After beginning the 2010-11 season with one of the worst starts in franchise history, Jacques Lemaire and the New Jersey Devils are taking “late to the party” to an almost comical extreme.
Going into the new year, even the most optimistic observer probably would have agreed that this team’s playoff hopes were as good as dead. Yet with a ridiculous 12-1-2 run in their last 15 games, the Devils are a semi-reasonable 12 points behind the Atlanta Thrashers and Carolina Hurricanes for the East’s final playoff spot. That’s still a pretty big gap to close with 26 games remaining on New Jersey’s schedule, but if they stay hot, it’s at least plausible. Maybe.
Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury discussed the key components of this improbable run to playoff relevance (including Ilya Kovalchuk’s awakening), along with setting the odds on Lemaire coaching the team next season.