Not long ago, the Devils were a laughingstock having won only 10 of their first 41 games. Now, they've won 18 of 22 (18-2-2) climbing within new NHL .500. They still trail the stumbling Rangers by 10 points for the final playoff spot with 19 games remaining. With Carolina defeating the Sabres in one of those dreaded three-point games, the Hurricanes passed the Rangers for seventh with 71 points while Buffalo climbed to 68. The Devils sit 12th and must still quantum leap the slumping Thrashers and sizzling Maple Leafs, who posted a 3-2 overtime win over the Flyers last night to reach 67.
Three of the competing clubs are in action later tonight with the Devils taking on the Penguins while the Rangers visit Ottawa and Carolina tries to cool off Chicago. New Jersey has extra games left, which could allow them to get even closer as the frantic race reaches its final month. They're the subject of our new poll. One we hope you'll vote on. On such an amazing run with the fitting slogan One Game At A Time, who's most responsible for the turnaround? Is it Jacques Lemaire or Ilya Kovalchuk? Perhaps it's Johan Hedberg or even Team MVP Dainius Zubrus. What about the resurgent Brian Rolston, who once again is performing under his favorite coach? Or perhaps it's overlooked rookie Mark Fayne, whose steady D and offensive contributions have made a difference. What about franchise all-time scoring leader Patrik Elias, who's been a model of consistency? Or just maybe it's former captain Jamie Langenbrunner, whose extinction coincided with this run from nowhere. :P
I wonder what our resident Jersey blogger Hasan thinks. Even if you dislike the Devils, you have to admit that this is unprecedented and deserves our attention. So, go vote or even comment below! We dare ya. ;)