Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 4/2/12


Though they missed them last season, the playoffs are nothing new to the Devils. They are back and looking to make a run at the Stanley Cup. While they’ve been a staple in the playoffs since the new millennium started, the Devils have had relatively short appearances in recent postseasons.

Since New Jersey’s last Stanley Cup title, 2003, they’ve made it out of the first round only twice in six playoff appearances. And both of those times they were nearly swept by their second round opponent.

A trip to the finals will not come easy for the Devils. As it stands now they will take on the Southeast Division-leading Florida Panthers to open up the playoffs. The Devils went 2-2 against the Panthers this season. On paper the Devils would be the favorites to win a series against Florida; they’ve been the more consistent team this season. It would be an added bonus for Devils head coach Peter DeBoer to battle the Panthers in the playoffs and beat them, since he was the bench boss there last season.

After Florida it only gets tougher for the Devils. A potential matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins would be an enormous challenge. In the final two meetings of the season, the Pens dropped the Devils 5-2 in both games. The Penguins are the best team in the East, even if the standings don’t reflect that; and with Sidney Crosby back in the lineup they are even more dangerous.

Of course New Jersey could draw the Rangers or Bruins. Neither would be an easy series and the Devils' luck in the second round wouldn’t help. Both years they managed to move past the conference quarterfinals, they drew teams that would go on to the Stanley Cup final. In 2006 the Devils fell in five games to the Carolina Hurricanes, who would go on to win the Cup. The following year they lost in five games to the Ottawa Senators, who represented the East in the final.

That’s good news for whatever team gets them in the second round, but bad news for the Devils and their fans.

For New Jersey to break their Cup drought they’ll need a few things to happen. Martin Brodeur will need to keep up his strong play into the postseason. For the 14th time in his career he will hit the 30-win mark in a season. His record stands at 29-21-4, so his next win will be his 30th. Ilya Kovalchuk will need to keep his hot hand going. The 28-year-old winger has scored 30-plus goals for the ninth consecutive year in a row and will need to lead the offensive charge like he has all season.

They’ll also need surprise scorer David Clarkson to continue to chip in. Clarkson set a career high this season scoring 30 goals after only hitting the back of the net 12 times last season. Guys like Adam Henrique, Zach Parise, and Patrick Elias will also need to be clutch if the Devils are to make a deep run.

For guys like Brodeur and Elias it may be their last chance to win the Stanley Cup. Also, Parise will be a free agent this summer. One assume there will be desperation from New Jersey to make a deep run.

But the questions remains: Do the Devils have what it takes to make deep run this year?

Photo credit: Getty Images

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release two-time Pro Bowl CB Tim Jennings

Indians president Mark Shapiro jumps to same role in Toronto

Tom Coughlin: Victor Cruz not expected to practice this week

Report: Redskins ownership won't let coaches bail on RG3

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

D'Angelo Russell: 'There's a lot of spoiled Lakers fans'

Terry Collins didn't challenge double out of fear of HR

Has Tim Lincecum thrown his last pitch for the Giants?

Jerry Jones is enthralled with ‘vintage’ Darren McFadden

Report: Three NFL head coaches were interested in Michigan job

Odell Beckham Jr. is not intimidated of Darrelle Revis

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

U.S. Open women's preview: Can anyone stop Serena?

Buffalo Bills need to start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback

WATCH: Broncos defender drops Reggie Bush, skirmish ensues

U.S. Open men's preview: Will there be a surprise champion?

Big Papi crushes Syndergaard pitch for 494th homer

Virginia Tech honoring slain journalists with helmet stickers

AJ Green on contract: 'All the receivers are getting bank'

Clippers owner rejects $60 million annual TV rights deal

Saints thank residents of New Orleans on 10th Katrina anniversary

Fan delivers In-N-Out Burger to Tyler Seguin during game

A tribute to 76ers legend Darryl Dawkins

Five teams with the best NBA schedule in 2015-2016

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

U.S. Open men's preview

U.S. Open women's preview

D'Angelo Russell zings Lakers fans

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker