The New Jersey Devils needed five seasons to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after the franchise that was formerly known as the “Colorado Rockies” picked up its things and set up shop in the slightly less beautiful Newark, New Jersey in 1982.
However, they transformed into perennial contenders after punching their ticket to the postseason in 1987, which marked the beginning of a 35-year span where the team only missed the playoffs three times while taking home Lord Stanley’s trophy on the same number of occasions.
Unfortunately, things haven’t gone so well since the Devils lost to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. New Jersey posted a single win in the lone playoff series they’ve appeared in over the past decade, and they failed to make any drastic personnel changes that suggested they were poised to turn things around heading into the current NHL campaign.
It’s safe to say Devils fans weren’t exactly confident in head coach Lindy Ruff based on the “Fire Lindy” chant that broke out at Prudential Center two games into the season. However, it didn’t take long for those supporters to change their tune, as they issued a mea culpa in the form of the “Sorry Lindy” chant that broke out earlier this month after the franchise got off to one of the hottest starts in the league.
On Monday, the Devils improved to 16-3 on the season after winning their 13th game in a row by handily dispatching a fairly formidable Oilers squad in a 5-2 victory. They still have their work cut out as they inch closer to the 17-game winning streak the Penguins posted in 1993 that remains the NHL record, but even if they’re unable to surpass that mark, it seems like New Jersey will be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.
However, there’s at least one skeptic who still isn’t convinced they’re the real deal.
During the game, retired NHL defenseman Keith Yandle treated us to a late “Hot Take of the Year” contender during a segment on SportsNet where he not only downplayed the turnaround but boldly asserted the Devils won’t even make the playoffs when everything is said and done.
Keith Yandle actually went on national TV in Canada and said the #NJDevils won't make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Add another moron to The List. pic.twitter.com/Ww2W6Tsq2k
— Devils Insiders (@DevilsInsiders) November 22, 2022
The Devils are currently on pace to finish the season with over 130 points, although it’s impossible to imagine they won’t end up hitting a rough patch at some point.
With that said, they’d also need to fall victim to a fairly historic collapse in order to miss the postseason cut; the 32 points they’ve racked up less than one-quarter into the season are around a third of the total recent history suggests they’ll need to finish with in order to earn a playoff spot.
Yandle may end up looking like a hockey genius if his prophecy is ultimately fulfilled, but there are plenty of fans who saw that clip and came to the conclusion he threw any and all credibility out of the window the second he uttered those comments.
think they gotta healthy scratch this guy
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) November 22, 2022
Did Keith Yandle really just say he doesn’t think the Devils make the playoffs? You know catastrophically bad you have to be to miss the playoffs after winning 12 in a row?
— Tohn Javares (@_PyjamaBoy) November 22, 2022
Wow. I don’t think he understands the absolute tire fire that team would need to be for 4 straight months to fall out of a playoff spot with the lead they’ve built up.
— Greg Bohnert (9-7-2) (@PelletierFan23) November 22, 2022
I guess we’ll just have to check back in April to see how well this aged.