Devils Vs Flames. If the Devils don’t win this one, there’s no point getting an early start on their playoff beards. A loss won’t technically eliminate them from contention, but as it stands, they need to pick up some points and hope for the Detroit Red Wings and/or Columbus Blue Jackets to implode. New Jersey trails the Jackets by 3 points and the Wings by 4 for the Eastern Conference’s two wildcard spots.
Fortunately, the Devils’ schedule down the home stretch is fairly easy. Three of their four games are against teams that are either mathematically eliminated or eliminated for all realistic intents and purposes. Their lone remaining game against a playoff calibre team comes at home against Boston on April 13 to close the season. Devils’ coach Pete DeBoer is staying optimistic about his team’s situation headed into tonight’s Flames Vs. Devils game. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, DeBoer had this to say after his team’s most recent game:
“I’ve known the character in that room for the three years I’ve been here. I knew there was no quit in that dressing room and these guys were going to play until they tell us we can’t play anymore.”
The Calgary Flames, on the other hand, are only playing for pride. Their 33-38-7 record leaves them an insurmountable 14 points behind the Dallas Stars and the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
Don’t rule the Flames out for this game, though. Victims of a terrible start, the Flames have played respectable, above.500 hockey in February and March. On top of that, Michael Cammalleri has been on a hot streak, lighting the lamp 13 times in the last 18 games. According to a Calgary Herald report, he reached the 500 career point plateau on Friday. Cammalleri will be a free agent at the end of this season, so look for him to do all he can to finish strong.
The Flames Vs Devils game, like every remaining New Jersey home game has the potential to be Devils’ fans’ last opportunity to see longtime fan favorite Martin Brodeur in a Devils uniform. Brodeur, who is unhappy about platooning with Corey Schneider according to a CBS Sports report, has expressed interest in playing one more year, but is expected to test the free agency waters after spending his entire storied career in New Jersey.
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