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Season of Regression: Devils Officially Eliminated From 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Devils fail to capitalize on a breakout 2022-23, miss the playoffs in 2024 following dismal season.



New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils are officially eliminated from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs following their Tuesday night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Exactly one season after the Devils broke out as a 112-point team claiming third place in the entire NHL, New Jersey faced a serious regression in 2023-24.

The maximum number of points New Jersey can collect is 85.

There are a number of factors you can point to that led to the downfall.

It seemingly started with general manager Tom Fitzgerald‘s roster construction, failing to provide sufficient veteran leadership following some summer departures.

In fact, interim head coach Travis Green cited the Devils’ immaturity just a few weeks ago.

Speaking of Green, New Jersey’s coaching situation did not work out. Management handed former head coach Lindy Ruff a contract extension at the beginning of 2023-24 as a result of last season, just to fire him by February.

Major injuries to Dougie Hamilton and Jack Hughes, plus plenty of others throughout the season never allowed the Devils to gain any momentum.

And perhaps the biggest factor that led to this season’s demise — the goaltending. The Devils’ crease was one of the NHL’s worst for the majority of the season between Vitek Vanecek, Akira Schmid, and Nico Daws.

By the time Fitzgerald attempted to give the roster a boost (ironically trading their leading goal scorer, Tyler Toffoli), it was too late.

As the season progressed for New Jersey, the Devils’ system continued to break down, the power play plummeted, and despite the boost in net, they couldn’t get their consistency on track.

Thus, the Devils have A LOT of work to do this summer. Starting behind the bench, Fitzgerald needs to make the right hire in the next head coach, or else it could be his last hire.

Then, he needs to find a legitimate No.1 goaltender to pair with Jake Allen. And, New Jersey could use a strong defenseman to help keep the puck out of the Devils’ net.

Three games are remaining in the regular season for New Jersey. Then, it’s early golf for the Devils.

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