The New Jersey Devils have been going in the wrong direction ever since their 2012 Stanley Cup Finals appearance. After just a 32 win season, they are coming off of a third straight non-playoff year and are attempting to steer the ship back in the other direction. The New Jersey Devils schedule begins with a back to back against former playoff teams from 2014 Winnipeg and Washington. The second of which is on the road in Washington. Like many other teams that struggled in 2014, the Devils were actually a competitive team at home but failed to pick up many road wins. It is imperative for them to improve in this area if they are going to become more competitive in the NHL.
Graphic via rantsports
The New Jersey Devils schedule actually provides one of the paths of least resistance across the league throughout the first month. They begin November with another challenging back to back against the Islanders and Blackhawks. Both these teams will challenge the Devils defense and they will have to show some resolve in order to hang on during these games. The Devils also have a three game road trip during the month of November against borderline playoff caliber teams. This will be a good test to not only see if they can win on the road but also to see if they can challenge for a lower playoff seeding. Their longest road trip of the season comes in four games in the month of January. The road trip does have two challenging games but also two very winnable games for the Devils.
The Devils schedule turns to more home games than away games in the second half of the season. New Jersey will need the home-ice advantage as they still face many of the top tier teams in either conference during this time. Overall, their schedule is relatively challenging and it is hard to see them fighting for a playoff spot without much improvement from a year ago. The Devils schedule does finish off with a three game home stand in which they face Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and Toronto. Tampa Bay will provide them with one last chance to stack themselves up against one of the elite teams in the NHL. The Devils still have a lot of work to do to get back to their glory days. They have not had much success in the past three years and will need to improve their road win total to get back into the playoff mix. Overall, their schedule is pretty difficult and provide a roadblock in their plans to get back into the playoffs. The New Jersey Devils may still be a few years away from success.
Graphic via bloguin