a flukey Cam Janssen deflection. We might have a better chance of winning a shootout this year than playing the Flyers without Emery.
Really they have to focus on just getting no worse than five out of eight points in these next four games (really it probably has to be 6+) to stay in the race. Any more backwards movement before the deadline and playoff talk will be academic at that point, cause there's a certain line where even Lou will sell.
At this point we have to be ALL IN. This means if there's anywhere we can sacrifice defense for offense we do it. Gelinas better offensively than Harrold? Bench Harrold. Larsson better offensively than Salvador? Bench Salvador. Lotkionov is better offensively than Bernier? Bench Bernier. Let's ride Schneider and hope he can steal us games where we aren't as stellar defensively, but hopefully that could mean some 3-2, 4-3 wins etc..
Fact is...as it stands now we get a couple wins and the teams we're chasing lose a couple and we are RIGHT back in this...we aren't in as terrible of a spot as some people here act like...and since the west beat down the east so hard this year I'm thinking 88-90pts will be the magic number