Devils Have Explosive Week, Relatively Quiet Deadline, Playoff Push Enters 4th Gear

The Devils acquired Timo Meier, scored 14 goals in two games, and made one minor move at the trade deadline as the playoffs rapidly approach.

The Devils are just one point out of first place in the division, are third in the NHL, and have a goal differential of positive 53, which is the second best in the NHL. In the last two games, the Devils offense has scored 14 goals and Timo Meier has not even touched the ice in a Devils uniform yet. I was not expecting the Devils to do much at the trade deadline and all that Tom Fitzgerald did was acquire Curtis Lazar for a 2024 fourth round pick. Some fans wanted Fitzgerald to make another big splash and acquire a more impactful player like Tom Wilson. However, I would argue that Tom Fitzgerald made the right move by not shaking up the roster further when the team he already has is absolutely rolling right now and has been for most of the year.

The Devils are in a great spot entering March as we Devil fans finally get the MEANINGFUL GAMES we have been waiting years and years to see. This month, the Devils play Colorado (7-5 W), Vegas, Toronto, Carolina, Tampa Bay three times, Buffalo, the Islanders, and the Rangers. That is 10 games with pretty huge playoff implications for both teams. The Devils are hot on the tail chasing Carolina for first place, with the Rangers struggling to stay in the top three of the Metro. Meanwhile the Lightning and Maple Leafs are battling for home ice in their first round playoff series and the Penguins, Islanders and Sabres are battling to be the two wild cards. This will be one of the most fun, and most stressful, months of Devils hockey in recent years and it will only get more intense in April (and hopefully May and June as well).

Heading into this important stretch of the season as the playoff race amps up, the Devils are on a great roll. The team has won three in a row and seven of their last 10. Tom Fitzgerald was able to acquire a multi time 30 goal scorer that has more hits than any other Devils on the roster so far this year before the deadline, so there was no reason to make another big splash at the deadline. The Devils are right up against the cap as it is and there isn’t really a need to fix what isn’t broken. Timo Meier fills two needs for the Devils as both a scoring winger and a physical presence. Adding Curtis Lazar is fine for some bottom 6 depth if the play of McLeod, Bastian, or Wood should fall off drastically. The Devils are loaded up and ready for the playoffs and I cant wait to watch it all. You can follow me on Twitter at PatBoooooth

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